When your server dies

I'm not sure I can phonetically get across how I am feeling at the moment.

Maybe I should borrow from James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" here:


Anyway, tonight at about 7pm GMT our work web server went off-line mysteriously. We host most of our client's web sites and have about 30 web sites active on the server. A lot of them are small enough, with low traffic, but that doesn't make something like this feel any less of a disaster.

After trying to log in to the server through the standard control panel and then directly through SSH login, we quickly realised that the server was completely gone – we couldn't even get it to reboot. Then began the mystery of submitting tickets and trying to contact them.

I will say that they mailed me back within about 5 minutes of submitting the request – but the news was not good. Basically our server was out of action and they needed to replace it and restore from our backup. This would take between "5-12 hours" and that data migration would take "1-7 days" to complete. This horrified me and we've been basically hounding them since then. They've managed to get the server back on-line in 4 hours though email is still out and some sites are behaving somewhat erratically.

I dread to think what would have happened if I wasn't at my computer this evening – I would have had 30 clients ringing me up tomorrow morning at 9am wondering what the hell was going on.

I shudder to think of it (I've already had 2 clients call at 10pm).

Anyway, needed to vent. We're looking to move service providers in the very very near future and have a server built and ready for collocation. Sure I may as well name and shame as well.. the asses who have messed us up so consistently in the last few months? Domain Names Express.

Never want to deal with them again.

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