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PowerVPS / Virtacore hosting down. When the hours become days.

Tue, 24th July 2012, 22:19

The only thing certain in life is death and taxes so despite your web host 100% uptime guarantee, I can say with 100% certainty that every web hosting company will suffer downtime. Some web host are textbook examples of how to excel and build customer relationships. Others have dropped the ball while trying to “slip one past ” their clients finding that only works if the client doesn’t notice their website down. Then there are the others. The webhost that not only redefines “suffering downtime”, but takes it to a whole new level.

So where does PowerVps fit... read on.

 

July 10

”Kish” started a WHT thread stating his VPS hosted with PowerVPS (now Virtacore) had been down since Friday evening (6 July).  It was his understanding that a couple of nodes had failed and had to be rebuilt. Kish stated that since the evening of 7 July, PowerVPS support staff were trying to restore from an R1Soft backup, which was apparently taking forever.

Kish’s concerns on July 10th were that PowerVPS was not able to tell him an ETA on his sites being restored, what contingency plans if any PowerVPS had to get back online quickly. “Support keep repeating the same boilerplate messages - we're working on it" and "we're monitoring the situation", Kish says. Still after hosting with PowerVPS for almost 7 years without any serious issues in the past Kish waits. PowerVPS status page goes offline but PowerVPS states that its unrelated...

 

July 12

Kish updated the thread.. approaching 6 days offline now. The restore is still in progress and actually getting slower.

 

July 14

Ken, another user having four servers hosted with PowerVPS, two of which were affected by the failed node, shares his thoughts on almost 8 days of downtime.

“We had a little over 200 websites on those two servers. Luckily, we keep nightly cpanel account backups and were able to get another VPS provider to provision a server last Sunday after PowerVPS support said it would be at least another 72 hours before the servers were back up. PowerVPS refused to provision replacements” Ken stated.

Ken also shared that a PowerVPS support tech told him via email that the backup they needed to restore was only 1.1TB. There is a clear failure on PowerVPS to have a reasonable restoration process, and communication has been equally poor. The only communication I've had with them is when I initiate it. The web link given out for updates stopped working last Sunday and they haven't bothered to fix it, he said.

 

July 15

Ken again chimed in that the servers are still down. It now has been 9 days since the node failed and 7 days since PowerVPS started the restore process.

An email sent to PowerVPS asked how they planned to compensate downtime and brought the following response: 

Firstly, our sincere apologies for the downtime involved.
I'll escalate this ticket to our support manager for further assistance. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you.
Best Regards,
Prasad S
Technical Support Analyst
Virtacore Systems/PowerVPS Support  

July 16 2012

PowerVPS brought Ken’s repaired node back online. Total downtime was approx. 9 days, 20 hours.

An email to Ken from PowerVPS explained the series of events that lead to the failure.

First I wanted to say Thank You regarding your patience regarding the full restore process of your vps container. We had a complete raid failure several days ago and all data was lost and due to the nature of the force containers there was a sheer amount of data that needed restored hence why it took several days for a complete restore process. What we did to resolve the issue was replaced the hw node raid controller to eliminate another hardware failure and we are also are going to be looking into other backup solutions other than r1 to ensure backups complete in a more faster timetable than what we saw.

Again we apologize for the inconvenience and we appreciate your continued support. Any questions regarding this matter please email us support@powervps 

Still on the 16th, Jawany from Nebraska posted “I thought i'm alone! it's been 10 days now. Anyone get their websites online? Ewelin chimed in a couple of hours later "Our node is still down"

 

July 18  

Jawany stated... I had a Cpanel backups on the same vps and they restored it for me, and the website are online now.

 

July 20

Kish, who started the thread was restored on July 20th. His sites went down on the 6th July 2012. Kish was downloading individual cpanel backups for his own peace of mind... a long job with hundreds of websites to go through.

 

July 21

Hostingvince posted that the same issue was happening now on another node that he was on...

Down 24 hours due to RAID failure - again - and apparently restoring 'metal to metal' as it's faster but will still take 3 more days! Not looking forward to my clients anger

trinivps also vented his frustration stating:

I also have a couple servers with Powervps. This delay in restoring is completely unacceptable. Would other providers have this same problem if they have a RAID failure? I also have separate servers with site5 and I will ask them what their procedure is like if there is a RAID failure. Something is off with this entire scenario.

I am also very disappointed that they (powervps) cannot give me access to my backups. It seems my clients' sites will be down for the entire coming week.

Same day Sordell Media posted

Same issues here, including the lacklustre responses from support. Already got an account with another host, conveniently my PowerVPS package is due for renewal at the end of the week.... just hope their 'metal' restore is done before then so I can get my data and cut my losses.

Ignoring downtime may work when nobody notices the sites down. And also with companies that just rebrand when they've trashed their own reputation!

But minimizing over a week of downtime with a weak apology, after years of essentially flawless service is just inexcuseable. HostJury has contacted PowerVPS for comment.

 

About PowerVPS/Virtacore Systems

PowerVPS is a wholly owned brand of Virtacore Systems, Inc and is an industry-leading privately owned, profitable Web infrastructure service provider based in Ashburn, Virginia. We are hosting experts focused on virtualization and cloud hosting solutions for start-up companies, web hosting resellers, and others looking to build an online web presence. With over eight years of virtualization experience and 10,000 virtual servers deployed, we have the background and expertise to do what it takes to provide the fastest, most stable, and secure environment possible for our customers.

Virtacore Systems is a leading provider of hybrid cloud services, offering public & private cloud to the middle market through the company’s VMware-based unified platform. Virtacore enables customers to virtualize and move their IT infrastructure into the cloud, reducing capital and operating expenses, and improving data security, network availability, application performance and scalability.
Headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia, Virtacore was founded in 2000 and acquired in 2009 by IKANO Communications – an enabler of Internet services backed by Insight Venture Partners, a leading private equity and venture capital firm with over $9 billion under management. As part of IKANO, Virtacore recently expanded its cloud offerings to include Google Apps services and support for businesses and organizations.

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