BurstNET datacenter migration woes

Fri, 16th August 2013, 16:43

BurstNET Technologies announced last year its expansion to its new flagship data center facility in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The new BurstNET data center would house not only their own corporate global headquarters, but also offer office space for clientele wishing to locate their own on-site techs within the facility. Located two hours west of New York City, two hours north of Philadelphia, and five hours east of Pittsburgh, the central location of the facility would enable BurstNET to compete directly with major US colocation facilities, offering similar bandwidth options/pricing to major metros, all whilst operating in the less expensive Scranton PA region. Scheduled to open to new clientele in January 2013, all that remained was for BurstNET to migrate their existing clientele base to the new data center. Easy right.. apparently not.

Server downtime can, and will happen to every web hosting company. It is the nature of the business. While frustrating for the clients, for most web hosting companies it can be an equally trying time. Scheduling downtime to migrate clients from one datacenter to another adds an additional layer of complexity that ensure Murphy’s Law will come into play. Endurance International Group (EIG) garnered quite a reputation for messing up data center migrations every time they bought another web hosting company. (BlueHost clients breathed a collective sigh of relief when they learned EIG was not migrating them). A rather comical server migration story for onlookers at least, involved a web host in LA. The plan entailed picking up the servers from one datacenter, loading them into the back of his vehicle, and racing to the new dc, hence minimizing downtime. Unforeseen.. the traffic jams that snarl LA traffic.

BurstNET is neither a private equity firm scooping up web hosting companies, nor is it a company that can fit racks of servers into the back of a car. The damage and cost for BurstNET migration to its new facility hasn’t even begun to be calculated. The nightmare saga is still ongoing.


The Notice:

BurstNET is currently migrating it's internal services to our new state of the art data center facility. Due to this migration you may experience a brief period of inaccessibility to the BurstNET services.

This may include: The BurstNET website, billing/ordering system, forums pages, ticket system, email, or any other services that are normally available online. Phone systems will also be impacted by this migration. If you happen to need assistance during this window, please continue trying services. You will eventually be able to get through to what you need, as things come back online.

We apologize for the inconvenience and we will make every effort to return services to normal as quickly as possible.


On August the 14 BurstNet posted: 

All migrations have been completed except for a handful of 100TB clients. We are currently working thru reboot tickets to catch any systems still reported down, as we as consoling each server to make sure operational. A good portion of the servers still down are due to dead power supplies or the like. We are working thru them as quickly as possible.

PS - Twitter feed is automated...we are not spending time on that instead of reboots...I assure you.

(editor’s note: the P.S. was in response to criticism of Burstnet Twitter feed tweeting adverts rather than service updates)


The Reality

The fallout continues to unfold. A very small sampling from around the web.

@burstnet , I reported my server being down on the morning of Aug 6th. A few days later I received the news that my hard drive had some sort of issue and that they would recover it and fix the issue. Now we are on the 15th and my server is still not working. I believe that this migration issue has overloaded the support tickets and is partly why my issue fell through the cracks and hasn't been attended to.

I am hoping that you can take a look at my ticket and help me out here. I have replied already (Aug 10th) to the support ticket but it hasn't been checked in 5 days. The ticket number is YXD-622-38997. I just received my next bill and didn't even get to use my server for almost 1/4 of my last billing cycle due to this hardware failure.

Please take a look into this for me as it's killing my business. The server may appear to work if pinged but if you try to visit any websites that are listed in the support ticket they will not load because of hard drive issue. SSh does not work, cpanel/whm does not work either.

Another Client fumed:

Down since Aug 12th and no response to the tickets or phone calls. Been a client since 2007-8 and am sure I won't buy a single new server from them ever again.

Today BurstNET posted at 3:44 AM

We are currently working feverishly to attend to any reports of services still affected by the PA data center facility migration of the last week.

Any remaining issues with services not back online are most likely related to hardware issues, network adapters/port problems, or failed power supplies.

BurstNET has been working day and night to resolve any remaining issues, with majority of staff working many overtime hours to assist our client base.

This has been a very heavy workload for our staff with this major facility migration, but it had to get done. Fortunately it is only a one time occurrence, and following such, we can get back to the same reliable and stable service/uptime that BurstNET has provided for many years now.

You will receive a response to your support ticket once your specific issue is resolved, as techs are on the data center floor continuously working to resolve such issues until all issues are completed.

We expect the majority of these issues to be resolved shortly, and thank you for your understanding and continued patience.

Regards, Shawn A.

Administration BurstNET

BurstNET has seen significant growth in its hosting business, bringing the company to nearly 40,000 dedicated and virtual private servers currently in service worldwide. Founded in 1991, BurstNET is one of the oldest web hosting operations in the industry and known as a pioneer of the Web Hosting industry, having been heavily involved in the creation of the industry standard CPanel control panel, and co-creator of the industry's first $99 dedicated server. The company operates one of the oldest and largest resale programs in the industry, servicing thousands of resellers, as the backend for many popular hosting companies.

When the migration plan began to crash and burn, many clients of BurstNET expressed publicly that the company should pause the migration and resolve the outstanding issues prior to continuing. Building BurstNET's reputation took years. It took one very poorly executed migration to tarnish it beyond recognition.

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