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Happy with hosting

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Happy with hosting
I just wanted to offer my two cents to this shiny new forum.

We have been running a few fairly successful websites that have gradually increased loads and traffic since 1997. We transfer about 1.5 - 2 gigs a day.

We had been hosting with Hurricane Electric until about 6 months ago, as a dedicated server customer. We had been happy, until we were having troubles with load handling. We then found their unwillingness to help us troubleshoot the server, blaming software, design, etc. I was often treated like a fool by their uppity systems admins. Guys that are just too busy to read the whole email, that hope if they don't answer it.. the problem may go away. We all have those tendencies, don't we!? <sigh>

Unfortunately, they didn't give us enough tools nor access to be able to troubleshoot it ourselves. A call to Jack at Gossamer about software solutions prompted us to consider changing hosts, and letting Gossamer set us up with a dual 2ghz AMD with 2 gigs of ram to replace two seperate machines at HE. One a dual PIII 600 with a gig, and a 1.8 with another gig of ram. He believed that Mod_Perl would help our performance considerably. Our mail system was sluggish, as well as our forums.

We had loads on our two servers often into the 10's, and as any sysadmin knows, that's a compromised state of serving! Load times got slower and slower, and reboots were being required every few days. Logging had to be turned off, let alone attempting spam handling!

We run a version of Gossamer Mail with about 14,000 active accounts. The spam was killing us... so with Alex's hand at spamfiltering, spamasassin, qmail and some other handling tweaks, we now enjoy server loads rarely into the 3's. That's with one machine instead of two! It typically purrs around 1.5....

There's more to this than just ease of having better tools, better access and better tech support. We have found increased memberships, less chargebacks due to rebilling glitches, and an overall optimization of our systems.

We would recommend them highly.

Feel free to email me if you care to discuss particulars.

Ri Stewart
Systems Admin
Diversity X Design
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Re: [diversity] Happy with hosting In reply to
That's a really complete story!

I've had dedicated servers since back in the AOL/GNN days (I was addicted to the first version of AOLPress -- editing on the server, etc).

I've had about 10 different ISP's, all with major promises. Even used Bellatlantic until they couldn't handle the bandwidth (Yep, the phone company, backbone provider, couldn't provide enough bandwidth....). My last ISP was a local company, one of the "fastest growing" (which just went bankrupt and was bought out for pennies on the dollar) internet start ups, well financed, and more concerned with sales than support. They "forgot" to make my backups <sigh>.

Anyway, In the almost 2 years I've been with Alex/GT the downtime has been trivial, the problems have been minor and handled quickly, and their service upgrades have gone unnoticed. The only time I've had to call (and I really didn't) was when I thought my mail system was completely out, and it occured to me if I sent them an email, it wouldn't get there (a catch-22). The mail actually did get there, so it was an "unnecessary" call.

I can't say that about _any_ other hosting company I've used. If I had hosting like GT's 10 years ago, there is no telling where our company would have been now. I just found a backup disk from my first server on AOL hosting/GNN. The memories, :|. Over the years, we closed/passed on several major projects and ideas because our hosting company couldn't keep up, put up roadblocks, or simply was inept.

None of that can be said about the folks at GT.

Computers have problems. The measure of a good hosting company is how well those problems are avoided, handled or worked around -- not how good their support people are at agreeing there is a problem, and opening a support ticket :)

I would say if, like us, you are running primarily GT programs, than hosting with GT is a no brainer. My servers are "different" from their usual/regular, and I've done a bunch of things to them that makes them non-standard (including having over 6,000 domain names, and a few hundred working virtual servers), and they've been able to deal with, and enhance/fixup anything I've come across -- even though it's not their "usual" configuration. (Some of my configurations go back 10 years to that original AOL server - or earlier to my BBS's. Unix handles legacy layouts wonderfully :))

Anyway, my story is not as detailed as yours, but our satisfaction level is as great, if not greater, after all the others we've tried.


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