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Author Topic: Possible downtime soon - our server company was bought out  (Read 4336 times)
Trerro
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« on: May 13, 2011, 09:09:49 am »

Our server company (Slicehost) was bought out by Rackspace, who bought it only to destroy it. We will be forcibly moved into Rackspace's cloud service instead of Slicehost's VPS model. We have not yet been given a date for this move, nor full details on exactly what we get with the new service (besides the finger), but it is almost certainly inferior, especially in the customer service department.

This is likely going to be, frankly, a pain in the ass. There will be downtime when they move us to the other service... and then if the new service is run as poorly as I'm expecting it to be, more downtime while we more to a company that isn't targetted at executives lured by slightly cheaper prices and the use of buzzwords. There's also the fact that I pre-paid several months in advance for a service that it turns out will not be at all what I paid for, but that particular mess only affects me personally.

Whatever happens, I will make sure that in the end, we're on a reliable server from SOMEWHERE.

I'll have more updates as I find out in more detail what's going on.
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Order of Chaos (Ragnarok Online, iRO Ymir) guildmaster - Mwrip (99/70 High Wizzie)

Dragon Code: DC2.Dw Gm L7f W T Palw Sks Cbk Bfl/"puns" A Fr-- M O H-- $- Fo R++ Ac++ J++ S+ I--# Tc++ E+

"I never knew faith had to come with an instruction manual." - Source Unknown
"My political ideal is the democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual, but let no man be idolized" - Einstein
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Tyred
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 12:58:45 pm »

*blank stare into the camera* "To the cloud"
"meep?"
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Back on the old RA, I was the resident counting fanatic, literature snob, Tetris champion, moderator of forums I never used and games I rarely played, Hexxagon champion, stupidest smart person, and incompetent admin. I hope my legacy here will be just as meaningful... or not.

Member as of June 20th, 2004 (yeah, I've been lurking around here for eleven years...)

"Both human stupidity and the universe are infinite, although I am not sure about the latter." Albert Einstein
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Trerro
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 09:28:33 pm »

The two main models in this class of server are VPS and cloud hosting. They technically aren't completely distinct - many VPSes employ a cloud-like CPU sharing system for instance, but for the most part, here's the main idea of each.

VPS = Virtual Private Server. You essentially buy a piece of a dedicated server - hence the name Slicehost for our current service - they "slice" a large server into chunks. They use software that makes each piece operate completely independently, so it's impossible for others on the same machine to crash you, and you're guaranteed to get what you paid for. The better ones also have a CPU balancer that will allow you to use others' CPU time, but only while they're not using it, allowing you spike over max temporarily (ours does do this, and allows things like software installs to run much faster than they otherwise would).

Cloud = A cloud is basically a giant server cluster, with far, far, more space and power than any normal server could ever have. Usually, the plans are also a lot looser - you buy a low base cost of access, then simply pay for usage, never getting billed for what you don't use... and we currently use a tiny fraction of our server resources. Since you're linked into a giant cluster, you also don't have to worry about going way, way, over the limits on a particular month, it'll just grab what you need and send you the bill. It sounds awesome, but of course, there's a catch. Whereas a VPS can absolutely guarentee that the resources you paid for are always available short of you screwing up your server or a catastrophic hardware failure, a cloud very much cannot. If the collective attempted usage of a cloud exceeds the total resources it has, the entire thing can come screeching to a halt, taking every site on it down. Amazon actually recently had major issues when the huge-ass cloud they run on overloaded.

The result is that while VPS hosting tends to be more expensive than cloud hosting, it also tends to be far more reliable - unless you have extremely unpredictable usage (in which case that scalability becomes critical). Our usage is rather predictable, however, and if we do later grow, it's not going to be at a rate where can't simply buy an upgrade when we need one.

As for Rackspace vs Slicehost, besides the VPS vs cloud thing, they're targeted at pretty much opposite kinds of customer. Rackspace favors corporate customers lured by buzzwords, and is mainly targeted at people who don't know what they're doing, and are looking at cost above all else - support and service appropriately suffer. Slicehost is aimed at the DIY crowd - here's your server, here's how to reset it if you royally fark up, here's a pile of tutorials on common tasks, have fun. Because Slicehost attracts such a different kind of user, their support queue isn't bogged down with newbie questions, and the community of users is generally a group of sysadmins and programmers helping each other.

The good news is that I found a very similar company to Slicehost (Linode), that actually has better prices, and from what people fleeing Slicehost are saying on the forums, just as good service and community, with a better control panel. We'll get 30 days notice when we have to move to Rackspace, and when this happens, I'm just going to sidestep the mess and move us to Linode. There will still be downtime, but it will be almost entirely due to the domain record updating.
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Order of Chaos (Ragnarok Online, iRO Ymir) guildmaster - Mwrip (99/70 High Wizzie)

Dragon Code: DC2.Dw Gm L7f W T Palw Sks Cbk Bfl/"puns" A Fr-- M O H-- $- Fo R++ Ac++ J++ S+ I--# Tc++ E+

"I never knew faith had to come with an instruction manual." - Source Unknown
"My political ideal is the democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual, but let no man be idolized" - Einstein
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Bullseye55
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 02:13:54 am »

Competition, the heart of all types of evil...


Here is a clear example of its effects.

One company tries to obliterate another one, just for it's gain.

I dream of a world with no competition.

Things like this mess would not happen.


Anyway, can't believe a company would do that!


Pure greedy people in this world now.


I can't wait till this whole world becomes plastic!! Angry

That's sarcastic.


It means: quality of products in this world will be close to nothing.


This makes since in which: Plastic only costs 1/2 a cent for a coke can. It is the cheapest substance on the planet.
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Trerro
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2011, 09:04:31 pm »

True competition is actually a very good thing. Most great products, in fact, exist because someone looked at an existing product and said "this is good, but it'd be much better if I improved/added/refined it by doing *this*". This then forces the people who made the original to make improvements of their own, back and forth in an endless cycle of innovation.

Much of today's computing power was a result of Intel and AMD constantly needing to build a better processor than the other guy, ATI and Nvidia doing the same with video cards, etc.

This is how capitalism is *supposed* to work.

The problem is when a company decides they WON'T compete, and as you said, annihilates their competitors instead of trying to make a better product. This gives us companies like EA and Rackspace that will try to ruin entire industries by being the only guy left. Anti-monopoly laws are *supposed* to prevent this, but they're almost never enforced, especially when it involves high tech companies that most judges don't understand.

The problem absolutely does boil down to plain old greed, but unfortunately, the greed isn't just on the side of the megacorps. A tiny company can't be absorbed by a larger one unless they agree to let it happen. Even a hostile takeover still requires the consent of shareholders of the smaller company (just against the wishes of the actual founders).

The solution would then be for a whole lot of companies to:
1. Refuse to be sold
and
2. Refuse to incorporate (form an LLC for most of the benefits of being a corporation, without being required to have stock).

In practice, however, it turns out that when offered a few decades' salary to abandon the company they created, most founders unfortunately are quite willing to do so. It's hard to blame them for selling out, when in many cases they don't even know if they'd even still be in business in a few years - lots of companies require massive debt in their early years. I'm not really sure there's a good answer to that issue.
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Order of Chaos (Ragnarok Online, iRO Ymir) guildmaster - Mwrip (99/70 High Wizzie)

Dragon Code: DC2.Dw Gm L7f W T Palw Sks Cbk Bfl/"puns" A Fr-- M O H-- $- Fo R++ Ac++ J++ S+ I--# Tc++ E+

"I never knew faith had to come with an instruction manual." - Source Unknown
"My political ideal is the democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual, but let no man be idolized" - Einstein
"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." - Benjamin Franklin
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