Troubles with Nexcess

If you’re one of our clients who uses Nexcess, our preferred and most often recommended Web hosting provider, you may have noticed that today was a very bad day for Nexcess.  Many or most sites hosted with Nexcess have been unreachable for much of Sunday, and that includes email as well as Web access.

We’re aware of this, and if we could do anything about it, we would be.  The problem is caused by an upgrade gone very, very wrong at one of the three ISPs that Nexcess uses, SAGO.

This has led several of our clients to ask if there’s something they should do, such as switch to another ISP.  Today, we recommend firmly that switching isn’t necessary—but we will watch to make sure that Nexcess doesn’t have additional problems.  Read More if you’d like additional background.

The message from NExcess I received said this:

The data center is performing network maintenance right now that’s causing sporadic outages. You can read more about it here.

The entire thread is worth reading if you have the time—there’s 6 pages currently, and you can get a sense for what the problem is, and what the response of other customers is. One good and representative example is this:

I’ve been with Nexcess for more than three years now, and don’t remember more than a few hours (cumulative) of downtime since I’ve been here. Even a whole day of downtime must put them at about 99.91% reliability. I personally don’t find room for complaint in that, especially considering the speed and ease of service we usually get.

Your contract with Nexcess promises 99.5% uptime.  That’s 3.6 hours per month possible down time, and it’s about what you’d get from any hosting contract costing $50 / month or less. (Most of our clients pay between $10 and $20 / month, depending on the bandwidth and features they require.)

Nexcess usually has about 99.8% uptime, higher than what they are obligated to deliver.  With this outage,  caused by their own ISP and affecting almost all their clients, including other Hop Studios clients, they’re going to do worse than 99.5% this month.  But of course, any downtime is frustrating, and potentially costly, and if we thought there was a problem with Nexcess, or a better host out there, we’d recommend you switch.  But at this time, we don’t think that’s necessary.


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