My web host is down
July 11, 2004 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Where did my hosting company go? I have a reseller account with ADT Hosting and they have always provided good service. Until today. [more inside]

All my sites and those that I host for others are unreachable. ADT Hosting's site is unreachable. I cannot ping the IP address or the domain (or the nameservers). I have tried the following:

1. Called the phone number in the whois information - wrong number (surprise, surprise). Whois info shows:
Buhr, Scott domains@server26.com
41st Street
Long Island City, New York 11104
United States
9174477477 Fax --
2. Tried to find a phone number via Google, but I suspect that ADT Hosting is just a trading name and they are not listed under that name.
3. Called the phone number in the whois information for the name servers operating by ADT Hosting - invalid number (surprise, surprise). Whois info shows:
Connor, Ryan T. info@server26.com
41st Street
Suite 5
Long Island City, New York 11104
United States
(718) 305-987 Fax --
4. Tracked down the owner of the IP address my hosting account uses, which is Net Access Corporation and phoned them. They advise that one of their reseller customers was relocating at the time and maybe ADT Hosting was a customer of a customer of theirs, but they cannot confirm it (although the staff there were very friendly and helpful).
5. Tried, with little hope of success, e-mailing ADT Hosting's support e-mail.
6. Freaked out.

What else can I try? Am I panicking too soon? (things have been dark for around 11 hours now).
posted by dg to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
Panic or don't, but either way you're going to have to move your domains away from these losers - unexplained 12-hour outages are not acceptable. You might as well host with NetAccess directly, right? Your immediate problem is moving your and your clients' sites, and assuming you have all the content backed up somewhere you can get at it, the real problem is changing the IP addresses in the DNS for those hostnames.

whois shows non-authoritative results for your tickingaway.org domain, so your whois server seems to be down, but the sponsoring registrar is Tucows (R11-LROR), also known as OpenSRS, so apparently whoever you registered them with is an OpenSRS reseller (as am I, as you should be too - it's easy and cheap). So you might see if your domain management info works at the OpenSRS site, and then you can at least change the IPs for your domains to some other provider. If not, contact OpenSRS directly and ask them what you can do to regain control of these domains.

(And in the future, avoid having your domains registered with your network or hosting provider, for just this reason!)
posted by nicwolff at 6:59 AM on July 11, 2004


I'm in the same exact boat DG - except my registration management seems to be through wild west domains.

Please, please keep me abreast of what's going on!
posted by filmgeek at 8:12 AM on July 11, 2004


They seem to be back up.

NOW is the time to get in there and move those domains, twelve hours down without even a provision for emergency notification is unacceptable.
posted by cedar at 8:37 AM on July 11, 2004


You know, this guy apparently lives right down the street from me (I also live on 41st street, although the neighborhood is really known as "Sunnyside").

Email me, if you need any help.
posted by bshort at 11:38 AM on July 11, 2004


All my domains are registered with an Australian registrar, not through the hosting company (for exactly these reasons).

Everything seems to be back up now and I have e-mailed them to see what happened, but I will be looking to another hosting company unless there is an incredibly amd amazingly unpredictable chain of events that led up to this debacle.
posted by dg at 2:17 PM on July 11, 2004


I'm a reseller customer of Rochen and highly recommend them. They are hosted at the NAC center and informed us last Thursday that...

(sorry for the long cut and paste, but I thought you'd like to know the whole story)

On Sunday, July 11, 2004 sometime between 0330 - 1130 GMT / UTC all servers located at the Net Access Corporation (NAC) data center will be relocated to a newly constructed data center about 25 minutes drive away from NAC.

NAC resell their services via two providers, one of them being a company called Pegasus Web Technologies, Inc. This is who we have all our NAC based servers contracted through. Pegasus make up around 60% of all the servers inside of NAC's New Jersey data center.

Over the past several months Pegasus have been in the process of constructing their own data center and as a result are now relocating all servers from NAC to their new Pegasus Data Center. The new data center has access to bandwidth provided by UUNet, AboveNET as well as a direct OC-192 fibre optic pipe back to NAC, so they can still have access to all the bandwidth providers that NAC use.

The servers will be disconnected at NAC, transported under police escort to the new facility and then reconnected and put back online at the new Pegasus Data Center. We expect their to be around 4 to 6 hours of downtime, as moving a large volume of servers is no small task.

The new Pegasus Data Center has a far better structural and network design than NAC. It is also a much larger facility with access to 55,000 sq ft of pure data center floor space.

As one of Pegasus' largest customers, I have known about the new data center since January this year (most of their other customers are only finding out now), but by knowing I had to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). There has been a lot of speculation in the web hosting community about a possible Pegasus Data Center existing, but as Pegasus didn't legally confirm anything publicly until now I have had to honour the NDA.

The main reason for not making this public until now was in case someone planned to hijack the convoy carrying the servers - considering there will be several million dollars worth of servers and other equipment being moved. All the servers will be moved under police escort, as I noted above.

I talk with the Chief Executive Officer of Pegasus (as well as several other Directors from Pegasus) on almost a daily basis and he assures me that they have this move planned down to the last server.

I am sure many customers will be surprised by this announcement, but you should also be very pleased that the servers will be relocated to a far superior data center.

Some pictures of the new data center can be viewed at: http://www.rochenhost.com/clifton-dc

Full off-site remote backups will be captured before the move commences.

We will track the status of this data center relocation via this announcement thread.

If anyone has any questions then please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your full cooperation!
posted by fletchmuy at 3:29 PM on July 11, 2004


If you want recommendations, the upscale, slightly high-priced, solid-as-a-rock host is pair.com. I've had domains there for years, and they're solid.

If you're looking for something cheaper, I've had good luck with dreamhost. They had some growing pains about a year ago and lost some customers, but have built themselves back up into a very reliable and reasonably priced host. They're having a half-price sale on one of their packages right now. Another cool thing about them is that every so often they just bump each accounts parameters, eg. bandwidth, storage, etc. while keeping the price constant.

If you sign up at dreamhost, and tell them "minsight" sent you, I'll save about 90 cents a month on my hosting. If you sign up with pair, you'll be equally happy, but spend more to do so.

If you'd like to transfer your domain to another registrar, I'd recommend enom or tucows/openSRS. Enom is very cheap if you buy from a reseller. Both have very nice control panels for adjusting things on your domain. Enom also includes DNS hosting. I've got about 30 domains with enom.
posted by websavvy at 3:34 PM on July 11, 2004


After hearing all these stories, I don't think I'll ever switch away from colocating my own machine at an ISP, doing my own DNS, web, mail, etc.

(or maybe its the "sysadmins dont trust other sysadmins" factor, who knows)

As for registrars, I've been with Dotster for going on five years now and have never been happier.
posted by mrbill at 10:22 PM on July 11, 2004


I finally got an e-mail from ADT Hosting. As expected, a move to a new data centre was the culprit. Apparently, it was expected to only take a short time (unplug, drive, plug in) but, as these things do, the process took several hours longer than expected. While not entirely happy with the fact that no advance notice was given, I take fletchmuy's comment into account and understand the need for security in such an operation, although there is no reason why they could not have fired off a broadcast e-mail at the last moment before unplugging everything.

The issue was never one of domain registrars - as mentioned further up, I have always registered my domains with an Australian registrar, even though they are more expensive. This way, if something nasty happens, I have the assurance of knowing that I can go and visit their offices and scream at someone. I would do the same with hosting, but the cost of hosting here is something like 10x that of hosting in the US because of the cost of data transfer.

All's well that ends well, I guess.
posted by dg at 4:26 AM on July 12, 2004


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