Media Temple Customers

A blog by (mt) for (mt) customers

Defending your brand in the age of social media. What we can learn from the Mediatemple outage.

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In the world we live in your brand, company, and product are under such scrutiny in so many ways that most companies can’t even begin to fathom the repercussions of their actions.

Over the weekend Media Temple who hosts my blog(The Retrospective) went down unexpectedly (or so I was lead to believe). Now when this occurred, I wasn’t notified for almost 4 hours! Eventually, some generic email was sent out barely eluding to the shear scale of the issue. A quick call to tech support (they are so lucky humans run this or it would of been even MORE disastrous) told me I would be up in about 30 minutes.

30 plus hours later–our blog is STILL down! I’m losing traffic and money like it’s going out of style (We’re in a recession people, websites can’t be going down like this). Almost as instant as our blog went down every facet of social media began banding together to exude every frustration they had bottled up. People as far as Australia were contacting me on Twitter to tell me of their woes. Companies can no longer hide the way they used to when things go sour. Back in the day you could quietly make mistakes (this is a huge FAIL) and no one would be the wiser. Look at Pepsi, they just reverted back to their old Tropicana design after hundreds of blogs, tweets, and comments unanimously exiled the new design.

Like our new president, companies need to be transparent and allow almost full disclosure when they make mistakes or are in the wrong. At the end of the day you have to remember everything is amazing and nobody’s happy, especially not me.


Written by Gitamba Saila-Ngita

March 2, 2009 at 2:57 am

A New Era In Customer Relations

with 6 comments

I think this Media Temple debacle of downtime is really interesting and the amount of Twitter buzz about it is great. I am really curious as to what kind of compensation Media Temple is planning to offer the numerous people who have been hit hard by this downtime. I took the task to write them a detailed message about my frustrations with my hosting over the last year and what my demands to stay with them are. I’m sure other people are doing this as well.

The fact is, I like many things about Media Temple. Their customer service is very competent and  is based in America. Their AccountCenter is beautiful and a joy to use. The specs they offer for the price they charge is reasonable… the only problem is the end product is very unreliable. I would rather not waste a week of work migrating my 60+ sites spread between 2 Gridserver accounts to a new company…. but I do have demands for all my loss of business and time, below is the email I sent through Media Temple’s Account Center. I am very curious to see how they handle this as we are entering a new era of corporate responsibility and customer relations thanks to social media. 

Cluster 2 Is A Complete Joke of a Hosting Solution

This is a well known fact. The Twittersphere is a buzz with disgruntled (mt) customers- some confused and many looking for alternate hosting solutions:

In the last 10 months, I’ve spent countless hours explaining to clients why their websites are down, why they’re not receiving emails, etc… I spent hours debugging code that worked on my testing environment, then worked on my (gs) server, then suddenly stopped… why? Because my php5 settings were randomly getting switching to php4 (End of Jan) due some problem with Cluster 2. I lost a large design job because while I was at the clients office Cluster 2 randomly went down (End of Oct) and the client did not trust my competence. I’ve had numerous frustrations with emails not getting sent or received due to downtime… I don’t need to go into details of 100s of other headaches, frustrations, and revenue loss I’ve experienced all due to the complete lack of stability of Cluster 2 that has been happening ever since I signed up last April.

I was told that a (dv) server was the answer to my problems…. In Jan I wasted a week of work learning how to use Plesk and migrating my sites only to learn I can’t have more than 30 domains… This was misquoted to me by 2 x (mt) sales reps. I had my suspicions about the (30 Domain Limit) they assured me that means “accounts” not “domain names” and “the (dv) is awesome it can totally meet your needs and host all your sites.” Obviously not the case!!!!

The Cluster 2 downtime in the end of Jan forced my largest client to absolutely insist on moving his sites to a new hosting company or Cluster. We did. Last Friday (02/27) Cluster 4 had downtime on the database connectivity… perhaps a MySQL container could solve that… but that’s $20+ a month… Sooo wait I’m supposed to pay extra just so my sites stay online? “You just wanted stability, but felt cheated. I assured that we were in no way trying to cheat you.” That is an unacceptable response from tech support. Sure it’s good customer transparency, blah, blah blah… cut the bull- the Clusters are far from as stable as (mt) makes them out to be- in fact the one selling point that made me sign up with (mt) was the “on-demand scalability means you’ll always be ready for intense bursts of traffic” which appears to be the exact opposite of how it’s actually working… There is obviously a high level storage problem with Cluster 2 perhaps the disk arrays are bad. Perhaps the routers… who knows? @louisgray from @bluearc has been Twittering me saying “For an env. like this, redundancy is needed. But due to $, drive is to cheap SATA w/higher failure %. We’d never throw MT under the bus.” So is it (mt) to blame for not paying for enough redundancy? And Cluster 2 by fluke has more errors?

The one saving grace for me staying with (mt) through all of this has been that MediaTemple has had the most competent (and American based) tech support I have ever dealt with period. For that reason alone I have not left long ago. I really do not want to move to another hosting company… but I’m at the end of my rope with (mt) and Cluster 2

What are you going to offer as compensation? I would need at bare minimum

 – You handling the Migration of my account on Cluster 2 to another Cluster

 – At least 1 additional month of hosting credited to my account

Additional compensation that would steer me towards singing praise to my social media + design friends about how rad (mt) is during a crisis would be:

 – A free MySQL container (so my sites on Cluster 4 are stable)

 – Perhaps more months free? I dunno…

Sincerely, Brennan


Written by bnvk

March 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

Media Temple’s Gridserver- Awesome or Lame?

with 10 comments


According to this article on TechCrunch Media Temple’s GridServer platform is supposed to deliver the following:

“on-demand scalability means you’ll always be ready for intense bursts of traffic; and the growing audience resulting from your online success. All of this power, controlled through our brand new AccountCenter, is available today for a price point unmatched by any competing service.”

Does it deliver? In my experience absolutely not. I’ve been with Media Temple on a Gridserver account since last April. I’ve experienced more downtime and latency than on my previous shared server account with Lunarpages. The only difference is they allow up to 100 “Alternate Domains” and they have awesome, well informed, American based tech support.  If it wasn’t for that last redeeming fact I would have left a long time ago. 

I am curious as to other peoples experiences on other Clusters… I have been on Cluster 2 since last April and on Cluster 4 since last week… which had about an hour of database connectivity downtime last friday- to which their reply was perhaps I should pay for a MySQL Container which costs an extra $20+ a month

Written by bnvk

March 1, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Hello Media Temple Customers,

with 3 comments


This blog was founded in response to the 24+ hour outage that occurred on Feb 28th/March 1st on Media Temple’s Gridserver Cluster 2. 

Media Temple Customers aims to be a blog dedicated to good and bad customer experiences with Media Temple. All in all I don’t think that (mt) is a bad company. From what I’ve heard from other customers their Dedicated Virtual servers are rock solid. The Gridserver platform is another matter. While grid computing is a relatively new technology bugs are bound to occur.

Written by bnvk

March 1, 2009 at 10:43 pm