Media Temple Customers

A blog by (mt) for (mt) customers

Posts Tagged ‘Customer Service

Cluster 2 Back, Customer Care, Migration Recap

with 6 comments

So Cluster 2 was back online after 8+ hours of downtime in my case, and still down in some other  peoples cases. My Account Center is still locked out after 19+ hours and some sites of mine have errors that I can’t seem to troubleshoot due to the Account Center Lockout. 


I got a phone call from Andrew, a Customer Service V.P. at Media Temple whom I have spoken to before, here are some points that were addressed.

“What percentage of Cluster 2 customers have been migrated to Gen 2 architecture?”

Andrew: “44% of Cluster 2 Customers have been moved.”  (which is the same as it was back on March 6th)

Brennan: “Wow!”

Andrew: “We just finished our Fiji Agent last friday. This will speed up the process.”

“Why was no one moved during the last two months? Or at least why was whiny little bitch customers like me not moved, even after I asked to be moved after the 36 hours of downtime?”

Andrew: “We had faith that the Cluster 2 hardware would be ok.” 

Brennan: “Seriously? You had faith that after 36 hours of downtime [the same hardware setup] would be ok?” 

Andrew: “Well, let me rephrase that. We wanted to make sure we were making the best decisions to migrate people at the best times so there would be minimal amounts of downtime” …and… “we have been putting all of our resources and developers into  the Fiji Agent.”

Brennan: “Wow! Too bad this had to happen.”

Media Temple claimed to be on a “road to better transparency” something about this doesn’t feel transparent to me. I said “Transparency doesn’t mean talking more, it means being honnest”

Andrew: “We haven’t been dishonest about anything.”

While technically that might be true. Media Temple did claim on March 6th that:

Next 30 days, Cluster-to-Cluster migration tools. We have committed significant developer and administrator manpower to the development of Cluster-to-Cluster migration tools.”

I understand. Software development does sometimes take longer than anticipated…

But for some reason I am inclined to say bullshit. If it looks like a bull and smells like shit it’s probably bullshit. I seem to remember around the time of SXSW (March 17th), during the absurdly long period (1.5 weeks) of POP email server IP blacklisting, there was a lot of Tweets about how amazing the Media Temple SXSW party was. In fact they threw The Official Closing Party for the SXSW Interactive Festival. This party was replete with international music groups, an open bar, a photo booth, and a mechanical bull. 


Maybe I’m off base here, but I imagine throwing a party of that scale takes time to organize and a substantial budget to pay for. Oddly, I don’t see the correlation between mechanical bulls and fixing unstable web servers but maybe that’s just me.

In hindsight, considering this new downtime debacle, and the facts, I have to ask the question: How much of Media Temple’s resources were devoted to getting frustrated customers to a more stable hosting platform like their Gen 2 architecture? 

Oh, Andrew also offered to move my sites within the hour to Cluster 4 so I could use the Account Center… this however could result in more patches of downtime… I wonder if they understand that downtime during the middle of the day is a bad thing for websites? I said “How about you do that later tonight.”

**The quotes may not be exact as I didn’t have an audio recorder handy. I tried my best. 


Written by bnvk

May 5, 2009 at 6:23 pm

8+ Hours Of Downtime

with 13 comments

After 4+ hours of unexpected server downtime, a couple irate clients, 1 semi angry Tweet I received a call from  customer service at Media Temple. She wanted to know if I had any questions…

My only question was:

“What percentage of Cluster 2 customers have been moved from Gen 1 architecture to Gen 2 architecture”

This customer support lady didn’t know the answer to that question. She put me on hold to try to get the answer. After a few minutes waiting she said “they have no way of knowing exactly.”

That was the wrong answer. Because now I am left feeling that Media Temple either has no clue about what they’re doing or they are not being honest. How can I jump to this conclusion? Well on March 6th 2009, following the 36+ hours of downtime, Media Temple made this blog post: Anatomy of Storage on the GRID

It explained all the old architecture (Gen1 ) and new architecture (Gen 2). 


This blog post also claimed:

“At time of writing, 37% of Cluster 1 customers, and 44% of Cluster 2 customers have already been migrated.”

So I am forced to really wonder how 2 months later they don’t know at all… I mean 80% or 70% percent would have been undesirable answers but “We have no way of knowing” is kind of absurd. They didn’t project to be done with until June but what I am left to think now?  

In either case I  getting very very distrustful with them as a hosting company. I was one of the customers affected by the 36 hours of downtime staring Feb 28, 2009. I had setup this blog. I got a lot of attention for rallying the twitter/blog-o-sphere. Back then I got a phone call from a V.P. at Media Temple followed by personal phone number for V.P. at Blue Arc (mt hardware supplier). They both sorta blamed the other for the downtime. Fair enough. It still sucked. I didn’t want to go through the headache of moving to a new ISP and I was appeased by some PR people- they gave us all free hosting for a month. But now another HUGE outage is just unacceptable. 



Written by bnvk

May 5, 2009 at 4:09 am

When You Yell Loud Enough…

with 13 comments

…you get heard. I just got off the phone with Alex Capehart who is the V.P. of Business Development from Media Temple. Wow. Write some blog posts. Rally the troops… you get a response. What Alex said made sense to some degree. 

Apparently Bluearc is who we should mostly be upset with for the now 30+ hours of downtime. As Alex put it “[Media Temple] is up to their elbows trying to get this thing sorted out.” We could look at this as a cheap ploy by (mt) to win me over so I can help sway the perception of the blogosphere in their favor. However, the key fact that makes me buy this story is that earlier today (before I setup this blog) I was followed on Twitter by @bluearc and then Direct Messaged by them. I responded. Then I was followed by @louisgray who I quickly learned he was a VP at Bluearc. Here is his DM Tweets.  


So why wasn’t Media Temple more transparent with it’s customers from the get go? Firstly, they probably underestimated the scale of the hardware failure. Secondly, politics pure and simple. I told Alex that most of (mt)’s customer base are above average computer users and the status updates they give just aren’t cutting it. “Working with vendor” is ambiguous and leaves customers feeling like they are being lied to. The way Alex responded to this leads me to believe there are many politics at play- politics with Bluearc, politics with other hardware manufactures, and politics within Media Temple itself. Hopefully the CEO and others at (mt) will hear this loud and clear as “Keep us in the loop better and more in depth!” 

Does all of this make our frustrations go away? No. Does it make up for the hours of service we’ve lost? Certainly not! Where do I stand on this? I am not ready to jump ship from Media Temple just yet. I need to see what tomorrow brings- once they’re past the problem. Alex explained to me that Cluster 3 & 4 actually have a different architecture than Cluster 2 and that the hardware is from a different vendor- a more reliable vendor he assured me. I want to build a good relationship with (mt) that can support me as my hosting needs grow, but I also need assurance that my accounts will be stable- and I need some sort of compensation for this considerable loss of service. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. We will see…

Written by bnvk

March 2, 2009 at 7:30 am