Media Temple Customers

A blog by (mt) for (mt) customers

Posts Tagged ‘Web Hosting

System Status Ambiguity

with 10 comments

I keep getting comments on this site and Twitter messages about sites being completely down or in various states of disarray. Some customers complain that Media Temple has not called them on the phone or explained anything.  Sites being down this long is insane and the status page does not really clarify things:


Media Temple should definitely communicate better with these users. All that is gained from the Status Incident Page is that sites are being moved at a very slow pace. Media Temple should answer these questions to the customers who are still experiencing problems:

What does this mean? 

Why were some sites back online yesterday and others still offline right now?

Why is it taking so long?

What is this thing about the Fiji Agent? Can I perform migration on my own to speed things up?

Was the multiple phone calls I got due to my loud complaints on this blog and Twitter? I don’t know. For me 8 hours of downtime, 20 hrs of Account Center lockout and intermittent email/ftp errors which translated into 1yr of free hosting seemed fair… It’s like beta testing their new architecture… as a web developer free hosting to play with is something I would always agree to even if it’s unstable (which I hope the new Cluster will be)

My personal sites and projects I plan keep on this Media Temple (gs) account. Why would I trust them at this stage? Primarily because an account I have on the newer Gen 2  architecture on Cluster 4 hasn’t experienced any serious downtime and I’m led to believe my migrated Cluster 2 sites will be fine from now on out.

My clients who squawked the loudest I will be moving to a different ISP. I have a responsibility to them and if they would feel safer that way, I will oblige.

For people whose sites are still down and losing Alexa rankings, traffic, ad revenue, and clients- that really sucks. I don’t know what can be done for them. This is my attempt to help, as a small web developer  I understand your frustration. Please leave suggestions here, perhaps your voices will be more unified than on Twitter. Media Temple does seem read all the comments and posts on this blog very quickly.


Written by bnvk

May 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Collection of Media Temple Customer Experiences

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Here are few links to well written informative posts about how others are experiencing this horrid amount of downtime. 

Duane Storey – The Day That Media Temple Stood Still

Steve Reynolds Blog – An Open Letter to Media Temple and Media Temple Outage affects Customers

Social Marketing Contract – Media Temple Provides Religious Sunday Experience

Karelia Software – Weekend Website Outage

And there is always the live Twitter Search

Written by bnvk

March 2, 2009 at 9:34 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

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?

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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