When we grew too large for a shared hosting account at EasyCGI.com, we moved to our very first dedicated server. This was with TheVSP.com. We signed up for a P4 1.8 GHz machine on Jan 28, 2003. This cost a setup fee of $199, plus a monthly fee of $249.95/month. Our bandwidth was now around 100 gig/month so we felt the cost was worth having a reliable server to handle that load.
We had a number of small but strange admin issues while getting everything set up over the next 2 weeks. They wouldn't do DNS for us and told us to 'fool' NetSol into pointing to our machine twice. We signed up for NetSol's DNS services instead. Questions often took days to get answers to.
There were outages that their UPS should have covered - but somehow the UPS failed too. I really only had one support contact so if he was sick or had power outages in his home, I was stranded until he returned. So I had spotty support, long delays for answers, and continuing administrative issues.
The real issue with TheVSP came on Feb 18th. They did not provide any firewall services so our server was quite open to attack. To remedy this I bought a copy of ZoneAlarm, a firewall product. I asked them to be there in the server room when I installed it in case of problems. Firewall software is notorious for being "overprotective". I verified with them that I would be installing this on Feb 18th at midnight and would need them there as a backup.
I installed the software on schedule and sure enough, ZoneAlarm decided it was going to lock out remote access - i.e. me, and all website traffic. I promptly called my support person. I was told that nobody was at the server, and that somebody would be there "soon" to help me out. From that point forward I called and emailed every hour on the hour. There were no responses, nobody answered the phone, and the site stayed down. It was after noon that I got an email from them saying "OK, your site is up again." No phone call (as I had requested), nothing else.
This incident really hammered home the fact that this company simply was not set up to maintain a site that had uptime requirements. We began negotiations immediately to move to CIHost.com.
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