Roughly 6 months ago my host informed me that they would be retiring the server that my account had been on for nearly 6 years strait. Overall it was a decent performing server in that amount of time. Normally I am not a big fan of migrating to another server, but since this one was getting old, in computer years anyway, I figured better to move now while we can.
The move was fairly transparent. I didn’t even need to update or change name servers at my domain name registrar. For the next 6 months or so everything was smooth sailing. The server has been a very good performer once again, and much more powerful than the last one.
Now imagine my shock and disbelief when I get an email from my host on Thursday the 26th of June informing me that they were going to be moving my account to another server, and get this, they would start the migration on Sunday the 29th of June at 2:00 AM.
That’s less than a 3 day notice. And, to top it off this time it instructed me to change my name servers at or around 8:00 AM Mountain Time of all things, which is 7:00 AM where I live. Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t sit around all night from 2:00 AM to 8:00 AM (Mountain Time) (1:00 AM to 7:00 AM in my time zone) to see if everything worked out.
All I could do is change my name servers before I went to sleep, and hope for the best.
Well, I am never that lucky.
I was also instructed to make a full backup and download it beforehand just in case. That would be nice, except my account contains close to 2 GB’s worth of data. You know how long it takes to download a file that large? Too long!
I barely had a couple of hours of free time to even think about this.
It was very disappointing that they provided less than 3 days notice. Other account holders on that same server could have very well been out of town for the weekend, on vacation, sick, you name it. This wasn’t an emergency migration because the server was running smooth, and believe me, I would have noticed otherwise.
When I get up the following day what do I see? A big database connection error warning on every page. Well isn’t that
groovy (wait we’re not living in the 70s) I mean great!
Apparently they upgraded MySQL from 5.1.x to 5.6.x, and somehow in the process all the database users didn’t copy over correctly. The only way I could get it to work was to delete all the database users, create new ones, and then add them to the proper database. Not only did this take a while to figure out, but I have quite a few so it was a tedious process.
Then, I find out without any mention from my host once again, that Apache was upgraded from 2.2.x to 2.4.x. This caused some issues (.htaccess) as certain lines of code are done differently in 2.4.x. So, there went several more hours of work, and I am not done yet!
All they would have had to do was mention this in the migration notification email and I could have planned for this and had the files ready to go in advance.
I don’t know what is so difficult about letting people know ahead of time, and why they couldn’t have given a 7+ day notice. Shoot they want me to notify them 30-45 days before my yearly bill is due if I want to cancel, but they can’t give me more than 3 days notice for a migration/upgrade!
This has been one big headache that could have easily been prevented with more warning and additional details about what they were going to be doing. Not to much to ask for if you ask me!
The email migration message also said that they were going to upgrade PHP in July, and that they would be sending out notifications about that soon. All I can say is that they had better give me more than 3 days notice, provide me with the version that they intend to upgrade to, as well as any other planned changes. If they fail to do so, and there are problems associated with it I most likely will be done hosting with them for good!
I’ll keep my fingers crossed, but after all the work they created for me on short notice, I’m not counting on it!
I don’t want to name names, but when I first signed up with them over 6 years ago they were top-notch. They would answer support tickets in 10-20 minutes. Now it takes 4 hours to 2 days, and sometimes I never get a response. I rarely need to contact their support department. The only time I do is when they mess up an upgrade or migration and I need to figure out what’s going on.
So, this is what I have been dealing with recently.