I just powered down the last of our servers at our old host NTT in Reston Virginia. It was such a weird feeling to watch the last one go dark.
Pete just sent me a text informing me that I am having separation anxiety. He’s not far from the truth……
This actually all started back around September of 2010. Our servers were going to hit the 3 year mark and come off of contract in November and we were trying to decide which way to go. 3 years is getting up there in terms of server technology but for a lot of timing and business reasons we decided to hang on for about 6 months and revisit the question in April of 2011. Around May we started talking to NTT about new servers. Our rep left and someone else was assigned and nothing really moved very quickly. Like all businesses ours has a rhythm, we won’t do a server move from December to March but it looked like we had plenty of time. We had some conference calls and worked out what we wanted. We signed the contracts and ordered the new servers in early August of 2011 and they were released on August 18th. I don’t want to put anyone down, NTT was a good host to us for many years but from the beginning we had major technical difficulties. The Linux side where the boards live went fine but we just ran into issue after issue on the Windows side. We do have a fairly complex environment due to the number of different sites we run and the variety of software we use to do it. We were moving up to Server 2008 R2 and there turned out to be a few bugs and major incompatibilities with the disk storage system at NTT (Tech version- They could not get us through the VPN and able to FTP up to our sites on shared storage) They even got Microsoft involved but they were never able to really solve the issues.
This drug on and on until the beginning of December. At that point we just pulled the plug and let NTT know we were no longer going to accept the servers and we would stay on a month to month contract. The really sad part was the boards were ready to go and would have been so much faster.
We began a search for a new hosting company, I talked to a lot of people and we did a lot of research. We wanted to stay with a brand name larger host with a great track record. We finally pretty much made up our mind on Rackspace hosting out of San Antonio, so I found myself on a Southwest Flight to go visit. This is one interesting company so I think I will leave that for part 2….
Mostly what I wanted to let everyone know in this post is that I know we mentioned “new servers” several times. We certainly never expected it to take this long! We are moved, all the sites are doing great! I smile everytime I see how fast the boards are! I want to thank everyone for your patience. It has been a long road
In Part 2 I will talk a bit about Rackspace and our new environment!