Update... 1617 09/25/09
Talked to a Gridsouth rep on the phone today. This is the source
of the mysterious AppRiver phone calls I've been getting. I guess Gridsouth moved in with
AppRiver. Anyway, he asked me when I was going to pay my overdue bill. I parried by commenting
that I figured that since they had turned off the server and I hadn't complained that they might
figure I was not going to renew. I threw in a "by the way, what ever happened to the drive
recovery effort?". He promised to have some one from tech support call me back today...~Steve>
Yeah right. >_<
Update... 0036 09/01/09
It's been over a year since Gridsouth lost my accumulated
work's life on the internet. They finally turned off the server, it seems to be dead in the
water. I sit here thinking about the fact that they never gave me a straight answer concerning data recovery
on the server image they lost and so I have reconciled myself to the idea that I will never get
back the contents of my server. Of course, they had a brand spanking new CentOS image up
and running for me, after I requested it. After all, I had paid for a year in advance
and had only used up about 3 months of the contract by that time.
This all started in February of last year. By that time, JHS had
been hosting several physical boxes with CreativeDataConcepts in Pensacola for a while. I had
known Jim from my time at IWDC. We were one of CDC's first customers. While I was still
working for IWDC, a buddy of mine was looking for a place to host some boxes for a company
he worked for, The company, ASTI, was out of Wash DC and provided EDI based services to a
government market. I knew several of their local employees and had done some consulting for
them, So, I steered them to CDC. I had known Jim a while by then, and he welcomed the business.
Time passed and I moved on to found my own company, JHS, coincidentally, with a former ASTI
employee. We actually took over the contract for ASTI and managed the hosting site for them.
Over the years, ASTI's continued to pay the hosting bill and JHS managed the Pensacola
facility for them. JHS paid for upgrades to the equipment and also hosted some customers at
Factor into this Hurricane Ivan. Damage from the hurricane caused the hosting center to be
without connectivity and power for the better part of over two weeks. JHS paid for (out of
pocket) setting up and moving our hosting customers so that they were able to continue business.
As a result, some of our customers decided not to stick with us (the lack of emergency power
came as a surprise to us, too). We lost 95% of our hosting business in the aftermath of the
storm. After that point we continued to host and maintain the facility for just ASTI, JHS and
my personal sites there. Things languished for a couple of years and then last year (2008)
ASTI decided not to pay the hosting bill anymore. Faced with paying the entire bill myself
(JHS was essentially kaput by this time as well), Jim basically forced me to make a decision
on staying and paying out of pocket or shutting down completely. However, Jim offered a lower
cost alternative, virtual hosting with Gridsouth, and I decided to try it.
I will say that Jim went to bat for me originally and got me a good solution for a reasonable
price. This was in February of 2008. Once the virtual server had been up and running for a while
we retired the old server hardware and pulled the drives for backup. From that point on we relied
on the native backup system provided by Gridsouth (the infamous 72 TB SAN). Fast forward to August
of last year. Around the 15th, (See blogs below) Gridsouth suffered some kind of catastrophic hardware
failure on the SAN that destroyed my virtual server image, and, oddly enough, all of the backups.
DRT as the EMS guys say. At first it was "we'll be back online soon". Pretty soon however, it was
obvious that they had lost everything on that RAID array. Lots of promises were made about how they
were going to send the drives out to a recovery specialist, yada yada. I kept in touch with Gridsouth
tech support (by this time, Jim wouldn't return my calls) on the status of the recovery effort.
Pretty soon, it went from any time now, to "we'll let ya know". Eventually, Gridsouth quit
responding to my queries for status on the recovery. I got the message, I tell you.
Oh, I was back online after awhile with a new, fresh, EMPTY, CentOS image. The tech sounded kinda
surprised that I wanted it. I guess he expected I would have bolted since they lost all my SH*T.
Indeed, I only ever enabled a couple of email and web server features for the jhsgroup.com domain.
I pretty much forwarded all my other domains to yahoo email and used directnic's free hosting.
Hadn't used the machine much since then.
So here it is, just a little over a year later, and to date, no data has ever been recovered,
as far as I know. No apologies, no answers. I understand that they were embarassed that they lost
my SH*T, but come one, one "sorry dude" or a "my bad" couldn't have hurt. Years of work, gone in
an instant! If there was a bright spot, it was that everything was pretty much just my stuff and
not a customer's....~Steve>
Update... 1758 08/15/08
I've been talking to the sales director at Gridsouth. First, it looks like it
might be 4 or 5 days before I know what they will be able to recover from the hardware. The
drives have been shipped and are in the hands of the recovery specialist. It remains to
be seen what can be recovered. So, they are looking into perhaps setting up a new clean
CentOS server to get me back online. I would have to recover my configs from the old hard
drive I decommissioned several months ago when we retired the old JHS servers. I am waiting
to see what they offer....~Steve>
Posted... 1500 08/15/08
Well, my sites hosted at Gridsouth have been down for
approaching 5 days now. Evidently, some drives on the 72 TB SAN device ate themselves. This
happened somewhere after 6PM on Tuesday. All my email, webs database and list servers are
off line. I've been on the phone with Tech Support at Gridsouth and it's been variations
on "we had a hardware failure, and expect to be back up after a while". Alternately, my
requests for MTTR have been met with either, "I don't know" or "any minute now". Finally,
last night, the tech I spoke with said that they were going to "send out some drives for
recovery". Since my site hasn't reappeared, I suppose that means I need to prepare myself
for the eventuality that all my work, literally years of development, is gone for good.
Yes I have some backups, but they are fairly old, dating from when I switched to the
Virtual Machine hosting service. The hosting service's "magical" grid computing
architecture was supposed to make backing up obsolete. Can you say "single point of
failure". Well, anyway I've called the owner several times to get the straight skinny,
but so far he hasn't returned my calls. EPIC FAIL....As the old knight in that Indiana
Jones flick once said, "he choose poorly". I guess that about sums it up.
BTW, I'm hosting this from my free account with my domain registrar, but my email is generally
down. You can get me at my work email, if you know that, or you can try my kb4oid address, I
have that forwarded to my yahoo account temporarily,