After the Server4you dedicated server hosting problems, see my Server4You review, I moved my network of sites to a Hivelocity Hosting dedicated server.
When I started to write this review I’d transferred about 70% of my domains to the new dedicated server owned by Hivelocity Hosting.
Had a big delay caused by eNom (domain registrar) when they wouldn’t give me access to 36 of my domains, so couldn’t update nameservers!
The new unmanaged dedicated server from Hivelocity Hosting was working much better, so was glad to be on the verge of dumping the Server4you server forever! I explained to Hivelocity the problems experienced with Server4you and the level of service required (I wasn’t a server expert in 2007) and they said that shouldn’t be a problem.
Hivelocity Dedicated Server Review
Been using the Hivelocity dedicated server for a while now and at first was happy with it’s hosting performance, but after using Hivelocity for about 6 months I’m no longer as impressed unfortunately: especially unimpressed with Hivelocity support.
When the dedicated server worked it was fine, but I was finding it down every so often and there’s no remote reboot with an unmanaged Hivelocity server (at least Server4you had remote reboots with their servers) and their support staff on live chat (who have to order reboots manually!) are far from impressive at supporting their customers at times when they really need support!
I’ve had to order roughly half a dozen server reboots through Hivelocity’s live chat interface and the fastest was around 15 minutes from the live chat support tech person saying they have ordered a server reboot to the server working again!
The most recent server reboots have ranged from 15 mins to over 30 mins from the Hivelocity support staff saying it had been ordered. This does not take into account the time taken to log into their website (once it was down for over 10 mins slowing the process further) so reboots are taking on average 30 mins to occur!
Hivelocity Hosting Support
I’ve also noticed low quality English from Hivelocity support staff, for example one said this-
Andrew: David..I have informed the senior tech to reboot your server
Andrew: He will do the needful shortly
Now I understand what he is trying to say, but “He will do the needful shortly” is clearly from someone who doesn’t understand written English very well and that makes their technical support basically a paste a response service!
With all my recent live chats with Hivelocity I’ve asked reasonable questions that are at first ignored, then after repeating several times answered in an unhelpful way.
Hivelocity use this info in emails-
Hivelocity Impressive Support is not just a slogan. If you feel we have not lived up to our name or if we have exceeded your expectations, please give us the opportunity to correct the problem or commend a tech by submitting feedback to Management. If you experience was negative, expect a call or email within 2 hours during normal business hours so we may discuss your issues.
I’ve submitted a comment with several of their comment forms that pops up after a live chat and so far not received a call or an email in response to those. So in my experience of Hivelocity support the above is nothing more than a slogan.
Basically not impressed with Hivelocity support at all, really lets them down and so AGAIN I had to look for a new server.
Hivelocity Server Review Update
Since it takes over a week to backup and transfer my sites from one server to another and even then it won’t be all done I decided to hold out in the hope Hivelocity support would improve. Yes I was being damn lazy and I’m now paying the price big time.
Had the Hivelocity server going on a year now and a couple of weeks back it became unresponsive and needed an OS reload. What this means is the entire server needed a new operating system (Apache etc…) reinstalled from scratch and all my sites would no longer work!!!
I’m no server expert, but know there’s ways to recover sites and databases on a server after a server disaster like this and so asked for the same OS versions to be installed that was running prior to the server hosting crash so as to make the recovery less painful.
Hivelocity Hosting Disaster
To cut a long story short Hivelocity Hosting support screwed up big time. The dedicated server was running Apache 1.3.37 prior to the problems. Hivelocity’s first OS reload installed Apache 2.2, they did however supply me with excellent instructions on how to recover the sites and databases, but this would have only worked had I been running Apache 2.2 at the time of the crash or they reloaded Apache 1.3.37 on the server. So the first try failed since Apache 2.2 is not compatible with Apache 1.3.37 configuration files that I recovered!
In their defense I couldn’t log into the control panel to create the OS reload ticket myself and the Hivelocity support tech who created the reload ticket forgot to include the instructions (load the same OS versions I had running before the crash so I can recover the sites) to the ticket, so there was a mix up and Apache 2.2 was loaded by mistake.
OK mistakes happen, got a little irritated since wasted over a day on waiting for the server reload and recovering files and my sites was offline for going on 2 days, but mistakes happen.
After determining the server was unusable in it’s current state I again requested an OS reload on the server, making it clear to use the same OS versions that was installed at the time of the server crash (Apache 1.3.37 for example). The Hivelocity support tech I was communicating with to carry out the OS reload was fully aware of my plans to recover the sites and MySQL databases and he must install the same version that was running on the server before the problem (Apache 1.3.37 etc….).
Unfortunately for me instead of installing Apache 1.3.37 which would have made recovery of my sites relatively easy he instead installed Apache 1.4* and when I recovered my websites and databases it resulted in Apache not loading because Apache 1.4 doesn’t run with Apache 1.3.37 configuration files. Making a mistake once is forgivable, making the same mistake twice is bordering on incompetence!
Managed Dedicated Server Hosting
I feel sorry for Hivelocity customers on managed dedicated server hosting (I paid for the OS reload, so wasn’t free support) because this is ridiculous.
After a few hours they managed to bodge the installation in a way that partly worked. There was errors coming out of Direct admin (control panel software) and email didn’t work at all because the old server software used vm-Pop3d but the new server OS used Dovecot. Hivelocity couldn’t fix this problem and had to call in experts from Direct Admin support who after a couple of days got email working.
Since that time the server has pretty much not run for 24 hrs in a row without problems. Three times the firewall has managed all on it’s own to blocked access to everything except root access, PHP service has stopped, HTTPd has stopped, MYSQL has stopped, Named has stopped. I’ve had to issue a reboot at least once a day over the last 10 days and one day made at least 5 server reboots (at least Hivelocity upgraded their servers to have remote reboots now, for a fee though).
During this time I’ve tried countless times over Hivelocity’s live chat system and through their ticket support system to get help, but I’m met with similar wall I came up against with Server4you. Basically as time passes on a problem they become less helpful. Their support and technical staff appears to consist of a handful of people (4 or 5 I’d say), so when they get fed up of a problem your stuck with no where to go for real assistance.
Update: Guess I didn’t need to say I moved to another dedicated server company :-)
Dedicated Server Reviews
Used a number of companies for dedicated servers between 2005 and 2019, here they are in chronological order. The last link is the review of the company I’m using in 2019.