Review of Surpass Hosting
I started off with Surpass and had services with both Surpass and Surpass sister company Hostdime. A few months ago for efficiency sake I had all accounts moved from Surpass to Hostdime but I felt it was important to post this review here on the Surpass Forum as well. Surpass is a sister company of Hostdime so everything I say in this review regarding Hostdime equally applies to Surpass.
Where do I start with this review?! The truth is the past 18 months have been quite a journey in the life of our company. We are a small but growing hosting company based in the North of Ireland - and boy are we growing! We saw an 85% increase in turnover in the past 12 months alone. We focus on building personal relationships with our clients and we aim to be ‘different’. Feel free to follow us bigwetfish on Twitter and talk to us.
We have journeyed (or partnered as they like to call it) with Surpass & Hostdime for 8 years now but 24 months ago I was at a business seminar and was talking to a number of business advisors from a local enterprise agency and it was suggested to me having all our ‘Server eggs in one Basket’ was perhaps not the best business model. At that time what they were saying seemed logical enough to me so it was at that time we started ‘trying’ other data centres and server providers. I am not going to name any such companies here as that would be unfair but here is a summary of our experiences compared to Surpass & Hostdime:
Provider One : Large North American ‘Fully Managed’ server provider
I have to say the Surpass & Hostdime definition of Fully Managed and the other provider definition of fully managed are different! Surpass & Hostdime are much more comprehensive in what they do. 24 months ago we were a lot smaller and did not have as much technical support available to us as we now have and we did rely much more on the Surpass & Hostdime Fully Managed Option. The ‘other’ provider refused to do some things that I would suggest are pretty basic server management tasks that I know Surpass & Hostdime have always done. That server lasted 6 months and was cancelled and moved back to Surpass.
Provider Two : Irish Based Cloud Hosting Provider
We embarked on a partnership with a relatively new Dublin company who were one of the first adopters of the onapp.com Cloud management software. Whilst this company have evolved and seem now in April 2012 to be much more stable and solid we had a total disaster with them in 2011.
In April 2011 a developer working on their Hostbill module inadvertently killed a number of Virtual machines and we lost server 19 as a result of their developers actions. The provider apologised and gave us $250 free credit and a backup was recovered after a 15 hour outage. This was entirely their fault which they did take responsibility for but it left us in shock and reeling from the vulnerability of relying on a Virtual Platform to deliver shared servers for the selling of shared and reseller hosting accounts.
In May and June 2011 we had placed a number of client VPS servers on this platform rather than using our Surpass/Hostdime VPS nodes. One client was complaining about high server load. We moved one server off this platform to an Orlando based Surpass/Hostdime VPS Node we have and the same websites with similar traffic were stable - load dropped from an average 5 to below 1 on the server - fact!
In July 2011 the same provider had trouble keeping their London based Cloud platform up. Their Hypervisor servers were rebooting randomly for many many weeks and no resolution was found for many weeks. Our clients already reeling from the issues in April 2011 were leaving us in droves.
Provider Three - A Chicago based provider with a Data Centre in Europe
We signed up for a server with yet another EU provider after taking advice from a friend who had used them. Things were relatively stable. There were three brief networking issues in late 2011. Then in January 2012 the server just died. The support response of this company was pathetic - and I mean pathetic. It took them 2 hours to enable console access for our tech to look into things. One response to a ticket was ‘Hold on we’re kinda busy’ and that is a direct quote from their helpdesk. The RAID array was completely unrecoverable and all data was lost. We needed to start a complete server rebuild from our backups.
Whilst I know servers can fail with any provider the response of a company to such outages is what is important. Surpass/Hostdime support techs in their Data Centre are brilliant. They do whatever they can to help and nothing is too much. I know had we had the above outage with Surpass/Hostdime the issues would not have been as serious and would have been resolved much faster.
So what Now...
We are back ‘Home’ with Surpass & Hostdime as our sole provider for services. We use their Orlando Data Centre and their Maidenhead UK facility for our equipment now. The ONLY clients who came through as unhappy on a recent survey were those clients who were placed on non Surpass / Hostdime / DIMEnoc hosted servers. Nearly all clients who were placed on Surpass & Hostdime servers came through in the survey as being ‘Happy’ or ‘Very Happy’ with their website uptime.
Surpass & Hostdime Integrations team helped us deploy an Onapp.com Private Cloud cluster in the UK and this setup has had 100% uptime since it was launched and a few initial gremlins were ironed out.
Surpass & Hostdime dedicated servers team recently helped us deploy a number of new and newly upgraded servers in both Orlando and UK.
This is meant as an honest review of Surpass & Hostdime services from a long term client of 8 years. Surpass & Hostdime have worked hard and earned this review over 8 years.
Surpass/Hostdime have proven to be stable over 8 years. Surpass/Hostdime staff have been proven time and time again to be professional and probably some of the best in the industry. Surpass/Hostdime Management have proven to be professional and willing to listen to my concerns over 8 years whilst being up front and honest with me at all times.
We are proud to be a long term partner of Surpass & Hostdime and trust this will continue for many years into the future.