Pacific Rack - Fails To Meet Expectations

Jun 17, 2008

This is my review of my initial setup with Pacific Rack.

After the issues with the fire at TP, I decided to pickup another server at a different data center as an additional server.

I ordered a Supermicro, which is a quad core processor. The price was well within the range, the extras were all within range as well, except cpanel, which was $35.00. I'd rather see that at $25.00, but overall that was fine. Total price as $266, right around what I expected to pay.

Setup took a few days, right at around what I expected.

When it was delivered, I asked why I couldn't log into WHM. They told me everything was fine. After some communication and about an hour and a half they said that they forgot to install cpanel... That wasn't a good start.

They failed to meet expectations because of the following:

1. RDNS was not setup at all. I shouldn't have to request it be setup. This is small, but if I didn't know to check/ask, it would be a major issue in the future.

2. The box always fails to reboot and requires manual intervention. Why can't they fix that? or even address the issue?

3. cPanel was not installed properly and when I asked for help, they told me that the box was unmanaged and I choose the configuration. If it didn't work right out of the box, the fault was my own for choosing that configuration.

Alex said, "You have received a standard Fedora 64 bit install, that we downloaded just for you. What you need must not be included in the standard install, or the cPanel install.
If you want us to manage your server, then you will have to subscribe to our server management service which is $29/month with a 6 month commitment. Otherwise you can just google for the command to install an RPM, as I don't know if off hand, but I know its really simple."

Just to comment, if it turned out to be as simple as installing an RPM, then I would have just killed myself due to the shame of it.

Turns out after working with cPanel support, it was an install error, cPanel was not installed correctly. (Don't know if that is PacificRack's fault or cPanel's, but I know it's NOT my fault and I would expect the data center to get my server up and running properly so I could manage it)

My expectation was that I would be delivered a box that worked properly and if it didn't, PacificRack would help me get it working so that I could use it. It appears that PacificRack's expectation was they just install the crap, it's up to me to make it work. If the install is bad, I can just Google it.

I'm fine with managing a server, I have four years experience running serveral servers, but I am not able to debug install issues where the box NEVER worked properly in the first place.

So, in this area, they fail to meet expectations.

I also found their technical staff to be arrogant and unfriendly, though I'm personally arrogant and unfriendly, but I always am very nice to support people, no need to cut my own throat.

Overall, I'd say that my experience doesn't seem to be typical, but the fact that they were unwilling to resolve the issues really bothers me. I detest companies who hide behind "unmanaged" as a shield against providing the services that they should be providing as a data center. I also refuse to pay a $29.00 a monthly fee to get a managed server (basically a $180.00 commitment) to get them to deliver a working server, when that should be a "Free" service provided when I purchase.

The DNS servers are pacficrack work well and the connections are fast and reliable.

The server still is not working up to expectations and their support people seem to be unwilling to get it to meet expectations with out going "managed". Now, honestly, $180 would be far cheaper than any other options, but its the principle of it.

Overall, I'd rate pacificrack about average. The server is a good server and at a reasonable price. The support people where knowledgeable. The turn around on tickets was very good, no ticket sat for more than a few hours. It really seems like pacificrack is a very small operation. I think that is a big plus.

At this point, I'm not sure if I should just move on or continue to try and get this server to work properly. I'll make a decision in a week when the server is close to renewal.

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Serverplace.net ? Or Pacific Rack

Apr 14, 2008

im not able to decide from where to buy dedicated .....money never matter i want good support quality server , most important reliable

serverplace.net or pacificrack.com

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Pacific Rack 7 Month Review

Jan 14, 2009

I've actually had a post-it note pegged to my project board for the last two months to remind myself to write up a review of Pacific Rack. Between the holidays, life and there never being enough hours in the day...I just hadn't had a chance until now. Please allow me to apologize in advance if I go into more detail than what is needed. I have an annoying habit of over-explaining things.

Anyways - here is a bit of background:

My Industry:

A freelance designer that also provides web hosting to design clients on a dedicated server housed with Pacific Rack. My main website can be found at [url]and most of the websites displayed in my design portfolio are also hosted on the server (Caution: Those websites in my portfolio are semi-adult in nature [companionship providers], so if you are at work or have an irrational hang-up about such things, I suggest not following my portfolio links). I don't make a profit from hosting (nor do I try to) - so it's not like I'm a big, high-tech hosting company. In fact, what I know about server management is pretty pathetic and minimal - which is why I pay PSM to manage it for me. I mainly offer hosting as a convenience and extra layer of identity protection to design clients.
The websites I host are mostly smallish, semi-dynamic outfits powered by my own, mysql-based, home-brew CMS solution. I host around 60 accounts, none of which are very resource intensive. My clients typically require require between 3-12GB monthly transfer each.

Server Hardware:

The server specs and package I have with Pacific Rack are as follows:

Intel C2D (2.0Ghz)

2GB Ram

250GB SATA 16MB Cache

CentOS 5.1

cPanel/WHM

2000GB Bandwidth

100Mbps port

50GB Automated Backup

Sign-Up:

I moved to Pacific Rack from Dediwebhosting in May 2008. The initial contact and transition was handled by Alex Ferrier, who was simply phenomenal. Yes. I am aware he is actually Chris so-and-so and that there was a huge controversy about him and some shady way he handled a hosting business several years back (he was a teenager at the time, mind you). Frankly - I don't care. He was not only courteous and helpful to me during my transition, but he didn't make me feel like an idiot for being such a noob. He also had a sense of humor and communicated on a level that was very personable. Knowing what I know now about his past has not changed my opinion of him or Pacific Rack in the slightest. Ok. Getting off topic. So I signed-up/paid on 5/29 and had my server up and running by 6/1. I had some issues with the new server having an updated version of mysql that broke my CMS - but this wasn't anyone's fault but my own.

Reliability:

It hasn't been a full year yet, but I've had very little downtime with my server and none that I can even recall clearly. Far less than I'd experienced with a reseller account at H9 or with my first dedicated server with Dediwebhost (neither of which were excessive either). I also noticed a definite improvement in overall server response and performance when I moved to PR - though my hardware specs were much better than where I was coming from. I'm not sure if is due to a better network, but previously my server couldn't send/receive mail with AOL accounts (yes. I'd gone through all the troubleshooters) - but this problem was resolved after moving to PR.
Support:

So this is where I think they really shine. I'd mentioned above that I currently use PSM for my management needs. I think they're a terrific service but there are some limitations in terms of response times and how thorough they are in making sure things aren't broken after doing an update for you. There have been a few times in the last year when a server package install/update has caused problems with my client sites, which ... after waiting an hour or more for a response from PSM (while I'm stressing from clients yelling at me) - I'd get impatient and submit a ticket to Pacific Rack instead. In every single one of those cases, Pacific Rack responded to (and often resolved) my issue within 15 minutes. They're just darn quick with support requests. They have the pay-per-incident option (usually only $5), but they've only actually charged me a couple of times out of all the instances I've contacted them.
Not only that, but as touched on above - they just don't make me feel like the server idiot I know I reveal myself to be at times. WHT is intimidating for me to post on because it seems as if most of you are big shot hosting gurus (or big companies that can afford to hire your own hot shot hosting gurus). I'm just a rinky-dink freelancer, whose hosting requirements are quite modest compared to many of the people here. Yet, all things being relative - my hosting needs are still important and significant in my own little world.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm sure PR has much larger accounts than my small little server...yet they don't project an attitude that I'm any less important to them. Support is quick, friendly and informative. In fact, I'm waiting to hear back from their sales department about what management services they offer. I really have appreciated having PSM, but because I host so many accounts that depend on me for uptime - I feel like I need to look into more reliable management options.

Actually, 'reliable' isn't the right word...as PSM has been pretty great. I just need a service with faster turn-arounds on tickets.

So all in all, I highly recommend Pacific Rack. I realize my modest server requirements may not be the proper scale from which to judge your own performance and reliablity needs...but their support and network uptime would apply to anyone ... and that I can vouch for. I just feel like I'm in good hands with them.

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Initial Experiences With Pacific Rack

Jul 27, 2008

I just thought I'd take a moment to share a few of my thoughts on my initial experiences getting set up with Pacific Rack...

It was finally time for me to take the plunge for a dedicated box, and after browsing through these forums and hearing a lot of good things about Pacific Rack, I decided to contact their sales department. I was immediately responded to and soon found myself talking to Alex and Jordan (both very helpful). We quickly found an appropriate solution for my company, and soon I was off to the setup queue.

Setup took longer than expected, but I think that was due to some custom configuration issues on my end (they had to wait for parts to come in). Support/sales were pretty good about keeping me up to date on what was happening though, and soon things were rolling along nicely.

(Initial experiences with the network...)
Wikipedia lists 14 Tier 1 networks on their article page (for whatever that's worth!), and I think PacificRack (and parent(?) company OC3Networks) sits on Gigabit links to 6 or 7 of those networks. So I was excited to see what the network would look like once I was set up.

Once my server was provisioned and I received a login to their client portal, I started messing around with things and was quite impressed. I signed up for a 1Gbps switch and I've seen several transfers in the 20BM/s - 60MB/s range (PM me if you would like a speed-test file link). These guys have got quite a network!

(Initial experiences with the client control panel)
Their client section is minimalistic, but has the basics. Server info, billing info, ticketing system, and a nice little graph showing you how much throughput your server is experiencing at the moment (or historically). I can't really think of anything it's missing, though it looks a bit bland.

(Initial experiences with the sales/support team)
So far I've sent in several tickets for a number of things (they don't set up rDNS by default), and from what I can tell a support/sales agent is usually on it within minutes. Once it almost felt like I was on a chat with the support rep. Everyone seems to know his/her stuff, and they have all been quite helpful, resolving each issue in (usually) a manner of minutes.

All in all I'd have to say these guys are great. I've only been around for about a week now, but I've been quite impressed. If anyone finds this post useful I'll probably write another one at the 6 month mark.

Feel free to respond here or PM me for further information/speed test links, etc.

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Jun 1, 2008

I'm interested in the free control panel from pacificrack mycp. Does anybody have any experience with it? What's it's functionality like? easy to use? many feutureS? how does it compare to plesk or cpanel?

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Dec 6, 2007

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Jun 25, 2007

I would like to know as to what amount of expectations should one have when opting for a VPS.

i.e. what's the ideal kind of website that will work fine with a VPS ideal site in the sense that ... the bandwidth and resources (or other criteria) the site consumes.

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Jun 25, 2007

The term Managed Services concerns me with the way it is tossed around in the industry and I am curious to see what other hosts refer to as managed services, how they implement them and also what the consumer expects to receive on a managed server.

In going over one websites description earlier today they had more than five pages devoted to managed services and in my opinion said nothing. In fact at one point they mentioned their backup power, which while I will agree with that it is very important, that is infrastructure and IMHO has nothing to do with backup services.

Anyway I am interested in your view and definition of what you expect to receive on a managed server.

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Oct 17, 2007

I'm experienced with various flavors of Unix but haven't taken the VPS plunge yet. My main fear is that I'm going to end up spending a lot of time managing the server, especially security. I'm leaning heavily towards a hoster that's well regarded on this forum but was surprised when I learned the default managed VPS they deliver is fully open. It also sounded like it was mostly up to me to do the hardening. I've seen the really helpful "HOW TO: Secure and Optimize your VPS" article and I'm okay carrying out these steps initially but all of this makes me wonder:

1) Shouldn't a brand-new managed VPS come completely closed and leave it up to the user to open the few services they need?

2) How much security work should I expect a managed hoster to provide up front and on an ongoing basis?

3) How much security work should I expect to put in initially and ongoing to keep this site running smoothly and securely?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting this to be "fire and forget" but I don't want running this server to become my day job. And after all, with my current shared hosting package I don't have to do *anything* - other than the occasional outage, it just runs.

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Jun 9, 2008

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Yum Update Fails , Easyapache Also Fails [cent Os]

Apr 21, 2007

when I try to run yum update it throws an error

Quote:

Gathering header information file(s) from server(s)
Server: CentOS-3 - Addons
retrygrab() failed for:
http://mirror.centos.org/centos/3/ad...rs/header.info
Executing failover method
failover: out of servers to try
Error getting file http://mirror.centos.org/centos/3/ad...rs/header.info
[Errno 4] IOError: <urlopen error >

when I run /etc/easyapache it too fails

Quote:

root@server1 [~]# /scripts/easyapache
Testing connection speed...(this could take a while)............Done
Ping:32.076 Testing connection speed to 69.90.250.35 using pureperl...(120500.00 bytes/s)...Done
Ping:32.179 Testing connection speed to 69.90.250.34 using pureperl...(120500.00 bytes/s)...Done
Ping:49.545 Testing connection speed to 69.72.164.152 using pureperl...(76681.82 bytes/s)...Done
Ping:49.605 Testing connection speed to 69.72.164.155 using pureperl...(70291.67 bytes/s)...Done
Ping:51.603 Testing connection speed to 198.66.92.147 using pureperl...(76681.82 bytes/s)...Done
5 usable mirrors located
Fetching http://layer1.cpanel.net/buildapache.sea (0)....@69.90.250.35......connected......receiving...1%...2%...3%...4%...5%...6%...7%...8%...9%...10%...11%...13%...14%...15%...16%...17%...18%...19%. ..20%...21%...22%...23%...25%...26%...27%...28%...29%...30%...31%...32%...33%...34%...35%...36%...38%...39%...40%...41%...42%...43%...44%...45%...46%. ..47%...48%...50%...51%...52%...53%...54%...55%...56%...57%...58%...59%...60%...62%...63%...64%...65%...66%...67%...68%...69%...70%...71%...72%...73%. ..75%...76%...77%...78%...79%...80%...81%...82%...83%...84%...85%...87%...88%...89%...90%...91%...92%...93%...94%...95%...96%...97%...98%...100%...... Done
Creating directory buildapache
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing buildapache........................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... .................................................................
Checking Update System........Your operating system's rpm update method (yum) was not able to locate the glibc package. This is an indication of an improper setup. You must correct this error before you can proceed.
Please correct the conflicts and try again!
initfpsuexec: using apache 1.x support
Waiting for httpd to restart..............finished.

root 7208 0.8 0.5 46200 5772 ? S 02:06 0:00 /usr/local/apache/bin/httpd -DSSL

httpd started ok

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Oct 13, 2009

I had three VMs with Fsck VPS, dating back to before they got hacked in June. I've been paying the bill since then, I imagined as a kind of insurance, so that I had the VMs handy if I needed to use them in a big hurry. Last week, I tried to log in, and found that my three VMs didn't exist, anymore. As far as I can tell, the VMs haven't existed since the June break-in.

SETUP / PROVISIONING

My first reaction was "They've been billing me for three months, and providing nothing?!??!" I'll be honest, I was pretty tweaked, but after I'd calmed down I decided to see how they handled the situation. So I submitted a ticket asking for an explanation: How long had the machines been down for, and what would it take to get them back up and running?

It took about a day, but we eventually established that VAServ could build three new OpenVZ VMs, and that they would give me three months' credit for those three machines. Since I actually do need the VMs, and I didn't really want to fight about the billing, I decided to go for it. It took another day, but I did get three new machines up and running.

Unfortunately, I do have some complaints about the process, specifically:

- VAServ's technical support is very inconsistent, and different techs seem to have vastly different levels of communications skill and professionality.

- Many of the techs don't seem to bother reading your ticket, beyond the subject. They tend to only be capable of answering the first question in each ticket/email, and they ignore anything else you've asked.

- After the FSCKVPS/VAServ buyout, following the break-in, the HyperVM control panel was disabled. If you need a reboot, or a root password reset, or anything that you can't accomplish yourself by SSHing into the VM, you have to open a ticket. (Seems like a chancy proposition, now, to me.)

REBOOT-AND-PRAY

Today, I started seeing memory allocation errors in running programs. The machine mostly worked, but certain operations (shell scripts, in particular) would error out. I opened a ticket asking for some guidance, and within less than 10 minutes, the VM started rebooting. I got an update about the ticket a few minutes later, and was told that the VM had been reconfigured (increased memory allocation limit) and rebooted.

I was pretty mad about the no-notice reboot. I'd been in the middle of editing a bunch of configuration files, and I lost an hour of work. It just seems so unprofessional and inconsiderate for VAServ's technician to bounce the VM without confirming it with me, first.

I did get an explanation/apology from the tech who rebooted the machine. I asked him to have his supervisor contact me, which took a few hours, but I did hear back. The supervisor wrote:

"...we reboot the vps if we found any VPS out of memory. Normally most of the service stop working or access got killed when VPS is out of memory..."

To me, it sounds like the reboot is a standard procedure for a common problem. Given that kind of environment, it's only natural that the tech's first impulse would be to reboot, given a ticket about memory errors.

At the same time, it's also indicative of a bottom-of-the-barrel service, isn't it?

- Memory problems seem to be common--is that because they're over-subscribed? Does your 512MB allocation mean anything, or is it just talk?

- The staff can't / won't bother to read through a ticket and give it some consideration.

- The staff has an itchy reboot finger. Their first impulse is to power-cycle, rather than to try to understand and fix the issue directly.

FOR THE FUTURE

I do intend to continue using VAServ / FSCKVPS, at least for now. They're really cheap, about $10/month for a 512MB VM, and I can mostly get done with what I need to do. But this is a qualified opinion. I am solely using these VMs for simple R&D projects: Quasi-professional work, stuff that nobody is currently paying me to do.

Given my experiences so far, I would never trust these guys with a real, money-making business project. VAServ / FSCKVPS is suitable for toying around with, or if you're flat broke, but I wouldn't bet my job on them if I could possibly help it.

I'm setting a calendar reminder for myself, right now, to check back in another month or so with an update to this post. Assuming I'm still chugging along with these VMs, I'm going to make a point of posting my impressions on a regular basis.

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Traceroute FROM the server to users IP's appears to have issues over the SingTel/Optus network.

My webhost says it's an issue for SingTel/Optus.

SingTel/Optus Engineer say:
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I'd suggest that the owner of the domain (me!) approach his hosting provider and have them escalate to Cogent. We can't escalate to Cogent as we have no peering with them."

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Server speeds are good for me and prices are low.

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