Powersurge.com, FastServers.net, And LayeredTech.com: A Host I Used And I Recommend Avoiding

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I am not sure how clear I can be that if you are interested in LayeredTech, you need to find someone else.   There is not company that I have been with that has earned as much contempt as LayredTech has earned.

I first brought up problems I had with LayeredTech and had promised a post in the future: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/uncategorized/are-you-considering-inmotionhosting-com-caution-read-my-review-before-buying.html

Well here it is, but unlike the last post LayeredTech is by far the worst of all the hosts that I have reviewed.    This company is responsible for most of the ulcers I have experiences and could easily have cost us hundreds of thousands in reoccurring income every year. Layeredtech, and the previous incarnations defiantly hurt the reputation of one of my hosting companies.

My History with PowerSurge, FastServers, and LayeredTech

We (former business associates) had started with LayeredTech in late 2001.   Long before LayeredTech  acquired  FastServers we were with PowerSurge.   It was never made clear when we were no longer a PowerSurge customer and became a FastServers Customer.     Our main reason for going with PowerSurge was cPanel. This would be our second cPanel provider (OCHosting was the first, and there is an avoidance post for them in the future).  Prior to 2007, we had an average of 27 servers, and were at a point of  paying over $7,000 a month.  Meaning they were getting around $84,000 a year.   They were our second cPanel provider, and we were intending to migrate from the first cPanel company (ochosting.com, a post about them later).

What we did not know is the servers we were getting from them were housed at facility called Hurricane Electric  (HE.net). This would become a network we would soon find to be one of the worst out there, as it was pron to outages and not to mention denial of service attacks.   Its my own speculation but I tend to wonder if it was being targeted for retaliation purposes, or perhaps it was not that well secured.   Somewhere along the way we were no longer a powersurge customer, but a FastServers customer.

In early 2008 LayeredTech would buyout FastServers.  Prior to doing a mass migration I personally contacted LayeredTech by phone and by email.   By phone I was told to contact FastServers.  By email I was sent to someone who they claimed would address my concerns, who after his initial response ignored my two attempts.  It seemed that I was more concerned with them retaining my service then they were.     By April 2008 we were already in progress of leaving because of an issue of refurbished hard drives (See below).  The bulk of my cancellations with LayeredTech were coming in and before the end of the year most of our accounts were gone.  I had notified them on their mandatory reason for canceling, that if they really wanted to know they should contact me.  This was first done in April, they waited till July to respond to the cancellation requests as they would ask why I had canceled my first server.   It was not till August 2008 I simply stop responding to their attempts to retain my service.   Because they had canceled three scheduled phone calls.    The last of which was to be a conference call, the arranger of the event was apparently sick, but no one else that was supposed to be in the conference call could check to see the conference system worked, or call me.

By late 2008 we were down to 1 server at $350 a month because a customer was rather nervous about moving.  But that would change by late 2009 after months of promises that a migration would be flawless (and it was). For which we were able to get the customer on a far more efficient server for far less then what FastServers would offer. By January of this year it was my pleasure to cancel the finale server with them before handing my controling interest of 4 hosting companies to the new owners.  There response to me was “We are sorry you feel that way”.   It was not a matter of how I felt, as it was their own actions that lead to this, and frankly we should have left sooner, long before LayeredTech acquired FastServers.

Hardware issues with LayeredTech/FastServers

Out of all companies we had a higher then average equipment failure.   Out of the 74 servers we had with LayeredTech/FastServers we had a 40% rate of hardware failure.  Worse yet we had a 30% chance of having a re-occurrence of failure.  Not once were we ever issued any sort of compensation for a failure in service.   I had even contact LayeredTech as a last ditch effort before moving to another provider, but LayeredTech seemed less concerned with the amount of time, the amount of servers, or the amount of money we had invested with FastServers.

The first warning sign with LayeredTech/FastServers Early 2002
(or drive? what drive?)

My issues first started with my 5th server back in early 2003.   Later this server would be considered the worst that we have ever had.   After getting another server to replace, I would ask for it to be mailed to us so we could either shoot it or run it over with a car.  For that Aaron wanted to sell the server to us, otherwise despite its hardware failure history he was going to reissue it to another customer.   Later on this would be funny because during 2008 they would start hounding us to get off 3 year old servers because they were worried about their durability.   But this disaster was enough that should have gotten my business partners to join with me in finding new companies.   Most servers that we get would have two or more drives for the sole purpose of back ups.  Remote back ups were at the time not cost effective, and only reserved on servers that held customers that paid for the service.   This server was no different and held a daily back up of all the content for every customer on its secondary drive.   During the first disaster the main drive went out.  For some reason Trevor of FastServers had to take the secondary drive out, and Trevor would tells us we did not know what we were talking about.  After hours of calling, emails, support ticket of back and forth arguing When he finale decided to take off for 18 hours.  I did not get any sleep and had to eagerly await for sales and billing to open.  I had to contact Aaron in sales to confirm that we indeed were being billed and paying for a secondary drive.  We had already suffered 10 hours of downtime by the time Trevor decided to take off, and this denial of a secondary drive cost us an extra day because apparently Trevor was the only one capable of finding and putting in our missing secondary hard drive.  For our downtime and my 48 hour period of no sleep, I got a “This situation just makes me sick”.  not an apology or I was wrong.  Or for that matter nothing to compensate us for this seriously flawed service.

The finale straw with LayeredTech/FastServers September 2007 – March 2008 (or if one refurbished drive fails, try another refurbished, rinse and repeat)

By this time we had more experience with a variety of suppliers, and it was rather clear the fail rate with LayeredTech/FastServers was beyond even some of the worst hosts like BurstNet.  During 4 separate hard drive crashes we come to find out that we were being given refurbished drives every time.   The claim was that drives were tested.  But you would think after the second and third time it would be come clear that there was a danger of losing us if they did not give us a new drive.  It was not until I had contact Aaron that we were going to leave that he took action to get what he claimed was a new server.   While admit we did not have any further problems with this server, I was not confident that this was a new server.

Apparently LayeredTech wanted us out faster – June 2008

If you remember I stated that I had wanted the 5th server with FastServers/LayeredTech because I had a lot of hard ware issues with it.  At the time the server was already three years old by the time we were in progress to replace it.   Regardless of its frequent hardware failure, Aaron wanted to recommission it.  But we were being contacted in June 2008 in regards to any server 3 years or older that they had to be replaced because they were at risk of collapse.  Strangely they targeted any server that was under $200 a month, and they were offering me nothing around the cost of the server.  I also no for fact that my company was not the first to use these servers.

The Hurricane Electric and LayeredTech/FastServers connection

Hardware issues were not our only concern,  network uptime was another issue.  By 2006 we were already getting service with other companies.  Any new servers we got with LayeredTech/FastServers were at there new center.    Every time we brought up HE.net problems were we told to get new servers at their new center.   Which meant we had to pay for the new and old server at the same time.   ThePlanet was more then happy later on to offer free two months on every server we migrated.  At the time we had been with ThePlanet for 3 years under EV1, and when they added cPanel it was becoming harder to consider using LayeredTech/FastServers.   I remember one outage under Hurricane Electric that was so bad that the tech on duty broke down and wrote on a forum how this may be the end of things,  its not surprising that post was late deleted.  Most outages were dos attacks (denial of service)

Would I recommend LayeredTech/FastServers?

NO,  and you should avoid this organization like the plague.   I can not stress it enough, LayredTech could care less if your a customer tomorrow as long as you pay them today.   Frankly I plan to add more posts aboutLayredTech as I have far more reasons why you should never use this company.   LayeredTech and FastServers have burned any possible opportunity of me ever coming back as a customer.

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