TAG | 1and1.com
First of all, I should say that we used 1and1.com for a long time, nearly 5 years. We had nothing but great service, and pretty good pricing. We were using their Linux developer hosting package, shared hosting. The deals and prices they offer, are all but amazing, but the quality of service has declined over the last few years.
Last year, we needed a more customizable solution (memcache/apc/mongodb), and realized that the solution was to take on a VPS (virtual private server). Seeing as we had great service, and no slow downs, we decided on 1and1 and took the VPS III (4gb burst-able ram, 2tb space). We received the VPS very quick, everything seemed to be going well… I would get several performance alerts a day… we had nothing but problems, however I could not track down exactly what was failing. I went through logs, setup custom alerts with Nagios, hired a few people to review our code. I started recording cpu, memory and disk usage using a custom cron tool I wrote in perl. I had enough ammunition to approach them with data.
What I gave them was 25 isolated incidents, all having the same properties- < 3% cpu use, low memory usage, and virtually no disk I/O. These periods of time went anywhere from 1-2 minutes, to 10-15 minutes. We were thinking that another VPS was using a lot of resources… which in the end was the case. When talking to a really cool guy from 1and1 support (I will leave the persons name out) he suggested that the system we were on had more than the intended amount of VPS servers. He had us moved to another node. Everything seemed to be going well, for about 3 weeks. Turns out, the server we were on was oversold again. We could have called support again to be moved, or perhaps spent the extra money on a non-VPS, however we immediately started looking for someone else as we didn’t NEED our own server, nor could we budget it in on our start-up. There is nothing more annoying than typing ion a website, and waiting, for no reason, other than your server was oversold.
We looked around, and found a few candidates. The list we came up with was Amazon’s EC2, Slicehost, Rackspace, and a few others. After reviewing all of the specifications, and options, Rackspace Cloud won. The ease of upgrading to a larger system, creating servers on-the-fly, the price, the iPhone management and monitoring, as well as the CDN services they offer.
We found Rackspace Cloud! We pay around $20.00 a month (plans start around $12.00/month), the same as the original Developer package we had at 1and1, except we are getting VPS for the same price, except, we are able to scale our services with the cloud APIs. We have had nothing but good service, and have not yet called their support lines as everything has been working as expected. If I need a server for a short time, or even long-term, I create a new server in about 2-3 minutes (which can be done right from my iPhone via their application).
What I learned trying to leave 1and1.com… domain transfers, and the entire cancellation process is brutal. I spent about an hour looking for the cancel button, I ended up looking on google to find that I was not alone. They do not provide the correct means of domain transfer, and make you wait 5 days before they will hand over the domain, and in that period, they reset your DNS server names to point to their advertising pages. They require that you visit cancel.1and1.com, there is no link or mention of it, unless you dig. I have often found, the best providers of a service, have an easy way to cancel your service.
If you have any questions about my experience, or comments with your experiences with any other providers, leave a comment!