Wednesday 26 March 2014


Most of the customers who have us do websites and web applications for them get us to host it all for them.  Although we have to maintain the servers, this is usually a bit less faffy and more reliable than dealing with a third party.  However, sometimes customers already have hosting, and want to carry on using this, which is fine too.

Today, I'm slightly confused by a relatively large third party hosting company who shall remain nameless.  One of our customers reported that their web application had stopped working and was reporting database errors.  Some investigation shows that their hosting provider has been doing upgrades (in the middle of the working day) and have shut down the PostgreSQL server... and it's been down for hours.

The control panel shows "This server is currently receiving security and feature updates. If you experience any problems, please try again later when this message has been removed. Thank you for your patience." - that's it, no ETA or anything. It also seems likely that they never informed their customers about this (but I can't actually guarantee that since I'm not their customer).

Is this really the expected behaviour of a reputable hosting company? I know we are very careful to minimise disruption and wouldn't dream of taking whole services offline for hours on end...

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