Since 2005, SoftLayer has defined advancement, embraced change and cast aside convention in order to create a customer-centric hosting service unlike any other. One that puts the power in the hands of our customers through a host of best-in-class server management solutions and industry-first technological capabilities.
The core of our innovation lies within our customer portal. Assembled out of necessity, constructed from control, our proprietary network-within-the-network design makes those other one-size-fits-all server solutions a thing of the past. Now, customers can separate network traffic by purpose - giving them the ease of use of a public network and the security of a private one. Customers come in the front door, workers through the rear.
But with SoftLayer, meeting the needs of now is not enough. The dedication we have for tomorrow yields tremendous opportunities for our customers today. Our optional infrastructure management API turns over control to the customer like never before. This first-of-its-kind cross-platform framework allows customers to access and manage their servers anytime, any place and anywhere … with the management software of their choice and without the typical security concerns.
Standardized dedicated hosting, service oriented architectures, infrastructure management systems, on-demand hosting solutions, remote management solutions, virtualized datacenter management – and that’s just the beginning.
From the top down, our infrastructure was designed to facilitate a solution. Softlayer offer customers world-class datacenter capabilities including the most advanced services, management convenience, and administration features ever assembled to manage the outsourced IT environment. Our goal is to make your business better.
Ok people where do i start as. From one CEO to another anyone is not smoking the good stuff if your not hosted with Softlayer seriously. Let me tell you why.
This past monday on 2/23/09 after our Admins followed directions from Microsoft on expandind Virtual Disk's for VM on a Hyper-V Server, Guess what happend after a reoboot the VM failed to start and found out the FILESYSTEM was corrupt thanks to Bill at SL for finding out the actuall issue so fast. Look these guys spent almost a week with me recovering data and helping move data over to another VM and it you know what it cost me 2 kegs of beer and a 3.00 server admin ticket :). Between Anthony, Nick, Matt & John Eves(DC Operations Manager) These guys got me up and running when we were just wiggin out literally. You will find no better company anywhere in the USA to work with when it comes to a datacenter. I will say this i pay for the service i get :) and im more than PROUD!!!!! to be an Softlayer Client.. I wonder if i have atained Prefered Customer status yet!!!???
Everyone Need to be a Softlayer Client, You want to know how to do that? Call Michael or Ariel in sales. They will get you going.
Seriously people they are the shizzzle.
Area 51 Web Hosting
I originally had a server at ThePlanet but I was looking around for better servers at better prices but I'm very picky. When I came to the SoftLayer web site overall I was impressed by their features but their costs were a tad high. I understood the higher prices due to their premium network and equipment.
I spoke with sales via Live Chat and they did a wonderful job of closing the deal but it didn't stop there. Support has been *very* responsive, usually within 5~10 minutes and I've had 100% uptime and no major issues whatsoever.
Overall I'm very happy with SoftLayer and I'll be purchasing more servers through them within the next few months.
Softlayer excels in nearly every area, from pricing to sales, technical support. It's very easy to manage your servers using their portal management tools as well. However, the biggest downside is their legal/abuse department. If you are providing services to customers outsides of your company, it's best to avoid Softlayer. Dealing with the abuse department staffs from Softlayer is a real pain in the ass!
They talk to you in a condescending tone most of the time. And they dictate what you must and must not do as if you are a 4 years old. There's no place for negotiation with them. In fact, the way they talk to you sounds as if you are a bastard they can't wait to get rid off! That happens even with long time customers who has dozens of servers with them. In the end, they are downright rude and unreasonable. It's unfortunate that such people work for a great company like Softlayer.
This will outline the issues we had with 1 particular server. This server had issues from the time we bought it.
First Contact: 2007-Nov-02 17:01 (GMT-0500)
Reason for contact: Server randomly rebooting, and not issuing an init or anything. When watching the IPMI, it would just drop to the bios screen, no errors or anything.
2007-Nov-02 17:26 (GMT-0500) through 2007-Nov-04 11:25 (GMT-0600)
We spent trying to explain to them our frustration and what the server was doing, they took the server offline several times to do tests. At this point they assured us that the server was okay and there was nothing wrong with it.
The server continued to reboot itself.
keep in mind, it was not dropping an init.
We contacted them again: 2007-Nov-04 11:20 (GMT-0600) and demanded they swap the ram.
At 2007-Nov-04 14:33 (GMT-0600): the ram swap was completed.
The ram did not correct the issue, it rebooted twice between the time the ram was swapped and: 2007-Nov-04 23:58 (GMT-0600)
At 2007-Nov-05 00:19 (GMT-0600):
"I see nothing in the logs that could signify its instability. I did however see some userspace memory errors. I have recallibrated your glibc to allocate a hardline kernel/user memspace ratio rather than administering heurestics. Please let me know if this does not resolve your stability issues."
Soon after they requested permission to perform additional tests.
At 2007-Nov-05 01:42 (GMT-0600), they replied with the following:
"Your server does not post after AC loss. I recommend at this time a chassis swap. Would you like to schedule one? "
We agreed, and they listed available times,
-- Monday - Friday nights, 4:00pm - 6:00pm CDT (GMT-5)
-- Any Day of the Week, 9:00pm - 11:00pm CDT (GMT-5)
-- Any Day of the Week, 2:00am - 4:00am CDT (GMT-5)
-- Saturday & Sunday, 10:00am - 12:00pm CDT (GMT-5)
What frustrated me, given the fact that the server was completely unstable and has been for several days:
"As the 2:00am-4:00am that will start momentarily is already full, the next available time we have is 4:00pm-6:00pm. Please advise. "
At this time we replied back at 2007-Nov-05 01:53 (GMT-0600) complaining that it was unacceptable, and that we wanted it done asap.
At 2007-Nov-05 01:56 (GMT-0600):
"I will schedule this for the 4:00pm-6:00pm time frame on 11/05/07. This ticket is going to an unmonitored que so if you have any further support request, please open a new ticket. "
Obviously this is NOT ACCEPTABLE, I know one of the techs that worked at theplanet before moving to softlayer so I contact him regarding the issue.
At 2007-Nov-05 09:05 (GMT-0600) this chassis swap was completed and the ticket was closed.
Ticket Length: 2007-Nov-02 17:01 to 2007-Nov-05 09:05
The server remained stable for a few days, granted it ONLY had 2gb of ram instead of 4gb of ram which was an ERROR on their part. We did not want them to change any hardware during a testing period because it was staying stable.
First contact: 2007-Nov-12 19:06 (GMT-0600)
We contacted them asking that they correct the amount of memory installed into the server.
At 2007-Nov-12 19:37 (GMT-0600):
They took the server offline.
At 2007-Nov-12 21:49 (GMT-0600) we receive the following message:
"After taking the server offline to investigate the RAM installation, we found that the motherboard wasn't detecting ram over 2gb. We swapped this server into different hardware, and I am now having boot problems after booting past grub.
Have you recently made any upgrades or adjustments to the server's kernel?"
We go back and forth through multiple replies, some even discussing a os reload on a box that was working fine prior to them getting their dirty hands on it.
At 2007-Nov-12 23:22 (GMT-0600) they reply with the following:
"After a RAM swap, the server booted with no errors and is now back online.
I do apologize for the inconveniance. "
So between 19:37 and 23:22 the server was offline due to a bad set of ram they tried to use.
And you will never guess what happened next!
The server starts rebooting itself again.
Between 2007-Nov-12 23:36 (GMT-0600) and 2007-Nov-13 02:47 (GMT-0600) I worked with the softlayer techs to try and get a resolution. Their reply was:
" I have run the ipmi kernel and your server is back online. Upon closer examination it appears your server may not acctually be crashing, rather just going offline leading to the appearance of a crash. This may be do to your ip_conntrack db. I would recommend disabling iptables and running it for a while to see if the problem continues. "
Which would be awesome if the server uptime wasn't indicating the server was rebooting.
I did a few kernel modifications and asked that they left the server alone for the rest of the night.
Keep in mind, the server was stable until they tried to add the ram, which involved ANOTHER chassis swap, keep in mind this is the second chassis swap for this server.
The time range of this ticket was: 2007-Nov-12 23:36 (GMT-0600) through 2007-Nov-13 02:47
Start time: 2007-Nov-13 08:10 (GMT-0600)
I opened another ticket, because the server rebooted several times through out the night, and the last time it did not reboot.
IPMI and the power strip function would not operate at this time due to it needing to be reconfigured.
At: 2007-Nov-13 08:56 (GMT-0600) the system came back online and they replied back. Keep in mind that was about 40 minutes for them to reboot it.
At: 2007-Nov-13 08:58 (GMT-0600) I replied back telling them that ever since the 2nd chassis swap occured the server has been rebooting.
At: 2007-Nov-13 09:27 (GMT-0600) they reply back with the following (another bogus useless reply):
"We see the system is currently online with an uptime of 5 minutes. Did you just reboot the system?
If the system goes offline again please update this ticket so we can attach a console and see if there are any error messages on screen."
At which point it reboots again and we ask them to resolve the issue.
At: 2007-Nov-13 09:43 (GMT-0600)
"We've looked at various logs and it seems the issue may be RAM. We are seeing CPU lock errors but the applications they are locking on is pretty spread out and not one application. This is also occuring across multiple cpus. This would lead us to believe the cause is ram because if the issue was the cpu the system would of hard locked by now.
May we take the system offline to replace the RAM in the system? "
Oh Great they want to perform another ram swap.
They replace the ram but the problem still persists.
At: 2007-Nov-13 11:12 (GMT-0600) they reply with the following:
"We have replaced the power supply in the system but are still seeing issues. We will be moving you to another system. Please hold for updates."
So now they see there are issues with the system. Maybe something will happen now? or not?
They complete the THIRD chassis swap, which the server reboots and doesn't come back online. Turns out the server was now going to use eth1 and eth2
"Due to the new chassis you were moved into the network devices got renumbered. eth1 is now your private network and eth2 is your public network. We have got networking working on the system and have hard coded the hardware address in the config files. "
Shortly after that reply they say the following:
"We just saw the system reboot with no messages on screen. It is currently online at this time.
This is all new hardware. The only thing that has moved with the system is the drive controller and hard drive. If you would like we can replace these and perform an os reload. "
Any this reply also:
"We even tried loading the non-pae kernel to see if it is a kernel issue but the resets are still happening.
The only thing that is consistent throughout the whole moves are the hard drive and the os loaded on it. It may be best at this time to replace the hard drive and perform an os reload to rule out software as a cause of this."
Personally I have never seen a harddrive cause a server to reboot, but I guess theres a first for everything.
At this point I received a call from Chris Menard over at softlayer and he told me what they wanted to do, which was replace the SAS controller and the hard drive. Which I agreed to, during this time they had to swap the ram again.
After that os reload (i even did very little in terms of customization, it was a plain server with suhosin as the only security measure and it continued to reboot.
End of this ticket: 2007-Nov-13 16:32 (GMT-0600)
At this point we moved all 5 servers to another datacenter, and there has be 100% uptime since day 1. Faster servers for a cheaper price also.
The server that replaced this particular server: 19:19:28 up 21 days, 18:05, 2 users, load average: 1.57, 1.93, 2.03
It is a 16 core 16gb ram AMD box.
Over all this has been a long process. We spoke with upper management a few times and still nothing came from it.
# of chassis swaps: 3
# of ram swaps: Multiple
I used to love Softlayer... some years ago they were top notch and competitive. Today is a much different market than just a year or two ago. Amazing hardware can be had for incredible prices in so many places. You also can find top notch support folks in smaller companies these days as well because those folks are willing to earn your business and go the extra mile to make sure you are happy. Softlayer has extremely overpriced hardware and is not affordable for many starters. Their support in my experience has been lackluster at best. I generally do not need support unless there is a hardware or physical connectivity issue so when i ask its something pretty major as most of the time (especially with ipmi/bmc) that you will even require help. I think that if your on a budget and looking for a good all around package... look beyond these guys and find a better package. They are out there and begging for your business. I decided to go the colo route and couldn't be happier... that is another option as memory upgrades and small stuff at a company like soft layer and really cost you big.
I have been a long term customer of SoftLayer.
SoftLayer is totally abusive. They have decided to disconnect my server without valid reason.
This hosting company is the worst ever.
Very bad customer service. They do not care about your business and you will face great financial loss because of them.
Do not trust SoftLayer. Never.
There are far better hosting companies.
i used soft layer for 1 year+ i notice they have huge problem at there route and servers . if you ever use them and faced packet lose or DB execution errors be sure its from there side and they will never admit that , the support dont even want to believe its from there end they never work with me even when provided prof of trace route .
this disconnection happen for few seconds max to 30 seconds so its hard to trace and once they test that from there internal network they will never see the problem .
anyway i advice you not to use soft layer for critical system .
Good luck for all
Without notice Softlayer has turned down the ENTIRE cloud instance of it's network for 8 HOURS!
I just called support and was told that they posted a message in the ticket system of the outage.
Well, thats pretty arrogant of them to think that the world reads their ticket system like a newspaper.
As a result of the loss of revenue, we have terminated our office in Texas, migrated to a data center in another state.
So Softlayer, not only did you lose a customer, you cost your city a few jobs to boot. Idiots.
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