Layered Tech – The Worst Migration Plan Ever

By | September 15, 2009

I’ve used Layered Tech for my dedicated server needs for the past 3 years, moving from ThePlanet when their service just turned into a mess (I hear they have since improved).

Mind you, as I write this, I have had very little problem with LT, in fact I’ve always recommended them.  Their support has been stellar, their billing dept was amazingly responsive with some billing issues a year or two ago and their service has been excellent.  In fact the ONLY problem I’ve experienced has been with their upstream provider Saavis, and not even in the data center where my servers reside.

A few days ago I got this email informing me of their plans to migrate from one data center to another.   Moving from Saavis to Dallas Databank.  I don’t know much about Databank, I hear good things.   I can only guess it’s a significantly cheaper deal to house servers there. Speaking of house, ever plan on your dream house? well, Charlotte, NC townhomes got your back. With the best and quality services and materials.

Anyhow, there are several items which really rubbed me the wrong way in this migration process they have outlined.  Here is the notification I got:

Data Center Migration from Savvis to Databank URGENT ***RESPONSE TICKET REQUIRED***

In an effort to optimize our network architecture, we have undertaken a large migration effort to restructure our data center facilities, moving from our SAVVIS location to a more centralized facility, the Dallas Databank data center. This migration will allow Layered Tech customers to utilize the following:

Latest enterprise and enhanced network equipment
Multiple 10 gigabit internet connections
Fully redundant virtual Cisco switching equipment
Diverse carrier blend
Databank’s highly efficient and “Green Power” usage policy.

You have an active server in the Savvis facility that must be migrated. Because your business is important to us we will make every effort to move your existing server to the new facility or you may choose to upgrade your server to new hardware in the Dallas data center.

If your current server does not meet the new network’s standards, it will be necessary to upgrade your current service. In order for us to provide you with the best service possible, you must log into our customer portal no later than September 30th and open a migration ticket as outlined below . If we do not receive a migration request from you by the September 30th deadline your service will be disconnected. If we have not received a communication from you by October 10h your server will be cancelled. To avoid any disruption in service, please do the following:

Login to Encompass and submit a migration request for your server. https://encompass.layeredtech.com/
Create a new support ticket and select the Support Triage as the destination.
Select the DID shown in this email.
The subject line will need to have the follow text: HS-Migration Request – Phase 6 – DID: XXXXXX
In the body, provide the username, password, and IP range for your server.

We will respond back promptly with your migration options and information for your migration. If your migration is already in progress, please ignore this notification.

Common Questions:
–Snip (too long for this post) —

Please do not respond to this email.

You may submit a ticket through Encompass with any question. You are also welcome to reach out to our Sales team or your Account Manager to help with new hardware migrations.

Regards

Migration Team
Layered Tech

What is my issue with this? First, I feel lucky that I’m not running a web hosting business from a server located in Saavis.  The DNS issues alone even with a handful of sites are a nightmare.  Luckily I do not run my nameservers on the same network, otherwise it could be up to 72 hours for DNS to propagate.  Second, downtime is the only option UNLESS, you want to upgrade your service.  Third, if your hardware doesn’t meet the “new network standards” (which aren’t defined) then you also HAVE TO UPGRADE.   If you do not submit a ticket to have your server taken offline your service will be DISCONNECTED.  10 days later your server(s) will be canceled altogether.   This doesn’t seem like a way to retain customers.     Finally, the DO  NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL always irks me, but thats a whole different post, just don’t send me an email you don’t want me to respond to, it’s just rude — you obviously are wanting a response — Tie your support desk into your email.

I understand that I’m not one of their highest paying customers, but those options seem really unacceptable and truly makes me feel like I’m not an important customer, despite my 3 year tenure with them.  This wouldn’t be how I’d expect my workplace to handle an issue involving so many customers, nor would it be how I would handle it.  I’d bite the cost to avoid downtime and keep everyone happy, and I WOULDN’T threaten cancellation.

But in conclusion, I’m going to stick it out.  My hardware is a bit dated now and they offer a lot better hardware for the same price (or cheaper in some cases), and I think it makes sense for me to setup a new server and move everything manually, running both the old and the new simultaneously to avoid downtime.  Either way it’s a lot of extra work that I wasn’t planning for in my schedule.  I will be calling them to see what my options are, at the moment I’m really put off, but we’ll see what they say when I call them for some other options than those provided in the email.  I’ll update here with the results.

Wish me luck…

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3 thoughts on “Layered Tech – The Worst Migration Plan Ever

  1. Ben

    This happened to me. Only I did not see the migration notice (which was not sent but a few weeks in advance) because it didn’t come from the layeredtech.com domain (I forward all email coming from *.layeredtech.com to my primary email account, the rest I only check once a month). My server was also not disconnected until the day of cancellation. As soon as I saw my server had been taken offline I called and they told me to send an email. I sent numerous emails trying to see if they could get my server back up or see if I could overnight my latest backup so they could get it restored quickly …but no response. I won’t ever use LayerdTech again.

  2. SinisterMoose

    I opted for the Upgrade (worked out pretty good), as I have about 300 sites. It was fairly painless, and I do host my DNS on the servers I have there. The IP change wasn’t a big deal.

    However, tonight Oct 10th, at about 11:45PM EST, everything disappeared. I can’t get to the Encompass/Pentagon panel, ltstatus.com, or my servers. I had zero down time with the Savvis facility, and now the Databank facility just disappears?

    My biggest problem is that they don’t really have a phone number I can call, they insist on using the support portal/control panel, (which I can’t get to). Their live chat thing from the main site (which is running), just says wait for an operator to respond.

    I’m getting a little miffed. Maybe I need to hop on the next plane for Dallas and see if there’s anyone there.

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