Friday, March 22, 2013

Rackspace Backup Problems

I wanted to document the issues that a company I worked for has had with Rackspace.

When we were given the sales pitch by Rackspace, they said that they guaranteed 1 hour turn around on restoring data from backups.  Perhaps that guarantee didn't include someone monitoring for a problem with the backups and fixing it.  We got a notification the day after we changed the name of our server that our database server was down.  My coworker and I had been in the database all day long and had no issues.  We sent back to them and said we were noticing no issues, but for them to please research and let us know why they thought it was down.  A week and a half went by and we had a data issue caused by user error that was so extensive that we needed a restore of the database.  We contacted Rackspace and they told us they could not do a restore for us, because the backup hadn't run since the beginning of the month, which was when we did the name change.  Within a relatively short time they were able to tell us it was due to the name change on the server.  We told them a week and a half previous to find out why they were reporting the server as down and they never got back to us.  It took us having a disaster that needed those backups to motivate them to move.  Unfortunately at that time it was too late to be proactive and it could've cost our business big time.

We never made the connection to it being due to the server name changing, since we were told when we signed up with Rackspace that we definitely could change the name of the server to make it work for our needs.  We changed the name since the huge name with letters, numbers, and dots was cumbersome to work with.  When we did the name change we were doing other changes on the server and felt the name change was easy and minor.

We had all sorts of support issues with Go Daddy, so we switched to what was touted as an enterprise solution, Rackspace.  The enterprise level solution cost us a thousand dollars each month more than Go Daddy and we still almost lost all of our data and we'd only been live with Rackspace for a few weeks.

The company has invested too much in the move to Rackspace to not give them another chance, but this was  completely unexpected for the reputation Rackspace has and the amount of money they are being paid.

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