Inadequate advice


“Retrospective Network Maintenance
… involving the installation of a new core switch
…connecting customer servers in Reynolds house”

I’m sure I can’t be the only one who thinks this message was too important in its potential impact, and far too vague in its scope, to be considered adequate and posted as a ‘retrospective’ message.

Although there is an apology contained within it, it sounds so unlike the usual maintainance message and too much like the sort of treatment I’ve had in the past from other hosting companies. It leaves me with the uncomfortable thought that Bytemark now appears to be less able to communicate adequately with their customers.

I don’t know whether this is a one-off blip or a sign that the Bytemark/customer relationship is creaking - for whatever reason.

Anyone else have comments?


Hi Paul - I agree this should have been in advance, but consider it better late than never. Peter had put himself under (in hindsight) unnecessary pressure to get the work done before our new data centre switch-on date next week, and it’s absolutely our policy to flag maintenance that risks break people’s connectivity. Of course (again, in hindsight) a few seconds outage at the wrong time can cause a timeout, TCP connection breakage and other cases that your servers don’t see under normal conditions. We manage plenty of switching network maintenance over the year normally, without notice or hitch.

This was an unusual job in its scope, and that’s probably why we didn’t spot the problems it might cause, but it has paved the way to expand our network to a new data centre. We’ve historically only done that every 2 or 3 years. So the hard part is done for now, and there is no further risk from planned maintenance.

As a technically-led company, we’ve grown our racks, hardware and expertise from a pair of servers in a shared rack. Peter and I are constantly surprised and flattered by the trust that our customers put in our setup; we’ll make sure we are better at repaying that trust as we start to fill our suite in Synergy House. Sorry again for any trouble the maintenance may have caused you, but I hope you’ll continue to feel that we run a tighter ship than most.

NB for the record I did edit Pete’s post in response to your message; for tone not content, and I just amplified our commitment to warning customers about maintenance.