back to article Fasthosts goes titsup, blames DNS blunder

Fasthosts went titsup this morning after DNS issues blighted the service. Biz customers complained about the outage and demanded an immediate fix from Fasthosts, which has been responding to the technical crisis via its Twitter account. Others moaned that they were unable to get through on Fasthosts' support phone line, which …

  1. Chris Miller

    Loss of service

    some folk were already demanding compensation for the loss of service

    And some folks haven't read their Ts&Cs, I'll bet. Maybe a small refund on next month's sub, if you're lucky.

    Disclaimer I don't have access to Fasthosts' Ts&Cs, just a generic comment based on too many years of experience.

    1. SolidSquid

      Re: Loss of service

      Depends how long it's down for and what degree of guaranteed up-time it has

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Loss of service

        Normally the TOS will have some way of basically saying we won't pay you for anything but an act of god.

        1. SolidSquid

          Re: Loss of service

          Pretty sure they usually have exemptions for acts of god explicitly written in there

        2. Daniel Hall

          Re: Loss of service

          Being an ex fasthosts employee, I can say that the SLA is 99.9% uptime and pro-rata refunds were given if they failed to achieve this. It does not cover any kind of shared hosting mind...

          And this was 3+ years ago.

  2. Emj

    Second time in a week - they f@#ed it up last Thursday as well.

  3. IT Hack

    No shock

    Given their one freakin datacentre hosting their LiveDNS

  4. Velv
    Facepalm

    "Inevitably, some folk were already demanding compensation for the loss of service, which has probably hit some Blighty businesses hard at the start of a working week."

    I'm sure the compensation rates are fully documented in the Service Level Agreement you signed between your company and the outsource supplier and that the insurance policy you took out to cover your business critical infrastructure failures will cover any further shortfall due to the outage.

    Sorry, what's that? You haven't got an SLA? You didn't insure your outsourced service?

    Perhaps the insurance won't pay if you didn't have a Business Continuity Plan (or failed to adequately test it).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm owed!

      We pay about £600 a year for various services from Fasthosts, so proportional compensation for a days outage affecting our company website etc would be about £1.60.

    2. IT Hack

      SLA

      @ Velv

      if you want SLA's etc you would not use LiveDNS

  5. Jungleland

    "issues with our 2003 servers"

    Is that how many servers they run or the version of Windows? (You know, the one that is about to go EOL) I doubt they'd have any legacy apps so why haven't they spent money on the infrastructure in the last few years?

    1. richardcox13

      Re: "issues with our 2003 servers"

      While Fasthosts may have no such legacy applications, their customers may well have legacy applications.

      (And I agree, I read it initially as "that's a very specific number of servers" :-))

  6. pewpie

    cue perfect twats

    1. Anonymous Coward
  7. mrppp

    Useless

    Twice in a week, how can i change my dns without accessing fasthosts? Fed up with them lack of customer service and second rate service

    1. wheelybird

      Re: Useless

      You're normally able to change your nameservers via whichever company you registered your domain with. The bad news is that you probably bought your domains from fasthosts, so until their servers are back up you're not going to be able to change those settings.

      You'll also need DNS hosting to switch over to. ZoneEdit.org used to be OK, but It think someone bought them out recently.

      1. My Alter Ego

        Re: Useless

        Personally, I'd stay away from ZoneEdit (I used them for a few years) but their support is horrific. They had an issue where updates were only being pushed to one (out of two) of the DNS servers. This meant you got a different response depending on which server you queries. After two days I gave up and moved to DNSMadeEasy, whose service is way better (they provide failover and backup MX)

        By the time they'd managed to fix the issue (5 days later) I didn't really give a shit.

        1. Mike G

          Re: Useless

          zoneedit were bought over by easydns a few months back

      2. Vic

        Re: Useless

        You'll also need DNS hosting to switch over to.

        Hurricane Electric are rather good...

        Vic.

    2. djberriman

      Re: Useless

      if its a nominet domain you can log onto nominet and update your ipstag I believe. Sometimes cheaper than using the registrar (and quicker).

  8. TechicallyConfused

    Who does that?

    Who runs a managed DNS service on Windows DNS? I mean I like Windows and Microsoft and all, I'm a big fan fan but some things just aren't sensible. I thought it was just SME's and people using it for internal resolution and forward lookups that used MS DNS.

    Well, I live a learn!

  9. Rabbit80

    We are affected :(

    Currently have 3 websites down, email down, our licensing server down, our DM system down - not a good start to the week.

    The phones are ringing crazy with our upset clients.

    1. Stuart 22

      Re: We are affected :(

      If I was your client I would be blaming you - not Fasthosts. Choosing a single point of failure is the failure.

      No matter how brilliant your provider may be (and Fashosts doesn't have a particularly brilliant record) any datacentre, any network can fail for internal or external reasons. So you spread things around. Then any failure is containable, its just a bit of reconfiguration and maybe some sluggish responses. Which you will, of course, rehearsed ...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: We are affected :(

        It doesn't take a lot to run your own DNS servers. I have 2, both with different providers so there's some back up there when things go wrong.

        However, I've been working with websites and the internet since I left school in 2004 and I've never in those 10 years heard anything good about Fasthosts. I'm surprised they still have customers.

        I would seriously be having a word with your IT support people and float the idea of self hosted DNS servers in two different locations. If you're really paranoid you can even go for 3!

        1. Vic

          Re: We are affected :(

          I've never in those 10 years heard anything good about Fasthosts.

          I use Fasthosts as a registrar for some of my domains.

          When I was doing my IPv6 training, I had to get them to apply some glue records. The girl I spke to was completely upfront about the fact that she had no idea what I was talking about, but was happy to be guided through it.

          Between us, we got the records in properly at the first attempt. I don't care that she didn't understand what I wanted - most people don't, even now - but I was impressed that I got through to someone who was willing to try with minimal effort.

          They later posted me a questionnaire about my experience - I put down that they had exceeded my expectations, because I expected them to be utter numbskulls, and instead I got someone who could sort things out for me...

          Vic.

    2. Fatman
      FAIL

      Re: We are affected :( ... The phones are ringing crazy with our upset clients.

      Currently have 3 websites down, email down, our licensing server down, ...

      If you are referring to a Mother May I... server that must be accessed so that your customers can use the software that they have paid for, then, I am sorry, but you deserve all of the bitching you will get from customers who have been locked out of their systems, because you will get NO sympathy from me.

      YOU chose a DRM solution, now deal with the fall out.

      ("Why?", others may ask, it is because, for me it is a case of BTDTGTTS.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, at least fasthosts.co.uk email is provided by 1and1 ...

    5 mxint01.1and1.com 212.227.17.16 212.227.126.206 (no glue)

    5 mxint02.1and1.com 212.227.17.17 212.227.126.207 (no glue)

    ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, at least fasthosts.co.uk email is provided by 1and1 ...

      yes 1and1 own fasthosts

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well, at least fasthosts.co.uk email is provided by 1and1 ...

        Oh! Now it all makes sense!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Biz customers complained about the outage...

    Biz customers complained about the outage...

    Don't go for one of the cheapest and most unreliable options, if your business means anything to you. That's all.

  12. Lee D Silver badge

    Stop using ISP DNS

    Stop using ISP DNS.

    It's that simple.

    Just plug several dozen public DNS (google, opendns, etc.) into your computer, or your router, or your servers as upstream DNS's and forget about it. When one doesn't resolve, it'll bounce down to the next and you won't even notice.

    Honestly, the days of being dependent on your ISP DNS are over. The only problems now are if the ISP intercepts all DNS (then you deploy DNSSEC to talk to the root servers directly).

    But everybody, whether they own just the client, just the ADSL router, or a bank of servers, can just plug in dozens of other DNS's as they see fit and it will not hurt performance in any way. Order them properly and it'll even take your preference into account for you.

    Hell, my first DNS is my own VPS - which has my host's DNS, Google, then the roots. My 2nd and 3rd are Google. The rest are random public freebies like OpenDNS. And at the bottom of the list are the ISP DNS. I plug these settings into my ADSL router which hands them out via DHCP, and also hands itself out as the primary (which also just has the list above in it) so all my client devices get them.

    Whenever someone cries that Virgin DNS or whatever is down, I've never ever noticed a problem unless there is literally no connectivity to the net at all (at which point, I switch on 3G and carry on, because access to the DNS isn't dependant on using my ISP connection).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop using ISP DNS

      You're missing the point. It's not ISP DNS that's the problem, it's DNS records at the nameservers that relate to domains thats the problem, changing your ISP DNS will not help.

  13. batfastad

    Loss of service

    I've lost service with Fasthosts many times with many clients, permanently, and always with great success!

    They are one of those shoddy companies that really should have gone out of business by now. Hopefully it won't be too much longer.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From what I can tell these companies have massive advertising campaigns in non-technical media, many many full page ads, which are readily used by non-technically minded decision makers in SME's

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was broke this AM - just checked now and my site DNS is working again

    Looks like it's limping back to life

  16. Disko
    Coat

    11 year olde servers?

    ....l'll get my coat...mine's the one with the Xserve in the inside pocket...

  17. x2uk

    Hacked?

    I think it's worse than that - some of our customers domains seem to have been shifted onto their DNS overnight which may mean something nefarious is afoot...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    one of the worst UK hosts

    Weve been a customer of fasthosts for over a year. fasthosts.co.uk severs for customers are consistantly poor, with a high level of downtime. our site loads very slowly and is usually down for an hour a day with them, every day. None of their advertising is true. complaints are never acted on, and they refuse to invest in better servers. Before they censored their facebook company page, it was evident that hundreds of customers feel they same way. Total rip off. avoid. Can anyone reccomend a reliable UK host with true advertising about uptime?

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