A data center migration has gone completely off the rails at ValueWeb, which was recently acquired by Hostway. It appears several thousand servers were to be moved from Miami to Tampa Bay this past Friday, and was to only take less than 15 hours. Instead, many sites were knocked off-line right up to Sunday afternoon. Server migration is not an easy task, and I feel for both the vendor and customers. We’ve been through a couple of migrations ourselves in the last year and a bit and they’re not easy to say the least. What I’ve always been impressed with is the active voice we maintain in our forums to give customers frequent updates on the migration status. We received extremely positive feedback from them as a result. And it’s not just our customer service people posting to it. Our executive team gets involved too. Our VP of ServerBeach, Robert Miggins frequently participates in the forums. I think it helps to put customer anxiety at ease when their provider is being transparent and engaged. Silence usually leads to fear, so its always better to just be honest and communicate. If they like you overall, customers will forgive you.
The lack of communication during the extensive outage seems to have pissed off a lot of customers. Not delivering updated statuses by email, phone or forums will usually do that when downtime is dollars out the window for many online businesses. And as I write this, I’ve just gotten word from the ServerBeach team that they will give 10% OFF ANY SERVER WITH NO SETUP FEE to anyone caught up in the outage. Not bad.