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Low End Providers - Please Keep Your DNS Up!

Due to high number of dead hosts featured on this blog (well, you expect low end providers selling low end boxes, don’t you?), I have set up a notification process that scan through all the providers featured here, and notify me when

  1. Provider’s website’s IP address has changed, or
  2. Provider’s website becomes uncontactable, or
  3. Provider’s website cannot be resolved

Surprisingly, #3 where the provider’s website cannot be resolved from DNS, actually happens pretty frequently! I mean, it’s not that webserver is down, but both DNS for the domain are off-line so not even the IP address can be resolved.

For example,

  • AMHNetwork.com.au not resolvable (9 Nov)
  • CubicHost.org not resolvable (8 Nov, and is still offline)
  • 2Host.com not resolvable (7 Nov)
  • NetSpaceLtd.com not resolvable (7 Nov)
  • ServerDeals.org not resolvable (6 Nov)

Everyday there are providers down for a brief period of time. WTF? I am talking about hosting providers’ domains, i.e. the ones that provide you servers, network and all that. What are they thinking by putting both of their name servers on the same box, when they are supposed to provide redundancy?! When your webserver is down but A/MX records are still resolvable, then I guess there are still hope. When even ns(1|2).yourdomain.com are unresolvable — it’s as good as dead.

Well. Next time when I see a provider putting both NS on the same box I’ll voice it, as it shows their incompetency.

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  1. Dick Coats:

    I have another suggestion. That you go back through your posts and find the companies that are STILL in business and STILL offering great lowendbox deals PLUS have built a good reputation and bring them back to the front page.

    there are some really great companies that you have to go far back through your postings to find that deserve to be more visible.

    Although I LOVE seeing the fresh deals on the frontpage too ;0 so its hard to have both maybe.

    November 9, 2009 @ 3:10 pm | Reply
  2. Very Good Move :D

    November 9, 2009 @ 5:43 pm | Reply
  3. There’s already a matrix of longer-term service providers on the wiki at http://www.lowendbox.com/wiki/list-of-low-end-virtual-server-providers … maybe this site’s admin could integrate an RRDB-sourced graph showing DNS uptime, NS latency and jitter for each listed provider?

    November 9, 2009 @ 7:06 pm | Reply
  4. Robert:

    AMHNetwork is still up and running.
    http://www.amhnetwork.com is their sales site, with order/shoppig cart URLs going to amhnetwork.com.au
    http://www.amhnetwork.com.au redirects straight to their client’s login : https://amhnetwork.com.au/my/clientarea.php

    All plans are still avaialable from their .com domain, except the VDSDX (sold out for more than a month).
    AMHNetwork’s last WHT VPS offer was early September for their VPSSQUAD brand.

    November 9, 2009 @ 7:32 pm | Reply
  5. @Dick — I think “GOOD” is subjective, although we all understand what “CRAP” is in this case, i.e. the providers that have completely dropped dead, sold the business or respawn under a different name. I am trying to go back and mark the ones that are dead. Might do a survey later on so you guys can vote which low end provider is the best.

    @Gregg — Sure, but that would take a bit of time to implement (where I already have a full time job, an online business, wife, kids and this bloody blog). I found doing continuous latency test against their website is not that useful as well. Got a few plans on sampling the hosts but I won’t reveal them here, yet.

    @Robert — yes I know AMHNetwork is up. Just that their DNS does not resolve when my cron job tried to query them at that specific time of the day.

    November 9, 2009 @ 10:53 pm | Reply
  6. Robert:

    Florida – Tampa – Hivelocity Ventures Corp:
    Nameservers of amhnetwork.com : NS1.DNSZONE1.COM NS2.DNSZONE1.COM

    Queensland – Brisbane – Dedicated Servers:
    Nameservers of amhnetwork.com.au : ns1.nszone3.com ns2.nszone3.com

    VPS servers are sold from their US (.com) domain. You mentioned their Aussie (.com.au) domain.
    Both have a different set of name servers.

    November 9, 2009 @ 11:35 pm | Reply
  7. @Robert

    $ host -t ns amhnetwork.com.au
    amhnetwork.com.au name server ns1.nszone3.com.
    amhnetwork.com.au name server ns2.nszone3.com.
    $ host ns1.nszone3.com
    ns1.nszone3.com has address
    $ host ns2.nszone3.com
    ns2.nszone3.com has address

    Note the adjacent IP address of ns(1|2).nszone3.com — showing that they are likely on the same physical server. So when that server is offline, your entire domain disappears. The same applies to ns(1|2).nszone1.com as well — both IP addresses have the same PTR record.

    November 10, 2009 @ 1:08 am | Reply
  8. Robert:

    I see that. But I had the impression that you wanted to check if their sales site is up (like with the others companies).
    What I meant was, that their sales site .com US is up and running, but the .com.au Aussie site not as you confirmed.
    Also, clcking the order buttons (with links to the .com.au Aussie site), sometimes just gives you a “waiting for …” status message at the bottom of the browser window.
    Probably when their Aussie site is down.

    Anyway, it’s a good call.

    November 10, 2009 @ 7:04 am | Reply
  9. @Robert — US or AU domains, it doesn’t matter. Both domains have NS on the same server, so the NS is not redundant, and whenever NS is offline (dead server or connectivity issue), your whole domain is offline. That includes your main web site, your billing site/client area, your email, etc.

    And I did not say that it’s not up right now. In fact when I wrote the blog post their websites, both AU and US, are up. Still, having both NS on the same box just shows how unprofessional the hosting provider is.

    November 10, 2009 @ 11:57 am | Reply
  10. Robert:

    Yes, you are completely right. Now I see it too.
    All 4 of their nameservers are on the same IP number and server.

    November 10, 2009 @ 2:02 pm | Reply
  11. Hasanul:

    Just seeing cubichost.net rather than cubichost.org in WHT VPS offer :D

    November 17, 2009 @ 7:25 am | Reply
  12. Thanks for exposing the absolute incompetence of so many of these fly-by-night “hosts” – nameserver redundancy (or lack thereof) is IMO a very, very good way to judge just how much a host knows or cares about the unglamorous end of networking. All eggs in one basket = incredibly bad idea, and I really wish more people would realize that.

    If only someone would tell these people where to go to find inexpensive places to host a slave nameserver or two, eh? :D

    November 21, 2009 @ 4:13 am | Reply
  13. Heck, even if they have to use OpenDNS. :)

    December 1, 2009 @ 1:36 pm | Reply

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