When I don't have the proper home internet service to run my own public servers I get an unmanaged Virtual Private Server (VPS). I've spent quite a few years running everything off of a VPS because I've been moving from home to home. I am settled now, have the home internet service and servers ready and am about to cancel my VPS, but I wanted to thank JaguarPC (Twitter, email) for their proactive service and their equal interest in keeping existing customers and getting new customers. (JaguarPC also offers managed VPSes and other hosting products.)
I've had bad experiences with other hosting providers, both mine and for my clients. With other hosts I've often had host-related problems while their reporting services claim that their services are up and their support line doesn't answer, later to find out they've had major problems. At least in the age of Twitter it's easy to find other clients of the same host and verify the problem is with the hosting company and not with my or my client's server.
But when I decided to leave my previous ill-behaved host who had my VPS down for 5 days and couldn't tell me if or when it would be back up—thankfully I keep my own backups—I looked for a VPS hosting provider that had been around for many years, appeared to care about existing customers and offered a good value. I picked JaguarPC partially because of some recommendations and partially because they had a special running where I could get my umanaged VPS with 390 MB of RAM for the price of 256 MB.
Well, the special never ended like I thought it might. In fact, three years later they—on their own initiative—upgraded me to a new plan that had over three times more storage, three times the RAM (four times the RAM of the base plan I had) and ten times the monthly bandwidth at a lower plan cost. They explained in the email that they want to thank and retain their existing customers. The actual upgrade itself caused no issues, outages or reboots on my VPS. (This is possible due to the VPS solution they are using.)
I have not known of any outages or slow server issues since I've been with them. I haven't had to contact them once since I opened the account. However, they proactively notified me of a DDoS issue that they were experiencing and thought might affect me, and they kept an updated status report available. I checked my server and didn't seem to be affected, but it was very refreshing to hear from the hosting provider and having regular updates. That is vastly superior to any other host I've dealt with.
I semi-publicly shared the adventure with some online friends. I posted the following on May 10, 2008 about my leaving my previous host and starting with JaguarPC:
When I suggested he [the VPS reseller] set up a new VPS for me he liked the idea at first but then asked if I wanted to go direct with the company that hosted my old server. That's the second time he's tried to pawn me off onto another company, and I suddenly recalled I had been concerned about performance issues, anyway, and now he suggests I go with the company who apparently lost a host server and can't seem to get it back up? Nope, time to go with someone totally new. JaguarPC apparently has been doing this 10 years, so hopefully after 3 years they'll still want my business. Plus they were having a sale that's supposed to give me more RAM at the same price which should help with the concurrent requests I've talked about before.
I haven't closed the old account yet. I don't really expect for them to bring my VPS back up as it was, but I'd like to see how my backups restore before I totally give up on it. So far I think I'm missing a few emails, a static website I forgot to back up (no biggie) and perhaps some config info that might be handy to look at but isn't critical.
I posted the following on January 19, 2011:
Well, so far I'm pleased with JaguarPC. There have been no major issues for me overall, and they emailed me an outage notice yesterday and linked to a support thread that was keeping running updates on a DDoS attack that was affecting several of their servers and networks. And as far as I can tell my server didn't even go down, but I got the updates anyway.
It's so nice to find out about a problem from the hosting company and be offered a place to find updates before I even know there is a problem.
The last two major host company problems I've had (with other host companies) usually involved no public mention of the issue for at least an hour or two after a major outage, and support lines and support system jammed and giving no information or false positive information. Here they have proactively notified me, so if I start having problems I know what's probably going on and know where to look for updates rather than waste hours trying to troubleshoot something I have no control over.
I posted the following on February 4, 2011:
Wow! JaguarPC just auto-upgraded me to a new plan that is cheaper and has 3-10 times the specs the old plan has! I'll post a redacted form of the email later when I'm not on my Droid. The jist is they want to treat existing customers as well as new ones.
Hoo boy, now I can increase the concurrency here and give some more cache RAM to the database.
So yeah, apparently JaguarPC does still want my business after nearly 3 years.
This is the (redacted) email they sent me about the February 2011 upgrade:
We are very pleased to inform you of an immediate upgrade of your VPS package. This free automatic update is to express gratitude to our loyal customers like yourself. We are upgrading all our VPS plans in next several weeks and today your VPS was upgraded on the new plan.
No action is required on your end. There is no other change to your hosting, domains, or IP.
"It is common in the web hosting industry to promote plans to attract new customers, but we really wanted to do something that was a way of saying thank you to our existing customers,” says Greg Landis , CEO of JaguarPC. “We could not imagine a better way to do that to give more for less. Our philosophy has always been to treat our customers with utmost respect regardless of their size, and we hope to maintain our strong customer loyalty with this movement."
The upgrade details are as follows:
[server account name]
Your old VPS plan name: VPS - Freedom Plan
Your old VPS plan cost: $[...] + addons
Your old VPS plan specs: 15GB Disk, 256MB RAM, 300GB Bandwidth + addons
Your new VPS plan name: Linux VPS Pro
Your new VPS plan cost: $[...] + addons
Your new VPS plan specs: 50GB Disk, 1024MB RAM, 3000GB Bandwidth + addons
[VPS management products info]
We just turned 12 years old in last October and getting stronger in 13th year of business! This is a tribute to the loyalty of our clients and reflects our business concepts of good value, integrity, and honesty. It wouldn't be possible without the ongoing trust and business from clients such as yourself. Thank you all again for your business and referrals. We wish you all the very best.