Web-Hosting Troubles? How One Company Found a Solution By Building Their Own When their hosting provider fell flat--and customer files disappeared--Fileblaze decided to go it on their own.
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Week one of launch was great. It was early July and Fileblaze, a San Francisco-based company that provides bulk-file transfer and preview services--think 10,000 songs via e-mail, securely, in seconds--already had a loyal user base of 75,000, including execs at NBC Universal and a few Grammy Award-winning artists.
Week two was a disaster. The managed hosting provider--hired to handle server administration tasks and provide a dedicated server and technical support--experienced a crash, and thousands of user files were affected. Worse, the promised backup procedure wasn't in place. "The files were gone, poof, with no explanation or solution, because the fine, fine print said it wasn't their responsibility to back files up," Fileblaze founder and CEO Chuck Baker says. "We were saving 70 percent every month in [hosting] costs, but it seems to me like they were cutting corners and overselling."
The fix: Baker sent out an alert and apology letter before most people noticed anything, along with instructions about what to do if affected; fortunately, sympathetic users responded with a spike in uploading traffic. With the potential customer service crisis averted, Baker immediately searched for other cloud-hosting providers, including AT&T Synaptic Compute, Amazon EC2 and Verizon's Terremark. In the end, he decided to cut out the middleman.