HOSTING MATTERS REDUX

Since I’ve blogged on their flaws, I should mention a couple nice things about HostingMatters. They’ve just issued a token credit to the accounts of all its clients as compensation for their recent outages. It’s a nice gesture, since the DoS attacks presumably cost them quite a bit of money in overtime pay to its tech support folks. They also rather quietly increased the bandwidth and disk space allocations for all pricing plans at the beginning of October without raising prices. (Indeed, I only knew about it because I e-mailed in late September asking about a custom package to buy more of those without paying for more e-mail accounts and other things I didn’t need and was told to wait until the 1st because they were upping the allocations.)

My concerns of last night remain justified, however, however unfair they are to HostingMatters. All the tech types I’ve talked to or that have posted comments say HM has done everything they could reasonably do and I have no reason to think otherwise. But their large size has, unfortunately, made them a target. Whatever sick joy computer terrorists get in launching these attacks would presumably be rather diminished if they were only taking out a few tiny sites. Taking down InstaPundit–or, even worse, forcing upon him the indignity of skulking off to BlogSpot for temporary refuge–has to be more fun.

My concern here is about overcentralization, not poor service. I have no immediate plans to leave HM to seek out another service, even though there are certainly cheaper places to host. I’m hoping a technical solution to minimize the recurrence of this problem can be found. But the DoS attacks and the mention of their name along with them almost have to be hurting them in getting new enrollees. If they continue to be the main target of these attacks, my guess is existing clients will migrate. To some extent, that’s a matter of “the terrorists winning” or “punishing the victim.” But I’m not planning a vacation for Jerusalem anytime, either.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Jay Solo says:

    I noticed the increase in disk space when I was looking at Control Panel on HM one day and saw it was 150, no longer 125. I didn’t notice a bandwidth increase, but if there was one, that’s awesome.

    I am torn. I like them and I know they dealt well with things that can’t be helped, and are a target because they will host people who may not be popular. And because they are big.

    On the other hand, being down for 6 hours, and more like 12 as far as sending e-mail went, from both personal and business accounts, was really a wakeup call.

    I do think I am going to setup a backup blog, and I like Laughing Wolf’s idea of creating a list of same. I may use my original blog, or may create a backup for the purpose; haven’t decided.

  2. Tirebiter says:

    Criticizing HM is a bit of piling on.

    Keep this in mind: the primary reason they are being attacked is because they host anti-terrorist blogs. The most logical option for HM at this point to eliminate the risk of future attacks would be to discontinue service to the sites that attract the negative attention. That would include OTB.

    So, be careful what you wish for. HM could solve the problem and OTB would be out looking for another host.

    I’d say HM customers should be praising them for their continued hosting and support.

  3. James Joyner says:

    TB,

    Hosting political weblogs is presumably a big chunk of their business. Hosting and support is, well, what they do. But the point of my posts on this isn’t to criticize HM; I acknowledge that they’re victims in all this. But their size makes them a target. If blogs were more diffused, they’d be harder to hit.

  4. Paul says:

    Guys you are missing the point.

    A SINGLE website was targeted.

  5. Annette says:

    “Hosting political weblogs is presumably a big chunk of their business.”

    This is incorrect.

  6. More Hosting Matters
    James Joyner discusses the outages and the attacks that caused them. Steven Taylor also discusses the attacks. Update: Glenn Reynolds shows what the attack did to his traffic. James Joyner has some further comments on the whole matter….