[GLLUG] 1/ Hosting provider

DL Neil gllug at getaroundtoit.co.uk
Sat Sep 29 22:22:55 UTC 2012

Am seeking recommendations from satisfied users of a competent hosting 
provider based in the UK, or at least EUR.

When I left the UK, most clients decided (at my recommendation) to 
move-over to services offered by consultants and support staff I 
recommended to them. Only three (UK) clients retain my services (it's a 
consulting, trust/relationship thing) which translates to eight domains 
and aliases. These include my own which I could move off-shore or keep 
in the bundle if that makes it more economic.

- either 3 or 8 domains, with 3 or 4 further names as domain aliases
- monthly (combined) traffic during first half of year: 50~512MB
(ballooning since, up to 2GB this month courtesy of spam flood - see below)
- disk usage less than 1GB (again, ballooned at present due to spam 
sitting in spam and trash-cans
- multiple email accounts per domain, plus 'catch-all'
- current web sites are simple, RDBMS and PHP required, Python preferred
- Plesk control panel preferred/my experience
- Control panel must give control of DNS, web sites, email accounts, 
SpamAssassin, etc. Sub-billing is not an issue.
- if not SSH, then secure FTP up-loads
- secure protocols for email
- Registry services preferred (one-stop shop)
- (my) payment options: by Visa card and Internet banking transfer

Sad and sorry story (don't read further if you value your peace-of-mind)

I've has a multi-domain 'reseller' account with JAB (once based in 
Cardiff) for around ten years. A small boutique operation, they offered 
hosting on the side of their web-dev and other business. It was run by a 
couple of young-ish but technically-competent guys. We met-up at one of 
the Linux Shows at Olympia, and things flowed two-ways from there.

When they were bought-out, (you guessed it) things went rapidly 
down-hill. JAB is now "a Sincordia company", also known as Knightmaster 
Enterprises. I see other names bandied-about, amongst them PMH Internet 
and Hostzone - most of which bring to mind that aphorism about touching 
and barge-poles...

I'd describe myself as "disgusted" but I think I passed that level a 
while back. I suspect that the new masters have (or certainly had) zero 
skills in the Plesk Control Panel, as I have frequently had cause to 
give THEM lessons. More recently all customers fell foul of a Plesk bug 
caused by their (a) not updating changes, and/or (b) not reading the 
Parallel's recommendations such as "change all admin passwords NOW" 
(months before the incident).

So they 'allowed' a cracker to not only insert malware, but to grab all 
of our domain details and since then entertain us with floods of spam to 
or purportedly sent from manufactured addresses at our domains 
(including those without email services!!!???). Once again, it was 
clients doing the 'noticing' and them having the bare-faced cheek (and 
stupidity) to actually accuse me of 'doing something' to MY 
clients!!!??? (I laughed like a drain when a client put them right on 
that one. So gratifying!)

Needless to say, these guys are a thoroughly "service-oriented company" 
and think it quite reasonable to be down for days without comment (leave 
aside any thought of apology). So I need to jump-ship.

(and if you work for or otherwise have cause to love these guys, you 
have my email address and are welcome to talk to me about it - the 
management have steadfastly refused my requests to do so, thus far...)


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