Navisite – How to Destroy a Company in One Week

For those of you who haven’t heard, Navisite bought Albanza, one of the largest web hosts in the country, in August. They announced in October they would move the majority of their servers to a new hosting facility in Andover, Ma, from the existing Albanza location in Baltimore. After several emails outlining their plans, and several delays, they started the move last Friday, with a stated goal of being 100% complete by Sunday.

From Eweek:

The next step will be to figure out how to mitigate customer dissatisfaction, particularly for those that have been out of business for days.

On social networking sites such as Digg.com, customers have been lamenting the NaviSite outage that brought down an estimated 165,000 Web sites as the result of a botched data center migration. A number of customers are calling for lawsuits, some claiming their business has been ruined in days of a continuous outage.

“I am one of the many business[es] whose Web site and email are still down because of NaviSite’s incompetence,” wrote Joseph Sherman, on Digg. “Millions of dollars are being lost by many different companies because of NaviSite. There should be a class action lawsuit or some legal action taken to compensate those companies for the loss of revenue.”

“My site is still down,” wrote another Digg poster. “When will the compensation be paid?”

Rathin Sinha, NaviSite’s chief marketing officer, said the company has legal council prepared to answer any questions of liability.

Apparently they should have told us *which* Sunday they meant. It’s telling that while they’re talking about compensation, they’ve also “lawyered up” as they say. Hint: if you want to rescue your business, you should be thinking marketing and incentives, not lawyers and litigation.

I have about 15 sites that are hosted there. Most started to come back up on Tuesday. Since then, they’ve been up and down, all around like a ping pong ball. However, my largest site, Reel-Time.com, has been down now for almost a week. And all support requests are met with “We’re looking into it now.”

The truth is that while my hosting co, One World Hosting, may tell me their looking into things, they’re not getting any information from Navisite. In fact, while I kept in contact with my customers during the outage, explaining to them what was going on, information coming from Navisite was virtually non-existent, and apparently completely dried up on Tuesday, when they literally turned their phone system off to avoid the deluge of screaming customers.

At this point, I am just looking forward to getting back onto the server to get a final good back up, prior to relocating to a server over at 1and1.com. It’s too bad. I really like One World, but I can’t in good conscience remain with them while they’re at the mercy of Navisite. And I’m not the only one.

10 Replies to “Navisite – How to Destroy a Company in One Week”

  1. Well, this says it all doesn’t it?
    “Rathin Sinha, NaviSite’s chief marketing officer, said the company has legal council prepared to answer any questions of liability.”

    Just when I think I can’t be amazed any more – yet another example of mind-boggling, pig stupid “marketing.”

  2. Mark – As a NaviSite alumna, I’m still trying to process my thoughts on this one.(I’m actually quite shocked. Back in the day, Navi was fairly process-centric with respect to operations.) As a marketer, I’m appalled that they’re “lawyering up” rather than falling all over themselves to try to make things good for their customers – especially when said customers didn’t ask to be NaviSite customers to begin with.

  3. It’s now a week, with a brief up period on Wednesday.

    I will begin moving customers off Navisite immediately. Their (lack of) response is unconscionable.

    This site will be moved over the weekend to my secondary server at 1and1 – which has a new name “primary”.

  4. As a hosting provider that used the Alabanza/NaviSite network, let me say none of us had any way to know this was going to happen. In fact during conference call with NaviSite about a month prior to this migration, we warned them that the Alabanza network was going to have some unique problems they needed to overcome. We also expressed to NaviSite how important our business was/were and made sure to stress that excessive downtimes were unacceptable. What we did not know was that NaviSite had fired almost all of the original Alabanza support staff, I believe they kept 1.

    Believe it or not the original downtime was only between 6 – 10 hours. It then got pushed and pushed and pushed.

    We were one of the lucky ones. My companies servers were back online by Monday morning. Although they did go up and down over the next several days. But the outage for many continued in to Tuesday and Wednesday. There is at least one host that I know of which didn’t get their servers till late Thursday.

    The ironic part is that Alabanza was one, if not the best, when most of us host choose them to be our network and server providers. There is just no way we could really have seen this coming.

    I’d like to ask you and others in similar situation to think twice about your decision to leave your host.

    There are several things that you might want to consider. For the most part I am of the opinion that we do not compete against companies like 1and1. I believe with hosting you get what you pay for. 1and1 stacks over 2000 domains on a box, and they are very difficult to get support from, a belief I base on my experience trying to migrate customers from 1and1.

    We know our customers personally, and we are there to support our customers.

    Now I certainly understand the desire to get off of NaviSite’s network. Many host, including our company, feel the same way. We have all ready acquired servers from another network and are in the process of slowly migrating customers off. Of course we will be moving customers the right way with no downtime and in small stages so we can control any issues that might come up.

    Many, most certainly the majority, of the NaviSite hosts have lost large number of clients because of this major outage. These are small business owners that have worked hard for many years to build their business and establish their customers loyalty. For many, NaviSite destroyed them in a week.

    Anything we, or at least I can do to help these business, I want to do. This wasn’t negligence on the part of the host, this was a reliable vendor gone bad.

    One more thing about the Alabanza host to consider, We have all gotten a great education that you just can’t get any where else. There are many different type of host, and the Alabanza host providers were on the top of that tier. Now their is a new level, hosting providers that are able and prepared to handle the complete loss of a vendor.

    I have very specific plans in place so that we will never face this problem again. We are in the process of implementing them and should have them fully in place at the end of the year. I don’t want to give specific details here as it is more off subject, and might be more elaborate then some of the other Alabanza hosts. It is not my desire to compete against those host here, but more to stand with them. I’m sure other host have similar plans.

    It is my advice that you contact One World and request that they get you off the NaviSite network. You stated you liked them, and that is for good reason. Continue your relationship with them. Also ask them what is being done to avoid this problem in the future.

    If there is anything I can do to help anyone impacted by this feel free to contact me. Number is on my website.

    Joel Blodgett
    BlodgetTech

  5. I have had 7 out of 9 days without email and a site, and counting, into 2pm on Sunday 11/11… I’m a reseller, albeit very small, with only about 55 customers. But this has completely messed up my business…

    Thank God, most of my clients are completely understanding about this, once I’ve explained the scenario.. The frustrating thing to me about this has not been the outage itself… I understand that sometimes massive failures take place in the IT Industry. but NaviSite’s complete lack of useful communication with their customers has been unreal. They posted a letter from their CEO on their site, but this doesn’t help me in the slightest. I could care less about what some suit tells me…

    Their customer service agents are completely unhelpful and ignorant about any information that could be useful to me… just terrible.

  6. I have one of the small websites that was taken off the air from Friday night until late in the day Monday. Then my site was down again Tuesday.

    I won’t complain about business disruption. In fact, I won’t complain here at all. But I will vote with my money by moving my website someplace stable. My move is complete except for the update to the name servers. That should be done by tomorrow morning.

    Fusion

  7. We had over 150 websites dedicated to eCommerce and currently are at a $100,000 loss for the month…We are moving everything to anywhere but Navisite…Everything above that people stated is bad is worse than bad, I would never continue my business with a company that had such bad planning and such a poor backup plan and bad communication after they SCREWED everything up…I am definately for a lawsuit either personally or a class action suit. They tried to save themselves money with the move only it all became at our expense. You may want to try SEOHosting.com for what appears to be a good hosting company and with great support.

    Lord Henry

  8. As a businessman you would always want to be in charge of everything happening around you and for those things out of your control, then be able to get compensation.

    But where do you go from here? have you a legal right/
    Do they garuarantee a 99% up time or say they have previously experienced a 99% time.

    I would be very frustrated.
    Good luck

  9. And the latest on Navisite, in case you have not heard..Navisite is laying off again – both in the US and in the UK, all in the name of cost cutting..the weird thing is that the most cost intensive / ‘non-revenue generating’ execs and board members get to stay (ah well, but is that not the case everywhere!). Not sure how stable the company is and how long it will be before they declare bankrupcy again!

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