“Almost 100%”

Those of you who regularly read this blog will probably know that I recently switched hosting providers from Site5 “across the pond” to Afrihost, who are much closer to home. People from as far as the UK and the Isle of Man (as well as many in SA) have asked me to let them know how I get on, because they’re looking for good value and good service hosting packages. Well, this post serves as the first report back.

Sadly, since I made the move, I’ve had no end of problems, mainly around the issue of catchy sounding “508 Resource Limit Is Reached” errors. 6000.co.za had 9101 of them yesterday alone.
Even more sadly, Afrihost, a company who I have my home internet and ADSL line, our business internet and ADSL line and a couple of other domains with – based in no small part on their incredible customer service record – have seriously let me down on the customer service front.

Yesterday, I spoke to a guy who told me that he didn’t call me back a couple of weeks ago as he promised because (and I promise you that this is word for word):

The office gets so busy and things get mixed up

Which is hugely reassuring.

But then this morning, an email from their support desk which suddenly cleared everything up:


I could see from the cPanel that your CPU usage is almost 100%. Please see the screenshot attached.

Here’s the screenshot in question:

and for CPU Usage, you’ll probably want to look at that top graph titled “CPU Usage”.

Look, maybe I’m missing something HUGE here, but there are three lines on that graph. The red one labelled “limit” runs at 100% and I’m presuming that that’s the limit of the CPU Usage I can do. The blue line (that’s “max”) shows the maximum CPU Usage that I did at any one given time during the 24 hour period. The green line – helpfully labelled “average” – presumably shows the “average” amount of CPU Usage over the given period. In that fourth block, it almost gets up to 15%.


So how does that clear anything up?

Well, what I realised is that Afrihost are obviously very committed to customer care and technical support. They believe that they’re giving it “almost 100%”.
Unfortunately, what constitutes “almost 100%” to them could be viewed very differently by anyone capable of reading a graph.
One could extrapolate and suggest that perhaps the maximum levels they ever reach in any given 24 hour period is 75%, and even then only occasionally. Maybe, on average, their levels are right down on that green line, but remember, they still believe that that represents “almost 100%”.

I have no problem when things go wrong. That’s because things do go wrong. It happens. It’s how you put them right that matters. And not returning calls or emails, overlooking obvious problems and misinterpreting graphs isn’t a good way of putting anything right. It’s now been almost 3 hours since I replied to the email mentioned above – described by Afrihost as “High Priority”. I’ve heard nothing.

Meanwhile, there have been another 6698 “508 Resource Limit Is Reached” errors on 6000 miles… in the last 24 hours.

So would I recommend Afrihost to people as a decent hosting option for their websites or blogs?

What do you think?

4 thoughts on ““Almost 100%”

  1. TL;DR – They screwed the pooch. They must fix.

    HTTP 508 is an unused error code, which means that either there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that their web server(s) are configured, or they have (mis)configured the error code to serve when resources have been exceeded. CPU quota may have been fitted to 508, although in properly set up environments 508 should point more towards a WebDAV space allocation being exceeded. This leaves us with a little bit of a problem. If their error codes are reporting things that are not true, then we must wonder which other HTTP codes they have screwed up and whose socks their sysadmin is smoking.

    Sorry for the really long, probably terribly boring comment.

  2. Howzit!

    With as many visitors as your get, your rather large blog, and the amount of media, I would recommend a VPS for you. You can then install WordPress easily. This is probably the better route to go. You will see the difference immediately.

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