Recently, Media Temple asked me for my opinion of its service. The survey allowed me to explain my dissatisfaction in 400 words or less. Here is my response, along with a little extra detail for those who need some background.
Ever since the great failure of November 2009(*), the GS [Media Temple's Grid Service] has been unstable and unreliable enough to not put critical sites on it. The lack of communication from MT staff, the lack of knowledge, and long wait times for help have caused me to move critical services to Rackspace Cloud and Linode. I plan to close my MT account in the near future.
In thinking through and talking with other MT customers, my overall sense is the GS was a great idea, but implemented in a way that was incorrect. My strong belief is that the GS architecture is fundamentally flawed.
I wish this weren’t the case. Before November 2009 and the ensuing outages over the following 9 months or so, I liked MT and had no problem recommending it. If senior management had been more forthcoming about the cause of the problem, I would have been much more forgiving. Instead, the message that was broadcast over and over was that MT would not supply information about the cause, nor the extent, of the failure because it was investigating illicit activities.
MT’s desire to catch the ne’er-do-wells created a blindside in its desire to provide good service. Even if the cause was that a really bad guy cracked the system, the system was missing basic security features. Passwords were stored in clear text in a way that someone could get to it. Instead of owning up to mistakes, decisions were made by MT management to stay mum and point the finger at a nefarious hack. This ultimately made me question whether MT has the capability to run a complex system in a secure fashion.
I get that bad stuff happens. I fully understand that mistakes happen, as I make mistakes all the time. Unfortunately, MT made a mistake and passed the buck, pointed its finger, and did not provide important information to its customers.
As I’ve never really tried MT’s other solutions, I don’t know if MT is are able to provide reliable service on its other platforms. I have chosen not to try its other solutions because I simply question the ability of the senior management to run a company that deals fairly with its customers.
(*)Around Thanksgiving of 2009, thousands of websites on Media Temple’s Grid Service were hacked. My understanding is that Media Temple stored all users’ administrative passwords in clear text in a way that hackers were able to access the file. The ultimate use of the passwords was to change users’ sites.