Customer service - Raising the bar
Posted by Chris Toler on 05 / 01 / 2010
We provide hosting for some of our clients. In setting up our hosting infrastructure, originally, we housed a few PowerEdge servers at a local colocation facility. This has suited us just fine, and the company has been very gracious to us. Having said that, anyone that has ever rented space in one of these facilities knows that it can be somewhat expensive.
In recent months, Cloud technology has become quite the topic of discussion. Why shell out $$$ per month for space at a datacenter when you can simply pay for what you use, spinning up servers as you need them? We've been interested in trying out some of these services for a while now, but wanted to find the right company to do business with.
The environment we wanted to migrate, while not necessarily over-complex, was originally created and configured by a sysadmin who is no longer with us. In addition to this, it was running on a Dell PowerEdge 1750 as a VM image. In order to migrate the necessary applications, we'd either have to reinvest the time it took to originally get things up and running, or find some way to convert the VM to a format that one of these cloud companies could inject as a VPS environment.
We know of a few different companies that provide Cloud hosting/servers, but we wanted to research our options and try to get the most for our money. After a very frustrating day of discussing our situation with several different companies (all of whom immediately shied away at the idea of dealing with a VM environment), we discovered Network Redux, a company based locally in Portland, Oregon. I decided to cross my fingers and give them a call.
While they weren't able to take our VM image and convert it into a usable VPS (not to their fault), they did say that they had an extensive support staff, and would be happy to help us migrate the application(s) to the new environment. The next thing out of my mouth, naturally, was "How much would something like this cost?". Their answer surprised me. Apparently, because of the variation in the client-base (some people pay $50/mo, while others might pay $50,000/mo) they find it a bit frustrating to try to separate the level of support based on the amount of services the client subscribes to. Their solution? Provide everyone with their highest possible level of support. For free. All that was required of us was that we sign up for one of the VPS accounts. Additionally, they told us that if they were unsuccessful in migrating the application, we could cancel our subscription and get a refund.
So, of course, I created an account. I received a call from one of their Support Directors almost immediately, to discuss the particulars of our situation and come up with a plan. I mentioned my few concerns, and we spent close to 30 minutes going through every detail of the upcoming migration. I was then asked for shell access to the server, so that the Support Director (a sysadmin) could take a look on the server to identify everything that needed to be moved.
Just over 24 hours later, our new server is up and running (much faster, too!). This has been a mind-blowing experience for me. I have become so used to poor customer service (and tech support), that I regularly take it for granted. Working with Network Redux has been one of the most enjoyable professional experiences I have ever had, and if you're looking for a company to take care of you, even if you're not a Portland native, you will not be disappointed.
Thank you, Network Redux!