Blog Disaster: Choopa-Vultr (Network Panda) Server Outage

hindenburg-disaster-1

I decided to turn off the WiFi router and stay offline for almost the whole week. With that move, I am able to read and finish lots of chapters of my review books. I feel like the week is so good to me that I am in pace and understand a lot compared to the previous days. Since I am absent in social media and as  well as here in my blog, I am not able to monitor things 24/7.

Update on this article:

Oct 2 This blog is no longer hosted by Network Panda due to numerous problems that arise a month after the transfer. More details about it here: Network Panda Web Hosting Review.

Network Panda Server Outage

The unfortunate discovery happened last Friday. I found out that my blog was down for more than 34 hours already! WTF. Is this for real? Three different uptime monitoring service reported that my site is down. Cloudflare returns an Error 521 (Web server is down).  I immediately login to my hosting provider’s member panel to find out what’s wrong. Right after logging in, an announcement in red font color welcomed me in cold. Numerous servers were taken down by one of the upstream provider of my host due to violation of terms of service. This act is due only to one single website that uploaded an illegal content. Network Panda (my current host) is renting servers from Choopa/Vultr to provide hosting services in some locations. Sadly, the location where my blog resides is included on the suspended servers. Netherlands (my blog’s location) together with NewYork 3, United Kingdom and Germany servers are the ones affected. This is really a huge disaster after knowing that the backup resides on Choopa’s network too. I’ve been with Network Panda for almost 3 months now and this is the only major downtime ever since.

Network Panda is losing hope on reactivating the said servers or at least recovering the backup of thousands of sites they serve. Choopa does not respond on messages sent to them. With that, Network Panda is encouraging their clients to provide a copy of backup that they have for their websites to get restored. Sadly, I do not have a latest full backup of my site. The only copy I have is the one generated last June. And it is corrupted. Great. But still, I am lucky that I downloaded a .xml file of my blog before being offline. Yes! At least I have this copy of manuscript of my articles.

Restoration

After sending a ticket, Network Panda immediately transferred my account to a new server in France. They also added a 1 year free extension of hosting service in my account as a compensation for the disaster that just happened (This compensation looks good but i want my site better.) Since I do not have a full backup of my site, I installed a fresh WordPress copy and start from scratch. I manually uploaded everything and updated all the articles. This is so tiring and time-consuming. A price of not having a backup.

Today is the third day of outage but Choopa still refuses to provide the backups of network panda’s servers. Network Panda had this feeling that the servers were already formatted and recycled. I think this is not a good way how Choopa is treating their clients, whatever the case is. With the fact that right after discovering an illegal (gambling related) content in one of the servers, they immediately taken down all the servers without giving Network Panda the time to fix or delete files on the affected server. Network Panda said that the service was shut down only after two minutes of Choopa’s notification. My host did not mention any history of notices or anything dealing with Choopa/Vultr that maybe the reason that led to the termination. After all, I still believe that a customer has the right to secure files before the closure of the account.

What I Learned

I guess I learned the hard way. It is still best to secure a backup locally. And for Network Panda, they should also learn from this big disaster – it is to place the backups on a provider different from the main network and regularly check client’s accounts for content/s that may violate terms of service.  Right now, the server I am with is provided by OVH and it seems like it is as fast as Choopa/Vultr. I am more positive that the incident won’t happen again since OVH is a well-known and praised hosting provider. Network Panda also promised to improve their backup/restoration plan.

Info: Choopa/Vultr is a service offered under Choopa LLC.

Oct 2 The chance I had given to Network Panda ended today and I finally decided to leave the service.

About the Featured Image

Since I consider this unwanted event as a big disaster, I remembered the disaster happened to the airship Hindenburg in the 1930’s. Hindenburg is full of Hydrogen gas which provides lift for the aircraft. It is a way of transportation before but Hydrogen was never used again for this purpose after the disaster. Hydrogen is a flammable gas and that makes Hindenburg to catch fire with passengers and crews still on board. Hindenburg crashes  and burst into fire quickly as Hydrogen is burned out. Helium, a non-flammable gas replaced the use of Hydrogen when something is needed to be “lift in air or float” just like those balloons in a children’s party.


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