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  Reply # 162875 7-Sep-2008 17:29
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Niel: To summarise what people have been asking over the last couple of days, they need to spend lots more money on extra redundancy while providing more free services (like free national traffic) and get the billing perfect and buy more international bandwidth and give us lots faster ADSL.

But the up-time is sufficient, they do the best they can for quality service, and they produce innovative solutions.  It's like complaining that the fire department took too long to give the all clear to re-enter the building and the electricians should have pre-empted the failure and been outside the door ready to fix the fault.

I'm not ranting about anyone specific, simply want to point out that it was a very fast repair given that it happened on the first sunny weekend in a long time, on a Sunday just after lunch, and it was father's day.  They did very well.


Agreed. Nice work Xnet et al.

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  Reply # 162876 7-Sep-2008 17:29
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BlakJak:
CRKD:
phindmarsh: I think it is important to remember, this was a phase blowing on a UPS, this could have happened to any ISP. The fact their services went offline was out of their control, and we all know, stuff wont work without power!


Well then bring it back under control, install secondary UPS's on critical equipment, fire suppression, redundant geographically isolated faculties. (Perhaps buy better industrial UPS's in the future).



I had to bite off my retort as it might get me moderated.

UPS's die. Even the best ones do.
And even core equipment can be of a type that doesn't support dual power, meaning if the UPS dies, things are going to lose power.

What i've heard is that this failure was fairly catestrophic and involved a fire brigade response. 
Services were down for a coupla hours?

Whilst there are definatley lessons to be learnt - and im not convinced a simple DR plan wouldntve at least helped tell customers what was going on during the event - treating them like they've done nothing to help in the case of a power failure is a bit on the nasty side, IMHO.  Likely that we don't even hear about the minor problems as our services are not impacted.

I'm sure WxC will be looking at their Disaster Recovery and Contingency plans now though, to see what can be improved.

If you really think so little of them, I hope you don't use their services.

Thank you. Thats exactly what I had on my mind, but in a much less moderated tone. Tongue out

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  Reply # 162883 7-Sep-2008 17:41
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If you really think so little of them, I hope you don't use their services.


Originally I thought they had a great service, the price was good, the quality was good, everyone was happy.

Then the service slipped, (due to overuse), and they fixed it by adding extra bandwidth, so all was well.
Then the wheels fell off three times in as many weeks.

Several of my associates are using VOIP services from other providers; however they don’t work when the DSL is down. After the first outage many of my associates came to me very annoyed that their phones / internet had gone down during business hours, and as a result I started re-evaluating the providers I recommend.

This Sunday's outage directly affected me; I spent Saturday at the beach, and was going to spend Sunday afternoon catching up on admin work, email and other web stuff.

As a result of their outage I couldn’t, (in-fact I had to spend my time diverting phones and exchange email services), and this rather annoyed me.

This also confirmed my decision to search for alternative providers of "wholesale" TCNZ DSL.


I would also like to add my favourite quote, “How is that my problem”. (Well in a way it is my problem because I chose WXC).


Plx

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  Reply # 162885 7-Sep-2008 17:45
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There WAS life before the internet - if it's down for a while, big deal, go for a walk in the sun, read a book - geez, it's not gonna kill ya. (now, where's that emoticon for rollin my eyes...)

Any ways, well put Neil, thanks

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  Reply # 162887 7-Sep-2008 17:49
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phindmarsh:
Thank you. Thats exactly what I had on my mind, but in a much less moderated tone. Tongue out


Perhaps you were just frustrated with the performance of OS X running on only 2GB of RAM :P

Mine runs much quicker with 4 :D

(It's also handy having a Vodem, T3G and iPhone in times like these).


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  Reply # 162888 7-Sep-2008 17:50
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Plx: There WAS life before the internet - if it's down for a while, big deal, go for a walk in the sun, read a book - geez, it's not gonna kill ya. (now, where's that emoticon for rollin my eyes...)

Any ways, well put Neil, thanks


Yes but when commercial users are affected the story changes a little. eg If you were trying to contact a company and their phone seemed to just ring and ring and ring then your perception of that company is degraded.


NOTE TO ALL: There have been a lot of CONSTRUCTIVE posts on this topic, let's all keep this thread this way rather than turn it into a troll, flame or other 'fest :-)

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  Reply # 162891 7-Sep-2008 18:04
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scottjpalmer:
Yes but when commercial users are affected the story changes a little. eg If you were trying to contact a company and their phone seemed to just ring and ring and ring then your perception of that company is degraded.

NOTE TO ALL: There have been a lot of CONSTRUCTIVE posts on this topic, let's all keep this thread this way rather than turn it into a troll, flame or other 'fest :-)


What really gets me is their self-righteous “we know best" attitude they have about provisioning services like VFX / DVX, in particular telling the customer that they won’t provision XYZ over an ZVC connection because they might have a bad experience that reflects poorly on WXC.

Well no phones / internet / redundancy / service, reflect very poorly on WXC, which has a flow on effect to the customers business, and their customer’s impression of them. 

(In the end I'm glad they wouldn’t provision services, as it forced the customers in question to find alternative providers for VOIP, (2talk), who have had none of these severe service outages).


Plx

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  Reply # 162896 7-Sep-2008 18:24
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scottjpalmer:
Plx: There WAS life before the internet - if it's down for a while, big deal, go for a walk in the sun, read a book - geez, it's not gonna kill ya. (now, where's that emoticon for rollin my eyes...)



Yes but when commercial users are affected the story changes a little. eg If you were trying to contact a company and their phone seemed to just ring and ring and ring then your perception of that company is degraded.


As a user of Fusion/VFX, I wouldn't recommend it for commerciual users anyway - don't they just get a disconnected tone or something - and it is Sunday afternoon, anyway...


scottjpalmer:


NOTE TO ALL: There have been a lot of CONSTRUCTIVE posts on this topic, let's all keep this thread this way rather than turn it into a troll, flame or other 'fest :-)


Sorry. Something just pushes my button when the internet goes down and some react as if a limb's been removed. It's unfortunate, hardware fails it's a just a fact of life. A voice message saying there was an outage would have been nice, but when my DSL is up but PPP down, and friend can't reach www.xnet .co.nz and the 0800 is overloaded - then there is plainly an outage and it'll be back back soon.

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  Reply # 162904 7-Sep-2008 18:47
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I'm not defending WxC but merely saying that maybe people need to chill out a little. Failures happen. Sometimes big failures happen.

Lets look at some recent issues

* Several major NEAX meltdowns that took days to restore

* Several entire outages on the CityLink network. Not to mention the 12 hour outage last October.

* Major loss of TCL services due to cut fibre.

* Major loss of Telecom services due to cut fibre.

* Hiccups at Mayoral Drive

We expect devices to work 24/7 and never fail. Unfortunately sometimes they do.

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Reply # 162910 7-Sep-2008 19:47
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CRKD: At the end of the day, they have now had two major outages in less than a month and a "minor" outage when VFX broke due to an un-tested software upgrade.

As a result I / my friends and customers have experienced several hours of downtime during business hours and during a high usage period over the weekend on more than one occasion.

WXC may (or may not), get their act together; however these outages have highlighted how vulnerable their voice and data services are. What's happened has happened, what I can say is I won’t be sticking round for the next big outage, and neither will my associates, best of luck in the future WXC, I hope you all learn something from this.

 



I remember of at least two different events that caused major interruptions on Telecom's network in the last few months - including an exchange which had no reliable backup for the last five years. I remember at least one major event on Vodafone's network when New Zealanders roaming in Australia could not connect to the network. Having worked for Unisys as a member of the team providing the VSP services to Telecom I remember many other events which I can't even talk about.

This is not the first time a telco has a problem. And not the last time either.




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  Reply # 162914 7-Sep-2008 19:58
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Good call frietasm.
Whilst I can't say they h andled this perfectly, i'm not going to ditch them on it, in the full knowledge that there's been plenty of other glitches with the alternative players.

I am watching WxC, though, as my own personal experiences with them have been less than stellar lately.  But outages happen.





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  Reply # 162915 7-Sep-2008 19:59
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Oh by the way they now have it on their website

http://www.xnet.co.nz/cgi-bin/status.cgi?id=396




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  Reply # 162959 7-Sep-2008 23:22
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IMHO I think it is valid to try and get answers as to what exactly happened. From all the information I have read I am still not 100% sure if this a problem that happened at a WXC Site or a problem that happened offsite - WXC calling it "Auckland Exchange" implies that it was offsite, as the language that is constantly being used in the media for Exchanges relates to the telecom Exchanges, and AFAIK, WXC doesn;t acutally have any of its own exchanges.

The main question is what are they going to do to ensure it doesn't happen again, yes i;m sure they will look into it, but surely their customers are entitled to find out the answers in order to make an informed choice as to whether or not to continue using them as a service provider.

As someone that often works via VPN at night it IS an issue when the network goes down in the middle of the night and there is noone to contact to find out what the situation is.

This is not not intended as a flame post, but more as a reality check for the people that seem to be saying that "there're doing their best, lay off". This discussion forum is designed to answer questions such as these.

Also, a lot of the people on this forum would (IMHO) have more than a layman's knowledge of techincal skills. Not having the internet, means one can't find out that the website is down, and the only communication to WXC is via phones, which just kept ringing. On the dynalink router it says "ready to connect" when the home network is fine, but is unable to connect to the net - in the last 6 weeks this situation would of come up at least 3 times (all out of calling hours) so it was impossible to know that this was something different.

As a final note, people have also been talking about other outages: the reality is in some of those cases at least, compenstation WAS given... due to the fault being the service provider's fault.

Again lets not shut down questions just because WXC people would of had a crap day (As i'm sure they have, and yes, working in IT I feel for them) - but keep in mind that they don't need to answer the questions now, but IMHO Answers should be forthcoming at some point.


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  Reply # 163854 11-Sep-2008 20:43
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hamistheman:The main question is what are they going to do to ensure it doesn't happen again, yes i;m sure they will look into it, but surely their customers are entitled to find out the answers in order to make an informed choice as to whether or not to continue using them as a service provider.


WxC dealers were given details of the outage - while I'm not posting the full text here, I'll give you a rundown of what it says:

WxC had a part of their UPS system blow, and while it didn't take down everything, since emergency services were called, everyone had to evacuate the building (the WxC techs were on-site within 15 min).

Once they were given the all clear, the techs repaired any equipment that was damaged, and brought each offline system back online after checking they hadn't been corrupted.

WxC already has disaster recovery plans in place, which will soon be implemented, and this will minimise downtimes such as these in future.


We've been a WxC dealer for 2.5 years now, and we've seen the odd outage - it's an accepted part of the territory.  There are very few things in life that are 100% guaranteed, and while this was unfortunate, it wasn't that long (plus on a Sunday afternoon).

While I realise there is a lot of frustration from users here, I read the information that we received from WxC as indicating this was a completely unexpected failure from an otherwise rock solid piece of equipment, and due to conditions outside WxC's control, they couldn't fix it straight away.  Having personally met most of the ops team and management, I'm sure they will be working their hardest to ensure this doesn't happen again.

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