Twitter Joins Us on Verio

Let me start by saying, I’m dropping in on a conversation taking place at Techcrunch, Twitter and on the Joyent blog regarding the continue server outages at Twitter. I use Twitter but have been too busy this past week to even notice their recent round of outages. I found out today they had been hosting with Joyent and last night made the switch to Verio.

We’ve been a Verio reseller for over 10 years and all our client websites, and our personal sites, are hosted at Verio. A few years back we put some personal sites on a couple servers at TextDrive (link has expired) and everything was fine for a while. Then TextDrive was acquired by Joyent and we started having more and more downtime. It wasn’t too much of a problem as these were just personal blogs. But when Beach Walks started taking off, which we initially hosted at TextDrive, we could no longer accept the outages and moved everything off the Joyent servers and terminated all our accounts.

It’s a PITA (pain in the ass) managing servers. I’ve been doing it for 12 years now. We started way back in 1996 hosting all our own servers in our little office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When the count of servers grew to 10, and I started sleeping in the office to make sure they stayed online, I knew it was time to look for a datacenter.

I did a lot of research over a three month period, looked at all the big datacenters, some of which are no longer around, and finally decided on Verio. Verio is more expensive and very stingy on hard drive space. But the support it top notch, their bandwidth reliable, and most important, in the past 12 years our sites have never been down for more than an hour in the worst cases. Usually if there is an outage the servers are back up before we even knew about the problem.

Obviously we don’t require the resources that Twitter does. And there’s a lot of technical discussions and general agreement that Ruby On Rails (RoR), on which Twitter is built, has a very difficult time scaling for applications the size of Twitter. I tend to agree and would love to see Twitter re-tooled on a more stable platform such as PHP. But application server preferences aside, the first thing any company should do is not skimp on their hosting provider. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to hosting in my experience.

So, we wanted to take this opportunity to welcome Twitter to the Verio family. I’m still not convinced RoR is the platform on which to build a heavily trafficked service such as Twitter. But it is definitely going to help now that Twitter is housed in a world class data center such as Verio.