"Why Linode Sucks" - A Personal Rant
Where to start? This was meant to be a review, and as it has reach the keyboard has become more of a dossier of events that leads to "Why Linode Sucks" opposed to a straight out review. I should probably put some "disclaimer" in here so I don't get the good old "you need to be unbiased" or "you shouldn't have an opinion" tribal chants from the members' gallery. However it has been growing under my skin, and today with the outage we had and a few people poking the yet to heal wound, in the words of Tim Minchin "this asshole can be held back by his balls no more." So to hell with your opinions and here's mine
Where to start this wonderful, politically incorrect rant of a madman? A few months back is probably a good pitch, lets start there.
So it was about a week before I was due to leave to manage an event, during that time life was hectic with hospital visits and all sorts of other commotion and drama that just bleeds your time away like a leech hitting an artery, I was working away and all of a sudden some random sends us an email demanding us to contact them. I found a video at the time, which I didn't get to use however redeemed that failing recently. In short, he who shall not be named (lets give him the acronym of HWSNBN from now on) wanted us to contact him for his list of "demands." Suffice to say we never replied to a single email, however he went and prodded Linode demanding they turn off LEB/LET or be DDOSed.
Well it turns out HWSNBN had a bit of clout, and went on a spree trying to take out LEB/LET, WHT and then followed up on BuyVM and Secure Dragon. It was an interesting few days, and there was a fair bit of discussion behind the scenes between WHT, iNET Interactive, Liquid Web, BuyVM and ourselves. There we IP address records floating around, back and forward, compiling lists, everyone pooling basically whatever data we could at the time to build up a list of IPs that were hitting us. As much as @Francisco say's he only responds to "BuyVM Threads" let me tell you, whenever there's e-drama on LET he's the first to Skype it to me, and this had him like hot like a pony in heat waiting for its stallion.
Through this I communicated with a couple of people from WHT whom were incredibly helpful (Not Bear, he's still a twit), iNET popped their heads in to conversations but the one thing that really stood out was Liquid Web's willingness to work with others and other hosts. Everybody realised the obvious, if we work together and share our information we can move forward quicker. It didn't matter if we were from different websites, it didn't matter if they were different hosts, the simple truth was more hands, more heads meant more progress.
However, the exception to this rule, the lone ranger that markets they give a shit but really don't, was and still is to this day Linode.
So it began with a support ticket...
We've identified an inbound denial-of-service (DoS) attack targeting an IP address assigned to your Linode (***.***.***.***). As the attack was large enough to negatively impact our network and subsequently the service of other Linodes, we've null routed your IP address for a minimum of 24 hours. After the 24 hour period has expired, we will inspect the traffic once again to see if the attack is still occurring. If the attack had subsided at that time, the null route will be removed and connectivity to your Linode's IP address will be restored.
So as you would expect, the first thing you generally want to know is the size of the attack, or some information regarding the attack, type of attack etc. This sort of information is incredibly helpful for two reasons, the first being the obvious so you can look to see if there's anything in your direct control to try and alleviate this. The second if you need to move hosts so you have an assessment of your situation and can inform a host prior to moving to them. This is about as helpful as Linode gets...
The attack was large enough to affect performance within our network. If you have any other questions in the meantime, please let us know.
This was early on in the drama, and about as much "useful" information as we could extract from them. So I called up on the phone to talk with them, politely asked if they could assess the IP again and see if it was still getting hit, this was a bit more than 12 hours later. Nope, they won't budge, they won't even look at the logs. Fine, then could you please let us know a bit more about the flood, size etc. No, not willing to discuss it. So we tried on two fronts, via tickets and via phone, hoping to strike someone not moulded in the shape of a robot that communicates through its ass waiving at the customer.
In the meantime LiquidWeb and BuyVM were bouncing discussions back and forth, we weren't much help because we were completely offline and nothing we could gather. Anyway, between the two companies they managed to compile a massive list of IPs. Alryic went to work reporting them to upstream providers via abuse reports to try and get some of them closed, whilst others at both companies went to work on filtering. So I thought a day has gone, perhaps Linode will be of some help, what a fool I was to assume such a "premium" provider would be of any assistance.
When I contacted Linode to offer them the list of IPs so they could pro-actively filter on their network/upstream the short answer was "we're not interested." When asked if they would jump in with us as a group and work with us, again "not interested." When asked then if they could supply us information in that case on the size of the attack on our VPS, again "sorry we don't release that information." Having run out of finger nail to chew without it causing the skin under the nail to bleed, I thought well "could you at least remove the null-route and see if we are clear now?" The reply was again, "sorry we are unable to do that."
If you could find the most useless company on the face of the earth, burn it to the ground, have passers by for a week urinate on those ashes, then scrape those ashes in to your garden they would prove more valuable as a fertiliser for your plants than Linode is today as a "functioning" VPS provider. "VPS's powered by natural urine, we're a green company."
Someone run with that idea, we will list you on LEB... anyway... back to it.
So, not knowing how large or how small the flood made it very hard to go around and get quotes for hosting from other places. Staminus, Black Lotus, Awknet, and no I didn't ask Tim from Hostigation as he was busy burrowing his head down and out of the way like a beaver whom hadn't had muff for ten years. Could you blame him after the railing KuJoe had? I couldn't So Chris from ChicagoVPS put us in touch with Jon at ColoCrossing. We couldn't really supply them with information on how big the floods were, so we went off the information provided by BuyVM and LiquidWeb as Linode once again were being utterly useless. ColoCrossing extended their arm, and we took it and they helped bail our asses out of the shit-pile that was building up on top. So when 2-bit twits like LA_Kid want to go in to random threads where provider screws themselves and blame ColoCrossing for everything, grow up and get a life. I know it seems completely hypocritical that I type this in the middle of my rant, but hell, I think I threw standards out the window a few hundred words ago.
Back to it...
The days went on, we got a 2nd IP on to the VPS and migrated everything over and we were back online. Sure we have our ups and downs here and there as skiddies like to test out the network and bump us off. But ColoCrossing do a best effort, and it doesn't come with the $5,000 to $14,000 a month price tag we were getting from some of the above-mentioned companies. One even offered a "discount" if we displayed their logo, only charging us $6,000 a month. How sweet...
So roll on the Linode customer service...
Today we had some more downtime, as I have been using PointHQ for their DNS whom in turn have been using Linode. Now the company behind pointHQ is A-Tech Media whom I have found excellent to deal with. We have used them for their CodeBaseHQ and DeployHQ service, and hence I went ahead and used them for the DNS on LEB/LET. Today they went offline, the whole network. Now i'm not 100% privvy to what their dealings with Linode are, however I am pretty confident that it's along the same lines as us!
"The service we are receiving from @linode with regards to this DDOS is absolutely pathetic. I am furious with them."
So today some of PointDNS's DNS servers would still be offline, and they're probably enjoying the same clusterf**k of "premium" customer service that Linode like to provide.
Every provider has some sort of downtime, some sort of technical failure at some time. That's just life, that holds true for a $7/Month VPS or a $700/Month VPS and that I simply accept. My issue with Linode is their ass-backwards way of treating their customers, their ass-backwards way of not wanting to be a team player, and their ass-backwards way of doing nothing then pervertedly signing off with "let us know if we can be of anymore assistance." Well you certainly couldn't be of any less assistance....
So this is my personal rant, enjoy it, hate it, throw a few knives back and forth over it, call me names over it, I really don't care because as of submitting this I feel a hell of a lot better having gotten all that crap off my chest. If you're a Linode fan that's great for you, hopefully you never have anything go wrong, and above all I do not wish our experience upon you and hope your service continues to operate. If you're a Linode prostitute, let us know how much they're paying you, i'm sure the community will chip in and pay you a bit extra and for half the work-load/mouth full.
Don't ever bi**h I don't post, you may not like what you wish for
Enjoy your day.
Aren't we having the same problem with Linode last time we have ddosed?
I thought we already leave them.
Wait, is this a rant from old attack? As I thought, this was hosted on a dedicated?
Wow that sounds really sucky for a "premium" provider. I guess their reasoning was that they make enough money, they don't need to go through all that DDoS trouble to earn your 30$.
A question: Did you people ever take any legal actions against HWSNBN? Imho that would probably have the best long-term effect on him.
Yes, but he cannot be found by the police...
Wow, another market 'leader' being run by drones.
It reminds me of many companies that I do not want to name.
This is why I always have a gripe with L1 support, or companies that out source to incompetent call centres, trying to save a buck.
This exact thing happened to PointHQ today:
The second one mentions the 24hr null route bullshit. I'm thinking of moving to Cloudflare tbh (for DNS) - still in the process of moving sites off Linode (don't get me started on the 2009 hardware).
Offtopic : HWSNBN? reminds me of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter
@Taz_NInjaHawk if you read the second post it goes into how LET's DNS provider is on Linode and we're being adversely affected by it. We're on a dedi in Colo if I remember correctly?
Linode is a "great" company, because of it's reputation, I'd never burn that much cash into something to be fair, for the prices they charge; you'd expect prestigious support.
He has no official place of residence registered (which is required), so no - nobody has an idea where he is or what he does (or they are just lazy)
woah @Chief, this is totally out of line
it's COMPLETELY under your power and control that some butthurt hackforums skiddie bought some booters and started hitting your Linode back in March.
HOW DARE YOU
Thanks @Chief..... a lot of reading and a lot of insight. We really appreciate it.
I think, in this instance, a rant is justified.
Thanks for sharing. I knew Linode was quick to null route, but hearing this about their support changes my opinion of them. Nice to hear how great LiquidWeb was in all of it. I would argue that their support is some of the finest in the industry. Unusually helpful and proactive. I can't tell you how many times they approached me to tell me that, while what I was doing was fine, I could be doing something a lot better.
However, I'd like to take a moment to point out two of the best lines I've read on LET in a long time...
FYI Melbourne handles DOS attacks very similarly
There, fixed it.
I think what we can get out of this is that everyone should host their own dns.
also chief madasfuq
@Chief, Thanks for the review and information regarding linode. That company is dead to me after reading this review. Serverbears post just provides even more proof that that company handles there customer support like garbage. Great read. +Thanked
For everyone bitching about Linode here, you need to give Zerigo.com a try, then come back and complain :P Those guys are something else, I tell ya...
I also love the non-sense hand picked twitter testimonials posted on their main page:
I liked the bit about Rackspace (a.k.a. Ratspace) and I remembered talking to someone that used to work there, and their cloud is more like a bunch of clusters... So he's not waiting on resource resizing, he's waiting on being moved to another node. Everything else described in those comments can be accomplished with WHMCS and SolusVM at any provider here.
Don't worry guys, Linode will be Peenode in no time! This community, the trend of providing high performance VPS servers on cutting edge hardware for a low price and ServerBear.com will burn like a wildfire trough all these big companies. You will say that I am crazy, nuts, insane, but just come back to this thread 12 months from now and read my comment again.
Before @serverbear there was no centralized place for server benchmarks. Now there is. Businesses will slowly wake up and smell the bullshit that they've been fed and paid for. Let me put it this way: if I was a large business hosted at Linode and had a couple of large VPS servers and my IPs would have been null routed for 24 hours I would have most likely sued the Jesus out of them and the I would have paid for ads that linked to a nice blog post about their service. That's just messed up @Chief
I think they are too rigid with this 24H null policy...
Don't all hosts null for 24hour? Or just until the attack is mitigated?
BuyVM does it hourly.
You're pretty much hitting the nail on the head; LEB providers tend to have much more up to date hardware than other providers (Thrust, Virpus, Linode in some cases?) Maybe LEB providers just advertise their gear much more efficiently than others.
I think this next year will be an interesting one for the LEB market.
Good thing it isn't. Linode isn't a LEB provider so it would be irrelevant here.
This gets my vote as the Butthurt Post of the Month.
My personal worry about DNS service is this. If you host on a free DNS service such as CloudFlare or HE, then they get DDOSed due to another of their user. It's no SLA since it's free, and you don't know when they are going to get attacked. Given, most of these services deploy anycast, so you get really good response times geographically and DDOS damage is limited to the node that's closest to the attacker, but that's still partial downtime.
As for the Linode issue, as a provider and a network administrator I can understand where they are coming from. When you have multiple uplinks and your network infrastructure isn't a single /30 connected network, tracing attacks isn't that simple. Deploying traffic monitoring via netflow isn't a walk in the park, performing traffic logging on the host may degrade performance of other users on the node. In short, it's a pain for them, leaving the IP null routed is an easy way out.
I had similiar experience with SingTel when I was single homed. They don't support null routing, refused to add a manual null route because it wasn't affecting their network badly enough until the attack became persistent to the point it started to affect then they added the null route. They refused to work with me for this at all and simply saying "can't do anything". 4 hours of downtime on a /24 range, that's when I told myself I had enough of relying on SingTel alone. They are the big guys, I'm the small customer, sucks to be me basically.
Correction LEB Providers tend to have more up to date hardware than some other providers.
Maybe that's because LEB providers and other community focused marketed VPS providers advertise much, much more seriously than places like HostGator and their VPS line.
When re-reading what I said, I am trying to agree with others by saying that High-End hardware is available at Low End Price point.
Linode might not be a LEB provider, but their hardware sure is low end while they charge high end - premium prices - for their mediocre VPS servers and sub-par customer service.
Mine as well. +1
@Chief Have you ever considered that maybe they didn't (and still don't) want to deal with the problem? What kind of VPS server was it? Size?