Manning’s affiliate system iDevAffiliate didn’t have a disaster recovery plan. So it hit them very hard – and all their clients – when their server colocation provider decided to physically move their server to a different state.
On the previous system I earned 10% commission on sales of my book from buyers I sent to the Manning site. That is on top of the 10% I am getting as royalties for writing it. Sales went really well in March, the early access version was only out-sold by a book on Java 8. So I accrued over $100 in commissions.
Then on March 31st the affiliate site no longer responded. The same URL was being used for the web frontend to the affiliate system as well as the redirection URL. At first I blamed my own Internet connection which can be spotty at times, with my provider A1 often having routing problems. But when the issue persisted for 4 days I sent a few emails to find out what was happening. A cloud-based service going offline for that long smelled of more serious problems.
iDevAffiliate Support responded to my request for comment:
Sometime in the afternoon on this past Sunday, the server went down. It went down without any notification from our server provider, burstNET. They have been telling the public they are doing a server transfer from PA to NC. This is a physical (get on a truck) and move servers. This was news to the entire web hosting community and everyone is as shocked as we are. With absolutely no warning and no support provided by them, we were left out in the cold with no information, just as everyone else was.
Many feared, including us that the Company has folded and took the servers offline without notice. Being that we’ve been a customer with them for more than 10 years, we have been hoping this isn’t true. Today out of the blue, we get an email stating burst.net has been consumed by DigiPLUS which may be positive news. Maybe, someone (DigiPLUS) has intentions to get these servers back online. I see some people are already starting to see their servers come back online. Hopefully ours will follow.
With all this being said, still we have no clear answers and don’t know if/when this server will come back online. All we can do is inform you as we get more information on the issue.
This outage meant that if you tried to buy my book via any of the links on Cocoanetics.com you would only get a timeout. I am sorry if this prevented you from buying this fabulous book. Here’s the direct link: http://www.manning.com/drobnik/
To everyone else who is providing a cloud-based service this should serve as a warning if you rely on a single data center. If you cannot afford to be offline for a week, then you should definitely have a disaster recovery site in a separate data center. Being at the mercy of your single provider can mean that you will lose your most valuable customers who will abandon ship as soon as it is clear that it hit an iceberg.