I’ve used many VPS hosts before. Part of my standard interview questions for hosting companies asks if their host machines RAIDed and what level. Recently, two well know VPS hosts flat out refused to specify any RAID details beyond saying that it was in fact RAID. Why would a host refuse to disclose what the RAID level is? Are there any legitimate reasons, or are they hiding something?
The only reasons I can think of to omit the detail would be:
a) support staff don’t know, can’t be bothered to look beyond their stock response manual
b) they do know but realise their provision could be seen as a weak point in their specification relative to competitors and don’t want to advertise it.
Neither is a positive sign
While I understand some technicians might not know all the details, I am perfectly happy if they put me on hold to find out or ask to get back to me later. What sets off alarm bells in my mind is if they act evasive or secretive.
Asking about general specs (and backups and disaster recovery, for that matter) isn’t proprietary information.
Some of my best guesses:
- Their company bureaucracy doesn’t allow technicians to disclose any technical reason (possibly because of imagined threats by management)
- The technician doesn’t know how to answer things that aren’t on the script.
- The technology doesn’t actually exist and is only built & deployed on an as-needed basis.
- There is no standard approach established at the company for whatever reason and/or things are just haphazardly thrown together.
I agree with your points, but I got this same evasiveness from two rather well-known VPS providers, one of which has been in the VPS business a long time. One of the answers I got was “I can’t tell you because that is not to be disclosed”. I had to escalate the ticket twice to get a high enough person who would just say “RAID 10”. RAID 10 is not a secret. Our company uses it for our on-site servers. It’s pretty much an industry standard.
They still wouldn’t say anything about the backup structure they use, beyond “File Level”. I asked specifically if it was mounted LVM snapshots copied with rsync, a common technique, and they refused to answer.
It seems very unlikely that any host has come up with some new revolutionary way to use industry standard open source tools to run or manage servers. So I’m bothered by the secrecy.