Hetzner is a hosting company. (Thinking of Gimli – “They call it a mine – A mine!“).
We have two root servers hosted there (32G Ram, 6TB disks, unlimited traffic). We only need one, we have backup because we were infected by some ugly Chinese hacker roaming around and I had to juggle some VMs back and forth to cleanup the mess. After some 3 weeks of analyzing, re-installing everything, refreshing my Linux-Know-How and one week of log file browsing a sense of security emerged which was rewarded by a hard disk requesting last rites. I thought about removing the backup server, but I learned it’s nice to have one.
I knew that we have a security problem with our servers because Hetzner is monitoring the network traffic for abusive behavior. They send me an email to stop it and to report on what I actually did. First I was annoyed (complaining a bit harshly) just to come back a silenced by the fact that half of our virtual machines were compromised. They don’t help you fixing your setup, the just provide the bare metal and connectivity and some extras which they don’t even mention as a feature.
With a good service provider, there is nothing much to report. This and the failing hard disk were the only problems I had in some 10+ years working with Hetzner. What I appreciate so much about them however is, that if there is a problem, they are very responsive (a web ticket is solved or replied to in no more than an hour, if you are in a hurry you can call them and reach a human (wow) who is not only alive but also knows his or her job and can help, and if not, they know and can forward you. If they announce to call you, they do. And they even do if you passed a cell phone number on another continent.
I suffer a lot from call centers. I can’t think of any modern phenomenon that I despise as much as call centers. Their music sucks. If there is humans connected to the other end of the line (after you payed a fortune to tap through menus and hang in wait states for ages) they don’t know nothing about their job and can but follow a workflow. I start to develop telepathic abilities. While talking to call center zombies I can see the content of their screen. How they proceed from one box to the next in their workflow. I even imagine seeing the colors of the boxes in which they sit. Very nice to have found a company refraining from that nonsense and providing a real service.
Tunisia was colonized by the French. Regrettably, they did not preserve the knowledge how to make good cheese. They did however adapt the French bureaucracy, their hierarchical organization structures and business relations, which has the consequence that internet connections to France are quite fast, to most other European countries not really. That’s why I was looking for other hosting companies around Europe with a focus on French speaking countries. I was not aware that (at least at that time) a service as the root servers of Hetzner with a similar hardware and real unlimited traffic costs between twice and ten time as much than what I pay right now.
All in all, I’m really happy with these guys. And I’m looking forward to the next incident with topnet, a Tunisian FAI (internet provider, and there is no Gimli accent applicable here – “it’s a tomb”). Ranting is more fun than praising.