Responsibility And Disaster
Imagefrog Image Hosting

There is an interesting discussion going on over at a site that is discussing a web host provider that attempted a migration and made and epic fail. Consequently, there are reportedly multiple developers who have lost lots of money and professional credibility.

I went through this “migration” which would have been better performed by geese, but didn’t lose any money. I also work for a firm producing in-house apps and do a little side work.

It seems odd to me to place the entire weight of something like reputation or (reasonable) availability for apparently mission-critical apps on a web hosting provider, particularly if we are talking about shared hosting plans.

However, maybe I am naive.

Like I said, the side work I have done has been for small corporate sites – if they were down for a bit I couldn’t say my client was losing $200,000. If that was at stake, I would probably opt for a different hosting solution or at minimum have a path to follow in the event of disaster.

My take on these gripes is this:

Introducing a hosting provider brings in a new dependency and it seems like it is up to the developer to make clear who is the owner of that dependency. This at least should include good layman’s documentation if the client doesn’t want to pay for support of the site and the developer shouldn’t be so unwitting as to how the app is deployed as to be speechless when a failure occurs. The time to discover about domain registrations and DNS pointers is before the client is “losing money” on a website, I’d think.  No matter who is responsible for what, it seems like a backup plan for applications which are so important (and those that may not be) should at least include a general guideline to redeploy to another provider. They aren’t really that different.

In one comment the complainant was just discovering what is involved in the transfer of domains and DNS records; he seemed to rely on the client to set all that up and never bothered to document retroactively.  This kind of situation seems like an exposure of incomplete work to me, but I am willing to be wrong.

I’d really be interested in hearing others’ comments on this…

Posted 05-11-2010 8:50 PM by Michael Nichols
Filed under: ,



Shailesh B. Davara wrote re: Responsibility And Disaster
on 05-13-2010 6:44 AM


I think the knowledge of hosting and environment should be given to developer, he/she should be aware of infrastructure and technical specification where software is going to run.

if they have idea of it, they can test it on that environment before deploying on actual running server.

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