Thoughts on Endurance International Group (EIG) Hosting
The web hosting business is part of an incredibly large industry worth well into the billions. A number of large and well established web hosting companies that we’ve known to trust for their reliability, service and support are being bought out by even larger web hosting conglomerates. Some of the largest and most successful web hosting companies in the industry, including HostGator, BlueHost, HostMonster, and HostNine have been bought out by Endurance International Group (EIG).
Who is Endurance International Group (EIG)?
For those who are unaware, Endurance International Group is one of the world’s largest web hosting companies managing over sixty different hosting brands.
Here’s a list of all EIG web hosting brands and other companies owned by EIG:
A Small Orange
Berry Information Systems
Cloud by IX
IX Web Hosting
Networks Web Hosting
EIG Hosting List Last Updated on 02/19/2015 – Added IX Web Hosting, HostExcellence, and Cloud by IX.
NOTE: EIG has purchased other brand names that are not listed in the above chart that have either dissolved or have merged with other EIG companies that are already on the list.
Want to use a web host that is not owned by EIG? There are several EIG hosting alternatives listed at the end of this post (jump ahead to see them now).
EIG initially began as BizLand, but began buying smaller web hosting businesses to grow their customer-base. Today, they own some of the most well known hosting companies such as BlueHost and HostGator.
Among their top purchases was the purchase of HostGator for $225 million dollars, one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States. Endurance International Group is valued at nearly a billion dollars for all their brands, equipment, datacenters and goodwill. Most people are unaware of EIG, because they tend to hide when they buyout smaller hosting companies. For over a decade, EIG has been focused primarily on acquiring customers through the purchase of different hosting businesses. On October 25, 2013 EIG became a publicly traded company, listed on the NASDAQ as EIGI.
Recent Hosting Outage by HostGator, BlueHost and HostMonster
As some may be aware, several EIG web hosts experienced an unexpected downtime on August 2, 2013. Servers and phone services were affected for HostGator, BlueHost, JustHost and HostMonster. All these web hosts experienced server downtimes because they were all on the EIG network. The EIG datacenter based out of Utah experienced some technical issues and caused a downtime that lasted nearly a full day affecting millions of customers worldwide. Web hosting outages can happen to any web hosting company, but it is rare to happen on such a large scale. Hopefully, nothing close to what happened on Auguest 2, 2013 will ever occur again for the millions of EIG customers.
Update… 12/31/2013 Another EIG Outage: BlueHost and HostGator Crash After EIG Outage – read more at http://americanlivewire.com/2013-12-31-bluehost-and-hostgator-crash/
Update… 04/16/2014 Another EIG Outage: Major HostGator and BlueHost downtime all day today due to router issues at the Provo data center:
HostGator’s Director of Customer Service, Joshua Martin’s Response on 04/17/14 – http://forums.hostgator.com/network-outage-provo-t316804.html
“While most all services have been restored as of this time, I’d like to first note that we’re still working towards tying up the final lose ends. These remaining issues are absolutely a priority for us currently. In the meantime we do want to provide some more information and answer everyone’s questions with what details we do have available currently.
Q: What happened?
A: We experienced a degradation of network service in one of our data centers due to a firmware bug in one of our vendor’s hardware solutions. This was an undocumented bug and we worked with our partner to diagnose the issue and deployed a firmware update to the systems to remediate the problem. Only websites that were being served by this hardware were affected.
Q: Was this related to any previous outage?
A: No, this is unrelated to any previous outages.
Q. Have you identified the problem?
A. Yes, we have isolated the problem to this firmware failure and the downstream effects that resulted from it. We have reviewed our entire network to make sure this problem will not occur elsewhere.
Q. Why did it take so long to address the problem?
A. We started to address the problem immediately when we began to see performance issues. The root cause of the problem was complicated to diagnose because it was an undocumented bug in software of a vendor’s hardware solution. Full service for some customers was restored immediately, but some servers were not visible on our network. We apologize for any downtime that you experienced. The servers continued to operate during this entire period, which means, that at no point in time was your data at risk. The problem was access to the servers because of the firmware issue.
Q. What happened to any email that was sent to me while this firmware issue was affecting the network?
A. There is good and bad news. Unfortunately, any message that was sent to you while we were experiencing this issue would not have been delivered, however the sender should receive a notice that their mail wasn’t delivered and most mail servers will continue to try to re-send that email at periodic intervals, anywhere from 2 days to up to 7 days. While we cannot guarantee that any emails sent to you will be delivered, there is a very good chance that it will arrive…slightly delayed.
Q: How has Endurance’s involvement with HostGator affected the situation?
A. Actually, this was not a result of Endurance. In fact, the team at our corporate headquarters was tremendously helpful in our recovery effort. They stayed with us throughout the entire incident. By committing the resources of the entire company, including technicians, customer service reps, and engineers, we were able to swarm the problem and address it as quickly as possible.
Q. Why did you leave SoftLayer?
A. We moved out of SoftLayer to be able to more fully control our server environment to provide a better customer experience. We work really hard to prevent issues like this from happening. We recognize that this transition has not been as smooth as either you or we would like and we take the issues that have occurred very seriously. We believe in the long run this is the best environment to deliver service to you.
Q. Do I have to worry about this happening again?
A. We would like to say that we will never have a network service outage again, but realistically that isn’t something we can promise. What we can assure you is that we are continually taking steps to audit and improve the performance of our infrastructure, and investing a large amount of capital and people to do this.
Last and certainly not least, I want to thank everyone for your extreme patience throughout this. We realize the situation is hugely frustrating, but we look forward to getting this resolved for you all and hopefully moving forward stronger.” – [Source]
Twitter Customer Responses to the 04/16/2014 Outage
Sarah Witford’s Twitter response to the Provo data center problems below:
From Mindy Joy Media’s Twitter – “@lindseymurray It sucks but there’s a human being behind the twitter account who is having a very bad day, and I appreciate their updates.”
Update… 05/19/2014 Another EIG Outage: EIG clients hosted on servers at their Provo, UT data center experienced up to 8 hours of downtime.
I’m done also! My business website and e-mail has now been down SEVEN HOURS!
Does anyone know which hosting service providers are at the Softlayer facility in Texas where HG used to have its servers before the move to Provo?
What’s Next for the New EIG Acquisitions?
If the past is any indication of the future, we can safely assume that EIG will continue to expand it’s operations and acquire more and more web hosting properties. As soon as EIG buys a hosting company, it typically makes several changes to the company such as changing the control panels, equipment, data center locations, operational changes to existing staff and starts moving customers to their own network. Some customers have noticed a significant reduction in the level of customer/technical support following the purchase of a hosting company by EIG.
Since the purchase of HostGator, some customers have become frustrated with their quality of service. Some have noticed a delay in response time when submitting tickets. Also with accounts being moved from SoftLayer to the EIG data center in Provo, UT there has been an increase in customer complaints. On the outside, HostGator among most of EIG’s other acquisitions have remained the same, while all the changes took place on the administration and technical side of things. It is possible that HostGator is not the same company we once knew to be reliable and performance-based.
The Sad Truth – With EIG owning a number of the top web hosting companies in the industry; even if you are dissatisfied with one host and choose to switch to another; there’s a good chance that you might still end up with a company owned by EIG (see full list of EIG brands above). A really good business model to have for EIG.
Arvixe is Owned by EIG
Update… On 10/31/2014 EIG purchased Arvixe.
Update… 06/24/2015 Arvixe moving to EIG Datacenter?
Arvixe sent out notifications about server migrations to customers and also setup a migration schedule list.
Update… 08/11/2015 Huge problems on Arvixe we need explanations. The servers that have already been migrated are experiencing downtime and other issues. The migrations are still going on (76 completed and 15 in-progress – screenshot from today).
Update… 08/12/2015 Arvixe manager acknowledges migration problems and that Arvixe system administrators have been working around the clock on the Arvixe discussion board.
“unacceptable disruption of your services”
“We expect to have all of our systems stabilized within the next few days as we work diligently to resolve these issues.”
Twitter Activity From Arvixe Customers During/Post Server Migrations (08/05/15 – 08/11/15)
— Outsprung (@outsprung) August 11, 2015
This is getting ridiculous @arvixe – My site has been down for the better part of a week. If it’s a server issue, MOVE the affected sites
— J. Cebron Cook (Joe) (@cebronix) August 10, 2015
So @arvixe what the hell is going on with Echidna? I appreciate the updates, but that doesn’t solve the 59% uptime issue
— Marty Gleason (@officergleason) August 9, 2015
@Arvixe Providing your able to do so, you might want to update your home page and remove the 99.9% uptime part. It’s no longer accurate.
— JamieMK (@JamieMK) August 8, 2015
The amount of time my website has been down over the last 6 weeks is making me reconsider my choice in web host. Very disappointed @arvixe
— Lilith Le Guin (@LilithLeGuin) August 8, 2015
Hi @arvixe, my sites are down from last 5 days and support team is saying it will take more time, please look into it.
— oscitasthemes (@oscitasthemes) August 7, 2015
@arvixe Seems to think its no big deal to have customers down for 3-5 days and counting. Apologies are no substitute for working services.
— JamieMK (@JamieMK) August 7, 2015
@arvixe have you guys just given up? Support calls go to voicemail, chat is down. Good timing too, it’s a day ending in “y” so we’re down.
— Ten Ten Studios, LLC (@TenTenStudios) August 6, 2015
Makes sense now. @arvixe is now owned by EIG, helps explain the slow load times and 20+ outages I’ve had over the last three days.
— Albert Ciuksza Jr. (@AlbertCiuksza) August 5, 2015
Update… 09/25/2015 Dallas111 server outage/data loss. The Arvixe shared server Dallas111 suffered several days of downtime and customer data was lost.
Twitter Chatter From Arvixe Customers
— Fred Karger (@fredkarger) September 26, 2015
— Fred Karger (@fredkarger) September 24, 2015
Update… 10/01/2015 Hundreds of Arvixe staff members were let go yesterday.
Site5 is Owned by EIG
Update… 08/07/2015 EIG owns Site5 and Verio. Endurance International Group 2nd quarter 2015 earnings report reveals that EIG acquired Verio in late May 2015 and Site5 in late June 2015. The CEO of Site5.com answers some questions on WebHostingTalk Site5/EIG Discussion.
IX Web Hosting is Owned by EIG
Update… 02/19/2016 Endurance International Group acquired IX Web Hosting in the 4th quarter of 2015 for $28 million – EIG 4Q 2015 earnings conference call transcript. This deal also includes the two lesser known IX hosting companies called HostExcellence and Cloud by IX.
Non EIG Hosting – The Benefits of Choosing a Hosting Company Not Owned by EIG
The fortunate fact is that there are several other highly reputable hosting companies in the industry that still have not been taken over by the Endurance International Group. Slowly but surely, many hosting companies are finding out about EIG and will refrain from a deal if it means a reduction in service, support and reliability for their customers.
There are options available for those who are looking for non Endurance International Group hosting. The following independently owned and operated web hosting companies are some of the best options for reliability, price, customer service and performance; A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, WebHostingHub, StableHost, GreenGreeks, SiteGround. All of them will transfer your websites over for free, have fast SSD drives, multiple server locations to choose from, 24/7 knowledgeable and friendly support, and at least a 30 day money back guarantee period.
Moving forward from the datacenter-wide outage that occurred in August of 2013, one can only hope that EIG will do everything that they can to improve the quality of service they provide on every level. Otherwise webmasters will increasingly be on the lookout for EIG hosting alternatives. In a year from now lets hope to be hearing about all of the great improvements the folks at EIG have made. But just to be safe for the time being be aware of this company’s past and choose your web hosting wisely.
I will continue to update this post whenever there are new EIG buyouts and send out a tweet as well. Follow @linux_depot