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Is Layered Technologies Inc. the host for you?
Last reviewed Jul 23, 2013
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Layeredtech's service has completely gone down the drain. I have been having trouble with them for the last three months ignoring service tickets. The servicing mostly came from lazy software updates to the server that I was not notified of, until I noticed problems. One day almost all the server's services were halted because someone needed to click "ACCEPT" on a user license agreement. Down for almost 12 hours. Seriously?
This month I noticed an issue and asked someone to look at it. I got a dismissive reply that did not explain it. I opened another ticket when the problem persisted. One week later, my ticket is sitting open with an automated response and the entire server goes down. I was not notified by anything, I discovered it by trying to do work. Can't get any response from the help support. Finally, after TWO DAYS of all of my sites being down (email, everything). Someone replies with a temporary fix, and says "IT WAS PROBABLY THE ISSUE THAT YOU OPENED A TICKET ABOUT EARLIER." Three days in, only service available being HTTP response, I got the response, "A tech will service it as soon as he can, he's with a bigger client. You can put in an emergency service request, but it's $200 an hour."
I have been paying almost double the going rate for a dedicated server of this quality, and apparently that doesn't even include phone support.
I'm new to Layered Tech but my client isn't - they've been with them since they were FastHosts and apparently they have been OK until recently. We recently discovered that my client's site is hosted on a *very* old server with limited resources, and my client have been paying a fortune for it. In the last couple of weeks the site has been down 4 times due to various issues. First it was a database corruption, (5 days to get a backup from LT!!) then a CPU issue, then a memory issue and finally a disk space issue. Support from LT has been slow at best, and they blame everything but their hardware. I think the server we're on is on the verge of collapse, but they seem completely uninterested. DO NOT host your site with them, their service is crap and you will pay through the nose for a very poor service!
They overcharge, they don't try to sell you what you actually need. We paid $360 a month for a server for years. Godaddy now gives us the same thing for $60 a month and the service is better. The worse thing about Layered, when we were going to leave, they worked out a deal with us to keep us for $90 a month. We signed paperwork that they drafted, we faxed it over, then "the boss" over there cancelled the deal on his fanciful whim. Apparently all their contracts have a clause that says they can waste your time and cancel for no reason whatsoever. Don't waste your time with these jerks. They are the worst company I've ever dealt with online. Godaddy rocks!
When it works, it is ok. When it doesn't work, or you need tech support or information, you are out of luck. Even if you manage to reach them on the phone, the only thing you get is a recording redirecting you to a web portal.
It may be fine for very large customers who spend a lot of money with them and get priority service, but for small and medium sized users they are the pits.
These guys are terrible and one of the worse in the industries. I've been working with them for over a year now and I am starting to see the consistent lack of urgency on their part as well as the excuses they make up for not following through on trouble tickets.
I opened a ticket because the VPN is down. I get a response saying.... Can this wait until Monday? I'm thinking Production VPN is down and you want to know if it can wait till Monday? Why would you even ask that question?
I opened a ticket in the morning telling them I'm on a conference call with one of our customer and I would like a networking resource to dial in. I got off the call and 15 minutes later LT called me back saying that they can't dial in because they need more info, so I give them more info. 1hr 45mins go by and we ditch the conf call because we just didn't think they were going to call. I called back and I was told that they were waiting for me to answer more questions? Excuses....
I opened a ticket telling them that our customer can't get to our site. 2hrs later someone finally called me and fixed it.
and on and on and on.... it never changes.
Love this service except for one very critical thing... the quality of their technical support has swirled the drain completely. It used to be one of the best in the business... but now they are the worst.
They took away telephone support from the vast majority of their customers... now you have to be a top-tier client before they'll deign to talk to you on the phone... meanwhile, they have relegated clients like me to the outer reaches of Support Hell.
Case in point. Needed an emergency restore on a database for a client. Client's dead in the water. Tried to upload it using their tools. Failed. Size limit. Submitted a ticket to increase the upload size limit. They wrote back and claimed that it had been done, and for us to test and verify. Failed again, even after rebooting the server (wouldn't they have done that after changing core settings?). This is 16 hours after the request went in. We even uploaded the backup to our server, told them where it was, and asked them if they could at least import it for us, since utilities like pUTTy don't work our dedicated server for some mysterious reason. No answer. They were told the issue HAD to be resolved by 8:00am.
No resolution. No communication. Nothing. No telephone number to call. And yet, if we're ONE DAY LATE on paying for the server, they shut us off.
These guys SUCK!
My dedicated server was moved from fastservers to layered tech through their acquisition of fastservers.
Since then, in the last month and a half, I have opened at least 6 trouble tickets, all requesting the same thing, and update to PLESK, for which they maintain the license and support requirements (according to the PLESK vendor).
It started with a security breach in version 8.6 of PLESK, which allowed malware to be installed on my web sites. Once this was determined (by me), I asked LT to update PLESK to a later version. I never got a reply to my request except to be told it was priority 3.
My site was down for a day and it took more time to track down and remove the malware allowed by the very old copy of PLESK on the server.
Then another incident was opened, asking for a PLESK upgrade. No response.
I used PLESK update to update to version 10.0.0, and had some problems with DNS locating my sites (1 day outage). I asked for help with the new version of PLESK from LT. No response except an automatic downgrade to priority 3.
I had to contact the PLESK vendor and pay for private problem resolution, since I do not have a license to PLESK (layered tech does!). The PLESK vendor resolved the problem rapidly...it was actually their bug, fixed in a later release, but they still charged me $75.
Now, this version of PLESK is doing full backups daily which fill my /backup partition after 4 days so I have to remove them manually via telnet at least every 4 days.
I opened another ticket, explaining that PLESK support, which was installed by the hosting vendor was their responsibility. Immediately dropped to priority 3.
Finally, a layered tech engineer logged into the PLESK panel, didn't fix anything, and has not updated the incident in any way. They have completely dropped the ball.
After about a half dozen tickets, I have to say, they have the worst support I have ever seen in any online business.
I am searching alternatives now...I pay $183/mo, but they don't want my business apparently.
LT -- WHAT the HECK Happened to you?
I originally signed up when you were FastServers.net. Fairly priced, and responsive you were. I had no problems out of the ordinary. We made a good team.
WHAT HAPPENED? I didn't notice problems when you were first acquired by Layered Tech. But OH MY WORD how things have changed. I am paying for "managed" service, so that when things happen like my server being compromised by hackers, I have you there to back me up. That happened on July 4. My initial requests for help slowly turned to desperate pleas, as after 12 days I slowly began to realize I was on my own. I finally gave up asking you for help, and I became much more knowledgeable about dealing with hackers than I ever wanted to be. When I happened to start a chat with your sales rep, he managed to get things moving along, and solved my problem.
By then it was too late. I was already feverishly shopping for a new provider.
I did request to speak to a manager, who called me back and apologized for the 12-day delay in fixing my problem. He assured me that it was a fluke, and that they were having internal issues moving to a new support policy. My situation was unique, he said, and it wouldn't happen again.
But it did happen again. Time after time.
As I submitted tickets for system changes required to migrate off their server, response time was 10-days, 5 days, etc. Once my server even went completely down.
Now when you don't have the box in front of you, and you have NObody that cares on the other end, when your sites go down, it's a pretty MAJOR thing. Like, desperate-major.
My advice? STAY AWAY FROM LAYERED TECH. They are having some kind of major internal problems, and from the looks of this forum, they haven't fixed it for the last 6-12 months. The sales staff admitted that the topic of support made them cringe when they were selling their service. The billing department said I wasn't alone. One poor chap in billing that I managed to get on the phone said "I don't see anyone over there in tech support." The man stood up, looked around, and the department was a ghost town. He said they were having some staffing problems, but even the managers were out -- I hope they were enjoying themselves, whatever they were doing, because meanwhile all hell is breaking loose in their system.
Layered Tech -- we used to be buddies. Pals. You had my back. Now, it's apparent that you're only looking out for yourself. Apparently (according to your sales team) you enacted a new service policy in January '12 (which I didn't get a copy of) that goes something like this:
"If you're a big client and you pay us $2000/mo, you get the great service you've come to expect over the years. If you are a small client, screw you. Our policy says we don't have to respond to your ticket for 3 business days, but we won't honor that either. Your service will be nearly non-existent, but your monthly bill will not reflect it. We'll still charge you the same amount for what you thought you were paying for this whole time."
Managed services -- I pay extra because it's there when I need it, and I hope I don't. When I needed it, you didn't provide it, and that's misrepresentation if I ever heard of it. You should be ashamed.
Support has only be helpful to us a few times, once we had to help them, at best I think some of your staff is way below par in how they handle tickets, help with support, etc.
As long as the server has no issues or problems Layered Tech is good but if an issue or problem comes up forget it you have a better chance of getting a roach to do math than support to help
I have been a customer of Layered Technologies since June of 2005. Since then, I have had little to no issues with their service. Pricing could be a little bit better (Iâ€™m paying ~$150 for a Pentium 4 with two gigs of RAM and cPanel), but overall, value is great. Support is great â€“ I have rarely needed to put a ticket in, but when I do raise a ticket, response is very quick; within 5-10 minutes, sometimes even less. If you are a customer needing a high-end dedicated server for your corporation, Layered Technolgies is the web hosting provider for you and your company. Whether or not you are experienced with working with servers, they are willing to help. If you have no experience, or even little experience, they offer â€˜DEFCONâ€™ services which basically is just management for your server. Layered Tech are also great if you need a dedicated server quickly. They have a service called â€˜Rapid Deployâ€™, which guarantees provisioning within a half hour. And, no matter what service you get, managed, unmanaged, rapid deploy, etcetera, they use high-quality hardware on all of their builds. Overall, I give Layered Tech the best possible rating that I can â€“ five stars across the board.
I have dedicated server from LayeredTech and it's %100 uptime :) When i submit an emergency ticket, there is always some to check it and the action is immediate. I recommend Layered Tech to my valued friends, because there must be some difference between Layered Tech customers and the other ones.
The first time that i got the server, i did sth wrong and the Linux got mad, and i opened a support ticket. The customer support had solved it in minutes.
I have more than 400 online people on my server, that means i need more than 100MBit. Layered Tech offers 1 Gbit line with %100 uptime. You must see the speed of the net.
Layered Tech is probably the best VPS host you can get right now, their support is solid, their prices are fair (though admittedly not the cheapest) and their connectivity is incredible. No issues to date.
By Claire Broadley
Claire has been creating websites since 1996 and has reviewed 100s of hosting companies over the last ten years.
Update: Layered Tech has been acquired by Datapipe. The following info is for historical purpose.
Layered Tech is a global web hosting company based in Texas in the USA. It does not offer the usual array of web hosting plans and packages, such as shared hosting. Instead, Layered Tech is a company which specialises in government-compliant, secure cloud hosting services.
Layered Tech Hosting Plans
The Layered Tech website does not provide any plans for customers to choose from. Instead, new clients need to contact the company for a quote. This is largely due to the type of hosting and services it offers: most of its services are specialised.
There doesn’t seem to be any standard shared hosting, just dedicated servers, managed hosting services and cloud solutions.
Layered Tech’s hosting is designed to be compliant with US government regulations, including
● PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards)
● HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
● FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act)
Cloud services offered by Layered Tech range from cloud servers to dedicated cloud data centers and private clouds. Its dedicated hosting allows customers to choose from Linux or Windows based operating systems, along with a range of control panels. The customer can also choose from different levels of managed services to support their business needs.
The services offered by Layered Tech are at the top of the scale price-wise. As such, they are backed by a comprehensive SLA. This includes a 100% network uptime guarantee and a 100% infrastructure uptime guarantee, each guaranteeing availability at all times, outside of scheduled maintenance periods. This is fairly common for cloud hosting, but it’s nice to see it ‘on paper’.
There is a managed service guarantee which compensates customers who have purchased managed servers if uptimes fall below 100%. There is also a 2 hour ‘hardware replacement guarantee’ for customers who haven’t purchased any managed services. This comepsates them for any unscheduled downtime.
The company’s servers are based in three top-tier data centres in Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City in the USA. These are backed up by secondary data centres in locations around the globe, including Asia, Europe and North America. Each data centre has high levels of security and robust monitoring.
The support provided by Layered Tech varies, depending on whether the customer purchases a managed service.
If customers do not purchase a managed service, there is a US based support line (toll-free) and a ticketing system they can use.
Managed services are split into 4 categories. Each provides different levels of monitoring, system administration, database administration and network administration features.
● Layer 1 - Monitoring
● Layer 2 - Active Support
● Layer 3 - Full Management
● Layer 4 - Compliance Management
Layered Tech maintains active Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Staff do take the time to interact with customers on these sites, so the company obviously sees the potential in providing support over social media.
LayeredTech in the News
Despite being a global business providing a wide range of ‘high-end’ services, Layered Tech does not often appear in the major tech news sites. There are several smaller sites which re-publish press releases and blog articles, but these can generally be found on the Layered Tech website or social media sites. As far as negative press is concerned, I didn’t find any.
LayeredTech Control Panel
When it comes to the issue of a control panel, there are a wide range of choices, depending on whether hosting is based on Linux or Windows operating systems. In general, customers who have purchased Windows hosting can choose between Parallels Plesk or Parallels Pro. Linux hosting customers get cPanel and Direct Admin in addition. There is a useful page on the Layered Tech site indicating which of its control panels are compatible with different operating systems.
Hosting with Layered Tech does not come with the usual range of freebies and extras that usually come bundled with shared hosting plans. This is unsurprising, as the services offered by Layered Tech are designed for large businesses who would not benefit from them in many cases.
LayeredTech Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
There is no money-back guarantee available to Layered Tech customers. As its services are generally designed for large organisations, this is unsurprising. Very few web hosting businesses offer money-back guarantees for dedicated hosting and Layered Tech are no exception. The promise of 100% uptime should be enough for most customers at this level.
Layered Tech stand out in when compared to other hosting companies. The company has a very specific business focus and will appeal to large US-based finance organisations and major stores. Layered Tech’s range of support options and compliance guarantees, backed by its comprehensive SLA, will be well suited to this niche. However, if you are looking for a simple hosting plan for your personal or small business website, you will need to look elsewhere.
Layered Technologies Inc.
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