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Hear from our web hosting expert, Spencer Grover.
See what 5 Memset customers have to say.
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By Spencer Grover
Memset was started in 2002 and since then has grown into one of the UK's premier hosting providers. With a particular focus on government hosting and the slew of specific requirements that entails, they've worked with major clients like the Home Office and the NHS as well as private sector brands like Lush and the Hilton group. Catering to higher need customers, they focus exclusively on cloud, VPN, and dedicated server solutions.
Memset doesn't offer any shared servers solutions, instead focusing on the niche of businesses who demand more from their hosting provider. However, they do have an extremely robust offerings within that niche.
For hosting products, they offer customers managed virtual servers, Windows and Linux-based dedicated servers, and cloud hosting through OpenStack (with a focus on appealing to application companies). They also offer cloud storage at both an individual and enterprise level.
In addition to their core hosting and cloud products, they offer a range of enhanced networking and security solutions to ensure your server runs quickly and securely. These include a secure network to connect disparate physical servers as well as a vLAN service for secure virtual servers, a proprietary load balancing system, and SSL certificates.
When it comes to software server security, they offer vulnerability scanning, server monitoring and enhanced firewall services (including DDoS protection). Should both of these fail, their final layer of server defense is an intrusion detection system, which customers can opt to have either work as an alert or can employ Memset to fix (protected support).
Memset also offers comprehensive daily managed backup solutions in partnership with R1Soft for their Windows-hosted servers and cPanel for their Linux-based solutions.
The final prong of the Memset offerings is a comprehensive range of services specific to the UK government and associated agencies (PSN network) as well as other fields where security is a premium (eg, financial services) over a standard internet network.
This branch includes managed and unmanaged VPS, bare metal cloud servers, private clouds, VPN services, and protocol bridges for PSN-internet transfers.
Memset runs several datacenters in the UK and on the west coast of the US. Their datacenters are powered by clean energy and offer a range of redundancy and security measures to comply with the UK Pan Government Accreditor (PGA) to offer PSN and PSN networks. Some of these include: N+1 generators; N+1 or N+25% resilient cooling systems; Regular failover testing; ISO 270001, 9001, 14001 compliance; Biometric security; BPSS-screened employees; Strict visitor policies including photo ID, visitor logging, and pre-site authorisation; 24/7 video surveillance; and Class 3 strong room construction.
Memset offers a range of support levels depending on your organization's needs. These range from a managed infrastructure system where you have access to their emergency and standard ticketing system and basic server monitoring to their fully managed solution, which include more advanced monitoring and problem-solving as well as unlimited support time and server patching and updates.
For major companies, public sector organizations, or those working with public organizations, Memset offers high quality hosting with a focus on security and compliance.
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The measure of a good web host is actually their ability to handle a crisis.The basics you would expect from any host of course. We have used Memset for several years. They have not been faultless, but on the few occasions when there has been a problem, they have demonstrated an ability to resolve things promptly and effectively.
Any web host that promises 100% uptime is lying, but Memset get pretty close, and with the correct service level, will even proactively fix problems. Their support team are knowledgeable and friendly, and will go out of the way to assist. I can recommend them 100%.
When things are going well, Memset are absolutely fantastic! But I have (had) a dedicated server with their 'Basic' SLA. Their Support Matrix shows 'Out of Hours' Emergency support as a chargable service at this level.
I was happy to accept this as I'm more than capable of managing a server and don't need all of the bells and whistles offered by the 'Fully Managed' SLA. But one evening, the server did disappear from the internet. I searched everywhere for a means of contacting them.
It was impossible. I sent them an email via the website - the only option available. Fortunately, the server came back after about 30 minutes.
The next day, the first message that came in from them was from sales who'd noticed my attempts to raise support. Rather than offer any appology, they simply recommend I upgrade to the 'Fully Managed' SLA. The next message to come in was from support saying there had been 'another problem' with their network!
So I need to upgrade to get information on their faults? What about paid support? Sales informed me this is only available if booked in advance!
So, Memset are great, but only if you know when they will have an outage so you can book an emergency engineer in advance. Or you're prepared to pay for the 'Fully Managed' option. But before you do that, speak to DediPower.
You can get a server from them for about the same price, with 24hr support. Afterall, that's where Memset host! And as for the mis-leading information on their support matrix?
Or the lack of any status information or accurate uptime monitoring? Kate, Memset's Managing Director tells me "The minor issues you have highlighted will be resolved in due course, but I am not willing to commit to a time frame.". She doesn't consider any of this important and any question asked is treated and an attempt to gain a freebie. I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole!
Been fine for some years, and I'm not one for suddenly writing companies or services off but I can say that Memset Infrastructure seems really overloaded and possibly, mis-managed. Two fatal hardware situations in one month and although an apology has been issued, it hardly 1. inspires for the future and 2.
acknowledges the knock-on impact that having servers break down can cause. It's a nuisance as we all know that moving lots of websites ( I have 40+) to another server host is time consuming, and would be avoided if possible, but that is what I have decided to do as it is clear that Memset do not use any kind of clustering, don't have redundancy to cope with fatal errors and think that a simple apology will make the negative impact on business OK.
It is hard to get past Memset's poor customer service. Our experience is that on more than one occasion we've had to waste a lot of time proving that problems are on their end before they will work to resolve it. Their immediate reaction is always to ask you to pay for extra support.
Most recently I wanted to upgrade our server to get more memory. This is normally a 5 minute job and the server goes offline. However I was told by Memset that we were on an older platform and they would need to move us to a new platform for this to happen.
Therefore instead of 5 minutes of downtime it would be 30. However, Memset refused to do this out of business hours without me paying a premium for out-of-hours support. Rather than working out a solution, I got a patronizing email from their sales manager about how we all must pay to upgrade at some point. If you go with Memset, be prepared for a difficult relationship.
We left our last hosting company 1&1 due to patches of downtime and poor customer service. We moved all of our sites (around 20, serving 10GB/day) to dedicated server on Memset over a year ago. The service has been excellent.
No downtime so far and no complaints about performance or service. Highly recommended.
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