Review Signal went down last night. My first alert was at 8:52 PM EST and it didn't come back online until 12:53 AM EST. That is four hours of downtime. The culprit was apparently a failed UPS at Digital Ocean's NY1 facility.
This outage took down Review Signal and it's tracking systems. There was no data collected during that period in time. Which coincidentally would be the time likely to have the most complaints about Digital Ocean.
I am aware they are rated as one of the best providers on this site and missing a critical downtime plays in favor of their rankings. This blog post is serving as a disclaimer and disclosure of that fact. Digital Ocean's rating is likely to be inflated some marginal amount. I was trying to manually track the volume of tweets I missed and I believe it to be in the neighborhood of 100-200. A large portion of those were coming from their official Twitter account. Not everything was a complaint. But for argument's sake, let's say 100 negative reviews were posted last night by affected customers. Their rating would be a drop from 80% to around 77% which would still be within 1% of the next highest rated provider. [source]
I am disappointed that I missed collection on such an event, but the impact for consumers seem minimal. It should also get smoothed out over time as more people share their opinions of the service.
Going forward, I hope to re-build some of the infrastructure and data collection systems to be more robust and spread across multiple providers.
I didn't quite finish porting the D3 / Rickshaw version of this to WordPress, so that users can explore the data themselves. So that will probably be next Staturday. However, I wanted to share a preview visualizing how the rankings at Review Signal have changed over time.
A few interesting points are this month, August 2013, you can see the four major EIG brands we track drop (BlueHost, HostGator, HostMonster, JustHost). We see WPEngine come down to mortal levels. We see the rise of DigitalOcean. I will do a more thorough investigation when the interactive chart gets published.
Digital Ocean is a relatively new provider in the cloud vps hosting space and has skyrocketed in popularity (over 5,000% in the past six months!). It seems that their explosive growth is backed up by the data we've collected. Digital Ocean has an overall rating of 81% at the this time. That's the highest rated web hosting company on Review Signal at the time of writing.
As of yesterday, Digital Ocean has opened up a second data center in New York (NY2) and now offers San Franciso, New York and Amsterdam as locations. Their plans start at $5/month for a 512MB (RAM) and 20GB SSD of space.