This is going to be a long read so grab some popcorn and read till the end.
DISCLAIMER: We haven't upgraded to OnApp 6 and some of this might not be the truth anymore. Read on and you will discover why we don't update.
Since we introduced our VPS offerings in 2016 (yes we know, we were late to the party) we have been using the OnApp platform on-premises. We first heard about OnApp on the WorldHostingDays in Germany, had met some people, saw some demo's and spoke about features. After carefully considering the pros and cons of different systems we decided to go with OnApp.
Part of why we chose OnApp as our go-to solution was the fact that they offer 24/7 support (more on that later). We required distributed storage because we think distributed storage fits our needs better than traditional network storage systems. OnApp offered everything we were looking for and allowed us to start selling "cloud" really fast as it was a "ready-to-run" offering with integration with our billing platform already.
We purchased "approved" hardware (more on that later), configured everything with the help of the OnApp team and configured our network. After the integration of our billing systems with OnApp we started selling virtual servers.
Everything looked good. We needed an unusual high amount of support requests but we thought it was fine. We started with a new platform and needed some help was what we were thinking.
We were wrong.
Issue #1: Hardware recommendation
OnApp offered a "deal" with Dell in which they offered specific hardware and services (if I recall correctly preinstallation of OnApp software which we didn't make use of). So we thought it's tested hardware, approved hardware. OnApp has experience with it and can help us with the configuration. Well, they did half of the job. What they have done could be done by anyone. The Dell package also included switches, Dell switches we had zero experience with. But OnApp didn't want to configure them. We hired externals to configure the switches.
In my opinion OnApp should not recommend hardware which they won't support or configure. Or they should warn that they don't support and configure the hardware but that this is a tested setup.
Issue #2: The need for support
Over the course of 2 years, our team has opened 293 (!) tickets with OnApp. I'm sure this amount would be a lot higher if we would actively update our platform but we stopped updating 6 months ago. Sure, some of them are regular "how do I do this" questions. At first, we were thinking that the high amount of tickets were related to the fact that this platform is new to us. After investigating the nature of the tickets we come to the conclusion that a small amount are major problems, a big amount are "why is this not working as expected" tickets and a small amount are "how do I do this" tickets.
OnApp is far from logical. There is little logic behind their choices and interfaces.
Issue #3: Support
Yes, they offer 24/7 support if you can call this support. Only level 1 support is 24/7 and we have experienced that is not always the case. Level 2 is introduced recently. Level 3 knows their stuff. But if you need level 3 good luck finding them. OnApp needs to work on their escalations. And it really is not the people working at support, they do their best. We think it's company policy or company resources which prevent them from doing their work good.
And there was a period in which they often recalled this specific article:
"Unfortunately, we do not offer support for the following:
- Switch, router and firewall configuration
- SAN configuration/optimization
- Attaching/removing/resizing LUNs
- Hypervisor and Control Panel server hardware support
- Operating System installation/support
- Maintenance of your passwords or whitelists
- Configuration/troubleshooting inside virtual machines
- VMware vSphere installation/configuration
- Known bugs/limitations within virtualization platforms
- 3rd party integrations
- Alpha/Beta releases
- Coding for recipes
- Container Server(Cloud config) coding, troubleshooting
We may touch on some of these areas during investigation and resolution of support tickets, and we will attempt to offer what suggestions we can, or put you in touch with our professional services team to quote the work – but they are not covered under standard OnApp support."
Basically, they're saying they won't support anything but they try to help and if they can't resolve it they might quote you for a resolution with their "professional services team" or they won't.
Issue #4: Outdated and obsolete technology
Their KVM implementation is very old. Yet they say they don't support "Known bugs/limitations within virtualization platforms". A lot of their problems come from their KVM implementation, rest is probably coming from their own distributed storage solution called "Integrated Storage" which has a lot of bugs and quirks.
Issue #5: Major problems with every upgrade
With every OnApp upgrade, we have done we have experienced major problems. Either because hot-migrations don't work as expected, or iptables rules are dangling, or features working previously breaking. We experienced them all. We stopped updating just for the sake of not troubling our users more than needed.
OnApp should try testing their upgrades in their own lab instead of in production environments at their customers' sites.
We are done with OnApp.
So what's next?
We have been testing Proxmox Virtual Environment extensively.
We like it.
Not only does it function correctly, but it also does it way better than OnApp. Upgrades work without issues. Ceph is way better than OnApp's own Integrated Storage. The virtualization toolkit of Proxmox is way better than the libvirt version used by OnApp. Hot migrations actually work, also for Windows. Recovery of the storage, when needed, is much faster. Auto-healing actually works. You can upgrade your kernel in your VPS without breaking it. You can use manual partitioning without breaking stuff. The list goes on and on and on.
All new orders are created on our Proxmox cluster and soon we will start migrating all our current VPS customers to the new Proxmox cluster. We will let our customers know by direct communication when we will schedule the migration for their VPS.
Do you have questions? Do you want more information? Contact Us