I’m wondering

Any news on when the Servers will be up?

Any idea on when the Servers will be up?
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m excited
    Ahmad (Official Rep) April 06, 2011 20:07
    Updating servers is done. There still will be small fixes and several couple-of-minutes down time during the next couple of days, but service should be back up soon. We just updated our DNS server to point to the new server. Based on your location, you may see the new servers in a few minutes, or in 24 hours, or something in between!
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  • Same question. Same answer? Which is why I don't see the toolbar anymore?
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  • I’m concerned
    It would be great if we knew about the DNS issue beforehand. Upgrades are necessary, but have never experienced such a prolonged downtime.

    It is uncommon, for Upgrades to cause such extended periods these days, and it is not expected of a company providing such a service as Fotomoto provides.

    I now have a Cart button on my site which does not work at all, with no indication why. I believe it should be mandatory for you to create a script which will at least show a pop-up, indicating your current status.

    This will affect business negatively on our end, when individuals click on a cart button which does not respond.....

    I am also excited about the changes, and thankful, but it is spoiled by the lack of information (DNS propogation), and the fact that Fotomoto did not add a back-up service (some sort of notification on the buy/cart buttons).

    The cost of these changes should not affect us, but the way it was handled in this case could cause Fotomoto users to lose potential clients.
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  • Ahmad (Official Rep) April 06, 2011 21:05
    Yes, same answer. You will see your toolbar back as soon as DNS servers get updated.
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  • Ahmad (Official Rep) April 06, 2011 23:27
    Richard,

    We twitter, blogged, and sent an email about our service being down today. Sorry if you haven't got it yet. And usually when there is a server update, server IPs don't change, but in this case we have change the whole architecture and are running our servers on Amazon now. In theory it's possible to have both old and new sites up and running, so users will gradually get moved to the new server when their DNS gets updated. But in this case, because of a lot of technical complexities and possibility order loss, we decided not to go that route.

    For the Buy Button, anyone who uses our standard script won't have a Buy Button on the site. This should take care of what customers see. If you have implemented a custom view of Buy Button, I suggest commenting it out for a few more hours.

    Again, we are sorry for this interruption, and we are doing our best to get things up and running. Please be patient with us. I promise that you and our other members will be happy with all the small and big new features that are coming!
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  • Ahmad (Official Rep) April 06, 2011 23:35
    By the way, there is a chance that the DNS in your area is updated, but your machine's cache is not.

    if you are on a Mac machine, you can flush your DNS cache using this command:

    dscacheutil -flushcache

    On windows, this command should do the same, but I can't be 100% sure!

    ipconfig /flushdns

    Cheers,

    --Ahmad
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  • I’m wondering
    I probably would not care too much under regular conditions, but have an Ad campaign, which started running today, and which can not be paused.

    I did not think the service will be interrupted for longer than the time you stipulated on the Fotomoto site, therefore allowed the Campaign to run.

    I understand the processes you describe, and your reasons are all valid, and appreciated. I do think that in future to avoid the possible losses that could occur from Server failures etc., that you should have a notification attached your Scripts.

    A site which one day sells, and the next day does not creates a no-confidence environment which is bad for business. You suggest just removing the buttons for now, but that will cause exactly the same effect as a button which is unresponsive, leaving the client "unhappy".

    The next idea would be to create some sort of notice on our sites, but this might not be visible enough for the client.

    My point with this is simple, if you guys know that you will have an upgrade then just create a simple link which will not be connected to your main Server, and which will inform the buyer of the current status. A Server can malfunction at any given moment, and in the few hours that your Scripts are down thousands of individuals would have navigated sites with unresponsive scripts.......

    We as Fotomoto users, are not on Twitter 24 hours a day, and some of us have jobs, or different time zones, and can not watch what is happening on your side 24/7. You guys have to make sure that we are covered, and in return we cover you (hopefully), but if we lose potential clients, because of "inconsistencies" then so do you....

    How does someone who has a high traffic site explain to his visitors what you laid out above, and do you think that this is what they want to hear?
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  • I’m frustrated
    Same here, scripts are not loading, and the dashboard works, and then fails. Also getting error messages on the dashboard
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  • I’m tired
    First off, I'm on mac. I couldn't for the life of me even get to www.fotomoto.com
    So I pinged it. Got the IP address. Stuck that in the browser. That took me to a broken page, but there was a place to sign in.

    I signed in, and then I was finally at the new dashboard.

    Then I saw that although a lot of my images were marked "for sale" when I filtered them with dropdown menu to show what was "for sale" only three images showed up.

    Oh, and I'm using Wordpress plugin. I also had to stop that and start it again.

    Now, the Dashboard seems to be working... though I've come across some odd things as far as "how you check an image" - you need to be a bit above the checkbox for it "to take."

    But so far, I don't have a toolbar, although I can see that the javascript is included on each page.

    I'm ready to go back to sleep now. Maybe when I wake up the toolbar will appear.

    Now, one other variable in the mix, although I had been using previous version of the Wordpress Widget, I figured - what the heck (I said something else) as long as I can't do anything, maybe I'll update to the latest wordpress FM plugin, which I did.

    It's possible there's some change in that also that isn't playing nicely with my Wordpress theme. I can say for sure that the previous WP Plugin was working with this theme.

    And just one more fun fact. Even after zapping the cache in the cmd window on mac (suggested by Ahmad); and zapping my browser cache in Safari, I still couldn't get to the new site until I put in the IP address: 204.232.186.163 and then went to login. Maybe that was wrong.

    I'm going to try this in Internet Explorer, and then I'm going back to bed.

    DB

    P.S. In the image view, there's also a whole bunch of longish toolbar looking images. That doesn't make any sense. If you click on any of them you get a message: could not be loaded. Try again later. Does it think the toolbar is an image to sell?
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  • Sounds like all the information on the Fotomoto Server is jumbled. The scripts on my site still going down every 10 minutes, and I also get "could not be saved" text gibberish on the dashboard. If I am frustrated, and you are tired, I can't imagine what our site visitors must be feeling. Hopefully when you awake they will have fixed the mess.
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  • I can get into the new dashboard just fine, but the script isn't loading on my website at all. Worked fine yesterday before the update.
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  • It is a case now of working ten minutes, and then not. Whenever it is working (Dashboard/Script), and I update prices, either the script stops working or both..... This was such a reckless decision on the part of Fotomoto.
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  • I’m frustrated
    I have to agree with Richard on this. The number of problems I am having with the update are preposterous. I can deal with many of the little inconveniences if that was all it was. When the are issues that prevent you from doing business it becomes very frustrating. The frustration is compounded by the fact the only response that we've had from support here is it's going to take time.
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  • Fell asleep and had bad dreams. This morning woke up, went over to see if anything had changed since 4 a.m. and my.fotomoto.com was not bringing me to the new dashboard. It was bringing me to the FLASH UPGRADE PAGE.

    I was a beta tester on the new dashboard, but it wasn't in "Live Mode." i.e. I was really testing the look and feel of the dashboard, but not how it would interact with any actual site.

    So I am not going to rant and rave right now (maybe later) but going forward, it's clear that if FM ever does any sort of upgrade like this again, it has to be done by moving beta testers data to the new server / cloud first and dealing with their actual issues on a smaller basis while the old setup continues as is.

    Right now, I am stuck with no access to a dashboard, and no toolbar, and a couple of customers wondering whether I am selling photographs or they are just for display purposes.

    I sense that they are doing a re-install of some sort. Right now I can't ping the fotomoto.com address.

    Dave

    **** Now, ten minutes later*** the server is back up, and now my toolbar is present and is working. Hopefully it will stay that way.
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  • I’m concerned
    Just returned home from a meeting, and still no functional script. Happy to hear you have your toolbar working Dave.

    This is becoming a common practice with new online businesses from my experience. They start a site, which "seems" to be a solution, but then utilize the users for "bug testing" etc. In the end we are the ones paying the price while they take no responsibility for their actions.

    I do believe that Fotomoto has good intentions, but why should it be at the cost of us possibly losing business. As "lyons" stated the only response we get is that it is going to take time, and that 'we" should be patient.

    I am a "Viewbook" user, and even if I manage to inform my visitors via some link of the downtime, from experience I know that I have lost 90% of those sales, because another site was able to provide.

    Another point which was raised was that I could just remove the cart widget for the time being. This is absolutely not something which is viable. It is like removing the wheels from your vehicle, and expecting it to drive you to your destination. Also, on Viewbook Images are in collections, and it will take a lot of time to remove the script keys, and then again replacing them, whenever the platform is functional again.

    The damage is done, and I did not even get into the Ad campaign which I started running, which has now lost it's "first impression" potential.

    I am willing to keep the faith, but would like to receive some concrete answers to our discussions, and all the above concerns, and also see Fotomoto accept responsibility, not by apologies, but by "concrete" policies, and procedures which will ensure that there is some kind of backup, when they update/upgrade, or when their servers crash.

    If this can't be implemented, then this episode won't be the last.
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  • Richard. This is the first "bad" experience I've had with Fotomoto. Something like this should never happen again and really shouldn't have happened in the first place - though that can be said of any screw-up.

    I do understand that this was a big, tricky expansion, because they were implimenting two things at once - the server migration and the new software.

    It wasn't handled properly in terms of communications. I suspect that the people who normally would be doing the communicating were up all night trying to get the thing fixed.

    I've been in that position as a former software engineer with a whole bunch of people relying on my team to keep their business alive.

    But the major issue was communication during the outage. This is always a weak point for software / hardware companies. Fotomoto has been excellent in terms of communications - but when the migration took place - that ball was dropped (to mix metaphors) and I suspect that it was because all hands were called on deck.

    These are the pitfalls of working with a new growing company. But there are benefits to the user as well and that is that they are doing something new. I don't really know of anyone else that is working to do this sort of solution.

    And I think the execution of the concept has been good so far (not including of course this big burp).

    How many times did / does Twitter go down because they couldn't scale properly? And don't even mention Facebook (both of which I use).

    The major difference is that for many of us - this is how we earn a living. You lost money with an ad campaign that was run at just the wrong time. For me, potential customers will generally contact me and say - hey, what happened to the prices / cart etc. And I can get back to them and hopefully get them to wait it out for the day.

    Given a long period of good relations with FM - I give them the benefit of the doubt but would like to see a fuller explanation of what went on, and what is still going on for some users.

    Dave
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  • I’m busy with a color collection.
    You are correct on all counts, and I do empathize with the guys in the kitchen. What Fotomoto has placed on the table is obviously appetizing, and not to be frowned upon, this I agree with wholeheartedly.

    The communication issue is the main point here, with that a lot of this frustration could have been avoided, and I would have played the "good cop" ; )

    I believe this will eventually be overcome with the obvious advantages in future, but must insist on your last point, without it I will be spending too much time tracking system status, and worrying about server crashes etc.

    Growing pains.....
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  • Ahmad (Official Rep) April 07, 2011 18:40
    We have a little update on our blog: http://blog.fotomoto.com. Please forgive us for not answering all posts here. It's been a busy day for us.

    We have two different conversation here in this thread: our immediate issues, and service reliability in general. I will be back here to answer the reliability questions and concerns as soon as we are sure the immediate issues are taken care of.
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  • Ahmad, now I just feel really sorry for the suffering you had to go through, sounds terrible.

    You will find that I will still complain a lot in future, it is my job, but will always keep in mind that it can get really hot when all the cookers are fired up.

    If you guys just told us what you were going through, it would saved us all a lot of typing (see, complaining again)

    I will be happy to see Tweets with updates, even if it is bad news, like the power failures etc., much better than no information apart from "please be patient".

    Would like to hear what you guys plan on implementing with regards to backup systems etc.
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  • Ahmad (Official Rep) April 07, 2011 19:28
    Richard,

    We love "complaining but patient" users! That means they are using our service, and helping us to improve it! Looking forward to hearing your complains and suggestions. Please note 2 things:

    1. Give us till Monday before you start getting picky! We have a list of things that we should fix, and there's a good chance that some of the thing you report are already there on our list.

    2. You are using Viewbook, which is a 3rd part Flash site that has integrated Fotomoto. There are some limitations with Flash sites, and also we are fully not in control of the way 3rd party services integrate our service into their platforms (but we try to "influence" them).

    About the tweet, that was a good idea, but we didn't have power to connect to twitter's server! Even our cell phones were not working because (I think) the cell tower didn't have power? Anyway, we will try to keep everyone posted.

    Thank you,

    --Ahmad
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  • I’m better
    Man. Just read the blog post. Had no idea. You all have my sympathy and if I was too jittery as I waited for what should be a good sized sale, you were without power. That is something I think you'll all remember for a long time; and will make a good story someday with some distance.
    Dave
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