"Why Linode Sucks" - A Personal Rant
Where to start? This was meant to be a review, and as it has reach the keyboard has become more of a dossier of events that leads to "Why Linode Sucks" opposed to a straight out review. I should probably put some "disclaimer" in here so I don't get the good old "you need to be unbiased" or "you shouldn't have an opinion" tribal chants from the members' gallery. However it has been growing under my skin, and today with the outage we had and a few people poking the yet to heal wound, in the words of Tim Minchin "this asshole can be held back by his balls no more." So to hell with your opinions and here's mine ;)
Where to start this wonderful, politically incorrect rant of a madman? A few months back is probably a good pitch, lets start there.
So it was about a week before I was due to leave to manage an event, during that time life was hectic with hospital visits and all sorts of other commotion and drama that just bleeds your time away like a leech hitting an artery, I was working away and all of a sudden some random sends us an email demanding us to contact them. I found a video at the time, which I didn't get to use however redeemed that failing recently. In short, he who shall not be named (lets give him the acronym of HWSNBN from now on) wanted us to contact him for his list of "demands." Suffice to say we never replied to a single email, however he went and prodded Linode demanding they turn off LEB/LET or be DDOSed.
Well it turns out HWSNBN had a bit of clout, and went on a spree trying to take out LEB/LET, WHT and then followed up on BuyVM and Secure Dragon. It was an interesting few days, and there was a fair bit of discussion behind the scenes between WHT, iNET Interactive, Liquid Web, BuyVM and ourselves. There we IP address records floating around, back and forward, compiling lists, everyone pooling basically whatever data we could at the time to build up a list of IPs that were hitting us. As much as @Francisco say's he only responds to "BuyVM Threads" let me tell you, whenever there's e-drama on LET he's the first to Skype it to me, and this had him like hot like a pony in heat waiting for its stallion.
Through this I communicated with a couple of people from WHT whom were incredibly helpful (Not Bear, he's still a twit), iNET popped their heads in to conversations but the one thing that really stood out was Liquid Web's willingness to work with others and other hosts. Everybody realised the obvious, if we work together and share our information we can move forward quicker. It didn't matter if we were from different websites, it didn't matter if they were different hosts, the simple truth was more hands, more heads meant more progress.
However, the exception to this rule, the lone ranger that markets they give a shit but really don't, was and still is to this day Linode.
So it began with a support ticket...
We've identified an inbound denial-of-service (DoS) attack targeting an IP address assigned to your Linode (***.***.***.***). As the attack was large enough to negatively impact our network and subsequently the service of other Linodes, we've null routed your IP address for a minimum of 24 hours. After the 24 hour period has expired, we will inspect the traffic once again to see if the attack is still occurring. If the attack had subsided at that time, the null route will be removed and connectivity to your Linode's IP address will be restored.
So as you would expect, the first thing you generally want to know is the size of the attack, or some information regarding the attack, type of attack etc. This sort of information is incredibly helpful for two reasons, the first being the obvious so you can look to see if there's anything in your direct control to try and alleviate this. The second if you need to move hosts so you have an assessment of your situation and can inform a host prior to moving to them. This is about as helpful as Linode gets...
The attack was large enough to affect performance within our network. If you have any other questions in the meantime, please let us know.
This was early on in the drama, and about as much "useful" information as we could extract from them. So I called up on the phone to talk with them, politely asked if they could assess the IP again and see if it was still getting hit, this was a bit more than 12 hours later. Nope, they won't budge, they won't even look at the logs. Fine, then could you please let us know a bit more about the flood, size etc. No, not willing to discuss it. So we tried on two fronts, via tickets and via phone, hoping to strike someone not moulded in the shape of a robot that communicates through its ass waiving at the customer.
In the meantime LiquidWeb and BuyVM were bouncing discussions back and forth, we weren't much help because we were completely offline and nothing we could gather. Anyway, between the two companies they managed to compile a massive list of IPs. Alryic went to work reporting them to upstream providers via abuse reports to try and get some of them closed, whilst others at both companies went to work on filtering. So I thought a day has gone, perhaps Linode will be of some help, what a fool I was to assume such a "premium" provider would be of any assistance.
When I contacted Linode to offer them the list of IPs so they could pro-actively filter on their network/upstream the short answer was "we're not interested." When asked if they would jump in with us as a group and work with us, again "not interested." When asked then if they could supply us information in that case on the size of the attack on our VPS, again "sorry we don't release that information." Having run out of finger nail to chew without it causing the skin under the nail to bleed, I thought well "could you at least remove the null-route and see if we are clear now?" The reply was again, "sorry we are unable to do that."
If you could find the most useless company on the face of the earth, burn it to the ground, have passers by for a week urinate on those ashes, then scrape those ashes in to your garden they would prove more valuable as a fertiliser for your plants than Linode is today as a "functioning" VPS provider. "VPS's powered by natural urine, we're a green company."
Someone run with that idea, we will list you on LEB... anyway... back to it.