It appears that last nights Nation Wide Virgin Media Outage was caused by some faulty cooling in one of their main backbone racks.
This was explained in a recent resolution email I’ve received:
“Master Update: On Tuesday evening (17th January), Virgin Media Business experienced a network outage that impacted customers using IPVPN, Managed Internet, National Ethernet and broadband services. The problem was quickly traced to a failed cooling unit that had caused a core backbone router to overheat. Due to exceptional circumstances, other backup equipment also failed to activate properly. We’re are now working through a thorough investigation as to why this happened.
Engineers resolved the fault in about an hour. Virgin Media Business would like to apologise to all customers impacted by this outage.
If you have any queries regarding this update – please contact Technical Support.”
The issue was resolved mostly later in the evening on Tuesday but additional load issues due to having to bypass the problem was still causing issues for some people.
Hopefully Virgin will be able to identify why their contingency plan didn’t work.
Recently at work I’ve been assisting in migrating us over to Google Apps. We have the premier package, so we pay for our Google as opposed to some of the recent reports about Google Apps Usage being mainly free (Google says it has 25 million Google Apps users, but almost all of them are non-payers. )
I then logged into my home ISP internet Virgin Webmail and found that they too had moved to Google Mail. Virgin Media Webmail accounts are now Google Apps accounts. There isn’t much there, you don’t get Docs with it for example but you can get access to the Google Page.
As I mentioned, there isn’t much you can do from here. Also, the traditional pages appear to redirect to, so you can’t goto for example: http://mail.google.com/a/ntlworld.com as what it actually does is sign you out.
Oh well, nevermind.
Let me share my dismay at Virgin Medias terrible service so far.
Earlier this month I opted to upgrade my broadband connection from 20Mbit to 50Mbit. Sure, 20Mbit was probably enough but I worked out that as I use my internet more then my TV and Phone I could downgrade my packages on those and get 50Mbit and a free D-Link 802.11n router and a free 802.11n USB dongle in the package for 30% less then what I’m currently paying. No brainer.
So, I arranged with Virgin Media to send out an engineer. On the 8th of October I took a half day off work for them to install the modem assuming I would be up and running in a couple of hours at best.
Today is the 16th of October, I still have no broadband. They claim that the problem they are having is registering the modems. Fine I said, send me another one. Apparently this won’t help.
I’ve called their tech support every day since I first reported this issue and there is still no real estimation of when this will be fixed.
What kind of service is this?! I’ve sent my letter off complaining but I cannot find anywhere on the internet them reporting that there is a problem, also, why didn’t they just say we’re having issues at the moment so installation won’t be for a month rather then cut me off!!!
I’d seriously recommend anyone looking to move to Virgin Media or upgrade to hold off at least until November.
My ISP Virgin Media offers online backup packages as part of their internet bundles.
The bundle that I am currently on offers 10GB of online backup space FREE as part of the account. Well, obviously its not really free as I’m paying for the internet connection.
The partner that Virgin Media use to offer this online backup service is provided by a company called steek who are based in Belgium. The software that they provide is Windows only, but you can make it work with Wine to a satisfactory degree.
Here is how I set mine up:
1) Download the Software from Virgin Media My Stuff Page: https://my.virginmedia.com/dashboard/start
2) Using winecfg I setup a Z: drive which points to my root /
3) In the Virgin Media V STuff Backup Software I turned off all the auto backup email items as they just look for Hotmail and My Documents etc and I choose “Backup All Files/Folders”
4) Now simply choose the files you want from this screen:
I am backing up my .evolution, Documents, and Pictures. That way at least I have these backed up. The software works ok, although it doesn’t seem very good at only uploading the changes, if the file changes it seems to need to upload the whole file again.
There are many more options in the software that can be configured but what I have setup is enough to get you going with it.
You may want to setup this software to autostart with your PC, to do this I added a script:
env WINEPREFIX=”/home/lee/.wine” wine “C:\Program Files\VirginMedia\V Stuff Backup\v_stuff_backup.exe”
to my scripts directory and then I setup Sessions in Gnome (System -> Preferences -> Personal -> Sessions) of this:/home/lee/Scripts/startvbackup.sh
This starts it 8 minutes after login enough time to warrant a connection from it :)
Well, I finally got sick enough of my 20Mb internet service running consistently at 5-6Mb on a good day and sometimes as slow as 1-2Mb on bad days for me to call Virgin Media.
Its been a while since I called them, last time wasn’t a great encounter, after I’d managed to get through to the girl that I knew what I was talking about and the internet keeps going off, it fixed itself, as expected the next day.
Anyway, now, when you approach the on hold state, it asks you what music you want, cool.
Press 1 for POP, 2 for Dance, 3 for Indie, I didn’t listen to the rest, 3 was already pressed and I was given some Iggy Pop.
I’ve been a Virgin Media (previously NTL) customer for many years now and I’ve been happy with their service overall. When there were outages it was often up within a day or so. I only had to get an engineer out twice and one of the times was to correct and issue the first guy should have resolved.
But now they have introduced speed caps to their service, see here and I am not happy. They claim that if I download over 750MB on my service in peak hours then I will get capped to 2Mb. I’ve found this not to be the case, sometimes when I come home at night (nothing is on in my house using anything like 750MB downloads) I find that my connection is already at the lower speed. How can this be when I’m the only person in the house at the time!?
Their response is contact the pay for support line. My response is shove that up your arse. I’m not paying for a phone call to tell them what I’m already paying for is not working. That should be free.
I admit, I do sometimes download large files, given I am an IT Professional and a Linux advocate sometimes I do download large files. Personally I think that they have been very short sighted on this capping and are pissing off many legitimate and long standing customers.
I’m hoping that they see the error of their ways soon due to the hassle of getting Sky in and a BT phone line to get ADSL but unless things change before the end of the year, I can see myself going to this trouble.
Please, if you are on Virgin Media or even if you disagree to this capping:
Sign The Petition Against the Speed Caps