I got an email today from my hosting provider, Joyent, informing me that my service will end on October 31. I have about 70 days to find a new place to host things like my old blog and my email. I shouldn’t be too upset, I suppose, because I haven’t paid a cent for my hosting there since February, 2005.
But the thing that I bought over seven years ago was billed as hosting “for as long as TextDrive exists.” TextDrive, while no longer a company itself, was bought by Joyent, and Joyent certainly still exists.
I was really excited when I joined TextDrive. Just read the forum thread where Dean Allen announced the deal, and where he counted down the available slots. It was a good, communal feeling, and everyone there (myself included) felt like we were getting a great deal and helping out a company take a big step toward … something.
Joyent’s email today is pretty tortured:
We’ve been analyzing customer usage of Joyent’s systems and noticed that you are one of the few customers that are still on our early products and have not migrated to our new platform, the Joyent Cloud.
For many business reasons, including infrastructure performance, service quality and manageability, these early products are nearing their End of Life. We plan to sunset these services on October 31, 2012 and we’d like to walk you through a few options.
We appreciate and value you as one of Joyent’s lifetime Shared Hosting customers. As this service is one of our earliest offerings, and has now run its course, your lifetime service will end on October 31, 2012.
The message comes with an offer for a “free 512MB SmartMachine on the Joyent Cloud for one year.” But I don’t really want a “SmartMachine” (a term which, even though there’s a whole page dedicated to it on Joyent’s site, I still don’t understand at all). I just want the shared hosting I paid for. Unfortunately, the page with the details of the offer doesn’t seem to be available anywhere, but it’s quoted here.
Ultimately, this is more of an annoyance than anything else, because I got pretty good value out of my $399. A very large part of my decision to buy in the first place, though, was that I wouldn’t have to migrate my blog or email ever again. So much for that.
Back in that thread where he announced the deal, Dean Allen called the offer “an investment (with attendant risks, though still a ludicrously good deal, and for life)” (emphasis his).
We’ve all learned this lesson over and over again, but this is just another reminder that something that seems too good to be true certainly is.