‘Heartbreaking’ data loss as TVCentral goes blank

Tv_central_logo mumbrellaTelevision industry website TvCentral is considering its future after an attempt to migrate to a new server went wrong and all of its data was lost.

The disaster came about four months after editor Aaron Ryan took ownership of the site which gets around 200,000 page impressions per month.

TV Central was created in July 2010 following a relaunch of tvauscast.

Ryan issued a press release saying: “TvCentral will proceed with legal action against VentraIP for technical difficulties with the site that led to the complete loss of data and history of the website. Staff were dealt a heartbreaking blow when VentraIP informed TvCentral at 1:30pm yesterday that migration to a larger site had failed and all back up and history were lost.”

Ryan said: “Not since the death of my sister back in 1997 have I been dealt such a blow. The people that work on the site are so dedicated and I must admit that when I am not working my second job outside the television landscape I am either sleeping or working on the website. Every ounce of passion goes into the site and this is heartbreaking.”

TV_central_home_page mumbrella

How TV Central looked when it launched in 2010

He  that a statement would be released at the end of the week on the future of the site.

VentraIP’s chief executive Cheyne Jonstone told Mumbrella: “It’s not really something I can comment on. it’s a matter between us and the people involved.”

Update: Ventra IP has now issued the following press release:

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: VentraIP Group (Australia) Pty Ltd, one of Australia’s leading web site hosting and domain name registrars, has today released a statement to address allegations made in a recent press release by Mr. Aaron Ryan of website “TVCentral”.

Mr. Cheyne Jonstone, Chief Executive Officer of VentraIP Group, said:

“Today I’ve been made aware of a press release that has been published and distributed by Mr. Ryan which claims that VentraIP has caused loss of data to his website, TVCentral.

Whilst personal details of matter are of a strict confidential nature between Mr. Ryan and ourselves, as a reputable company with tens-of-thousands of Australian customers who rely on VentraIP to host their website and be the registrar of choice for their domain names each and every day, we feel that it is important to clarify our position since Mr. Ryan has made the decision to bring this matter in to the public domain.

As always, every story has two sides, and the unfortunate situation in this story is that it is simply a case of a client not taking appropriate action when prompted.

We do keep backups of our customers websites. On a daily basis we restore two to three accounts from our archives after a client has accidently deleted files or overwritten something they shouldn’t have, however in certain circumstances when the data volume reaches a certain size in a clients account, or the amount of server resources required to backup particular files such as video and audio reaches a limit, we inform customers in writing that due to this reason their account will no longer be part of our backup process, and that they should ensure that they have a copy of their data in the unlikely event of a server crash or if they need to restore files for any reason.

It is not a published fact, but our system will keep the clients data in the backup system for seven days after this notice has been issued, which gives the client time to reduce the amount of data being backed up so that we can resume backing up the data on behalf of the client, or make alternate arrangements.

Aside from this policy and our backups which take place, all clients should always keep their own backups of their website data, irrespective of the size or perceived value, and our Terms of Services very clearly states this.

Over the course of the previous twenty-four days, Mr. Ryan:

– Has been informed in writing that his website would no longer be part of our backup routine due to the abovementioned policy. Mr. Ryan has acknowledged that he received this email but did not question it at the time.

– Had a shared web hosting service suspended due to Excessive Resource Usage, where the recommended upgrade path was to a Virtual Private Server (VPS).

– Accepted the recommendation and purchased a Server Management Day Pass as the service is not managed.

© 2012 VentraIP Group (Australia) Pty Ltd Page 1 of 3 Doc Ref: VENTRAIP-PR-TVC1

Monday, 13 February 2012

– When asked by our staff whether he wanted us to secure his server, migrate his existing web site as-is, or both, he simply replied “Yes secure is fine. Please go ahead”.

– Ignored a written request from our technical staff, which was made after the server securing had taken place, that asked Mr. Ryan to contact our Level 1 Support team to let them know when he would like a migration of his existing web site to take place, during the timeframes which we allow for account migrations to occur. We ask all clients this question as a migration can cause down time of up to 24 hours due to DNS propagation, and depending on the client and their target audience, they may want it to occur at different times of the day or night.

– Submitted an online cancellation request for the shared web hosting service after obtaining a credit for the unused portion of the pre-paid service, before making any effort to ensure that his website was being served from his new VPS, which resulted in his shared web hosting service being cancelled the following day. Both our Billing staff and the cancellation page in our portal informed Mr. Ryan that cancellation would take place at 11:00AM the following day.

Unfortunately, since Mr. Ryan had not taken proper notice of the email sent to him on January 20, 2012, nor had he requested us to perform the migration as per our Level 2 Technicians clear instructions, it resulted in the loss of his web site data.

Since the issue was made known to our Management team, I instructed our Chief Technical Officer and our Senior Technical Officer (Level 2) to comb through our backup archives to see if there was any trace of Mr Ryan’s data, even if it was several months old, however there was not.

Both my staff and I attempted to explain the situation to Mr. Ryan both through email and over the phone, however he has refused to accept any responsibility for what has taken place. As a gesture of goodwill, I have offered Mr. Ryan six months free VPS service (a value of $299) in order for him to build his website back up as I personally felt very sorry for his unfortunate situation, which he has declined.

I will also be conducting a review of our internal policies and procedures in an effort to identify any changes that can possibly be made to help prevent this from happening again.

However, a statement made today by Mr. Ryan that likens the loss of his website data to the death of his sister in 1997, are, in my personal opinion, outrageously disrespectful and in very poor taste. As a highly compassionate person, I feel for Mr. Ryan’s situation and if I found that there had been any wrong doing by my staff at any stage throughout this event, I would be at his mercy. However, after a very thorough investigation and taking in to account all of the facts, I have found that our staff have acted in accordance with our tried and tested policies and procedures, and Mr. Ryan’s failure to act and respond to several written requests is ultimately the cause of this unfortunate event. It is also clear that Mr. Ryan never checked his VPS to ensure his data had been migrated, which could have been done at any time as he was furnished with the details required to login to it.

Mr. Ryan has since made many claims to us and threatened legal action both in private and now in public, and as such we will not make any further comment on the matter.

This situation is a timely reminder to anybody who hosts a website, that having a backup of your data is absolutely vital, and it should not be assumed to be the responsibility of your web hosting provider unless you have a specific Service Level Agreement (SLA) which clearly outlines the backup policy and routine, and you are satisfied with those policies and routines.”

No further media enquiries will be taken on this matter.


  1. Ben
    13 Feb 12
    3:56 pm

  2. “Not since the death of my sister back in 1997 have I been dealt such a blow.”
    A bit much?

  3. Jess
    13 Feb 12
    3:57 pm

  4. Please tell me he didn’t just compare the death of his sister with the loss of data. I get that this is a huge thing, but… seriously.

  5. Stilgherrian
    13 Feb 12
    4:04 pm

  6. What sort of arsehat conducts ANY kind of major technical work without taking a backup first?

    Blaming someone else for such a massive data loss is pathetic. A catastrophic failure could strike at any time. Anyone running any sort of online operation who doesn’t have a current, tested disaster recovery plan is … a tad foolish.

  7. Jb
    13 Feb 12
    4:11 pm

  8. What kind of idiotic IT company makes it possible to lose all of the data including backups?

    Good effort though well done.

  9. wayno
    13 Feb 12
    4:25 pm

  10. rule #1 – always back up
    rule #2- refer rule 1

  11. AdGrunt
    13 Feb 12
    4:30 pm

  12. Everything lost? With no mirror or backup?

    That suggests simply unbelieveable and staggering incompetence by your supplier.

    It must be devastating, but “you get what you pay for” also springs to mind…

  13. Techo
    13 Feb 12
    4:39 pm

  14. There is always two sides to a story, would be interesting to hear the other side’s version of events…

    And hey, make bloody backups…. geez

  15. Jay
    13 Feb 12
    4:44 pm

  16. Rule #1 Hosting company is not liable for your data
    Rule #2 Take your own

  17. Duncan Riley
    13 Feb 12
    4:46 pm

  18. I’m not questioning that this is a horrible thing to happen, but why didn’t he have his own backup?

    It’s not hard to do a backup, indeed if he’s using WordPress it’s a simple plugin away.

  19. Ryano
    13 Feb 12
    4:47 pm

  20. Hosting providers always protect themselves with clauses like this one, taken from their T&Cs : “The Customer should always maintain a recent copy of all data at all times, as VentraIP will not be liable for incomplete, out of date, corrupt or otherwise incomplete data recovered from our backups and archives”

    However a few lines down it also states “VentraIP takes automatic system backups of Business web hosting Services seven (7) times a week, being every morning. VentraIP will also retain a weekly rotation of these backups.”

    These ultra cheap hosting companies that are popping up everywhere now need to be held accountable for losing their customers’ data. The same thing happened to DistributeIT a few months back.

    If you claim, like these guys do, that you provide “Daily and Weekly Account Backups” and then turn around and say, “Actually sorry we don’t”, then that is blatantly false advertising. What happened to last weeks backup? Or the week before? or 8 weeks ago? At least offer something that is more than “We lost all your data”.

  21. Urban Wildlife
    13 Feb 12
    4:54 pm

  22. They obviously didn’t buy enough memory sticks.

  23. chhopsky
    13 Feb 12
    5:11 pm

  24. How can you lose all backup and history in a failed migration?

    There are two lessons here:
    1. Redundancy is -not- the same as backup is -not- the same as archival. Replication and off-site backup should not be considered an ‘either or’ pair. Backup is about disaster recovery and if your DR is involved in migrating your site you have done something wrong.

    2. You should always understand what your IT and Comms providers are doing. If a basic risk analysis shows that your business is totally dependent on someone or something then you need to mitigate that risk.

    All that said, you can get really, really, really unlucky.

  25. awebmaster
    13 Feb 12
    5:55 pm

  26. Sounds like what happened is that VentraIP did the migration, and had the prior account/data removed before they actually checked any data on the new server.

    Albeit the site owner should’ve had a backup, this is one example of when you shouldn’t trust a company with a shady background to do everything for you, especially when you’re no doubt on a loss leading product.

  27. Jay
    13 Feb 12
    6:00 pm

  28. It’s funny how you pulled that from the T&C, When I signed up to VentraIP, i took particular note of this one:

    “VentraIP reserves the right to exclude any shared hosting Service from our daily, weekly and monthly backup rotation if the account size exceeds 5GB (5000MB) in size. If an account is excluded from the backup schedule, VentraIP will notify the Customer via email.”

    I bet TV Central was a lot bigger than 5GB!

  29. Kira
    13 Feb 12
    7:14 pm

  30. I’d like to hear the other side of the story before I make any judgment…. because I’m fair like that.

  31. Me
    13 Feb 12
    7:27 pm

  32. lol – this would never happen to The Pirate Bay.

    Firstly, because its admins actually know what they are doing. Secondly because backups are spreading around the web like a virus (just in case someone attacks TPB.)

    Sucks to be an unpopular site nobody cares about I guess.

  33. Craig
    13 Feb 12
    8:20 pm

  34. No offsite or inhouse backups?

    Have they checked Google’s cache or the Internet Archive ( for content)?

    This is not the service provider’s fault.

  35. Stilgherrian
    13 Feb 12
    8:21 pm

  36. The idea that the hosting provider should be responsible for the data ignores the fact that, for example, it’s the customer who installs and is responsible for maintaining application software like a content management system and protecting it against mistakes in operation — or someone malicious, internal or external, deleting everything.

    In any event, one of the risks your data recovery strategy needs to mitigate against is the service provider vanishing, e.g. going out of business suddenly.

    If you want a service provider to be “held accountable” then they’re no longer just a hosting provider but a lot, lot more. They’d have to understand the nature and timing of data flows through your applications, do risk assessments, design backup and recovery procedures to match, monitor them and test them regularly.

    You can expect to pay for that.

  37. James
    13 Feb 12
    8:46 pm

  38. Clearly there’s two sides to this story. Why would you migrate a site without any backup and then blame it on the web host? He’s crazy to think that absolutely no backup was required

  39. Linker
    13 Feb 12
    8:51 pm

  40. Here’s a press release from VentraIP:


  41. Jac
    13 Feb 12
    8:55 pm

  42. ive read the press release by Ventraip and from the way I see it, Ryan ignored an email asking when he wanted the migration to the new server to be done and thus Ryan cancelled the old account/server without bothering to do the migration..

    that is not Ventraip’s fault. they were waiting for him to tell them to do the migration. he didnt tell them. he instead got them to cancel the old server.

    and then he has the audacity to compare the loss of data to the loss of his sister? Seriously, I just lost my granny, no way does the loss of my granny who was like a mother to me compare in anyway to the time ive lost data on my website.

  43. James Norquay
    13 Feb 12
    8:55 pm

  44. I think their may be two sides to this story, I have personally used VentraIP for over 20 websites from small to large in size over the last few years and never had a problem. I found the team to be more than helpful compared to some overseas companies I have dealt with I noticed they recently put out a press release to show their side:


    I am not affiliated with VentraIP in any way.

  45. Cheyne Jonstone
    13 Feb 12
    8:55 pm

  46. Hi guys. We have issued a press release in response to this, which you can read at http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

    It’s an awful situation to have to deal with, but I felt it required an official response to ensure that people like yourselves clearly understand what has actually transpired here. Thank you for your time.


  47. Tom
    13 Feb 12
    9:01 pm

  48. VentraIP have issued a press release: http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

  49. Peter
    13 Feb 12
    9:02 pm

  50. I have never read TV Central and have only heard of it in passing (I seem to recall that he ran into trouble with one of the networks a while back – 9, I think). But seriously, I’m already starting to dislike this Aaron Ryan guy intensely. I mean, comparing (preventable) website data loss to the tragic loss of his sister?

    Imagine if the events had been flipped. Would he have written something like: “I was dealt the tragic blow yesterday that my sister had passed away… Not since I lost my website data have I been dealt such a blow.”

    I shudder to think how his mind works.

  51. Gavin
    13 Feb 12
    9:04 pm

  52. The other side of the story can be found here:http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

  53. Joel Webb
    13 Feb 12
    9:10 pm

  54. Ventra’s response to the incident here: http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

  55. Tim
    13 Feb 12
    9:12 pm

  56. I am not questioning this must be devastating for Aaron, but I do believe this press release does shed some light onto the situation: http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

    As a long time customer of VentraIP, there service has always been excellent whenever I’ve been in need of it. Even during the time when I accidentally deleted one of my sites, they were able to restore a backup for me. A backup that was made by me I should add.

    That really is the lesson here, you always, always need to make backups.

  57. Angelo Giuffrida
    13 Feb 12
    9:15 pm

  58. The official press release – http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf – from our CEO, Mr Cheyne Jonstone on this particular incident.

    We’re reached out to Mumbrella directly with this press release, but thought I’d post it here for reference.


    Angelo Giuffrida
    Chief Operating Officer

    VentraIP Group (Australia) Pty Ltd

  59. MrTecho
    13 Feb 12
    9:18 pm

  60. WOW – I just read the press release from VentraIP – seems like its TVCentral’s fault and not theirs….


  61. Chris
    13 Feb 12
    9:23 pm

  62. Here is the official response from VentraIP on this matter http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

  63. Con
    13 Feb 12
    9:49 pm

  64. There are always 2 sides to every story.


    VentraIP in my opinion is still top class.

  65. Spud
    13 Feb 12
    9:55 pm

  66. p858snake
    13 Feb 12
    10:03 pm

  67. Here is the press release from Ventra: http://forums.ventraip.com.au/.....php?t=5572

  68. Andrew
    13 Feb 12
    10:17 pm

  69. Daniel C
    13 Feb 12
    10:50 pm

  70. I feel sorry for Ryan and the team but no backups of their own? Pretending this situation did not happen in the first place how can you trust fully a third party company with your data and not have a backup? What if relationship went pear shaped and they needed to move to another provider quickly.

    For all interested, the other side of the story:

  71. Lickity
    13 Feb 12
    10:53 pm

  72. Having used VentraIP since inception and beyond, I doubt very much that they caused data loss. That aside, being in the industry myself, I wouldn’t be going anywhere near a migration to a new server without first backing it up and having it in my hands. A costly mistake on the owners behalf.

  73. Fred
    13 Feb 12
    10:56 pm

  74. Andy
    13 Feb 12
    11:35 pm

  75. According to the story of ventraip press release, its altogether on a different path. It seems more of a mistake by Ryan. Here is the press release : http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

    Either way, feel sorry for Ryan’s state. But to compare this to sister’s death is absolutely pathetic to say the least.

  76. Blake
    14 Feb 12
    1:04 am

  77. VentraIP have released a statement regarding the data loss, seems theres a bit Mr Ryan neglected to reveal http://www.ventraip.com.au/files/pr-tvc-130212.pdf

  78. Ryano
    14 Feb 12
    1:30 am

  79. Here is the other side of the story


    It would seem that the owner of the site closed down the account before ensuring the site was migrated to the new server. This is not such a clear case of incompetence by the service provider as implied by this article.

  80. Aaron Ryan
    14 Feb 12
    1:52 am

  81. This is Aaron Ryan and I would like to add a comment. I was not comparing the death of my sister to this loss. I was saying I had not felt a loss like this since then. As anyone knows that puts all of their spare hours and passion into something (whether that be blogging, sport, hobby) and sees it instantly disappear in a cloud of smoke will understand where I am coming from.

    In essence TvCentral ran for a long time with two main people – myself and the previous owner. I was the content man and he was the technical expert and used to do all of that kind of thing and imagine he would have been doing back ups and the like. When I took over as the owner in November, he stepped away from the site completely. I had to find a new technical staff member and I did just a few days ago. I have no idea about backing up, coding and the like and relied on Ventra to provide that service until I found someone. My mistake it seems. In just a few days the new technical person would have backed up the site privately and moved away from Ventra. I believe they have released a statement which is available on their website. They basically claim that it was my fault. I obviously disagree and their service (aside from this) was rather crappy.

    Where to now? I am not sure. I need to take the time to re evaluate everything and see where to go to from here. The team at Mumbrella have been supportive of TvCentral for a long while now and I appreciate Tim’s support.

  82. Peter
    14 Feb 12
    9:17 am

  83. Sorry, what’s the URL to the VentraIP press release? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    (I count 19 links! One of the small disadvantages of using pre-moderation of comments. :D)

  84. Devil's advocaat
    14 Feb 12
    10:10 am

  85. I think someone’s link building.

    So I’d like to add:

    Amazon Web Services are soon to open in Sydney.


    I don’t work for them but they are awesome and they’re arrival will benefit everyone as hosting prices plunge.

    Tim, are Ventra IP comments all from the same IP or do they know better?

  86. CC
    14 Feb 12
    10:28 am

  87. I find it hard to understand, how VentraIP let the shared service be deleted before the data was migrated to the VPS, or at least the data was copied across. Tvcentral should have had offsite backups, but since Ryan paid for a sever management service, he probably thought that it would be moved no problem. And why was the tvcentral.com.au DNS updated before the data was copied over. Something doesn’t add up here

    Pay peanuts, get monkeys?

  88. Dave The Happy Singer
    14 Feb 12
    11:00 am

  89. Hey guys, I wonder if VentraIP have released a press release at all? I thought they might have, but no-one seems to have mentioned it in the comments.

  90. VIP
    14 Feb 12
    11:52 am

  91. Having read both Mr Ryan & VIP’s corro on the matter, it sounds like Ryan didn’t read the emails from VentraIP and didn’t take action. How is that VentraIP’s fault then if they just did what they’d said they’d do if he didn’t respond? Lesson learned from this should be: If you don’t understand something in corro from your tech service providers, find someone who does immediately… or request more information … or simply speak up and say you don’t understand. Don’t sweep it under the rug.

    Its pretty devo to lose all your data like that, and I do feel sorry for TVCentral, but it sounds like it wasn’t actually the fault of VentraIP sorry to say.

  92. Rhubarb
    14 Feb 12
    11:56 am

  93. Dave, I’m not sure. We might just have to sit tight and wait for an official response from VentraIP.

  94. Aaron Ryan
    14 Feb 12
    12:00 pm

  95. Hello All

    Will add another comment. The backing up thing is certainly an issue and I will deal with that. Fair call. Please note that this is not about back ups, about DNS, or even about migration. What actually led to the loss of data was the fact that I obviously cancelled my account before it was migrated led to the loss. So the big question is ‘why the hell did you cancel your account before it was migrated?’ Now that is the million dollar question. Well here is the answer and I guess I will take on any comments.

    The answer is that I sent Ventra this question:

    “Hello I would like to know why I have two hosting services. My accounts menu has the old SYD Business Plan as well as the new BRIS VPS Plan – I am not paying for both am I?”

    I had thought the account had been migrated at this point but either way it does not matter what I thought. The question was not about cancellation at all. I just wanted to know a fair question about whether I was paying double. A normal response would be “at the moment you are paying double’ or ‘you will not be paying for the VPS plan until the service is migrated’. They chose not to answer my direct question. Instead this is the response I received:

    “Hello Aaron,
    Thank you for your enquiry. Can I get you to submit a cancellation request through your VIPControl to cancel your Business plan please. VIPControl >>Manage Hosting Services >> Options Cancel Service.”

    That was the response. Honest to God. I have it writing. They did not answer my actual question and instead instructed me to cancel my account. Was not a thought or suggestion but a direct instruction. I followed that instruction. I cancelled. Migration had not happened. Bang. Data loss.

    Now it is interesting here. Now Ventra’s only response is that I should have ignored the request by them and double checked the migration. They have also stated that I should know that the accounts team do not communicate or have any association with the technical team. So the accounts person that gave out the wrong information would not have known anything about migration and so on.

    Now I would like to hear comments based on this. I am happy to for someone to say I am an idiot because I should have ignored the request and did some research first. Maybe your right. I just went by what I was told.

  96. CC
    14 Feb 12
    12:23 pm

  97. @Aaron, who updated the DNS to point to the new server? Was this you or ventraIP?

    It looks like someone tried to migrate your site over to the VPS, since a webhost would never update DNS without copying the data over. Maybe ventraIP thought they had copied your data over and then when the DNS updated, realised they hadn’t. As you had cancelled your old account the original data was gone….

  98. Dominick
    14 Feb 12
    12:38 pm

  99. Aaron – seems like you’re spinning things to make yourself appear to be the innocent party in all of this.

    You don’t mention at all that you posted the above on the VentraIP forums, and received a response that debunked what you were saying and explaining what happened.

    Why, I wonder, would that be? 😉

  100. Craig
    14 Feb 12
    12:44 pm

  101. If there are backups from November (via the previous owner) then you are fine.

    If not then you did not do your due diligence on the business well.

    As someone operating a website it is not anyone else’s responsibility to teach you how to manage the website.

    Blaming the ISP seems a very litigious and ultimately inappropriate approach.

  102. Andrew Bolt & Gina Reinharts Love Child
    14 Feb 12
    12:47 pm

  103. Mum doesn’t believe in the internet. Someone explained those cookie things to her and she freaked out. Now, all she wants to do is sue every computer she sees because it may be leaking sensitive family information.

    In fact, we have a team of QC’s on call next week to prosecute a bunch of dell optiplexes and macbook airs in a preemptive legal manoeuvre that stops data getting out of them. Ever.

    Still. Mum can’t help but be jealous. She is wondering if VentraIP could look after all sensitive family information?

  104. VIP
    14 Feb 12
    12:47 pm

  105. Yes, you should have checked the migration had happened before you actually put in writing that you wanted to cancel something. As the one thing you can rely on is that people will do their jobs.

    But Ventra IP should have SEEN that you would lose all your data if they went ahead with that cancellation, and alerted you before it happened.

    So – looks like you’re both wrong and there are no winners here.

  106. Gavin
    14 Feb 12
    12:51 pm

  107. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d be interested to see how any legal action will play out now the participants in the dispute seem to be using the Mumbrella comments thread to play a he said/she said game.
    Saying that I imagine there is fault on both sides and proves that there is more to running a website than publishing some content on a daily basis.

  108. Aaron Ryan
    14 Feb 12
    12:55 pm

  109. The previous owner would have back ups but I say this embarrassingly. He has gone AWOL

  110. Anonymous
    14 Feb 12
    12:56 pm

  111. What a soap opera!

  112. Aaron Ryan
    14 Feb 12
    1:08 pm

  113. I didnt put in writing that I wanted to cancel. They TOLD me to cancel

  114. zeya
    14 Feb 12
    1:54 pm

  115. Utter incompetence by both parties. My suggestion is to put them in sumo suits and let them fight it out. Otherwise send in Mark Bouris.

  116. karen
    14 Feb 12
    2:16 pm

  117. No, they asked…they even said please Aaron. You should have checked everything was done.

    Although, one glaring issue, if you were unable to deal with the technical side of your site Aaron, why did you organise to change anything until you had hired someone? That is always guaranteed to cause a drama. Did Venta know you had no experience? based on the previous history of the site with them, they probably assumed you did. Did you request technical help from Venta with your site while you were looking for a new tech as you said above? or did you just assume that if you stuffed it up, they would fix it?

  118. Harry
    14 Feb 12
    2:36 pm

  119. Here’s the latest press release from VentraIP

  120. Aaron Ryan
    14 Feb 12
    3:29 pm

  121. I can assure you that they did not ask. I have the email that says please cancel the service. I only asked if I was paying double.

    Yes everything in hindsight. Before I hired the tech guy, the site went offline due to apparently the amount of videos being watched on the site. The only way to get it back online immediately was to say that I would join VPS. I said in an email that I have no technical experience. In my words I stated I was not ‘tech savvy’. So i proceeded and they were to handle the migration for the site. I paid the money for them to migrate and gave them permission to proceed 3 times.

    Again this is all back story. The site was lost because of a cancellation I performed after they requested me to. Here it is:

    You replied on Friday, 10th February 2012 1:51PM

    Customer: Aaron Ryan
    Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:10.0) Gecko/20100101
    IP Address: (124-169-200-229.dyn.iinet.net.au)
    Service: BNE-E-VPS / server1.tvcentral.com / root / BNEX1


    I would like to know why I have two hosting services. My accounts menu has the
    old SYD Business Plan as well as the new BRIS VPS Plan – I am not paying for
    both am I?

    Additionally I would like to know why in this VIP Control Menu it says that I
    have $98 credit when in fact I recently received an e-ticke enquiry back saying
    that I have $498 in credit.

    Why is there that difference?


    Hello Aaron,
    Thank you for your enquiry.

    First IO do apologise for the account credit mix up I have miss the 4 in the refund. I have add the $400 to your account credit now.

    Can I get you to submit a cancellation request through your VIPControl to cancel your Business plan please. VIPControl >>Manage Hosting Services >> Options Cancel Service.

    Please let me know if you have any queries or concerns.


    Lisa Tobias
    VentraIP Customer Care team

  122. Chris
    14 Feb 12
    3:48 pm

  123. From a very quick perusal, it appears that there’s a fair chunk of the site in the internet archive http://web.archive.org/web/201.....al.com.au/
    It’s from July 2011, but if you expect everyone else to look after your data for you, then this is probably more than you have now…..

  124. ant
    14 Feb 12
    3:50 pm

  125. I am happy to for someone to say I am an idiot because I should have ignored the request and did some research first. Maybe your right. I just went by what I was told.

    Aaron, you’re an idiot.

    What you did, in losing your tech lead and then undertaking a server migration before your new tech lead was fully onboard, was incredibly stupid. Sort of like firing the pilot of a jet and then trying to land the thing before another pilot could step into the cockpit. You should have waited until somebody who knew how to read the VentraIP emails was available – because it looks like you didn’t read them properly. At the very least when you got their first notice about not being backed up, you should have acted IMMEDIATELY to pay for a backup by them.

    I feel sorry for you, but this looks entirely like your fault.

  126. seinfeld
    14 Feb 12
    3:58 pm

  127. Excuse ME Tim Burrows, how many of the links to VentraIP’s press release came from within the walls of VentraIP?

    Mr Ryan, you have really made a knob of yourself here – firstly by having no idea of what you were talking about, and secondly by replying to a fantastically written press release with nothing more than “these guys are crappy”

    You are probably lucky you lost all the data, because your seemingly limitless ineptness would surely have ruined the website anyway.

    What is the deal with airline food?

  128. Chris Berkeley
    14 Feb 12
    4:28 pm

  129. Whenever we migrate a client’s site from one server to another we always keep the original site files and config in place for some weeks “just in case”. That’s quite apart from doing back ups and all the other things one should attend to.

    I can’t imagine why any hosting would not adopt such a precautionary approach given that the vast majority of SMEs do not have any real IT knowledge or resources on hand and don’t know what you mean when when you try to discuss technical matters.

  130. Logic
    14 Feb 12
    4:37 pm

  131. who cares. really.


  132. tika
    14 Feb 12
    4:37 pm

  133. DRP… Nuff said

  134. Chris
    14 Feb 12
    6:08 pm

  135. Seriously who runs a site like that on a cheap shared hosting platform anyway?

    Regardless of the ISP doing a backup or not, its your responsibility as the owner of the site/content to have a complete daily/weekly/monthly/annual backup for just this reason, in fact most shared hosting control panels will actually backup remotely to a third party FTP server if you instruct it to.

    VentraIP are completely in the right, they have simply cancelled a single shared hosting account – probably one of 500 on a particular server. Typically as soon as an account is cancelled/terminated all live data and backups in their control are deleted instantaneously.

    If an internet publisher / site owner is not capable of foreseeing these things happening and then planning accordingly maybe you should stick to pen and paper.

    I feel sorry for VentraIP being dragged over the hot coals.

  136. Adrian
    14 Feb 12
    6:14 pm

  137. If you are an ISP and migrating a site you take a backup as a matter of course, even if the client hasn’t paid for it, you do it.

    You also keep the site live on the original server while DNS propagation takes place.

    It was ludicrous for the ISP to attempt an operation like this then blame a non-technical person for it.

  138. Jörn Sanda
    14 Feb 12
    6:14 pm

  139. This story appears to be a ratings winner, if judged by the number of comments… Maybe Channel Nine should explore a reality show on losing data, rather than weight…

  140. jac
    14 Feb 12
    11:19 pm

  141. where
    aaron mentions the e-tickets asking/telling him to cancel, he forgot to mention that he spoke to billing and not technical help.

    ventraip has already said the response he got is the standard response from billing/accounts as they dont know anything to do with the technical side.

    furthermore, your admittance in the comment section on this post shows that you ave admitted to it being your fault since you never discussed migration with ventraip even though ventraip had asked you when you wanted migration to happen.

    and you are stll adouche for comparing it to the loss of your sister.

  142. mumbrella
    15 Feb 12
    8:16 am

  143. I haven’t met Aaron, but have always admired his drive for TvCentral. It’s always been clear that he runs the site as a passion project.

    It feels like a few people in this comment thread are perhaps judging his decisions as if he were a large business, with the advisers and funds to match.

    He’s just lost something he’s put all of his free time into for a long time.

    Regardless of whose fault it is, I’d argue that what he mainly deserves right now is sympathy.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  144. BustedPancreas
    15 Feb 12
    11:15 am

  145. “If not then you did not do your due diligence on the business well.”

    Priceless English :)

  146. DMR
    15 Feb 12
    12:02 pm

  147. Aaron,

    I’m sorry for your loss, it’s really sad. I know what it’s like to lose data on a site migration. My data loss was my fault in the end, because due to lack of foresight, I didn’t create redundancy. Knowing it was my fault made it a lot harder, but you live and learn. I don’t want to get all Anthony Robbins on you but you gotta pick things up and start again.

    Also, even though I don’t think Ventra is to blame, I don’t think you should trust hosting services with your data, it’s just too valuable. I’d suggest holding at least one redundant data store that isn’t tied to the same host. Also consider a CDN with a storage facility, and an archiving strategy. It’s costly stuff but it will keep you up and running if things go amiss.


  148. CC
    15 Feb 12
    12:18 pm

  149. I feel sorry for Ryan too. As it stands, he has probably lost hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of work.

    These hosting companies business model is all about upgrades, they get people to sign up for cheap and easy monthly accounts, that offer 100GB of data transfer per month, a huge amount of data and enough to serve a couple of million page views a month. However, long before a site reaches this traffic level the hosting companies tell the customer they need to upgrade.

    Which seems to be what happened here, only this time the upgrade didn’t work. The data was not lost due to a hardware or even a backup failure, it was lost during a failed migration. A migration initiated and led by ventra. Something which I would assume they do pretty much every day.

  150. Devil's advocaat
    15 Feb 12
    12:40 pm

  151. I wonder if VentraIP have been silly by posting the link to the VentraIP press release so many times.

    Perhaps this article about VentraIP will now feature prominently in search results for VentraIP.

    And wherever the fault lies, with VentraIP or not, this doesn’t look good for VentraIP.

    AWS anyone?

    PS VentraIP

  152. mumbrella
    15 Feb 12
    12:53 pm

  153. Being charitable, that link may not have been multi-posted by Ventra. Most of the links came in overnight so all got moderated at once. I suspect that it was being debated on a forum somewhere (Whirlpool perhaps) and that may have driven some informed commenters our way…


    Tim – Mumbrella

  154. Ryano
    15 Feb 12
    1:14 pm

  155. I was actually pretty impressed by how VentraIP handled this to tell the truth. From what I can see the chain of events was :

    – Customer was told backups aren’t being made for his site – ignores this email.
    – Customer told he needs to upgrade his site and gets a new VPS set up
    – Customer asked to confirm a time for the migration – ignores this email
    – Customer asks why there are 2 hosting services available in his account. Told to cancel the one he doesn’t want. This question wasn’t asked as a part of the migration process, it was a completely new request asked of a service person who didn’t know the history of this.
    – Customer follows this instruction and wonders why it was carried out so efficiently

    Both on the Whirlpool forums and the VentraIP forums they have been very clear about what has been going on during this saga. They also have a very good reputation in the industry, which is why a lot of developers were puzzled by the original article when it came out.

    VentraIP is an economy solution and as such would have a lot of automated systems. To put extra human checks in at every point would increase the cost for all the customers who actually do know what they are doing.

  156. Lee Graham
    15 Feb 12
    3:35 pm

  157. Aaron said this:

    “The previous owner would have back ups but I say this embarrassingly. He has gone AWOL.”

    Aaron, firstly, I am not on your side or VentraiP’s side, just trying to get a clear picture here. Okay, now that I have got that out of the way, why didn’t you get those backups during your purchase of the site? More curiously, why didn’t the previous owner offer to give them to you and offer you some basic training? That seems really strange to me. I can’t determine if VentraiP has any fault here but its absolutely CRITICAL that you backup your site, often.

    I know your a content guy but from day one you needed to have a tech guy NOT months after you purchased the site. Why didn’t the previous owner tell you that? I had this happen to me at another host about seven years ago and I lost almost all of my site. I was a beginner in the website world and was running a community site and didn’t backup my stuff often enough. There was a problem in the data centre and I only managed to get a very old version of my site back. I gradually re-built the site but man it took me many, many hours. It was my fault for not having a recent backup even though my budget hosting company made a mistake. No one else is ultimately responsible for taking care of your site except for you. Everyone in the shared hosting industry should know that.

    If VentraiP had gone belly up for instance, you still would have lost your site completely, without backups.

    Here’s a few tips, there are more than this of course.

    1/ Backup daily.

    2/ Store backups onsite and offsite.

    3/ Have your domain with another host so you can quickly setup if your host goes under or has serious problems.

    4/ Have another, similar domain, purchased with another host, so files can be readily uploaded for a quick recovery.

    5/ Try and learn Linux as its really worth accessing your shared hosting site via Ubuntu or Linux Mint etc, as this makes things more secure when uploading files etc.

    To be honest, perhaps the biggest mistake here is by the previous owner of your site. He/she should have set you up with backups and a basic guide on running your site. That is a real failure on their part.

  158. Aaron Ryan
    16 Feb 12
    10:46 am

  159. Hello All

    Thanks for the people that have been supportive. I will say two things:

    1. The staff at TvCentral will meet in the next 48 hours and decide future but there is a chance that the site will come back bigger and better and the new technical administrator who is very very good will do everything technically perfect. I am 100% sure of that. Everything that people have said and mentioned – every one of those points will be done.

    2. I do not want to disclose any compensation deals with Ventra as I am hoping they still come to the party. Can I assure you that I am not suing them for a million dollars. The offer to them is simply out of pocket expenses, which are very very minimal. The data loss itself if priceless. You cannot put a price on that. At this stage I am just holding my head high and moving on from that. The assistance I asked from Ventra is minimal to assist the new technical administrator to build the site from scratch but my offer even came with a cap and that after that I would burden the cost.

    Will any of this happen in the future? Definitely not.

    Thanks guys.

  160. BustedPancreas
    16 Feb 12
    3:32 pm

  161. I’m sorry Mr Ryan, but you are a fool to disclose so much information to the general public. Do you have any idea how bad your comments above will look if this does go to a magistrate?

    I had thought you’d already shot yourself in the foot, then you outdid yourself with the aforementioned pristine demonstration of brainlessness.

    You’ve already lost your site, did you have to lose your dignity also?

  162. Liverly
    20 Feb 12
    3:09 pm

  163. Ryan should have had backups but most of the fault goes to Ventra since customers are not tech savvy. Backups are part of any real hosting companies plan.

    They are not a real hosting company, my host offers offsite daily and weekly backups. Ventra should get out of hosting, instead of threatening legal action.

  164. Lee Graham
    21 Feb 12
    7:46 am

  165. Liverly said:

    “Ryan should have had backups but most of the fault goes to Ventra since customers are not tech savvy. Backups are part of any real hosting companies plan.

    They are not a real hosting company, my host offers offsite daily and weekly backups. Ventra should get out of hosting, instead of threatening legal action.”

    They do offer backups. Who told you that they don’t? I think you have posted before reading up on this situation. Aaron was emailed about no longer being included in the backup procedure, he knew about this email but still didn’t backup his site. He was running a very large site on shared hosting, not a good idea.

    Backing up is crucial to any project, school children know that. Its the first rule for all web site owners, back up your site. Aaron was even reminded to do this but he didn’t bother.

    So that is Ventra’s fault?

    Problems will occur on shared hosting, we all know that. That’s why you backup your site, daily. If you want less problems, seek out a dedicated host, even then you should backup daily.

    Aaron might be the loveliest guy in the world but he walked into the world of website ownership and shared hosting without any knowledge of what he was doing. He didn’t even ask for backups from theprevious owner of TV Central and now can’t even find the previous owner.

    A lot of his site can still be retrieved via web caching services but he hasn’t even bothered to do that. Why is that?

    We all wish you well Aaron, but please stay away from web hosting! 😉

  166. Your Data
    22 Feb 12
    5:04 pm

  167. If you can get a crew to copy and paste you can retrieve some of your data here: