Media Temple Dedicated-Virtual (dv) Review

Media Temple are one of the big players in the hosting business, and that position is very well earned with more than 125,000 customers who own more than 1.5 million websites. Because of our huge volume of traffic, we had trouble finding a server provider that could deal with it and wasn’t falsely advertising resources. Media Temple can handle our traffic with ease.

Media Temple themselves have been in the hosting business since 1998, so they have the expertise that running such a logistically and technologically complex company requires. They have an attention to detail that we’ve never seen before in a hosting company and it shows in everything from customer support to the resources themselves.

Media Temple Plans

For the purposes of this review we chose the Dedicated-Virtual (dv) plan which Media Temple offers, the pricing for this plan begins at $50 which offers 1GB of RAM and goes anywhere up to $1500 for 32GB of RAM, these of course aren’t their most high-end plans, Media Temple’s Nitro plan is the best that is offered at $2500 per month.

Don’t be intimidated by the price of Media Temple’s $2500 per month Nitro plan, they offer smaller plans from just $20 for their Grid-Service shared hosting and $50 for their Dedicated-Virtual hosting. These plans are great value for money and very worth it, and also everything the majority of people could want from hosting, even the most demanding of Fortune 500 companies. For most, we recommend Media Temple’s Dedicated-Virtual (dv) hosting; and of course, it grows with you. You might only need the lowest tier plan from Media Temple today, but tomorrow, and the day after when your business grows, Media Temple’s hosting will grow with you by simply upgrading your plan from the Media Temple AccountCenter area. You can even upgrade to Nitro without needing to reconfigure your DNS, move files or reinstall your apps which is something HostGator couldn’t do; They couldn’t migrate a user from shared hosting to a VPS or from one level of VPS to another which made ‘upgrading’ feel pointless and made it seem a much better option to go elsewhere for hosting.

A lot of server providers such as Hostgator claim that you have ‘unlimited’ bandwidth or ‘unlimited’ storage when this simply isn’t the case and is subject to a fair use policy. Media Temple is very honest about what you’re getting for your money. Their base $50 plan offers 1TB of bandwidth and 30GB of storage or the $1500 per month plan offers 3TB of bandwidth and 600GB of storage. If you happen to exceed your bandwidth allowance then you will only pay $0.15 per gigabyte over which as bandwidth goes is very reasonable.

Media Temple Server Specs

Media Temple are big fans of Parallels as they utilise Virtuozzo as well as Plesk. The (dv) plans give you dedicated resources such as processor cycles, RAM and storage that isn’t shared with anybody unlike their (gs) plans.

The specs of Media Temple’s HP Proliant machines are modern, balanced and suitable for a huge variety of tasks, something not commonly found in their largely out-dated competitors. For example, instead of using slow IDE or less slow SATA disks they use lightning-fast SAS disks in RAID-10 in their machines, this gives them incredibly high write speeds at 350 IOPS. And it’s not just their disks that are some of the best available, they also use 16 core Intel Xeon CPUs and Fully Buffered DDR3 RAM, which translates to the less tech savvy of you as some of the latest and greatest in server hardware with all the resources your business needs. All of this makes for absolutely unmatched speed in at least any Virtual Dedicated Hosting service that we’ve seen.

The Media Temple Data Centers

Media Temple’s data centers are incredible places with state-of-the-art technology to make sure that whatever happens, your data will be safe and you’ll have minimal, if any, downtime.
Their data centers are built to Tier 4 specifications, that is the highest tier a data center can be built in accordance to. It means that their data centers are some of the very best in the entire world, with some of the highest uptime and best cooling, security and power redundancy.
If there is a fire, their 24/7 monitored fire suppression system will take care of it. If there is a power cut, they have that covered too, they also have 24/7 armed security.

Media Temple and Plesk

We’re big fans of Plesk at Previous Magazine after having had so many performance issues with cPanel which was frustrating as the majority of server providers and web hosts offer cPanel, this has become somewhat of an industry standard, although Media Temple bucks this trend and offers Plesk 11. In addition to Plesk, customers of the Media Temple (dv) plan also have root access. Plesk is installed on centOS, which provides you with 64 bit architecture for enhanced performance and stability. Plesk also allows you to resell resell hosting to your clients which Media Temple approves of, this isn’t something every VPS provider allows you to do.

Media Temple’s performance for web apps is brilliant, this has been the best service I’ve used for running activeCollab Corporate which requires a fairly decent server and doesn’t run on shared hosting.

Uptime can make or break a business whose online presence is key to success, downtime is very embarrassing and so are slow page loads. Just like Twitter, Media Temple are very honest about uptime as it is something which they pride themselves on. A quick visit to status.mediatemple.net tells you everything that is currently going on with their service, from here you can subscribe to an RSS feed and if you’re feeling smart you can set your RSS reader up to give you push notifications when there is something that comes up on here, though having said that I haven’t actually done that because there hasn’t been any necessity to. Maintenance notices are also available here.

As I was writing this, almost in some act of synchronicity I got an email from Pingdom telling me that I have had 100% uptime for the last month with a response time of 688ms. 100% uptime is majorly impressive. With HostGator I was getting multiple crashes of at least fifteen minute throughout the day, even when on their shared plan we had plenty of time offline throughout the day, in fact any traffic spikes whatsoever and HostGator’s system seemed to croak which yielded zero apology from their staff.

Companies such as Starbucks, Volkswagen, Sony, Toyota and Samsung use Media Temple, if such big corporations are willing to place trust into Media Temple then I believe that speaks volumes about the quality of service that Media Temple offers.

Media Temple provides access to quite a comprehensive RESTful API through Grails featuring real-time server status, this API allows you to control all of the services Media Temple offers. At present there aren’t a huge amount of people developing applications with the Media Temple API, but the numbers are growing all the time. Developing an application of your own in Xcode with the Media Temple ProDev API is very simple and their API documentation is great unlike a lot of services that provide an API with little to no documentation available.

A nice bonus is the addition of the iPhone AccountCenter which allows you to pay your bills, buy domain names or restart your server from anywhere in the world, you can even request tech support whilst on the train. Also included with each (dv) plan is Parallels Plesk Panel Mobile Server Manager for iPhone, which shows you some statistics represented graphically and events, it isn’t the most advanced application when compared to some of the apps out there, which interface with cPanel, but both are worth having.

Media Temple Tech Support

Before trying Media Temple, the support we had from HostGator for one of their VPS was shoddy to say the least, sometimes it would be two weeks before we received a response and even then they would admit to not knowing the answer and have to contact a senior technician which could lead to at least another 48 hour wait. This dire technical support was one of our big reasons for investigating other VPS providers out there.

In quite the contrast, Media Temple’s support team is probably the most friendly, helpful and dedicated support teams we have ever dealt with. They are true 24/7/365 company; there is always somebody there to help you. In practice, this means that if you wake up at 2am on Christmas morning and notice an issue, you can relax as somebody will be there to help you with your problem. A little research on Media Temple revealed that they have over 200 employees in the USA alone and acknowledged as being one of the fastest growing companies and best places to work in the USA on several occasions, interesting over 90% of their employees are in some way helping with customer support.

Media Temple support tickets give you an estimate time until your ticket is seen to, this can sometimes say seven hours, but I’ve found that my tickets are responded to in minutes, they even got back to me regarding my response within minutes, a very speedy response as customer support goes. Media Temple fixed my NGINX configuration issue within fifteen minutes, in the past when Plesk had an issue involving this then it would be at least a week or two until normality was restored or the desired effect was achieved.

Is Media Temple worth it?

We have been using Media Temple for the last six months with our ever-growing web presence; we even introduced apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Phone without making a dent in our server resources and Media Temple is future-proof for Previous Magazine, we can comfortably publish an article and cope with all of the traffic that comes our way.

Media Temple offers a very fair money-back guarantee on each of their plans ranging from anywhere to thirty days to seven days, the (dv) plans give you the chance to use their service for thirty days and be given your money back if it isn’t working for you and your business, you can’t really say fairer than that!

I personally recommend Media Temple and with instant deployment you can try it for yourself here without having to wait for it to be set up.