A cloud-based website hosting and software application services company based in Culver City, California, USA.
Media Temple (sometimes referred to as "(mt)") is a website hosting and software application services company based in Culver City, California, USA. It is a pioneer of "grid hosting", whereby multiple stand-alone servers are … see full wiki
Just as nobody could remember what http:// meant in 1999 and now even my folks can recite that in their sleep, "cloud computing" is another mysterious example of geektalk that will soon be spilling over into the conversations of regular people. It offers nothing more than a redefinition of how computer systems work, and while corporations will be slow to embrace its benefits, the average person will be sucked into Gmail, Google Docs, cloud-based file systems and everything else that offers a transformational experience of technology.
You might notice that I'm a huge advocate of the cloud, so I was quite excited to hear about Media Temple, from none other than Tim Ferriss. His point was that on sites that suffer "The Oprah Effect' (where your traffic spikes 10,000% due to sudden media attention), the elasticity of the cloud prevents the site from falling over, which almost always happens on traditional rack deployments. In the traditional model, you either have too much hardware when you're quiet, and not enough when you're busy. And Tim should know, since he has a hugely successful blog visited by almost as many people who bought his book.
Anyway, Media Temple does several things very well. The setup is quick, the control panel is easy and there are one-click deployments available, together with the usual MySQL databases and granular control of your virtual server. They also offer some very useful reporting tools, indicating which web pages or scripts are consuming the most resources, which is good to know even when your bandwidth and storage limits are very generous for just $20 a month. Most importantly, they make your site "Diggproof" so when that 15 minutes of Internet fame arrives, you can become an online phenomenon rather than a 404 error.
But here's the catch: Media Temple is just not very stable, and it's slow. In the six weeks or so I've been testing the environment, the control panel has been unavailable countless times, and my sites have not loaded several times, or experienced serious latency for no apparent reason. So the argument about scalability in lost in the face of reliability issues, and I simply cannot recommend this platform for my clients at this stage. Add to this that their support is somewhat - ahem -unsupportive, and it just takes too much time trying to figure out why a page that takes 200ms to load on another host is taking 4 or 5 seconds here.
My hope is that this will improve. Reading the blogosphere, where complaints about Media Temple are rampant (like they are for all hosts, actually) there is a sense that things are getting better. They just need to get better more quickly, because I would love to advocate joining the cloud revolution for smaller businesses who can't afford the Rackspace-level costs, but I don't feel comfortable at this point. Their 24x7x365 promise is ultimately what the cloud provides, but the devil is in the implementation details. Dear MT: please let me know when it works and I'll be your number one fan.