Server Troubleshooting Services

Have you got server troubles, whether with CF or Lucee, or Tomcat or other JEE servers? Are they crashing, hanging, running slow, or won't start, have high CPU, high memory or outofmemory?

Might you need help troubleshooting, tuning, or monitoring them?
Or perhaps installing, administering, or configuring them? Or updating, upgrading, or migrating them? Or with security/lockdown? Or deployment on containers/orchestration? Or perhaps integration with and monitoring of web servers, DB servers, caching servers, web app firewalls, and so on?

Experienced server troubleshooter Charlie Arehart has helped over 1,000 customers solve such problems, doing it every day for over a decade and is available (often even today) for short-term, remote (safe/secure) consulting.
Charlie's rate and contact info is offered below, but before contacting or hiring him, the following is the least you should know about his unique troubleshooting consulting.
  1. Charlie offers either a base hourly rate or discounted 10-hour retainer (good for a year), at 15-minute intervals. Again, see below for the rates
  2. You don't need to pay up before he helps you, even for a discounted 10-hour retainer (see more under "payment", below). Folks have proven trustworthy
  3. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. You won't pay for time you don't find valuable
  4. Most problems can be solved very quickly, perhaps less than an hour (even one that may have plagued and challenged you/your folks for hours or days, as this is all Charlie does). Of course, some challenges may take more time to diagnose and resolve
  5. You don't need to give Charlie remote access to your server, such as creating an account, opening a firewall hole, or allowing him to VPN to your server. Instead, Charlie generally prefers that you and he work together, via safe, secure screen-sharing (where he "looks over your shoulder", guiding you in the diagnosis and identification of a solution). If you really prefer he remote in, or have an on-site visit, that can be arranged, of course. For more onthis point, read below about remote troubleshooting
  6. Charlie's efforts should have no negative effect and typically don't require a server restart in the first session (and if something would require a restart, he'd let you know)
  7. Charlie will guide you in a series of targeted troubleshooting diagnostics (using logs, tools, and more), many of which you may have missed or perhaps misinterpreted. You can read more below about his pattern of troubleshooting techniques
  8. More than just a solution, you will also get an education, as he helps you understand how to better diagnose and resolve this and perhaps other such problems, as previous clients have attested. You are even free to request that the session be recorded, which will be saved on your end by you.
  9. He's open to completing confidentiality/NDA agreements you may have, of course
  10. Charlie has 30 years of server troubleshooting experience. And in addition to this consulting, he contributes help in many social media outlets, mailing lists, forums, user groups, and other resources (including his blog as well as presentations and articles)
Feel free to contact Charlie to discuss your needs (and we may be able to dive right into your problem, without much need of overview):

Please be sure to have read the bullet points above, and the rates below, before initially requesting Charlie's services.
Email: support (at)
Phone: (1) 678 825 8630

Book time with Charlie via his online calendar (at right)
Address: 410 Morgan Rd, Jamestown KY 42629 USA

You can also find/reach Charlie via:

Following are additional details, for those interested.  

Remote Consulting: Looking Over Your Shoulder (Show/hide details)

What is the typical approach used? How is time spent? (Show/hide details)

Technical Background (Show/hide details)

Rates (Show/hide details)

Charlie offers the following options:
All rates include problem-solving AND training, combined.
Satisfaction guaranteed
: you won't pay for time you don't feel is valuable1
Short-term/hourly:US$295/hrBase hourly rate. 15-minute minimum time increments.
Invoiced weekly, after engagement.

For work outside of 8am-8pm US Central Time (or on weekends/major US holidays), a surcharge may be discussed (of 40%, just less than "time and a half"), but it's not typically assessed. Satisfaction is still guaranteed.
10-hour retainer, good for 12 months:US$245/hrDiscounted hourly rate: 10 hours initial minimum, $2450. 15-minute minimum time increments.
Invoiced in advance (but not requiring payment before first session. Indeed, see Engagement/ Payment below before buying the retainer in advance of a first session). Hours expire 12 months after invoice date2.
Multi-day onsite engagement:US$2000/dayRate for short-term on-site engagements3, plus expenses and travel time4. Invoiced weekly, after engagement

In considering these rates, note that Charlie's generally helping you solve a problem in an immediate (and generally very short) term. Also, where many troubleshooting consultants require a minimum number of hours (if not days), Charlie's happy to help in as little time as is needed. And he tends to be available within 4 hours of your request to start, if not sooner. Finally, you may be more used to lower rates for development consultants, but consider that you tend to hire them for weeks or months, not hours as with Charlie.

Most important, his goal is to help make you self-sufficient, so he's doing as much sharing of knowledge and educating as solving your problem, so you get more than just a solution, but an education as well. Indeed, because of this approach, Charlie tends to work himself out of the situations where he's brought in, as folks become more self-sufficient. Of course, he hopes you'll ask him back for more help on new problems when needed.

Combine the above with the fact that his expertise in solving problems helps him generally solve problems in far less time than folks who don't spend their days doing so (generally in less than an hour for most problems), and the rate actually becomes very good value. More important, keep in mind that since the approach used is to work with you, you're always in control of the time spent. No surprises.

Engagement/Payment (Show/hide details)

If after considering the approach and rates discussed above, you're ready to begin an engagement with Charlie, or just want to have an initial conversation to help decide, contact him either by phone or email. Since most of his engagements are very short term, it's nearly always possible that work could begin today if you're interested, or it can be scheduled in coming days.

If you're ready to pay for an engagement, note first that Charlie does not require prepayment (except technically for the "pre-paid 10-hour retainer" engagement type.)

If you're considering the 10-hour prepaid retainer, please note that Charlie would prefer you not purchase it in advance of our first engagement but wait until after our initial consultation session, to make sure that his services and approach are suited to your requirements. If, during or after that call, you decide to go with the retainer, the hours spent on that and any subsequent engagements will be deducted against the retainer once purchased. (In other words, you don't pay a penalty of the full rate for not "pre-paying" before deciding to go with the 10-hour retainer.)

For "short-term" or "multi-day" engagements, contact Charlie instead and after arranging the engagement, an invoice will be provided for services at the end of the engagement week. (See the previous section for more details on engagement types, rates, etc.)

Payment may be made either of the following ways (all the same charge, no surchage for any):
  • by credit card (via link provided in invoice sent via email, as just discussed)
  • by check (using contact details in invoice and above)
  • by electronic funds transfer (favored often by those overseas. SWIFT code, acct #, and other details available on request)

What if we need help and are in another country? (Show/hide details)

Footnotes (show/hide details)

1About Satisfaction Guarantee:
Charlie understands that it's possible on rare occasions your problem may not be solved in the time spent together, or that some of the time may not fully meet your satisfaction, so he offers a complete satisfaction guarantee. If you feel that some of the time with him was not worthwhile, just indicate so either during the call (again, you can control how much time is spent on any topic) or even after the fact, and the billing will be adjusted to your satisfaction. Fortunately this is something that rarely happens, but it has happened and the offer is sincere.

2About pre-paid 10 hour retainer:
The retainer hours are to be used within twelve months of purchase (date invoice is sent). In exchange for the discounted rate, there is no refund of unused time. That said, we will inform you well in advance of the expiration, and if more than 2 hours STILL remain at the expiration time, we will not just remove the hours but start aging them off at 25% of that amount over months 12-15.

3About extended short-term engagement:
While it may seem that the discounted 10-hour retainer rate (good for a year) could/should be used for an extended short-term engagement/on-site engagements, that retainer is really intended for use by a client for multiple small engagements (typically not more than a couple of hours in a day) spread out over an extended period of time (again, up to a year). When a single client requires instead an extended duration of help in a short time (several hours a day over a couple of days), especially in an on-site engagement, that complicates Charlie serving other clients (such as putting them off to the evening), and so the discounted rate is not appropriate because of those complications.

Similarly, for multi-day on-site visits and as for any claim of credit per the satisfaction guarantee, that must be requested before the start of the next day of work. It would be unreasonable to learn only after multiple days of on-site work (without any expression of client concern) that somehow a client wanted to claim dissastisfaction for some or indeed all of the time. Let's both understand and try to resolve any such problem before proceeding with the next day's work.

4About travel time rate:
Charlie must charge for travel time, since while he's traveling to work for you, he can't be helping others. Travel time is charged at a rate of 50% of the hourly rate, for the time spent getting from his home/office to the destination hotel/office, and returning. So for example, that might be typically about 2 hours from home/office until on boarding the plane, plus the time until landing, then about 45 minutes from landing to being in the hotel, and then the reverse returning to his home/office. Please contact Charlie to discuss challenges, concerns, or possible extenuating circumstances with respect to this travel policy. His first priority is to help you get your problem solved!

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