Feel free to savagely whack me with the faqhammer or redirect me to some docs online...
How, fundamentally, does reselling work? I'm primarily interested in VPS reselling.
I'm curious, as I may have a business opportunity. It would involve deploying a customized VPS targeted towards a specific user community. I'd take the base Linux OS and add/customize some software on top of that and present it as a pre-configured appliance-type VPS. The customer could then further customize or use as-is. This particular software generally requires some expertise to configure, which would be my value-add.
It's just something I'm thinking about right now, not a definite plan.
So...as someone who has no practical experience in the hosting industry, I'm curious how it works.
Let's say I sign up with a VPS reseller (like burst.net or whoever). A week later I get a customer who wants a certain size VPS package. What happens after that in terms of provisioning it?
Do I setup a web site running a panel system (cpanel,solus,whms, or whatever) and then it plugs into their website, so if someone places an order the provisioning flows through?
OK, perhaps I can understand that. The customer has some credentials (their login) and I as a reseller have some credentials (from burst.net or whoever) and as part of the panel, my software says to the reseller's system, "I am reseller1234, please provision VPS config xyz". Presumably there is an opportunity to customize further ("and then run this script").
Is that how it works? I've had lots of VPSes but all I ever use is ssh :-)
I assume if I then resell cpanel or whatever, it just ties into the provider's system magically.
Do providers do the base OS config, or is that something the reseller needs to provide? In other words, do I have to provide an image for the VPS?
And...what about support? The customer will come to me if their VPS is down. Do I then call the provider and am kind of a middleman, passing info back and forth? I could see that being a really painful support experience for the end user, having to go through two layers.
Also, do resellers have any visibility into how the provider provisions? In other words, do providers give info on "you're on server 123, which has 16GB of RAM and two quadcore procs, and here is a list of other VPSes on it". Otherwise, how could you know you're really going to get any kind of respectable performance?
As I said, I have questions and at this point, it's all just an idea.
I believe that if I was going to proceed, I'd need to get a website/sales presentation together, understand the reseller/provider integration better, work on marketing, and then work on my value-add to automate it. Other than my own time and effort and some small costs for web design/hosting for my site, it looks very cheap to start as a reseller...which is probably why there are so many of them :-)
Specifically speaking as a BurstNET reseller - the process on your end is not automated and neatly plugged into their system - you have to manually order the VPS through their billing system after receiving an order in your billing system.
About 15-60 minutes later, you receive a welcome email from BurstNET, and the details obviously need to be passed on to the end user in some form after you add your services to the VPS.