I need Windows VPS with high reliability and decent support
So Hosting.com (formerly hostmysite.com) has been my clients VPS provider for years. They were great on response time and getting issues solved. They had fairly knowledgeable technicians that would even go out of their way to find an issue in the source code (obviously, this is going above the call of duty).
They just killed off all the VPS services, and replaced them with the buzz word of the day: "cloud." What does cloud REALLY mean? It means double to triple the price for the same or less resources. Being that my client is a small business, this is not acceptable.
So I gave Arvixe a try, and they setup a bad control panel (that somehow affected uptime, I don't know the specifics). My client after multiple attempts to contact them (being told they were looking into it), freaked when their response time was past about 12 hours because we were scheduled to move our VPS on the day that they failed. My client offers a service to other clients, and if something on the server fails, in the event of an emergency, the hosting company MUST respond quickly, or he loses clients that supply him with his income he needs to survive So customer support is everything. This killed a month long plan to do a seamless migration including weeks of testing. He's not happy.
All this being said, what I need is something that can handle our load, has excellent customer support with proven response times, and knowledgeable people.
I'm *guessing* we don't want to go past the $150 month mark (Ideally staying within the range of Arvixe). It must be Windows (so no Linux), It should have about 60Gb+ HD space, and ideally about 2-3Gb of RAM, unless a separated, high reliability shared SQL Server can be provided (this is usually the preferred method).
Note: Reliability, Customer Support, Performance, Daily Backup/Restore (even if at a cost?). This is what we need. Whether my client is in the wrong or right in his expectations is not up for debate, as I'm tasked with simply finding the right solution.
I should also note that "managed" in the strictest sense of the word is not what we are looking for. If we have a problem, we want a quick response with knowledgeable people, but we have been managing the server ourselves. Initial expected setup (i.e. ability for my client to access and administrate e-mail account, if the server goes down, someone he can call and get the reliability he needs from a person who will actually look into it.)
We were not running full managed at Hosting.com, but their staff was more than willing to help and at least look into a problem if my clients had issues. We had RDP access and administrated IIS, etc, ourselves.
The specific problem my client had with Arvixe was their initial setup of his interface to his webmail administration. Because it was not solved in a timely manner (he needs quick responsiveness), his deployment schedule failed. This may seem strange, but his e-mail services provide critical functions to the website.
I suggest looking at EuroVPS (managed) or EcoVPS (unmanaged). The datacenter in Amsterdam peers with New York, and the network is quite speedy even into North America. I've yet to find a USA-based Windows VPS or dedicated host that's worthwhile in N.A. (Linux is a different story, quite a few good ones to choose from, if you must have USA geo.)
I use managed plans, just in case I'm too busy to mess with it myself. I do, however, tend to solve my own issues anyway, via RDP (and to lesser degree, Plesk and Virtuozzo).
If email is critical, and you're using Windows, install MailEnable as the mailserver.