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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    22

    Use Cobalt RAQ Servers ??

    Would you recommend using Colbalt RAQ Servers to start a webhosting company, yes or no, and please, why or why not...

    I'd like to find out more information from people who actually use them if possible..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    OZ
    Posts
    120
    As much as I like raq's (I have owned 9 of them), I find these days that they lack the number of features offered by other control panels, ensim, plesk, cpanel etc..

    Many prospective clients find these extra features attractive so that your sales can benefit alot by offering them. In reality people will use about 10% of the features after the first week of using the control panel, but it is probably crucial in their initial buying decision. This is especially true in the US market where the market demands more and more features. Just my thoughts on the subject.
    CGI Supply

  3. #3
    Small Clients maybe but you probably cannot pack as many of the same size web sites as compared as the standard whitebox server now. They were good several years ago but probably not so now with others providing better features for very much less money.

    But a Raq 550 might not be all that bad. Have not used it yet but since it was only recent, it probably should match up with the current whitebox but you could probably be assured of superior components since it is built by SUN.
    http://www.batchimage.com - Offering Batch Image Processing and TIFF/PDF Software Solutions

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    115
    The RaQ550 is ok. It has enough power for medium-sized websites and its price is not too high.
    Your decision depends on your knowledge. A cobalt is more easy to use and to set up than other servers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,063
    I say go for it.. the company I work for are using them for sites that are well over 300,000 hits a month (not alot.. but still alot)

    although I do plan on getting cpanel or alike on a box before i purchase any more raq's..

    the best thing is to have multiplatform.. give the users a option to pick.. some like the reliability of raq's cause they are made by sun, so might not know there were two SUN's in the universe..

    but all and all, i have yet to have a problem, or complaint from any of my clients on our RaQ550..

    btw, dont got with a raq4, they are no longer in production, nor are fast enough compared to the raq550s

    if u really wanna get a nice grip on the server end.. get a raq, and get a 1U barebone, and install redhat7.2 with cpanel.. ten advertise that you have both! :-)

    worst comes to worse.. u can sell the raq550 as a dedicated server.. a damn good one too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    558
    they do not have the features that other appliances have these days - the raq550 is comparible to an ensim or plesk box, but they they dont even compete with cpanel.hsphere etc... that being said for what they are, they are great, very simple and easy to use - ensim is a cobalt ripoff, always was... the boxes are small, use small amounts of power, dont generate much heat - on the other hand they are not really upgradeable either and they are very expensive.

    Ultimately there is no integrity built into a cobalt so if you lose the cobalt database you are hosed... there is no way to restore from config files to the database - backup is a bear and restore next to impossible because you have to manually add your users and sites in the exact same order - so you want to keep a record of who each site is, like site1 is abc.com and site2 xyz.com or you could never resotore the server without starting from scratch 100% - with all that being said they are still one of the easiest servers on the planet to administer - we still have a rack of them although we no longer use them ourselves.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,114
    I am going to disagree about the quality of the Cobalt. We currently own about 20 of the XTRs and R4s. We use them strictly for dedicated servers.

    If you look at any Cobalt forum 90% of the posts are about this broke or this won't work, help me! Our downtime is about 11 to 1 on the Cobalt compared to our standard Linux boxes.

    Before some might say "you don't know how to run a Cobalt" one of our admins worked a lot of years as the head tech suipport for one of the largest cobalt dealers in Europe. He's worked on Cobalts since they came out.

    The fact that Sun doesn't support them any more, for all practical purposes, and has EOL most of the product line, should tell you something.

    We are in the process of removing any cobalt from service once it becomes free. I would rather write off the money, including the cost of fully loaded XTRs rather than have such unreliable and quirky machines.

    5 years ago they were good for what they were, but by today’s standards even the 550 is a dinosaur.
    SiteSouth
    Atlanta, GA and Las Vegas, NV. Colocation

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    558
    well said... " we still have a rack of them although we no longer use them ourselves."

    thats one of the reasons why we dont use them anymore although we still have a rack of them... they are good for a guy with a single busy site. but....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    202

    I owned one than went to WhiteBox.

    I must say that it was a learning curve for the Cobalt.
    Regardless of me (accidentally) bringing down the hole
    entire data center or their main site. Security on their
    part. DNS and IP issue. Stupid but true.

    What I disliked about Cobalt is that it is easy to break.
    It is hard to update certain things in regards to security.
    Update things hesitation, let others do it and than try it.

    I liked the Chilli!Soft package deal but a challenge to master
    the mySQL->Chilli!Soft. Lots of people using Macromedia stuff
    had problems connecting or getting it to work.

    With a white box, I got a SuperMicro (SuperServer) with a
    1 gig of Ram, plenty of HD space and Plesk control panel.
    It's a 2.2 GHz, Dual Intel Eth. card and runs smoothly.
    Much cheaper than a Cobalt RAQ 4x.

    I updated the kernel about 3-4 times now and no issues.
    It all depends as well. I am not sure how things are now
    since Sun took over the Cobalt section of the business.

    Are they releasing updates frequently, security issues,
    making pkgs for other things? I've been out of touch
    because I don't own one any longer.

    Another issue I had was, I live in Cali, I colo in Virginia.

    Now the colo is about 1 hour away and when need be
    I can drive and do certain things, replace parts, add
    or do something that it can't be done from remote location.

    Let's say you need to install a 3Ware card, drump 2x 80 gigs
    drive instead...

    Although I had good support from here, very much so.
    I had a guy on the phone for hours walking me through.

    Like I said, I had the server for 3 mo. I paid and no clients
    than I said... 'Might as well learn and crash'.
    D&D A&F
    [graphics][printing][web]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    695
    All Cobalt products except RaQ 550 have been EOL'd by Sun. In theory, Sun will continue to provide patches and support for them for 3 or 5 years (depends on what you read and who you talk to) from EOL date.

    Personally I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Since you (and others) aren't sure if they're right for you and/or seem to dislike them so much, don't bother with a Cobalt box. Get a generic 1U box and put Red Hat + CPanel or whatever on it, and be happy.

    http://www.lamphowto.com/ - LAMP and LAMP+SSL HowTo
    http://www.cobaltfaqs.com/ - Cobalt FAQs and HowTos

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