I would never recommend that you jump right into a dedicated server for a large forum and little or no experience. There are several routes you can look at that would be much better for someone in your position (IMO).
First if you are running between 50-100 gigs of transfer you can look at ServInt VPS. This is like a mini dedicated server but it comes fully managed from ServInt. That means you can do most everything you need from a control panel and then (under their watchful eye) learn how to do more and more on your own.
If you are already over 100 gigs of transfer then look at the Dedicated servers in the same link I posted for you. If it's coming from ServInt it will be a fully managed solution so that you can concentrate on running your forum while they keep your server up to date and running smooth.
The other route you could take is to grab an unmanaged dedicated server or VPS and hire a Sys Administrator to run things for you. Good Admins are hard to find and while this is certainly a viable solution it does usually cost a bit more this way.
I agree with Watcher_TVI, your next step is a virtual dedicated server. It is not necessary to be a genuine VPS or VDS. You can try any reseller account provided with, say, WHM/CPanel for about $20/mo. I think canaca.com or ******.com are good enough for a large and dynamically developing forum.
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:: VDSP.Net :: Directory of virtual and dedi serv providers by location and price
ServInt has VPS plans available to 300 gigs of transfer, still significantly less expensive than a full dedicated server. I really wasn't aware they went up that high but if they offer it they can certainly provide it...
You can learn. I recommend getting an old machine at home and load bsd or linux up on it to practice with. I recommend freebsd, if you follow their handbook it will get you off on the right foot to being an admin. As long as you can read, and retain information, anyone can learn
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I suggest you start reading, signup for the linuxiso.org forums (great reads there) and get a few linux books. If you have an old computer download a flavor of linux from linuxiso.org and install it on there. Play around with that. Or go to http://knoppix.org and download that, burn to a cd and whenever you want linux just put the cd in and reboot. When you want to go back to you windows, just log out and reboot. Very useful tool...
Setting up may not be difficult since some of the procedures are already tabled down somewhere but I still do not suggest going in blind. You will still need a good working knowledge if not intimate relationship with the underling Operating System when it comes to knowing what and why you are doing things and troubleshooting the machine when things go wrong.
Remember that server management is not something you do once and forget about it. It is an ongoing process. You may not need to be there 24/7 with your server but you still need to check back regularly to see if the security mechanism is still holding up and that the server is running at peak condition.
Although note that a Control Panel is not a replacement for good server management. It does not even come close. Most control panel that I know would still leave your server relatively unsecured and open to vulnerability attack.
But your server will still be vulnerable.. you still need a good firewall and locking down the unnecessary services on your machine. You still need to optimize it for peak performance. I just hear too much horror stories of servers being compromised or going down ever so often.
I would get you feet wet with a VPS like with ServInt, Dinix, or VPSColo, ServInt is the only one taking on customers right now.
Setup a server at home to also play around with and setup with firewall, do updates ons. There are some good info at EV1 servers forum also to help you out.
It is not as easy as some people make it out to be.
My old boss and sales manager started EZ-Board with a guy named SEAN who built it on smalltalk language, it never made the dot com cash they wanted and they bailed out a couple years back. But I still see it is alive and kicking.
Re: New to server management. How difficult is it?
Originally posted by philameena I run a message board currently on EZBoard.com but due to the huge traffic I'm now getting and their abysmal service it looks like the only way to go is dedicated server.
You won't learn all the aspects of managing a server by reading a FAQ, if you really want to go dedicated go with a completely managed server provider and please Managed.com is not managed. I'm talking about ServInt, Rusko and the others but expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 more for a completely managed server vs an unmanaged one.
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