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Thread: Host's hosts?

  1. #1

    Host's hosts?

    As a rank newbie, I obviously don't understand this business.

    Most of the posts I read about people's hosts, have signatures indicating that they are themselves hosts. I can't really understand why an educated user would choose to purchase a resold host when they can just as easily sign up with the host hosting the host.

    Obviously many of you are sucessful at this, what am I missing?

  2. #2
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    Resellers generally are able to receive bulk discounts from their host, and can then offer cheaper prices.

    Also, some resellers provide better support than their host.
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  3. #3
    There are a gazillion hosts. But how many real data centers are there. I seem to see the same pix of the same room with what look like the same rows of racks with thousands of servers at many different hosting serviced website

    Are there a few gigantic heavy hitters like Earthlink from whom a majority of hosts actually contract hardware resources? Are any smaller hosts folks with a half dozen servers running in their spare bedroom?

  4. #4
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    There are tons of datacenters, and many different hosts have servers in the same datacenter.

    Also, racks generally look pretty much the same, and the possibility that people are putting up clip art, or pictures found through Google images is a big one.

    The reason that certain datacenters are very popular is usually due to their proven performance. On the other hand, they may just be really inexpensive, which brings quite a bit of people in.

    Think about this: Two hosts in the same datacenter may run their business in different ways. Some may oversell their disk space and bandwidth, possibly overloading their servers, while the other may not, and provide a much more reliable and fast service.

    On the other hand, if the overseller's clients do not use their full resources, they may perform just the same.

    Prices also tend to vary greatly.
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  5. #5
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    I used to run a hosting company where I ran my own equipment and data center. I had sold it and am now starting a new hosting company on a dedicated server with another company. This is allowing me to focus more on offering better service and support to my customers, and have much lower overhead. This also lets me offer lower prices than I had before.


    Joel

  6. #6
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    Let me put it this way, it doesn't matter how many hosts there are as this is a good thing. It creates competition in the marketplace and encourages hosts to improve because as you've seen the so called "slacker" companies eventually fail. Think thats about all I have to add to mia's post.
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by pixel_fenix
    Let me put it this way, it doesn't matter how many hosts there are as this is a good thing. It creates competition in the marketplace and encourages hosts to improve because as you've seen the so called "slacker" companies eventually fail. Think thats about all I have to add to mia's post.
    A good addition.
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  8. #8
    Agree.Without competitors,there won't be improvement in better services.

  9. #9
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    What's the big deal? With a small "reseller" you are going to get much more one-to-one support and personalised attention.

    This whole "reseller" thing does myth me. A Reseller to me, is someone who is reselling on a server. Even a small company with one box, is not a "reseller", in my opinion. My web host company funded my dedi server / colo company. My web host companies uses their resources and rents colo from them. Who's the reseller?

    It's like saying Mcdonalds are a reseller because they don't develop their salt or potatoes in house.
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  10. #10
    I'm trying to understand, I really am. Letís see if Iíve got this. I had sort of assumed that a host was basically a server that one rented. But I take it a host is not so much a hardware thing as someone who administers a hardware and software package.

    From liquidjhoelís post I infer that there must be economies of scale for a data center to have a large amount of equipment, and they certainly will then have a redundancy that should make them more reliable. Then if they pass that economy on to webhosts who use their dedicated servers, then they can leave the fussy interactions with newbies like me to the subhost, and focus on hardware, while the reseller focuses on customer service. Is that about the business model?

    So what services are offered by the subhosts? For them to have control over the quality of their service, and therefore for competition to have any effect on that quality as miakeru and pixel_fenix suggest, they must be adding something tangible to the service they are reselling. What is that added value?

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Nesdon
    Is that about the business model?
    It will vary from place to place, but yes, that's a common practice. Of course, anyone can be a "host" all the way up and down the line.

    - A datacenter may host dedicated and colocation providers.
    - A dedicated or colocation provider may host a web host's servers.
    - A shared hosting provider may host a customer's web site.
    - A hosting customer may host a file download for someone.


    Narrowing the term to "web host", you generally deal with four types of web hosting providers:

    Large host: Has their own global network, datacenter(s) and server hardware. That means huge infrastructure costs. They probably make most of their money selling network transit, cages and rackspace, not shared hosting. Shared hosting customers will usually be their smallest accounts and likely their smallest support concern. If they sell shared hosting and maintain a global network, they are playing two vary different sides of the business and the phrase "jack of all trades... master of none" should be considered.

    Medium host: Owns or leases their own dedicated servers located in a datacenter which they lease cages or rack space in. The servers are their own, but they don't have their own (external) network. That can be good and bad. They can be at the mercy of their network/rackspace providers, but they also have much lower fixed costs and less issues to worry about. They may sell rackspace and dedicated servers, but small accounts are a larger percent of their income and thus more important to them.

    Small host: Has a few managed or virtual dedicated server accounts. They may not own or manage the physical equipment at all, but they are still responsible for maintaining and supporting the software running on their server(s). Small accounts are the bread and butter, so their support should actually be the best of all hosts. Their fixed costs are far lower and thus they can have much more flexibility, being able to move to other datacenters or transit providers without much effort.

    Reseller: Doesn't own any equipment and may or may not do support. These are the most common type of "host" and the most complained about (since the startup costs are minimal, almost anyone can be a reseller)... but that doesn't make them all bad. A reseller generally doesn't need to concern themselves at all with software, hardware or network issues. All they usually need to do is sell and support hosting accounts. Given a reliable enough infrastructure above them, this can be a GREAT thing. Unfortunately, when the server or network goes down, a reseller probably won't have direct access to the information... nor the ability to do anything about it.


    they must be adding something tangible to the service they are reselling. What is that added value?
    Not every web host is the same. There are a whole lot of things which can vary from host to host, the most striking usually being:

    - Supported software and languages.
    - Hardware specifications.
    - Level of support.

    Some hosts specifically support "personal" sites and others focus on "corporate" accounts. There are Windows hosts and Linux hosts and within each there are thousands of possible software packages which could be supported, so most hosts specialize on a particular focus rather than supporting everything. It's rare, but some web hosts still provide nothing but the pure ftp and http web hosting started with... and for some customers, that's all that is needed.
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