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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342

    Need a rock solid host

    Let me say this up front, I'm not a reseller and don't have plans on reselling. I host some personal/hobby sites for myself and friends. Some are small e-commerce sites. I think a VDS/VPS account is best for me, but a good basic reseller account would do to.

    My requirements are fairly simple (at least I think so!):

    1. Responsive and knowledgable technical support. If there is a problem DO NOT give me a vague response. Telling me exactly how to fix it and doing it for me the first time without me asking is the ideal. I don't require instant answers but you should be able to FIX the problem within 24 hours not just sending me back an e-mail within that time frame.

    2. Rock solid servers/network/services. I know everyone has an outage every once in awhile, thats fine. But you should know if there is something wrong with my account before I do. If I have to tell you one of my domains is down then thats a BIG negative.

    3. Application minimums: SSH with and virtual or real root access, personal CGI-BIN, MySQL 4.0, PHP, phpBB, phpNuke 7.0+, Crontab, e-mail webclient/specific CP that allows USERS to change their own password/settings (no WAY am I going to admin a few hundred e-mails), ability to install apps and change system timezone/date. If each domain could have a limited admin type CP that would be awesome!

    4. You should upgrade your base apps on a regular basis. I don't need the cutting edge versions but you should not be 6 months behind the current release.

    5. Honest disk use. If you charge your customers for 200+mb for base system files on a 500mb account then move on.

    6. BACKUPS. I don't mind paying a reasonable extra charge but YOU should keep a backup (in case I don't ; ) and be able to restore from that in a timely fashion.

    So far Bluewho and HTTPme are very impressive. Response times to requests (even to non-customers) is awesome! They may cost a bit more and offer a little less but responsive support is more then worth that.

    I'm also looking at WestHost, Autica and Globalservers, any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    Rafael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,182
    What are you needing to do with some sort of root access?

    If root access is a requirement, you are going to need to look into a VPS, or Virtual Private Server.

    Good luck finding what you need!
    DreamHost Web Hosting
    Shared and VPS hosting + dedicated servers and colocation.
    ... and we're green, too!
    Hosting your dreams since 1997.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    I've found that some applications do not install properly unless you SU to root. I'll give you a perfect example of one I just had to do.

    I'm using a bash shell script to backup mysql db's running in crontab. I wanted to then FTP the files to an off site FTP server as additional backup. I found a great FTP client called LFTP that works VERY well with scripts.

    EX of what I put in my script to do this:
    lftp <<EOF
    open ftpserver
    user username password
    pwd
    put backup-$mydate.tar.gz
    bye
    EOF

    Now LFTP will not install unless you have certain rights and root works all the time. Same with VIM, rsync, etc....).

    I'm willing to give up root if the host is very responsive to requests.

    I'm currently at a VPS host that is excellent in most aspects. I don't like the way they handle disk space and their support is very good at the 2nd level but getting there can take a few days. They also do not provide backup services, you need to do your own backups (which I'm willing to do but having an additional backup at the host level is key to me).

    So based on the fact that I want more responsive support and backups is the primary reason I'm looking for another host. I'm not expecting to find this all at $10/mo. I'm currently happy to pay the $30/mo that I'm paying my current host for my account.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,182
    LFTP and rsync come standard on many installs of Linux. I know they do with Fedora and RedHat9. I'm not sure if VIM is a standard package, but it is one that is easily added.

    If you find a company you like, e-mail them and ask if they have (or will install) those for you. I see no reason why they would refuse.
    DreamHost Web Hosting
    Shared and VPS hosting + dedicated servers and colocation.
    ... and we're green, too!
    Hosting your dreams since 1997.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    PA, USA
    Posts
    5,137
    Do HTTPME and bluewho offer VPS? I thought they only offered reseller accounts.
    Fluid Hosting, LLC - HSphere Shared and Reseller hosting - Now with HIGH AVAILABILITY
    Fluid VPS - Linux and Windows Virtuozzo VPS - Enterprise VPS with up to 2 GB guaranteed memory!
    Get your N+1 High Availability Enterprise Cloud
    Equinix Secaucus NY2 (NYC Metro)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,182
    Originally posted by FHDave
    Do HTTPME and bluewho offer VPS?
    I don't think either of them do.
    DreamHost Web Hosting
    Shared and VPS hosting + dedicated servers and colocation.
    ... and we're green, too!
    Hosting your dreams since 1997.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    As I said in my post I'm willing to give up root access if I can get prompt service to my requests. The frustrating thing is waiting 24+ hours for a simple little install.

    On top of that I'm really not a programmer or a linux expert. Having the ability to do things myself and work through issues has been a huge catalyst in my learning.

    I know they do not offer VPS/VDS but even though they are resellers they offer many of the same benefits that a VDS host does. Which is why I'm not limiting myself to VPS/VDS hosts.

    Of the better VPS/VDS hosts I'm currently looking at are WestHost, Globalservers and JVDS. I just haven't had the time yet to visit their support forums and ask questions.

    So far Bluewho seems extremely responsive and I'm leaning towards them. I figure once I decide I'll open and account and keep it for a month or so to make sure I'm completely happy with it before I cancel my current host and move them over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,182
    Originally posted by Nnyan
    So far Bluewho seems extremely responsive and I'm leaning towards them. I figure once I decide I'll open and account and keep it for a month or so to make sure I'm completely happy with it before I cancel my current host and move them over.
    That's a great idea. I wish you the best of luck with BlueWho, if that's who you decide to use, as I have read some really great things about them.
    DreamHost Web Hosting
    Shared and VPS hosting + dedicated servers and colocation.
    ... and we're green, too!
    Hosting your dreams since 1997.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    354
    Along with some of the other hosts recommended, I'd take a look at www.voxtreme.com. Their semi-dedicated option may fit the bill.
    Jim
    RotoHOST.com
    webhosting solutions for e-Business

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    83
    Check out SRLNet.com We've been with them for ages now, must be getting close to a year, I forget exactly, but their support is awesome. They have everything you're looking for except root access of course, which you've said you'll do without.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    Thank you all for your responses. So far I've been taking my time viewing company's msg boards and response times trying to get a feel for their support and customer's feelings.

    At the top of my list is Bluewho even if they are a reseller. They are extremely responsive and keep their applications up to date, that alone is worth giving up the VPS features.

    This is closely followed by Dinix. Only negatives are the backup plan under managed is a bit expensive, support boards don't seem to be used much and I'm only just now starting to test their support.

    Powervps seems like a great fit since they have a very nice plan under $30 with either Cpanel or Plesk. They include Fantastico installed free which is cool. They also do regular backups that can fully recover my site. The only issue is that I've just started checking out their support. They have a helpdesk but don't seem to have a support board.

    If anyone care to chim in on Dinix and in particular PowerVPS it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    51

    VDS

    Have you checked the VDS offered by rackforce.com ?

    I am using one and am very pleased with their support. I do have root access and many other features at an excellent price.




    dats

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    Dats,

    I actually had them on my list. But I took them off based on a few items as I read the on their FAQ that I read incorrectly (I thought you could not run cron jobs or ssh into their account). After speaking with a support person they cleared that up.

    I definately need to add them to my list b/c of their $25/mo pro account.

    I've already signed up for an account with Bluewho and I'm looking to sign up with one or two more hosts for a month or two. I'll migrate my domains to each and see which one is left standing.

    Could you tell me what Rackforce support is like? I am not a hosting expert and it looks to me like they don't offer much free hand holding support.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    After viewing their support matrix I noticed that they charge extra ($25/20min) to configure and apply patches to even the basic services/applications.

    Dinix includes patches and config of the basic apps. Since I think I would need a bit of hand holding when a problem arouse RF might get a bit expensive for a few hobby sites.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    So far so good with Bluewho. I had my site replicated and up in minutes. Not too crazy about the lack of root access and their mysql are in the CP is a bit awkward but I'm very happy with the speed and support.

    I'll be getting an account with PowerVPS/Rackforce/Tektonic next week and testing them out.

    I also started looking for a cheap backup host (I'll be replicating the mysql db and files) in case of problems with my primary. I ended up signing up with Rochen Host. For $10/mo the account is VERY impressive. Anyone have any experience with Rochen?

    Thank you.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    90
    Nnyan,

    Have you tried looking at ServInt VPS?

    I am with them. (VPS)

    Their support is great.

    They are willing to install stuff for you..all the os patching everything is done by them (since its VPS)

    I was looking at Dinix too, but read that they will charge for installation of software etc..(or something like that)


    Hope this helps.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    I took a look at servint but they are just outside of my price range. Here is my update on my search.

    I'm hosting a few relatively small mySQL/phpNUKE and few other static sites.

    Want to stay in the $20-$40 range.

    Here is my wish list:

    1. PROMPT and accurate support.
    2. Hand holding for the relative noob.
    2. Root access
    3. Fantastico type one click installer CP.
    4. mySQL 4.0.X
    5. phpNUKE 7.1+
    6. Optional backup service (other then the daily server backup).
    7. CPanel or Plesk

    PowerVPS - Was a top contender but they just raised their rate outside my range other then the petite.

    Rackforce - Was on my list but they charge for patching base apps and I think support would get expensive.

    Tektonic - Looks like a great plan except for the 32 to 1 contention ratio. Plus I don't know much about them.

    Globalservers - Mixed reviews plus their entry level plan has no root access.

    Dinix - Currently tied for my top choices. Only negative is that they charge extra to install Fantastico, not sure how much hand holding I'll get with them.

    VPSColo - My other top choice. Not sure what "managed server" means as far as hand holding. Entry level VPS plan looks pretty sweet.

    RimuHosting - Looks good but I'm having trouble finding users with some experience with them and their support. Anyone?

    Westhost - Another mixed review plus missing features at their base price.

    Linode - Right near the top, base packages look really good, good reviews just not sure if right for the noob like myself and how much hand holding I'll get.

    If anyone has any input it would greatly be appreciated

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    90
    You might wish to find out in what way the host is providing VPS to you.

    Some uses Virtuozzo, others Hsphere, while some like Linode use something that is available in Unix, can't remember the name.

    Linode has good reviews for support as far as I know.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    Most are using Virtuozzo and a few are using User Mode Linux (like Linode).

    I've read good things about Linode but they don't seem to be geared towards hand holding of their users.

    Thanks to a friend of mine I have access to Dinix and PowerVPS accounts now (has sites on both) and I'll post how that goes.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sacramento CA
    Posts
    3,342
    Most are using Virtuozzo and a few are using User Mode Linux (like Linode).

    I've read good things about Linode but they don't seem to be geared towards hand holding of their users.

    Thanks to a friend of mine I have access to Dinix and PowerVPS accounts now (has sites on both) and I'll post how that goes.

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