Im going to be a webhosting reseller first. Then If i have the ability to manage my own server, I'm going to dedicated server.
My Questions are:
1. As a reseller, What is the best control panel to move all my customers from a reseller to my own dedicated server? are there any issues like different configurations (mail, login, webserver etc)?
2. As a reseller, Can i transfer my customers to dedicated server without notifying my webhosting company?
Moving accounts from a reseller account to a dedicated server can be a pain (*sometimes*).
Once you get a dedicated server, your root WHM has an automated feature which will let you move accounts. With my experience, this works about 60% of the time. If the automated feature fails, then you will have to manually move everything over which is not always fun. From personal experience, smaller accounts will transfer error free most of the time, when you get into larger accounts you may have more problems.
I don't really feel leaving a reseller hosting company for your own dedicated server is a stab in the back, here's why.
Reseller Hosts do not get paid for each of your clients like you do, they are only paid once a month by you, for the space and bandwidth they are providing.
Let's say they give you 5 GB of Diskspace, and 50GB of transfer. Then you go out and get 20 or so clients, and you and your clients our using 3/4's of the available resources. Meanwhile, you are still paying your host the same monthly fee, they do not benefit from your clients.
So when you do leave, sure they lose a customer which everybody hates, but they do free up all that bandwidth and diskspace. They are not losing anything more than you as a customer.
I would think hosts who provide reseller accounts would expect some of their resellers to eventually get there own dedicated server. I also know that some resellers will not want their own dedicated server, because they would rather have someone else manage everything.
If your reseller host is a good and reliable provider they will at least understand that you were outgrowing their services and will not try to keep you at all costs. Their help might be limited as it is your responsibility to move your customers but you should be all right. It really depends on your web host.
Later, the main reason to have dedicated server is to provide direct support to my customer, not depending on webhosting company's response ---> me as a reseller ---> my customers. That's what i'm thinking of. I know there will be a problem moving customers from my webhosting provider to my own dedicated server. All feedback may help my plan.
I'm not sure what additional feedback you can get - I think the best thing you can do is contact a few reseller hosts, and ask them directly how they will help you, and any other questions you may have.
If you have the right reseller host, then the support issue wont be a problem - the servers wont be oversold, and support will be prompt and helpful first time. You only need to look at places like Bluewho and httpme to see that in action.
Contact a few people, or put up a host quote and have them contact you, and then ask plenty of questions
Make sure you know what you are doing, a dedicated server is a huge responsbility. You must fully secure the server, and keep it secure. You must also be able to keep it online and operational. If there is any chance that your customers will have more downtime, or be at risk in a security sense, then either hire someone to manage the server or stay a reseller.
If you do get a dedicated server, do not just throw your clients on it. You should give it at least a week to make sure everything is working properly and will stay working.
Be ready for some sleepless nights if you do choose to run your own dedicated server. Before jumping into this make sure you have the time and dedication required.
What you can do is to look for a reseller host who is also capable of taking care of your business when it grows.
By that I mean you have to look for a host who is capable at both reseller hosting and dedicated servers.
One thing that no one mentioned here is YOUR CLIENTS, you will have to tell them that they are moving.. unless you are 100% sure there is no downtime, and everything else is the same which is unlikely.
At least its good to know that there are still folks who are sane and will take the proper way to being a hosting provider.