We currently run a reasonably busy web site and continuing to grow. My thoughts are to perhaps commence hosting ourselves rather than stay with the dedicated host we currently are. I have no real issues with them (candidhosting.com) but considering our growth feel that perhaps having something inhouse that we can upgrade at anytime etc may be of benefit. Our current hosting contract ends in early February so need to make a decision soon. It looks like we can get T1 access for under $500/month which is reasonable and would be of benefit to our own LAN which is currently on cable modem. Current server configuration which is adequate is below but we need to be thinking ahead here:
Intel Pentiium 4 Dual Xeon 2.6 Ghz
2 GB ECC REG DDR RAM
3 X 36 GB SCSI (10K RPM) HD
500 GB B/W
We run MS SQL database which has close to 100,000 product lines across 3 websites (this is total of web sites we would ever run) and as I see it besides server costs the MS SQL licence is fairly high also and probably one of the major cost considerations in doing this. We must run windows too as my IT people are all windows trained and they are not in-house so this also a consideration but obviously they will have complete remote access. I know enough to get me into trouble when it comes to webhosting/servers etc but rely heavily on my IT people for this side of the business. The majority of our bandwith is used in database updating and when we are invoicing customers and web traffic itself is fine. 1Mbps is ok for now.
All that being said I seek your advices on server configuration, should I look at environment control for hosting ourselves, would I be better to stay dedicated or co-located perhaps knowing above etc etc.
Before making the desition of hosting inhouse think about this:
1) You will only have 1 internet connection on your server, that means if that connection goes down your whole site will go down. Most of datacenters have a lot of connections to the internet IE. EV1Servers has 19 Gigabit connections.
2) The speed of a T1 is not always enough.
3) Any technical problems will have to be fix by your tech guys, it may take sometime to contact them and get them to fix the problem, if you have a managed solution they will take care of everything quick.
4) Make sure you have power back ups (batteries or generators) in case of a power outrage, most datacenters can keep running even if the power goes down.
5) Security can be an issue, make sure your server its on a secure place and no one has access to the actual machine.
Think about all that before making the desition, hosting in house can be good because you will have full control, but sometimes its better to let the experts do that work and you can concetrate more in marketing than the technical part.
Ok..thanks for the feedback to date. Consensus seems to be to stay away from hosting ourselves. I was somewhat reluctant I must admit going down this road and your comments are enforcing my beliefs but this is only becuase of my own lack of expertise in this specific area. My IT people who I currently utilize have been with me for 4 years and do monitor our server 24 hours in tandem with host so this is not an issue although we certainly cannot afford any downtime as pointed out by all and perhaps a host with multiple connections is a better solution.
So what you would you then recommend if we do stay hosted and with whom. Knowing our requirements to have more control is there anybody out there who is much better than others when it comes critical hosting requirements. I have had some disasterious experiences in the past with hosting companies (as I guess a lot have) and we have been online now for app. 10 years.
I'd recommend: ev1 or hostdime - both have good near perfect uptime - although hostdime's network isn't as redundant as ev1's or tp/sm(the planet/servermatrix), their network admin is exceptional.
The only one I recommend against: do not choose managed.com, do not choose FDC and you'll be good to roll.
If you choose a dedicated server - and don't have anyone to manage it (although sort of assuming the 4 techs know something) - I'd recommend rack911.com for security management - the rest however can be done by anyone with decent *nix knowledge - beyond that.
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