I feel I am kind fo working in reverse here, I will explain my situation:

I am UK based and we are already in the hosting business, we run dedicated webservers for Blue chip clients (i don't wish to name them, but you would recognise them (even in the US)). We have at present 5 clients with about 15 servers based at a major UK datacentre, and we are turning over about 150,000 a year on this (this is about $300,000). We use a partner company to box shift and look after the systems up to ping level, above that we do all the work with 1 dedicated member of staff.

Our primary business is actually web application development, this hosting is just a sideline we have done for a year or so.

What we wish to do now is the self-service shared hosting model which we can:

1): Offer to our smaller clients who don't need dedicated servers so we currently refer to other hosting companies.

2): Offer a general shared hosting service to small companies/members of the public.

Now we know how to run dedicated servers for single clients and all the associated admin, and as its such a small number of clients for things like DNS we use our partner companies DNS servers, and for email we obviously stick mail server software on their dedicated servers as required, what we are unsure of now is what services we should be looking after ourselves.. should we be looking to have our own DNS servers? should we use a dedicated email server? what are the complications of setting up shared hosting (we know we'll need some control panel software such as cpanel etc)

What is the bare minimum we need to set up a shared hosting self service system? we want to offer linux and windows packages.

I am looking for any advice and pointers, or links to articles or tech docs etc,

Thanks for reading my story! sorry it was so long