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  1. #1

    Fastservers, GNAX, or Liquid Web for large-scale site?

    Hi,

    I have found many posts in WHT about how good Fastservers, GNAX, and Liquid Web are. For someone like me, it is very difficult to tell the differences between these companies, especially since almost everyone likes them.

    Which one would be best for a potentially large-scale website that may require quick turnaround on new servers to horizontally scale? I would also be interested in knowing how quickly each company responds, fixes issues, upgrades hardware, adds hardware, etc. Also interested in any SLA specifics (or fine print).

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    We have a server with Fastservers and their support turn around times are pretty quick. However, their network has an on/off issue sometimes, which I hope they FIXED for good.

    I suggest you try the live chat on fastservers site and talk to a sales rep to see if they can meet your requirements.
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  3. #3
    Thanks. Anyone else have experiences they would like to share about any of these three? Or other suggestions?

  4. #4
    You should add ServInt to that list, they are very flexible with custom solutions.

  5. #5
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    I am a huge GNAX fan...they never disappoint me.

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  7. #7
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I am getting close to making a decision, but I have realized how crucial support will be for me the first few months.

    So, if all other things were equal, which company offers the best support and managed services? I am new to the web hosting world, so I know I will need as much help and guidance as possible.

  8. #8
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    GNAX has been great here. Fast response.
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  9. #9
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    fastservers seems to do better with muliple server type of deals.
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  10. #10
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    Thumbs up

    Go with fastserver as their response to support related issues are extremely fast and very efficient.

  11. #11
    I had a very good impression of FastServers until I read their SLA:

    "1.3. Service Availability is the total time in a calendar month that the FastServers.Net is available through the Internet, provided that Client has established connectivity. FastServers.Net takes responsibility for the Service Availability within its immediate network segment, and cannot be held liable for problems directly related to an upstream bandwidth provider. The FastServers.Net Network will be available to clients free of Network Outages for 99.9% of the time.

    6.0.2 Hardware replacement will occur within 24 Hours of the reported problem, FastServers.Net will refund 25% of the monthly fee per additional 24 hours of down time (up to 100% of customer's monthly fee)"


    24 hour hardware replacement?? That is enough to scare me away because it is not even close to competitors. In addition, FastServers only provides a 99.9% network uptime.

    I just read Liquid Web's SLA, and it is much better. The Liquid Web SLA has a 2 hour hardware replacement guarantee and a 100% network uptime guarantee.

    Anyone have any comments on Liquid Web support & service? I definitely will need good support because I am a "newbie." I think I am leaning very much toward Liquid Web now. If I don't hear anything bad, I will probably go with them.

  12. #12
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    yd77,

    LiquidWeb does have excellent support. I would recommend a newbie to go there as they are truely fully managed.

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  13. #13
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    yd77

    a 99.9% uptime guarantee is fine. Anyone claiming they can get more is absolutely ridiculously off beat.

    As a customer of Fastservers for over 18 months, I'll say that their support is the best that you will EVER come across, and their network, while, admittedly not perfect, stands up to every single network out here.

    The difference between FastServers and every other provider out there? With FastServers, you've got direct access TO the techs who know what they're doing. FastServers doesn't employ monkeys like most of the others out there, they actually have techs smart enough to fix YOUR problem and analyze it quickly and efficiently.

    As far as hardware replacement:
    I'd take that 24h as an extreme situation, because it doesn't take them 24h to replace hardware, as long as they've got it in stock. An example of this one and I'll let it go.

    A couple of months after ordering my first server with FS (I now have two), the server itself kept going down 10-15 minutes after coming up. I was stumped, the techs were stumped so they looked at it and found that there was a fan going bad, causing the thing to overheat. Keep in mind that this was at 4am CST (meaning it was a LOT earlier in CA, where this server is at). Within 2 hours, they had the fan up, running and replaced, and the server hasn't had any issues yet.

    Like I said, assume that 24h period is the long end, because if they have the parts, they'll have your server back up and running in no time, and in most cases I'd bet they have the parts on hand.

    Of course, IF you're after an "instant server", forget FastServers. These people actually take their time and do their jobs right. The server will be up in (average) 3 days, after burn-ins, OS loading, all of that.

    Fastservers is THE best in the market today, for support, network, and everything that you could possibly imagine.
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  14. #14
    Thanks for your input.

    However, 99.9% uptime is 10 minutes of allowable downtime per week, 44 minutes per month, and 8 hr 45 min per year! That is a lot, isn't it? 24 hr hardware replacement leaves a pretty grim worst-case scenario in my mind. (I have actually seen a post on WHT where someone did in fact experience a worst-case scenario ).

    IMHO, companies with better SLA terms are holding themselves to a higher standard and ensuring that customers get compensated when those high standards cannot be met. Bottom line is, those downtimes cost customers money, and I can't afford it when there is a comparable (if not better) alternative with a much better SLA.

    I've heard so many good things about both FastServers and Liquid Web, so to me, my choice is clear.

  15. #15
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    If you can't handle 44 minutes a month, you're in the wrong business, end of story

    Face it, hardware goes down, and that hardware includes routers, switches, and the like. Not only that, but companies actually WORK on networks. heaven forbid that you experience *gasp* downtime!

    Fastservers has one of the most reputable networks in the country behind it in Fremont, and the Iowa DC is getting to be just as good. In fact, I'd say it IS just as good.

    You won't find a better staff that'll work with whoever than those @ FS, honestly. to judge them by their SLA is like judging a book by it's cover, you never know what you're really missing (the good stuff) until you actually get in and see it for yourself.
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  16. #16
    Originally posted by linux-tech
    If you can't handle 44 minutes a month, you're in the wrong business, end of story

    Face it, hardware goes down, and that hardware includes routers, switches, and the like. Not only that, but companies actually WORK on networks. heaven forbid that you experience *gasp* downtime!

    Thanks. I definitely understand that network/hardware downtime is inevitable. I think your points above just strengthen the case for having a good SLA! It's going to happen, so I'd rather have a company that compensates me for it because I will be losing money anyway. Just my opinion, though.

    I totally understand that FastServers is a great, great company. I'm glad you love them. I know I've seen nothing but compliments for Liquid Web's service and support. But, I will say that I've seen this hardware replacement nightmare for FastServers:

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...hreadid=237735

    My apologies, though. I didn't mean for this to be defending one company against another. I just wanted to be informative about what I discovered with FastServers so that others realize what's in their SLA.

  17. #17
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    Hardware replacement is going to be a matter anywhere you go. Of course, remember, this was over a year ago, and since, they have not only added new staff, but opened up a new dc, which means that they're more able to help out those that need it hardware wise.

    My case was the case of me knowing what I'm doing. These other two cases were the cases of individuals NOT knowing what they're doing and choosing NOT to utilize the full support methods available to the individuals. Fastservers has toll free #'s in multiple countries for a reason, for them to be used!

    The 24h "replacement time" is usually not used at all. In fact, when my newest server got put online and it was thought to have problems, they offered to take it down overnight and run hardware tests on it. This wasn't 24h from when I submitted the ticket, this was the DAY I submitted the ticket. I 'd call that pretty quick service, and the staff have been in and out of my server all week, checking things out, making sure that it's indeed doing what it's supposed to. You can't GET that kind of service anywhere else.

    Are they perfect? As shown in the mentioned thread,absolutely not, but, again, you can't judge a book by it's cover here. You can go by previous experiences (which usually don't tell the whole story), or you can find the answer to your question yourself
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  18. #18
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    I'd go for GNAX if it's something big that will involve a cluster, etc. They tend to deal with high end custom stuff ...

    They probably have more experience in the field you're talking about than anyone else.

  19. #19
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    gnax!

    We've been with GNAX for a while, then purchased a server at sagonet...

    I think that our GNAX servers run the best, and have excellent response time.
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  20. #20
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    I would vouch for liquidweb, they have 4 hours hardware replacement SLA, or even less if I've not mistaken.

  21. #21
    Can someone recommend a GNAX partner for providing dedicated servers??

    I would like to know how GNAX compares to Liquid Web's support and SLA. But, I'm not sure which GNAX partner gives the best service.

  22. #22
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    Fastserver support is superb, their tech are all experienced. They will look into your server to check and solve any problem you face. My server is under deconf 3. Somemore, they have toll free to call from malaysia. I can just pick up my hp and call for technical support if there is any urgent server issue reported by my staff. I can travel comfortably with fastserver support.

    But their price is a bit high compared to theplanet and gnax. I really hope they have Dual 2.8 Xeon processor 1gb ram 2 x 80gb hardisk at USD199 per month as offered by theplanet.

  23. #23
    I've had good luck with GNAX before, and would suggest you select them from among the list provided. However, if you're looking for serious enterprise-grade hosting, and are open to other providers, why not consider ThePlanet?

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by linux-tech
    yd77

    a 99.9% uptime guarantee is fine. Anyone claiming they can get more is absolutely ridiculously off beat.

    As a customer of Fastservers for over 18 months, I'll say that their support is the best that you will EVER come across, and their network, while, admittedly not perfect, stands up to every single network out here.

    The difference between FastServers and every other provider out there? With FastServers, you've got direct access TO the techs who know what they're doing. FastServers doesn't employ monkeys like most of the others out there, they actually have techs smart enough to fix YOUR problem and analyze it quickly and efficiently.

    As far as hardware replacement:
    I'd take that 24h as an extreme situation, because it doesn't take them 24h to replace hardware, as long as they've got it in stock. An example of this one and I'll let it go.

    A couple of months after ordering my first server with FS (I now have two), the server itself kept going down 10-15 minutes after coming up. I was stumped, the techs were stumped so they looked at it and found that there was a fan going bad, causing the thing to overheat. Keep in mind that this was at 4am CST (meaning it was a LOT earlier in CA, where this server is at). Within 2 hours, they had the fan up, running and replaced, and the server hasn't had any issues yet.

    Like I said, assume that 24h period is the long end, because if they have the parts, they'll have your server back up and running in no time, and in most cases I'd bet they have the parts on hand.

    Of course, IF you're after an "instant server", forget FastServers. These people actually take their time and do their jobs right. The server will be up in (average) 3 days, after burn-ins, OS loading, all of that.

    Fastservers is THE best in the market today, for support, network, and everything that you could possibly imagine.
    IMO, all dedicated server providers should always have spare hardware in stock in case of an emergency.

  25. #25
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    Hi:

    For GNAX servers, you can go to their own retail site:

    http://www.tranxactglobal.com/dedicatedservers.php

    If you will need management of the server(s), you can get GNAX servers through acunett as well. Greta server management.

    http://www.acunett.com/

    GNAX is a great NOC, super network and people of integrity. That in itself is a rarity.

    GNAX can build whatever server you need and will not cheat you. Not that any of te others recommended would either. Just an opinion.

  26. #26
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    Last I asked GNAX doesn't do load balanced clusters. They might have changed but they asked me to colocate the load balancer. Just thought I'd throw it out there.
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  27. #27
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    Originally posted by linux-tech
    If you can't handle 44 minutes a month, you're in the wrong business, end of story

    Face it, hardware goes down, and that hardware includes routers, switches, and the like. Not only that, but companies actually WORK on networks. heaven forbid that you experience *gasp* downtime!
    While that's true, that DOES happen, but 44 minutes of downtime per month is considerable. There are MANY things you can due to avoid downtime if that's the goal and you've got the cash to back it up. Redundant switches, routers, power units, fiber, cluster and cluster heads. It can all be done. It doesn't mean that something won't go wrong, as something always does - however, you can definitely exceed 99.99% in the right datacenter.

    While throwing money at a problem doesn't fix anything - it will however considerably minimize downtime if you've got the cash to back up your needs.

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  28. #28
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    large-scale ? Definately Servint.net

    Although I really like GNAX, LW, TP, etc they don't really deal with custom large scale deployments, you're better off with someone like ServINT.
    I have servers at: NetDepot/GNAX (A), SoftLayer (A), LiquidWeb (B+), DedicatedNow (B+), Nectartech (B) and more!

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