I'm interested in renting a dedicated server to provide webhosting to businesses. My question is though, that in order for the business to be profitable I need to be competitive.
I have done some very quick searching around and found that uk2.net offer the following entry level package:
For £567 (inc VAT) per year:
Linux Series 2400+
Intel - 2.4 GHz
NOW 80GB Harddisk
512GB data transfer (yearly)
1 IP address
24x7x365 FREE reboots
Redhat / Debian / Slackware
I looked at a webhosting provider called 123-reg.co.uk and they provide a starter pro package as follows:
For £66.25 (inc VAT) a year
500 MB of web space for £3.99† per month!
5000 MB data transfer (bandwidth) per month.
CGI/Perl Script enabled.
On-line file manager and full FTP access.
35 mail boxes (POP3).
Webalizer graphical web statistics (click to try).
Unlimited e-mail forwarding addresses.
My question is this, using a dedicated server from uk2.net above, reallistically how many apache virtual websites would I be able to provide from this host, baring in mind it's specification?
To be even close to being in compteition with 123-reg.co.uk I would need to able to host 10 websites (apache virtual hosts) from this one server.
Is 10 basic websites realistic for this type of server or could this sort of server provice much less/more? Does anyone have any resources I could look at regarding this sort of thing?
From a technical point of view, we are really just starting out with regard to webhosting but we have lots of system administration experience with Unix/Linux - however not in the area of webhosting.
The idea is to use VMware to do development/application/webhosting testing and then commit changes to the dedictaed server environment. Is this the norm for providing webhosting?
I think the problem here is the phrase '10 basic websites' as it's a little difficult to quantify.
Without knowing exactly what you mean by that and using my own experiences from when I was a web host I'd say that, yes, you could host 10 basic web sites by my definition. That would be 10 sites using 50MB space and 500MB bandwidth each (and probably more). It's not huge in terms of resources by any means, but my definition of a 'basic website' is either someone's personal pages or a small, realtively quiet business site. I'd say about 60% of the sites I hosted were in that category.
However, a reasonably sizable site could swallow all your resources in one go, particular the 5GB of data transfer. A busyish forum can often account for that alone.
The other thing to consider is your CPU load. If the hosted sites have many concurrent users performing CPU-intensive operations, the strain on the box might be the limiting factor.
This is very 'finger in the air' stuff, but I hope it gives you a start for something to think about.