Advice on RackSpace quote vs LiquidWeb vs WebReseller
I know the topic of host A vs B vs... has been discussed ad nauseum. However, I would very much appreciate some advice on a specific quote we received from Rackspace.
We are going to lease a new server. We have had some support problems with our current host and we really need a managed server with true 24/7/365 telephone support. Having researched reviews and suggestions, I would like to use Rackspace.
However, the quote they gave me was a bit high and I would appreciate any comments or suggestions.
Here are the package specs:
Dual Opteron 244
1 GB DDR (we would need more)
80 GB EIDE (I really want SCSI)
10 GB managed backup with daily incremental (not quite enough)
100 GB outgoing bandwidth, incomming unmetered (too low - need about 175)
Software: RH Enterprise 3.0, Urchin, Plesk
And, a bunch of other stuff that isn't really worth anything (e.g. "up2date automated patching")
They want $530/mo + $300 setup (1st month free). First year cost: $6130
It looks like LiquidWeb offers a better machine at a lower cost. Specifically:
Dual Opteron 244
2 GB DDR (we would need more)
Dual 73 GB SCSI w/hardware RAID
50 GB managed backup with daily incremental
2400 GB outgoing bandwidth (in+out)
Software: CentOS 3, CPanel
They want $349/mo, $0 setup. First year cost: $4188.
Both would be fully managed with true 24/7/365 tech support.
The server will be used for very intensive MySQL+php operations (>1,000,000 visitors/day). We are willing to pay extra to have reliable, quality REAL 24/7/365 support (our current host claims this, but it has been very hit and miss). The question is, just how much is the "fanatical support" of Rackspace worth?
My understanding is that Rackspace will negotiate, but I am not sure how much. Based on the comments I have read, LiquidWeb is a reliable company with good support. Is Rackspace support so much better than LiquidWeb that it is worth an additional $2000 in the first year? Are there any other highly reliable services with great support that we should consider? Webreseller.net maybe? (It sounds like they were good at one time, but now are not) EV1? (It sounds like they have gone downhill in customer satisfaction).
Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
Your bandwidth usage seems awfully low for 1 million visitors a day, are you sure that is correct?
We handle affiliate tracking for small businesses. We serve very little text and no images. The operation is relatively database intensive, but uses very little bandwidth.
I think the estimate is close - that was an estimate of outgoing traffic based on watching /proc/net/dev for an afternoon. There would be an additional 150GB/month or so associated with transfering backups and so forth. Rackspace charges $3.50/GB for overage, which is very high, so I hope I can talk them into adding more to the package.
I wish they just had a price so I wouldn't have to try and figure out what it should be then try to talk them down - another plus in the LiquidWeb column I guess.
I currently use both companies (rackspace and liquidweb - among others).
I got a server from rackspace specifically for the support after having a problem with one of my machines at the planet. The support is indeed fanatical/excellent. When I had a hard drive failure, I didn't even have to lift a finger. They phoned me twice during the recovery to keep me up to date (it took about 3 hours in total).
That was nice ... but the rest of the time ... when everything is running smoothly, the extreme support is not necessary and seems a bit expensive. The monthly transfer is very low but it is because they claim 100% uptime with 'no packet loss' because of the quality of their network and upstream providers. I don't know whether this is true or not. Overall, I have to say they are very good but maybe a bit expensive (with small transfer limits - 100mb for me too).
I got the liquidweb server after the rackspace ... and I have to say that liquidweb blew me away. Better than any of the 8 dedicated server companies I have used except rackspace.
Liquidweb has "rackspace type service" for much less money. I haven't been in crisis with liquidweb so I cannot attest to how they handle themselves under extreme pressure ... but they have been good on all the minor things I have needed (very pleasant and thorough). They also have very good reviews in wht ... that is why I chose them.
The liquid web network seems to be quite good too ... but I am not qualified or experienced enough to make a proper comparison. I think rackspace might have a better network (not sure though).
They are both excellent companies ... but like pawsregd said ... you will need lots of bandwidth for 1 million visitors per day.
There is a BIG difference in bandwidth/month.
100gb vs 2400gb
It can be very expensive if you go over your bandwidth/transfer.
I would really BE SURE about how much bandwidth you need because that could be a 'stopper' for the rackspace deal.
I need them to actually be there to do a physical reboot, restore a backup or swap a fried component 24/7/365. It is not mandatory, but ideally they would handle security updates (I've gaked too many servers patching myself) and monitor for and correct crashed services so I don't have to be awakened at 3AM by angry customers. This is why I am attracted to Rackspace, but we will end up renting about 6 servers and the price premium will add up. If it is worth it, that's fine. But I can't justify it if someone else offers similar support for less.
This is contrasted with my current host who claimed to offer such support - we recently have had an "emergency" support request in for over 6 hours with only a response letting me know that they will let me know when they look into it. They will not take daily backups (indeed, they won't backup at all, their only solution is to install a second hard drive).
While I'm unfamiliar (haven't used) any of the hosts mentioned above, I have used http://www.voxrox.com/ (Voxel) and they have been pretty amazing. You might want to add them to your list to check out too.
Edit: Also, may I suggest an offsite backup service? Personally we use http://www.gnax.net for offsite backups. This way, you know your stuff is still accessible if the host ever goes under.
My vote goes to liquidweb Unfortunatly i have not done bussiness with rackspace so i cant comment on them. However it would seem to me If you will be hosting intensive MySQL+php operations. As you say then liquidweb setup seems much more on par for that type of task. The scsi harddrives and the extra ram will do much better than the first machine you described. I have yet to have a emergency with liquidweb but judging how they handle my other tickets iam not concerned that they would beable to handle any situation that may arise