The familiar hunt for a provider. FastServers.net?
First, I found this site while looking for reviews of a few providers out there and would like to thank those at this site for providing the input and feedback that I've seen thus far. It is significantly helpful. I'm sure I've only seen a small fraction of what there is on this site, so I apologize for asking a set of questions that have likely been asked before...
I work with a volunteer-staffed non-profit that has been with several providers over the past nine years. We've had different issues with each one. We tried unmanaged dedicated servers, which were a pain because I would have to drive to a datacenter with hardware if there was ever an issue. We tried shared servers, but our bandwidth and security requirements have long since outgrown that model. And we've most recently tried virtual dedicated, which we seem to be outgrowing.
Our latest experience, with RoseHosting, has been great from availability and cost perspectives, but the provider doesn't seem capable of really understanding how the virtual hosting works with the hardware resources. We've run into all sorts of performance problems, which they blame on our code but haven't been able to show anything explaining the system performance.
So for the past month we've been planning on moving to another provider with two dedicated systems (finally going to move the dev/test machine out of the closet.) We found iPowerWeb along with some smashing reviews about how great their customer support is. Turns out that we had some problems with the Plesk tool and their customer support was slow (~24 hrs) for the first request, and completely unresponsive for 2 weeks on the second request. Their billing department was also a hassle and we've been trying to get our money back as promised by their "30-day money back guarantee." It's been about 2-1/2 weeks, and we have yet to get all of our money back. (Not to mention, they overbilled us by over $300 originally.)
Which leads me to the now...
I found FastServers.net and I their semi-managed services (DEFCON) are largely appealing to me. I also appreciate that they have the ability to run RedHat Enterprise instead of Fedora. I was a sysadmin in a previous life, but I don't like to waste my time with it these days and these features are very appealing to me. I also haven't found any real negative reviews that I can speak of, but I'm still very apprehensive due to past experiences.
Does anybody have any great suggestions or comments about FastServers.net? Here are the key things I'm looking for:
* Dedicated servers, Linux or BSD, at least 100 GB/mo included
* Installing and securing "LAMP" shouldn't be a complex matter, and I don't want junk like Plesk to be required.
* Semi-managed is a plus. I want to "set it and forget it" as much as realistically feasible.
* 24hr monitoring and support is a must
* Cost is a big consideration, being a non-profit
Again I thank you all for the feedback you've already provided and hope you can help easy my apprehension. Best regards.
I'm based in D.C., but as long as they are on the same continent and have a good connection, I couldn't care less where they are. You'd think that'd open up a lot of doors, I just haven't found the best doors yet.
The problem with any provider geared towards resellers is... well, that they are geared towards resellers. My experience with other providers like that is that they try to get you a server that is easy to configure for multiple domains/websites with lots of fancy reporting and billing tools, but I really need a server that is going to be dedicated to only 1 website.
Regardless, I appreciate the feedback and will still check them out. Thanks!