What's the difference: Semi-Dedicated, Dedicated, Managed, VPS, CoLocation?
I'm starting an Internet media company publishing blogs, websites, and forums. Think like iNet (the company that owns this forum).
I've ruled out shared hosting because of the instability of having several dozen of my sites with several dozens of other people's sites.
But I don't know which solution is right for me: Semi-Dedicated, Dedicated, Managed, VPS? What's the difference here?
I can't forecast my bandwidth demand right now but if a few of my sites really take off, we'll be asking for a whole lotta juice.
So I want to know the differences between these hosting solutions and which ones are most relevant to an online publishing company.
I've got a business plan, lots of ideas, but I want to make sure that I get the technology correct. I don't want to have to move servers so I want a solution that will suit me when I'm running the company 3 years from now as well as today.
What type of hosting should I be looking for, and specifically, what are the advantages of managed hosting over dedicated/semi-dedicated hosting?
I also am very used to WHM and cPanel. So do these solutions offer something similar? Once I've got a new idea for a blog, I want to be able to buy the domain, then use cPanel to setup an account and create a mysql database, check webstats, do cron jobs, etc.
I've been looking at hostingzoom's semi-dedicated package ($65) a month as a starting point but I haven't actually picked out a company yet, let alone a hosting solution.
Semi-Dedicated - A server shared by few users, perhaps 2-5.
Dedicated - A server dedicated to you only.
Managed Dedicated - Your server will be managed by someone, something like outsourcing your administrative tasks. You must check out what are the services included in a managed service.
VPS - A virtual server that gives you root access within the space assigned to you.
Colo - You send a server to a datacenter and use their power, space and bandwidth.
Well, the decision between unmanaged dedicated and managed dedicated would be a simple one ?
Ask yourself how competent are you in managing a server and handling the OS in which the server would be using ? How is your troubleshooting skills, setting up services, daemon, firewall and so on ?
If you are very competent then an unmanaged server would suit you fine as you can manage and administer the server on your own.
If you need some hand holding then a managed server would be in your alley. Of course check to see with each provider what is included in their managed plan.
However, if you have someone or want to hire a 3rd party to do the necessary set up and administration then you could get an unmanaged server and have that someone do the work for you. Not all providers offers the best of all worlds.
An unmanaged server provider would just set up the hardware, hook it up to the internet, install the OS and hand everything to you. They will only handle hardware and network issues and you will do the setup, management and administration and any troubleshooting.
You need to check with each individual provider you have selected as they do have different definitions on how manage they would go.
Those lower priced managed dedicated server (typically under $200/mth) would probably include passive monitoring and maybe doing some simple patching work. Some of these are like Nocster, Servermatrix.
Those which are priced higher such as those from Liquidweb, Servint, Rackspace would probably include troubleshooting if there is an issue with the server or fix crashes. Some of which may be included in the plan while others may charge you extra for it. Of course as long as you are willing to pay whatever going price, it would definitely get things done.
There is no hard and fast rule as to what standard valued added would be included.