we are a web development company that currently has about 20 clients we are hosting through a reseller program. We are thinking of getting a root level server so that we can build some web appliances that our clients can share.
After reviewing the forums I am not yet convinced that leasing a dedicated server is the right way to go.
1) if the domains are registered all over, would one just point them to the server and do domain recognition? how is that handled in these packages.
2) Should one just buy the hardware and do a co-lo?
3) what hosting dedicated hosting package would you guys reccomend?
domains would get pointed at your companies nameservers
say ns1.mycompany.com & ns2.mycompany.com
you would run BIND 9 ( aka named ) as a DNS Server to resolve your domains when requested. You setup a zone for each domain, and enter in any ip details that they should point to.
If you want a control panel you can try webmin for free, or take the plunge and get something like CPanel or Plesk or Ensim, depending on your budget, needs, and what the provider actually provides.
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1. Assuming just one dedicated server you run your own nameservers on that machine (usually with bind if using linux).
2. I don't know, should you? Do a cost-projection and see what fits you best. If you are going to be going with high-end hardware, it might be cheaper to co-lo, but usually unless you have a need for special hardware or multiple machines, dedicated is cheaper.
3. If you are talking about a provider I would go with LayeredTech if you want unamanaged. You'll see some bad threads about them lately, but be sure to read through the whole thread.
4. Why would the $100 boxes not work? I have one box for $70 that works great.
If your sites are not going to use a lot of bandwidth you may want to opt for low-end servers which typically provide between 600 to 800 GB or 1000 GB bandwidth. Be careful about the processor on offer (celeron, P4 depending on the data you have).
Since you are hosting domains for your clients, please check out the network of the hosting provider.
Control panels are always helpful as far as managing the server is concerned. WHM/ Plesk/ Ensim . . . depends on budget and comfort level.
We've worked with a number of web dev shops whom have moved from shared/reseller type hosting to their own dedicated servers.
Some significant benefits of running your own dedicated system for your clients is the flexibility to customize the server to suit your needs. Adding items like extra perl modules, applications servers, pear components, etc. are simply a matter of your system administrator installing these for you. Unless licenses are involved, you often will not have to pay more.
You may see better performance if your prior solution had resource limits.
In many instances, security is improved because you now have direct control over who accesses the server. If you provide full management for your clients, then you can use firewalls and other access retriction mechanisms to limit access. With reseller/shared plans, you do not have this control.
The drawbacks are primarilly costs and system administration. If you lease an unamanged server, you will need an system administrator to help you with security, setup, and troubleshooting. If you do not have someone in-house, then you may need to outsource, thus further increasing costs.
The other issue is that if the server goes down -- all of your clients will be impacted. This could be true of a shared hosting plan as well but it is some to consider.
Disaster recovery plans will have to be more extensive if you run your own server, especially if you lease an unmanaged system. Typically in shared hosting, you don't have to worry about getting a crashed system up and running again. If you lease, then this becomes your responsibility, and you will need to work with your server provider. If you buy a server and co-locate, you are now responsible for the hardware.
Unless you have special requirements, I often find if you simply need a single dedicated server with a control panel leasing is the most cost-effective. If you do not have an in-house sysadmin, explore the costs of outsourcing that service as well.
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