I have been pouring over these forums and have learned a lot. I have a photo website with php search software and basically no knowledge of managing a server. I am a small, one person photographer, business but my website uses a lot of resources and I need a dedicated server.
Given my limited knowledge, RackSpace seems like a natural, but it is going to be difficult to afford. One way to get the cost down is to sign a two or three year contract. Part of me says if they do a good job, I wouldn’t be looking to move. Part of me hates to lock in to such a volatile industry. Any thoughts? Everyone raves about RS, but their sales techniques make me feel like I’m buying a used car – an expensive used car.
I have considered Liquid Web. I’m concerned they may not be managed enough for my limited knowledge. Would adding a service such as PlatnumServerManagement give me piece of mind or create more confusion?
The third option would be a PlatnumServerManagement plus LayeredTech combination, but I need MySQL and LT charges an additional $500 a month just for that option. I don’t understand why they are so much more expensive then even RS.
Plenty of hosts can provide the service you require, it sounds like you need fully-managed.
I agree about the rackspace sales technique - the service is good but they need to improve the sales division.
One word of advice for rackspace:
Call up and ask for a quote.
Then get to know the technical jargon and call again and get another quote specifying exactly what you want and talk like you know what your after. You'll be amazed at how much the price comes down.
Well the less the better, I would like to keep it under $400 a month.
My storage / bandwidth needs are minimal, a 80 GB hard drive and 500 to 1000 GB of BW would be plenty. I would like 4 GB of memory and a dual core processor if possible.
If you're looking for that much RAM & CPU you will probably want to look for an SCSI/SATA WD RAPTOR (fast drives) for storage. Just a tip.
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$400 is low for the specs of that server, plus management... if you are looking for a serious company, able to offer you 100% uptime on the network and power, and true managed service... I'd expect to pay atleast $800/month.... with a setup fee possibly.
I know that $400/ month isn’t a problem. All three vendors could meet this budget, although RackSpace required a two year contract in order to meet this figure.
Earlier on you say that your website is resource intensive but then that it requires minimal bandwidth and disk space.
- Are you sure that you are not over or under estimating your hosting requirements?
- Does your server need to meet the same SLAs, say, ....as bbc.co.uk ?
- For your current and future requirements, do you really want to be tied into a 24 month contract?
- Once your site is up and running, will it need a lot of regular maintenance?
- Do you have a trusted web developer / sysadmin / friend who can gauge your site's processing requirements and base the decision accordingly?
Some organisations that don't need certain backbone or hardware replacement guarantees may be better off with a reliable and not so pricey server, a good backup/disaster recovery plan, and a nice and friendly support company. If your requirements grow, you can always move to the bigger hosts absolutely necessary :-)