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  #1  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:11 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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5 servers- have managed dedicated now, want to move to colo


I need some help... i currently have 5 dedicated servers with a reseller. I think it is time that i move to colo. here's my issues though...i am more a business man rather than a techie. i know my way around cpanel/whm but that's about it. SO I need support... it seams that Andy at Servertune.com has nothing but fans here... so i think the support is taken care of. Now on to the actual DC.

i've searched and searched and can't really find a good DC that will work for me. I'm starting to think that i just may not know what i want/need.

i need advice. For you more experience colo people. could you please offer your opinion on what you would do to solve the following conundrum:

5 servers:
4 linux- CPanel
1 Windows- Ensim
i currently have the following server specs on most my servers:
Processor: Dual Xeon 2.8GHZ EMT64
Memory: 4GB DDR Registered ECC
Hd1: 146GB 10,000RPM SCSI / 8MB Cache
Hd2: 120GB IDE Backup Drive
RemoteBackup: 50GB Remote Backup
OperatingSystem: Linux - CentOS 4
ControlPanel: CPanel / Web Host Manager

what i thought i would do is:

buy 5 servers
put them in a colo
pay for tech support as needed

am i on the right track? any thoughts, insights, pro/cons, ect

thanks!



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  #2  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:18 PM
turnkeyinternet turnkeyinternet is offline
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That's the right model, and usualy if your boxes are expensive (dual cpu, lots of ram/disk etc) then COLO will be the right move financially speaking.

The downsides are you wont have any management from the colo facility (not like you did/do with leasing a full server). I.e. a disk fails, the server locks up and needs troubleshooting etc - you are responsible for that (either through hourly work/fees, or driving there yourself in many cases). So this isn't a pure win financially, if you have sketchy hardware that has trouble with your software configured, colo can easily cost you lots MORE than just leasing a server. They charge you more for bandwidth on colo too (So if you use lots, leased servers are cheaper).

In your situation, since you are outsourcing to a 3rd party management - i presume someone (or them) will build your boxes and load them properly with the right kernels/setup, so you should be stable. Presuming all that, i'd probably just buy a full rack with 10 mbit from a colo provider, drop in a 24 port switch and your 5 boxes and away you go. You could do a half rack too, but they usualy charge only $100 more for a full rack at most places so you probably can just stay safe from someone bumping your stuff by leasing the whole rack.

One last item - few colocation providers can (or will, due to legal contract reasons) sell you control panels (or operating systems). So you will also be responsible to purchase or lease your control panels (which may be as high as $60/month per server since only datacenters get big discounts, end users don't). So be sure to do all the numbers there.

Good luck on the endevour.

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  #3  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:22 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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any suggestions on colo providers?

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  #4  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:27 PM
turnkeyinternet turnkeyinternet is offline
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You can check the offers section here on WHT, honestly though location location location probably will be more important than anything for you. Either location in being close to you (or your admin staff) to fix problems if you ever have issues, or a well connected network location (east coast, west coast, etc) depending on your target audience. You can find deals as low as about $50-$100 per server (per u) with a small bit of bandwidth, up to a full rack around $1000/month with a sizable chunk of bandwidth. All depends on what you need bandwidth wise.

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  #5  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:37 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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unfortunately i think you're right... i think the only way to make colo work for me would to have it accessable to my tech support... BUT, since it's 3rd party i doubt they'd drive to any colo location...

i was hoping to get a good colo... get my servers set up real good... and hopefully just need the virtual support... meaning have the techs be able to go in through the net to trouble shoot. there would be NO reason to have the servers located near me b/c i can't do anthing with them... this is my problem... but i know i'm getting killed by leasing them...

over all the servers i'm probably using about 2500GB's of transfer per month... one of my clients has a dedicated server for his forum and one for his database... that group uses about 2000gb per month... the other 500 is for my dedicated with all my retail hosting clients...

i know there has got to be a better way to work this...

  #6  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:40 PM
Mfjp Mfjp is offline
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Location Location Location! That's correct. It would depend on where you are more than anything else.

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  #7  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:41 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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me, even though i wouldn't really be able to do anything to the servers anyways??? (technically i mean)

  #8  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:44 PM
linuxrouter linuxrouter is offline
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A couple of things I would definitely suggest:

Try to make all of your boxes 1U's if possible. It might make the initial cost a bit higher, but it will keep your colocation costs down, as most providers charge per U of rackspace.

As turnkeycolocation mentioned, you are responsible for either fixing or paying to have fixed any problems that arise. With that in mind, it would be worth pursuing something like a RAID1 with hotspare solution (3 drive total) for your servers. That way, you can have a drive failure, and still have a functional copy, as well as a spare drive that will initialize automatically. This gives you a much larger time frame to get things fixed, vs suddenly being without your data and/or server.

I don't know if you are looking for specific suggestions as to what type of hardware to go with, but something like a Supermicro 8014P-82R 1U system would probably be right up your alley.

Dual socket Xeon EM64T motherboard
8 DDR2 DIMM slots (Suggested, as all major manufacturers are transitioning completely away from DDR this year)
4 hotswap SCSI hdd bays
Option for a ZCR hardware RAID controller
Dual dedicated bandwidth(does not share PCI bus) onboard Gigabit ethernet (Good if you want a private and public network, or just redundancy)
Redundant Power supplies

There is also an SATA version of the system, but it uses DDR memory.

I know it's a little forward looking, but considering Intel has already made the switch and AMD is making the switch in August of this year, DDR2 is probably the better bet for long term replacement options/value.

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  #9  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:47 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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very much appreciated linux... the raid1 sounds liek a duh in my book... even if i lived in the colo center...

  #10  
Old 05-02-2006, 01:49 PM
turnkeyinternet turnkeyinternet is offline
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Then what you really want is a managed (or semi-managed' colo provider, they do exist (though it will cost a little bit more). I.e. the budget $50-$100 per server places for colo usualy don't get involved other than making sure the wire stays plugged in (some optionally will bill you $90/hour to replace failed hardware, but not a high priority so you can still be down a long time if something happens).

So - real simple, call a few colo providers and see what they do offer in terms of managed/semi-managed support.

You may think you are getting killed on leasing them, but when you factor in 5 boxes x $2000 = $10k (5 boxes with your specs should cost about that at best budget pricing). Add in another 2 Thou$and for microsoft operating system/ database software, control panel etc software licensing. Add in the 'best deal' of about $75/server colo (un-managed but with a reputable colo provider), and say $50/month per server to outsource management (thats an average, you may have a dif deal of course)


$375/month to colo
$250/month for support/managed

$12000 in hardware/setup cost (factor in over 12 months)

Total monthly 'cost' is $1625
After 12 months the hardware is paid up, you then go to about $575/month (thats where you make some money in your pocket!). Unless some hardware fails, then those $90/hour repair fees, and cost of hardware etc can add up. So you really need to factor in some 'maintenace' costs after 12 months anyway so more likely around $700-$800/month to colocate all 5 of those high end boxes in the 2nd+ years.

So there ya have it - if you lease those 5 boxes at $300/month a piece (about average for those specs), thats $1500. it's going to cost you MORE in the first 12 months - then you save money after that. For all the hassle colo isn't always the best deal especially if you dont have technical staff.

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  #11  
Old 05-02-2006, 02:04 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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If your numbers add up I’ll be ahead from day one... great input... thanks!

Does anyone know of any SOLID managed/semi-managed colo centers???

I MUST HAVE competent tech support especially knowledgeable in cpanel

  #12  
Old 05-02-2006, 02:28 PM
Mfjp Mfjp is offline
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If you wish for the East Coast, Choopa is great.

For something such as cpanel, you are probably best hiring an outsource management company. Usually colo centers don't know much about cPanel. You also would need to find a colo that would lease you cpanel licenses.

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  #13  
Old 05-02-2006, 04:37 PM
jamis0n jamis0n is offline
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i've not heard good things about choopa here at wht... plus i'm west coast... so...

  #14  
Old 05-02-2006, 07:22 PM
PixelManual PixelManual is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamis0n
i've not heard good things about choopa here at wht... plus i'm west coast... so...
What do you prefer. A location nearer to you, or just on the west coast...what? Any bandwidth preferences, pricing, etc? Just anything you can come up with that you want would help others point you in the right direction.

*******.com is based in seattle and from what i know they do a good job.

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  #15  
Old 05-02-2006, 07:42 PM
VanHost VanHost is offline
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Are you looking for West Coast of Canada or USA? Does it matter so long as the support is there for you?

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