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Affordable Full-Service Truly Managed

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Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 6

Affordable Full-Service Truly Managed

Hi folks. I've been at this for what like seems forever, trying to find the right company or companies to help with this.

I have a very small web site company which I have been trying to grow but have had difficulties with finding a satisfactory situation as far as a server. I am also now wanting to have helpdesk support for my clients so they can get more timely response for server / hosting related hosting issues. Although I only have about 50 cPanel accounts right now, I have long since grown weary of anything less than a dedicated server for reliability and room-to-grow reasons. What I need could almost be described as simply a reseller account on my own server, but I have some additional needs listed below.

Data Center
- Completely Redundant Power and Network Systems
- Not located near a coast
- True BGP
- 100 Mbps uplink
- Timely response to critical issues

Server Basics

- Dual Xeon / 1g RAM / 2 80g drives
- Linux / PHP / MySQL / etc.
(whatever version recommended and compatable with Xoops and Soho Launch)

Server Software / Management
- Security
- anti Virus
- anti Spam
- Firewall
- Other as you see fit to ensure to a reasonable extent
that we are not hacked or brought down by attacks
- Backups
- Verified Restorable
- MySQL and Accounts
- Monitored To Ensure they Are Running and Running Completely
- Redundance (We have a server we bought and colocated which will be a sort of
'sister' server where they both run and also backup to each other)
- Handle DNS redundancy with dnsMadeEasy or similar service you
recommend / work with
- Handle backup/restore or synchronization of accounts and databases in such a
way that we never have more than one hour's downtime or one days' data

Control Panel (currently using cPanel but open to recommendations)
- Well-established with broad user base
- Secure
- Per Account Capabilities (And can Import from cPanel)
- Site Statistics
- E-Mail Setups (accounts, forwarders, auto-responsers, etc.)
- MySQL DB Setups
- Compatable with Soho Launch and Xoops

Billing / Sign Up Software (currently considering ModernBill)
- Check domains
- Select options
- Set up account
- Handle setup and recurring billing

Helpdesk to handle user support of basic hosting / server issues and redirect other requests (content, design, programming, etc.) to me.

I hope it's clear what I'm asking for - not so much what software, etc., but I need at least 1 company, potentially 3 to handle server hardware, os, control panel and then the additional issue of 3rd party support.


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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 610

I recommend you buy a layer 3, layeredtech xeon server, got all that you require, the datacentre is great. I recommend you stay with cPanel, as everyone knows how to use it, its got a clean interface etc. and its always up to date and secure. the other option is plesk, but thats pants. Billing/AutoWHM, use WHM auto pilot, with ModernBill integrated, runs fine with me. As for support, i love kayako supportsuite, although pricey, its very good quality, and easy to use and manage tickets etc.

With your backups, probably best getting another server, with less on the power, more on the storage, set it up on rsync and that will sort your backups out,

Antivirus/antispam - ClamAV and SpamAssassin

Firewall - APF with Anti-DOS configuration

I would also recommend signing up with PSM and letting them secure the server, i was constantly being attacked, its stopped now they changed SSH ports, secured everything pretty much. Added bonus with PSM is that they will do your support for you, so you dont have to worry about a support team, i think they even use their own stuff for this so you wouldnt need to fork out a fortune for some decent support software.

PHP 4.4.2, MySQL 4.1.21-standard and use CentOS 4.3 as the O/S or fedora core 4

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 801

What will be your budget to make it "affordable" Managed Dedicated Server? danserv, pretty covered all your questions, LT is excellent but it is unmanaged, stay with cpanel, as your clients are using that already. Most of the managed providers, pretty cover what you needed. Search the Offers section.

Good Luck!

Best Regards,

Last edited by sirius; 08-25-2006 at 10:55 AM.
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Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 697
'Affordable' and your requirements don't go very well together. I'd expect to spend $500/month or more on that setup.

ReflexNetworks means Happy Clients!

Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 6
Hey, thanks folks. I now have a server from Softlayer who completely exceeded my expectations, set up my server in a couple of hours on Friday night after saying it would be 3-5 days because they were out of stock (maybe they were thinking of a slightly different model).

Second runner up was stargate. Anyone tried them?

Still deciding on a management company now, have a bunch of emails out to sales who will be in on Monday. Talked with who I really liked, just want to be thorough. Anyone have any experience with them?

Thanks again. I'll post my management company notes when I'm done.


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