It looks to me like there are no companies offering the following. Maybe this is true, or maybe I am just missing it?
I am looking for a dedicated server(s) that is managed by a system administrator at a hosting company, one who will not only monitor the infrustructure but ALSO install and monitor all software to ensure it is working properly on the box. A system admin who I can contact, for example, and explain that I need PHP or MySQL installed, and they take care of getting that installed and working properly for me. A system admin who works with me when I have problems that are either hardware OR software based.
Above this, it is of utmost importance that I have FTP access to the server to upload/edit my websites. I run high volume websites and it is extremely important they are hosted where I will not have problems with downtime of any kind. And in the event of downtime, I am helped with great support.
ThePlanet sales staff said with their fully managed solution you have no ftp access and you have to go through Planet admins for even text changes on your website!
What you should be looking for is a small, quality provider that is willing to hold your hand a bit more. Essentially you're looking for a fully managed dedicated server and a 'contact' at a company: i.e. someone to 'always' be there.
You should be able to get a quote for this type of service fairly easily.
In regards to the response TP gave you: They were most likely incorrect, there would have to be FTP access available in some form whether delegated by them or not. There's a panel, there's a way!
David Web hosting by Fused — For businesses with more important things to do than worry about their hosting.
That's not an unreasonable request in the least. The only limitation with that is you might not get root access. If you're paying someone to fully manage your server (hardware, software, etc.), they might not want you messing around with configurations, etc. via root.
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Another option would be to rent a server where ever you feel comfortable and hire a 3rd party management team to oversee it for you. Browsing the forums here you should find a few that are qualified to handle what you need.
I just talked to Rackspace and they said they can provide everything I need. They are on the expensive side but I'm not so concerned with the difference in price. I just needed a company to provide me with the *above*.
Looks like I'm going with rackspace. Beyond the *above* they are going to get me setup on a fully redundant / load balanced solution which is another thing I was looking for but didn't mention.
I'll try to let you all know how this works out and what thier service is like for me.
Seems to me that apart from server management you need programmer/web admin to help you in your websites, yes rackspace is a good option but alittle costy, you can also get managed server and then hire another person/company who can take care of your websites (it's gone be alittle cheap).
I have my server with hostdime.com and they pretty much let you have control of the server, and if you need something done, just put in a ticket and they will do it. Free of charge. The only thing they don't do are custom scripts. They detail clearly on thier site the requirements and what htey do and don't support. The tech support is available 24/7 as well.