I run a large forum. My current PII-350/128MB box can't take it. The $99 Celeron 1.3GHz from Rackshack is looking better and better. I pretty much don't think I can find anything to match, unless I can find a sponsored host deal (which I am looking for). I am not an experienced admin; however the server will only be running a PHP forum and then perhaps a script like PHP nuke for content. Stuff that is easy to setup.
There are Redhat 7.2 and Ensim options for same price...if I go with the Ensim, is there a disadvantage? Can I just ignore that Ensim is there if I don't like it, I am not forced to use it right? I am on a plain RedHat box now, but for the same price I may as well get Ensim if it does not detract.
Rackshack is a fine host. However, they are also famous for unmanaged support. I personally experienced their "reboot or restore support policy" just a few days ago. Also, due to their very low price, the hardware is not exactly high quality. While this doesn't make a huge difference in terms of performance, you may have the misfortunate of finding a faulty server. If you are not familar with server administration, do think carefully before you move in.
I believe the ensim one has higher setup fee even though the monthly fee is the same. The ensim version is not something you can just simply forget: ensim customizes every packages on the server, so you will have trouble upgrading many of the packages. You will pretty much have to use ensim if you order a server that comes with it, since it takes full control of the server.
... there are a million reasons and they can be looked up here via Search and by asking some seniors here...
Well, I meant with respect to the rest of my message. It will just be a box running forums. All it needs is CPU, RAM, and bandwidth. The current box I am on was cobbled together and has basically no support, and I have survived...
This is the kind of service that is perfect for the likes of a RackShack server. I would recommend skipping Ensim unless you need the automation, but since it is primarily for your own use you'd be golden with a plain old RH installation.
I can think of a hundred reasons why a web hosting company should not open up on RS servers, but for hosting your own forums it is a real nice fit.
I would say go for it. Make sure to test the box (run seti on it or somthing like that for a few days, or if you can, a better burn-in program) before you move sites over as I don't believe they test the hardware/memory/etc before selling you the server.
Also you might want to check the maximum RAM - I believe teh celeron's top out at 512 MB, at least they did at one point, and if this is still the case I might pay a little extra for a Compaq if I thought I might want 1GB in the future. But you might not need this much if you don't plan to put more on the box or have a gazillion people on your forum at once.
I've had a server at RackShack for a month now - the hardware is great, the network is stable with no downtime that I've been aware of or that my 3 free monitoring services have caught so far. Tech support can take a little extra time to deal with, but for me being cash poor at the moment it is worth it. I also believe Headsurfer is hiring some new support people so hopefully their support will continue to improve as well in the coming months (not in the scope of services offered, but at least in making sure that they fully support the things which are out of a client's control, like hardware and network issues, without forcing you to run throught a few loops first as sometimes happens now.)
All and all they offer an excellent value - I went with them.
Rackshack are good, but if you dont want to lose users due to the outcome of 'not so good' customer service - such as waiting for a reboot, then I would recommend you pay the few dollars extra to have an APC reboot switch from e-servers.
An APC switch allows you to completely power-down your server, or reset power in the case of a kernel panic, your ssh daemon falling over and many other little 'fun' things which may happen.
Now that e-servers are not charging set-up fee's, now is a better time than ever to go with them.
I have experience with both providers, and have not had any undesirable's with rackshack - but I do dread the day I need customer service - just from the stigma which has been placed on them.
I went into getting a RackShack server with hardly any linux expirience. Within the first month, i had the server down for 12 hours, because of a problem i created lol. Now i have had the server for 3-4 months, and i can install upgrades etc. Basically my point is, if you are not familiar with linux, and you are going to host PROFIT sites or a web hosting company, dont go with rackshack. They wont provide you with managed solutions. If you mess up, your on your own to fix it.