I'm looking into a server with ServePath. What are your opinons on them as far as network reliability and support / service?
Also - an additional question. This is our first dedicated server and I guess I just assumed a big company such as this would include a firewall - and maybe they do - but what threw me off was their bid included an optional extra of a "Managed NetScreen 5 GT Hardware Firewall" for $99 a month. My first thought was no way I would pay that much and second was.... wait, there is no firewall if I don't?
Most of the time when hosting companies sell dedicated servers they do not come with any additional software or hardware. It will come with the basic operating system and maybe a control panel that you ordered.
Dedicated servers come with a completely open connection to the internet, so a firewall is not a normal practice, so that is why it costs extra.
You may always install a software firewall if you really feel you need one, but in most cases firewalls on servers cause problems, unless you are using a web server and need to block certain ip ranges i wouldnt get a hardware or software firewall.
I fully understand how difficult the task is, not metioning how confusing. I would suggest that you find a host that offers fully managed dedicated servers. That way they can help you through the process.
The need for a firewall is very minimal, i wouldnt spend the extra money until you find out not having one is causing you issues.
The fully managed place I have seen really go beyond my budget ($300 or so a month) so my projected solution has been to hire some support (like seeks admin) and go off a partially managed dedicated server like servepath.
The quote right now is: $329 a month for the above on 1.86 Core Duo, dual 80GB Satas in Raid 1, 1GB Ram, 1500GB transfer, 4 ips. This drops to about 275 a month if I go yearly, and I'll probably ask them to throw in an extra GB of RAM an 4-6 more ips.
That quote looks a little high for a fully un-managed server. You may want to look around WHT a little more before going with that quote. I have never used seeksadmin so im not sure how there prices run, so dont forget to add that into your quote
I don't know if I would classify it as fully unmanaged - although I could be wrong. Does fully unmanged mean no support?
Here is servepath's SLA, or a section of it (they do provide support):
IV. SUPPORT RESPONSE TIME
* EMERGENCY tickets - 30 minutes
* The following are the EMERGENCY categories:
o Server down
o Packet loss
o Routing issue
* All other tickets - 120 minutes
A tracking number will automatically be provided to Customer promptly after ticket creation, and a human support engineer will review the support request within the timeframe listed above. ServePath may reclassify any ticket misclassified as falling into one of the EMERGENCY categories listed above, and such tickets will not qualify for EMERGENCY treatment. Resolution and repair times vary, and this SLA does not address them.
Fully un-managed servers are those where the host is only responsible for restarting the server, making sure you have access and making sure the hardware aspects of the server are working correctly. They are not going to login into your server to be sure its updated, prgrams are working properly, setup new software etc.
Full managed is where the host provides in depth software support, installation of new prgrams, trouble shooting software issues etc.