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  1. #1

    Managed but like Reseller

    I'd just like to thank you for your help in advance. This is my first post here, although I've been lurking for a long time and gathering info about different services. I've got an idea of which direction I want to go, but I'd like to get some outside opinions. So, here goes...

    I've been in web development and hosting for about 5 years, but on a very small scale. I've had 30+ customers all hosted on my BlueWho reseller account. None of these customers have traffic to really speak of so performance hasn't really been an issue for me. However, I'm in the final testing phases of what I believe to be an interesting web app and I want to be prepared for the slashdot effect when and if it happens. (I've seen it happen to less interesting web sites.) I want to sell hosting on the same server as my site is hosted on so that my site can control things like automated account creation and software installation (on the customer's site).

    My experience with BlueWho has been pretty positive with a few small problems of the years, but nothing major. I really like the service model of BlueWho and would like to find the same kind of service, but not in a shared hosting environment. I've looked at rackspace and some others and it seems to me that I will actually get less service with them than I do with BlueWho.

    Basically I'm looking for a management company who can HELP me be a host and set up a shared hosting server. I don't have the time to manage a dedicated server...I'll be too busy refining the app, doing contract development and supporting hosted customer's apps.

    My fear is that I'll sign up with a management company and they'll be like "Oh, you want to sell shared hosting? You're on your own...here's the root password." Essentiall, I want the management company to handle anything that isn't specific to the software installed on the site like Xcart or phpBB or whatever...I can handle those issues.

    I want to start the site with enough room to handle a good number of hits if I should get slashdotted or dugg or even if I just get a lot of concurrent users who really love the site. I don't want to have it crash the first time a lot of people try using it and then they never come back to see what all the fuss is about. (Yeah, I know...wishful thinking )

    The next big issue I have is that the app is written in Rails. I've accepted the fact that I'm pretty much on my own as far as Ruby and Rails. Places like RackSpace don't support it and I think I'm ok with that, however it would be excellent if I could find a reliable management company with Ruby support.

    The options, as far as I can tell are something like the following:
    1) Managed Server - I deal with Ruby/Rails and shared hosting setup/support.
    2) Dedicated Server + Oursourced Support - Same except maybe they support the shared hosting setup.???
    3) Dedicated or Managed server for the web app and BlueWho for the customer sites. This will complicate a lot of what I want to do like automatic account creation and such.

    So, any thoughts? Maybe I'm way off base on what "managed" really means or what dedicated encompases or the role of oursourced support. I'd like to start in the <= $200/month range and if everything takes off, then move up from there. In a nutshell, the business model is not to be the masters of hosting, but to provide good application support to our hosted customers. The reason for hosting with us versus another host would be our application support and services. We need the "management" company to be the master of the server/hosting.

    Thanks again for all of your help. Criticism is welcomed....I can take it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    What you are looking for won't happen in your price range. Otherwise it is perfectly possible.
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  3. #3
    Ok, forget the price range. In fact it was always open ended, but I was trying to minimize loss if the site is not successful.

    Thanks,

    Shagy

  4. #4
    Anyone have an estimate of the cost for such a setup and any recommendations?

    Thanks again,

    Shagy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    California
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    1,136
    Just a quick heads up, but Bluewho does offer the exact service you are looking for If you submit a ticket and the staff will reply with the prices/features/specs.

    -Steven

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Australia
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    Just to let you know, you don't have to have your site hosted on the same server to be automated. It's best if you keep them seperate in fact.
    For $200 you could probably get entry level managed servers. Hostdime i've heard are good but I havn't been with them so I don't know what their managed services are like.
    Your reading skill has increased by one point!
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by James-Fagan
    Just to let you know, you don't have to have your site hosted on the same server to be automated. It's best if you keep them seperate in fact.
    So, you would just have to have two servers with the same provider then? Why do you think it would be best separated?

    Quote Originally Posted by James-Fagan
    For $200 you could probably get entry level managed servers. Hostdime i've heard are good but I havn't been with them so I don't know what their managed services are like.
    It's not so much about the price really. I'm more interested in understanding which would be the best way to go. Managed/Dedicated etc...

    Also, any suggestions on automated account creation?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by shagymoe
    So, you would just have to have two servers with the same provider then? Why do you think it would be best separated?
    Stick with the level of servers that you require >> I just suggest hosting your main site or support center on a different server best to be in a different datacentre aswell so that if your server that your clients use goes down, they still have access to your website where they can see a notification of why it's down etc. When I hosted I just put my website on a $4 reseller account.


    Quote Originally Posted by shagymoe
    It's not so much about the price really. I'm more interested in understanding which would be the best way to go. Managed/Dedicated etc...
    Managed >> They won't and shoultn't back out if they knew your were selling shared accounts. It's the little extras that count. It's always good backup if theres a problem you don't know how to fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by shagymoe
    Also, any suggestions on automated account creation?
    I used WHMCS, from www.whmcslicenses.com
    AWBS is also good!

    Good Luck on making your choices!
    Your reading skill has increased by one point!
    computers are cool now OK!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    California
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    Quote Originally Posted by shagymoe

    It's not so much about the price really. I'm more interested in understanding which would be the best way to go. Managed/Dedicated etc...

    Also, any suggestions on automated account creation?
    Well it depends, as this question is predicated on many factors, some of which vary greatly depending on the parties involved. If you want to just handle the build out of your site and want to go to sleep easy at night, a managed server is definitely the way to go. That way you don't have to deal with the day to day hassle of making sure the server is locked down, checking log files, etc.

    There are also many scripts, like modernbill, clientexec, WHMCS that will all handle the auto account creation. But make sure you manually verify orders, because you wouldn't want a spammer to get through on an immediate account creation only to have you server blacklisted.

    -Steven
    http://www.insiderhosting.com
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    shagymoe,

    I think www.cartikahosting.com can get you a VDC (goto their site to learn more about this) and that would pretty much meet every requirement you listed in your original post.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    contact http://axishost.com/servers.php

    or search back a few months in the server advertising section to see what they offered

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CD Burnt
    contact http://axishost.com/servers.php

    or search back a few months in the server advertising section to see what they offered

    Thank you. However, we don't give customers the root password on managed servers.

    --Tina
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  13. #13
    I didn't mean to imply that having the root password was mandatory.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Rails is not tough to install.

    If you want root maybe you want a semi-managed plan. If you don't mind not having root, then probably like Tina said go fully managed. As for your support, you are probably best off getting someone that does per-ticket support and sucking it up and answering a few tickets yourself.

    50 tickets a month would go a long way if you answer some tickets yourself and have good docs online for your users. That and when you contract your own support people I am quite certain they will be more focused on your brand of hosting's policy, versus a generic support that just answers questions for lots of hosts at the same central helpdesk in hopes they all act the same and have the same policies.

    Guess it depends on the quality of support you want to offer.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AH-Tina
    Thank you. However, we don't give customers the root password on managed servers.

    --Tina

    shagymoe, I retract that suggestion I made.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by CD Burnt
    shagymoe, I retract that suggestion I made.
    Because of the root password issue or is this because of anything else?
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  17. #17
    Again, what I meant was not that I needed root, but that I didn't want a company who would just leave me on my own by saying "here's the root password, good luck." It was just an example.

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by shagymoe
    Again, what I meant was not that I needed root, but that I didn't want a company who would just leave me on my own by saying "here's the root password, good luck." It was just an example.
    Ah! Sorry for the confusion. Looks like I made that post way too early in the morning!

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

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