I would be just a normal dedicated server with the exception of the support arrangement. I am sure you can probably work with the reseller of the server and some will probably work something out with you. Alternately, you might just look for an affiliate program where you could make a monthly residual income.
There's a number of companies in the forums that offer managed servers (I recommend MCHost), but very few that also offer support.
Support is un unpredictable beast, and really depends on what kind of customers you are attracting. You can outsource your support to a company like bobcares.com if you really want.
Are you prepared to pay a premium for all these services? (ie: do you have an existing customer base?)
Anyway, in the dedicated servers requests/offers forum, you can put up an ad for people to respond with a quote for a managed server.
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Tons of companies offer managed dedicated services, just make sure you find a reputable one, and read the fine print, as everyone has their own definition of "managed", some may or may not include port/service monitoring, backups, non-urgent backups (only maintain security, not software unless security related/requested), performance monitoring (telling you when your server is starting to get fat and bloated), etc.
Theres plenty of good managed, and semi managed providers around, the difference is, with a managed, i'd expect everything to be done, and free (at least my expectations), aka included in the server rental fee, semi-managed means that it's not free sometimes, but they will give you a hand when you get stuck. Also if you go semi-managed, be sure to check what level of support you'll get, etc.
Thank you for the wonderful advice.
God knows how long it would have taken me to find out all these information on my own....
Answers to some queries
(a) Are you willing to pay for these services ?
Of course I am - nothing is for free - I'm willing to pay but what is important is the support, backbone connections and uptimes - I'm looking for a reputable "business partner" not one that flies by night, offers super-cheap rates etc
(b) Do I have an existing customer base ?
Yes.. I fact I do but the problem is I'm not getting anything out of them - I have dealing with them for xxxx service, then they requre web hosting, domain management, web design, emails etc then I refer them to either 2 of my so-called partners - they take over from there - and you know what ... I get $0.00 - and some of the customers have been with them for like 3 to 4 years ! So I'm practically giving them $$$ - another point, because ... mmm... ok ... I run a network / hardware maintenance company .... so instead of calling these web host for support ... my customers actually call me instead ! ! ! So, I don't get paid and I still have to do the work.... this is a sh*tty arrangement...
I'm thinking of moving all my customers away from these web hosts and house them on a FULLY managed dedicated machine - my customers are all small or medium size companies that do not have fancyful web sites etc... in fact from what I know 90% of the traffic is for email , webemail and email and email and email...
their web sites are just a front to say like I got this and this service with this and this product ... give me a call at 12345678.. that kind of stuff... pretty simiple setup... but
if email goes down - all hell break losE ! ! !
So ... yes .. the money is there ... yes, I now know that I should be looking for
1. A dedicated machine
2. A FULLY managed machine
Some of you may wonder .... why run a dedicated machine then ? Since my customers needs are simple .. a reseller account would do right ? ... in theory yes but ... I do not want any body as in the other resellers that house on the same server to bring down the server due to xxx script crashing the os or xxx script using too much CPU resources that kind of crap...
Uptime is VERY VERY VERY important ! hence my need for dedicated machine...
I'm going to try to post this in the dedicated host request forum... any ideas how I should word this ? Any other things I should know or take note off ?