Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 47
  1. #1

    New server required, with good uptime and support - also lots of questions

    Hi there

    I have been hosting my clients on a Linux dedicated managed server for 7 years in the US and have been happy with the good service and support until just recently when the company was bought out by another firm and things have gone from good to bad.

    It's been a good 7 years since I last researched hosting providers so I'm not sure which company would be suitable. I know Rackspace have been around a long time and have always had a good reputation for reliability and good support but they are very expensive. I have been paying $430 mth with my current provider and Rackspace quoted me $595 for an entry level server with a firewall included.

    Is there any other dedicated managed servers that have a good reputation, good uptime and support but are a bit cheaper than Rackspace? Uptime is really important for my clients and I have some clients that cannot be without a connection for more than a day.

    Hosting is not our core business, it's just a side service that we offer and we are not technical so I would also prefer to have a server pre-configured and all the software already installed if possible because I don't know anything about installing software, fixing bugs and installing patches. With our current host they did everything and all we did from our end was configure the Server Administration Panel (once) to our preferred settings and then setup new client accounts and offer support to our own clients which was very minimal because the server always worked.

    I would also like to use a server that has or will allow me to install a software program called WHMCS which I believe will allow us to integrate our hosting side of the business with the non hosting side so that all the billing, account setup, and client management, etc is all done through the one system. Currently we have 2 different systems and a lot of work is done manually which takes too long.

    With my current provider I have upto 512 unique IP numbers but I know many providers today only give you a few and although I may not need 512 I would like at least 5 with the option to buy when if needed.

    Any tips on moving 130 clients website would be appreciated - are there companies that specialise in this - would it be expensive ?

    I'm also wondering if it's worth hosting my clients in two different physical locations so that if one server does go down, then the backup server would kick in. I had a bad experience recently with my current provider where the server was down for a very long time and we were without service.

    So sorry for such a long message and so many questions, and thanks in advance for your help.

    Dee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hanoi
    Posts
    4,306
    What's your current hardware configuration? What control panel are you using?

  3. #3
    My current server specs are as follows:-

    Server: Dell PowerEdge 1750
    Processors: 1 x Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz
    Storage: 2 x 18 GB SCSI Hard Drives
    Memory: 1 GB
    Transfer: 500 GB, $3 G/B overage
    2 Class Cs - up to 512 IPs / Control Panels
    Operating System: Redhat 7.3

    However I do not need the exact same specs but something similar. I can live without the 512 IPs but the option to buy more would be good.

    Uptime, reliability and support is my main priority.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hanoi
    Posts
    4,306
    Do you have any preferred location? What is the control panel you're using? Using the same control panel on new server will help to reduce the transferring work = less downtime

  5. #5
    Well the USA or Australia is what I had in mind. I think the Control Panel was just called Alabanza Control Panel and my Administration CP was called the DSM.

    I would like to use something like Plesk or CPanel because they have better features and are more user friendly from what I've read.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Franklin, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,322
    Dee,

    That's quite an old system you have there. It is definitely the right time to migrate. RedHat 7.3 reached its EOL (End of Life) several years ago.

    The price you are paying reflects that of 7 years ago. Since then, hosting prices have dropped dramatically.

    The server you currently have, with 2000GB of transfers, excluding IPs would normally cost around $159/month these days. Single IP addresses tend to go for $.50/month to $1/month, so for 512 you are looking at around $256/month.

    It also sounds like you are looking in the wrong place for hosting that suits your needs. Rackspace is an enterprise level facility, and the costs greatly justify that. Rackspace is intended for those companies where even a couple minutes of downtime could cost hundreds if not thousands of lost revenue.

    If you are saying your clients can suffer through an entire day of downtime, you should be looking elsewhere. Most reputable datacenters will rarely have any downtime -- 1 hour of downtime in any given month would still be considered disastrous in these datacenters.

    The most popular ones amongst my own clients are ThePlanet, SoftLayer, LayeredTech, and GNAX.

    You would be hardpressed to find 18GB SCSI drives these days. I suggest you get something equivalent to the following, which will still be faster than your current configuration.

    Core2DUO or Xeon 3060
    2x 36GB SA-SCSI Drives
    1GB Ram (2 for added performance)
    2000GB Bandwidth (standard with most DC's), $.10 - $.25cents overage
    8 IPs (standard with most DC's, additional cost for more)
    CentOS/RHEL 5 32 Bit Operating System.

    CPanel runs for $25/month, and PLESK Unlimited $39/month around most places.
    Linux Problems Solved. | Built for the Hosting Industry
    Server Management. Node Management. Helpdesk Management.
    ( AcuNett, Est. 15 Years, RateLobby 5 Stars )

  7. #7
    Defiantly time to upgrade. But you might not want to inflate your price by going scsi again if you don't have to.

    Most places firewalls runs between $100 and $200 a month for a cisco or juniper. And an "entry" level box can run anywhere from $99 to $200. But a core2duo would be a good choice to start and maybe dual sata drives in either RAID1 or primary and backup. Cpanel you can get for $20 very easily if you look around. If you are going RAID1 you should defiantly ask about offserver backup either someone using R1Soft RDP software or not nearly as good ftp cpanel backup.
    Jay

  8. #8
    Thank you so much for that info. that's great - it gives me a place to start. I'll check out those few companies you've suggested and go from there. Thanks for the updated specs too, because I have no idea what I need or what my options are.

    Dee

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Winton View Post
    Thank you so much for that info. that's great - it gives me a place to start. I'll check out those few companies you've suggested and go from there. Thanks for the updated specs too, because I have no idea what I need or what my options are.

    Dee
    Just a note: none of those companies mentioned are managed or provide really any support for their clients. So you will be on your own for any issues that come up.
    Jay

  10. #10
    Previously I was with Alabanza and they did everything for me. I didn't need to do anything other than configure my own Admin DSM with my preferences for billing clients, setting up accounts etc. The took care of everything server related. I am not technical so I have no idea how to run or look after a server. I am happy to setup client accounts and do billing and look after the support of my own clients. Most of my clients have straight forward html sites and there are some ecommerce sites but most of my customers also have their own developer who looks after them so if the server is running well I really didn't have to do to much. I'm looking for this same solution again. I have tried a demo of CPanel and I was ok configuring that but that's about my limits.

    I heard today from another source that I could host in one place and get another firm to do the technical management side of things - so that could be an option for me. I will mainly need a lot of help with moving the clients but once they are setup on the new server and if the server works well then I shouldn't need much support at all. My current server doesn't have any fancy software installed on the server side, it only has the basic.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hanoi
    Posts
    4,306
    It seems you're from Australia. In that case, you might want to find out some one in West Coast, not in East Coast, that can bring a little bit faster connection. I am not sure if cPanel or Plesk has script for moving data from Alabanza control panel, but if not, you might consider an amount for your new vendor to move data manually.

    For control panel, have you tried with DirectAdmin? It's stable, fast and easy to use

  12. #12
    Yes I am located in Australia and only tried a few providers here about 8 years ago and it wasn't much fun. I think the servers and support here is better now but still way too expensive. That's really useful to know about the location West Coast vs East Coast - I hadn't thought about that. I will bare this in mind when looking for a provider.

    I have only tried a demo of CPanel when I was testing the Media Temple servers back in December. I quite liked it. I'm not familiar with DirectAdmin - not sure what that is. I'll try to find out if there is a script for exporting my clients information from the Alabanza control panel to CPanel or Plesk. If not I am happy to pay a professional to transfer my clients.

  13. #13
    The price you are paying reflects that of 7 years ago. Since then, hosting prices have dropped dramatically.
    Hello Winton,

    Please take comments such as those above with a grain of salt. Yes, the pricing of lower end shared hosting (bargain hosting) has dropped - However, the pricing for business grade hosting has not budged - and in many cases has gone up. This is especially true when speaking of managed dedicated servers. Although the price of hardware has certainly decreased, this has very little bearing on the overall price of a managed service. Human Labour, Software Costs, Security Costs, Back Up equipment, redundancies in networks and data, power, etc - all of these costs have risen dramatically over the last few years... I think the price you are currently paying for managed services is bang on. Rackspace is always a good place to start, but, as you have noticed, their add-ons get quite expensive - but, they are certainly in the ball park - give or take $100/month - of what you should expect to be paying for real managed dedicated server hosting...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Winton View Post
    I have only tried a demo of CPanel when I was testing the Media Temple servers back in December. I quite liked it. I'm not familiar with DirectAdmin - not sure what that is. I'll try to find out if there is a script for exporting my clients information from the Alabanza control panel to CPanel or Plesk. If not I am happy to pay a professional to transfer my clients.
    There are alot of control panels out there. However, if you are used to Alabanza, you probably will want to stick with something like plesk or hsphere. The operate in a similar manner and handle websites and services in a similar manner. I am not certain you will want to go from a solution like Alabanza which handles each dns zone as a real domain, to something like cpanel which deals with add-on domains, etc...

    As for your dedicated IP requirement, Alabanza is a little unique in that it requires a dedicated IP for each website. Other solutions do not (and rightly should not) have that requirement. I think you will find that you need alot less IP's on any other system moving forward then you needed with Alabanza

    Hope this helps...

  15. #15
    Thanks for the info. I'm not sure what you mean when you say....

    However, if you are used to Alabanza, you probably will want to stick with something like plesk or hsphere. The operate in a similar manner and handle websites and services in a similar manner. I am not certain you will want to go from a solution like Alabanza which handles each dns zone as a real domain, to something like cpanel which deals with add-on domains, etc...

    Sorry if I sound nieve here but I'm not sure what that means.

    I am hoping to try a demo of Plesk, hsphere, Cpanel and DirectAdmin with the next week so I can compare them all - hopefully that will help me.

    Also with regards to multiple IP numbers. The main reason I prefer to have one for each client (or at least for each of the clients where I have done seo) is because they all have a 1st page Google position and I'm concerned that if I switch them over to a single IP number (shared with others) and if one client on that IP does something to upset Google, then ALL my clients will be affected and could be penalised. This is what I believe to be true (but I could be wrong). I don't need the 512 IPs that Alabanza allocated to me because I only host 130 sites and only a small percentage of those I've optimised for Google.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    962
    I highly recommend checking out Inetu.net. Inetu has been around since the late '90s as a managed hosting provider. Their pricing is somewhat similar to Rackspace, but they're likely to beat them by $50-$100. Their uptime for the past 9 years has been in around 99.9999% and their support is great.

  17. #17
    Hello Winton,

    not a problem at all.

    Alabanza is most similar to systems like plesk, hsphere, helm, etc - specifically in the way they handle dns. I think your process of demo'ing each system is probably the wisest ...

    As for dedicated IP's - you do have a legitimate concern - but, there are risks associated with giving people dedicated IP's without proper justification (and worrying about 1 client affecting others rankings isnt a justifiable reason - at least per ARIN guidelines). Having said this, you may still be able to get away with it, but, that in itself seems to be the kind of risk you are trying to avoid. Google should not penalize sites sharing an IP, as shared IP's are very very common and are heavily pushed by ARIN in order to conserve IP numbers. Having said this, maybe you can look at mitigating that risk and assign 5-10 shared IP's on the server and spread those accounts out a bit. Also, any site with an SSL has a justifiable reason for a dedicated IP - so, not sure if you host any sites with an SSL, but, that would also account for some IP usage and allow you to further spread accounts around with respect to assigned IP's

    hope this helps..

  18. #18
    After spending a full day on WHT researching ThePlanet,
    SoftLayer,
    LayeredTech and GNAX and a few others - Softlayer seem to be the only one with consistently good reviews. The others all seem to have fairly mixed reviews over the last few months.

    It seems that Softlayer doesn't offer server management even though they have dedicated managed servers (sound odd to me), so I think I would need to hire an Admin who is pro-active with updates for my server. Would that be a good solution or would I be better finding ONE company that can provide a FULL solution for me ? Are there pros and cons depending on which way I go ?

    I think I'm back where I started - hehe - any other suggestions ?

    I have learn't quite a bit from spending the last 3 days on here. I read something about RAID 1 being good and I think REDUNDANCY is something else I will need. For a few of my cilents (2-5 clients) I would like to find out about having their websites/data etc in a second location so that if my server goes down then they will be safe.

    I'll continue reading through the threads on this forum in the meantime.

    Thanks
    Dee

  19. #19
    Go with cPanel 11 on Linux.

  20. #20
    mmm, after researching Inetu on this forum I couldn't find anything bad, only good reviews, so that's promising. I looked at their website and from what I can see it looks like they offer fully managed services. I'll do some more research on this one, but looks good so far.

  21. #21
    Thanks again for your feedback. Yes I agree, I can probably just group clients and get away with just a handful of IPs. Yes some of my clients do use SSL so that will also justify a few more IPs.

  22. #22
    I have tested a demo of CPanel once before and quite liked it. I will review Plesk, hsphere, and all the others that have been suggesetd - gee I'm going to be busy next week - hehe.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    41
    You check liquidweb.com they are fully managed and have heroic support.

    http://www.paktimes.com

  24. #24
    Hi all, I have done more research, read A LOT of reviews and down to 4 companies.

    Inetu - good reviews.

    DataPipe - good reviews, excellent up time since 2005.

    Liquidweb - mixed reviews but mainly good. It seems that a lot of people on here using them.

    Fastservers - good reviews (BUT mid last year they were up for sale. Did they sell or are they still up for sale ? I couldnt find any recent info about that.

    SoftLayer - mostly good reviews, BUT they do not provide fully managed services even though they have managed servers, so unfortunately they won't be an option for me.

    I'm going to contact MY top 4 now for more info and prices. If anyone has any more info on these providers or has an experience in using them, I'm all ears.

    Thanks again
    Dee

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    Quote Originally Posted by Winton View Post
    Fastservers - good reviews (BUT mid last year they were up for sale. Did they sell or are they still up for sale ? I couldnt find any recent info about that.
    As far as I remember from a press release, they were seeking byers/investors in order to expand (and not that they were for sale because of problems etc).
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  26. #26
    OK, so they should still be a safe bed then.

    Thanks
    Dee

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    321
    We've hosted with DataPipe for almost 3 years, and couldn't be happier. We're on Windows though, so I can't speak for their Linux abilities.

  28. #28
    Thanks I appreciate your comments.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Scotland, UK
    Posts
    2,549
    Datapipe would be a good choice if I were to choose managed hosting personally. If you are going the softlayer route I would suggest you carefully considered your management companies theres very few here on WHT who will actually offer you what you require so you may wish to look outside of WHT for that.

    However with that being said I think Datapipe might just be the perfect fit for you.
    Server Management - AdminGeekZ.com
    Infrastructure Management, Web Application Performance, mySQL DBA. System Automation.
    WordPress/Magento Performance, Apache to Nginx Conversion, Varnish Implimentation, DDoS Protection, Custom Nginx Modules
    Check our wordpress varnish plugin. Contact us for quote: [email protected]

  30. #30
    Thanks for the info re Datapipe. I am still waiting for a reply from them but I know it's a holiday weekend there in the US so hopefully I should hear from them in a day or two.

    I did have a quick chat with Softlayer using their Live Chat feature on their website and they said...

    SoftLayer support is your safety net. Our engineers assist customers with questions about hardware, software, control panels, bandwidth, networking, datacenter and security products we deliver. Security updates are automated and we have Microsoft and Red Hat update servers onsite for customer use. Our customer portal and management network are designed to give our customers useful tools and maximum control over the server. Our service includes industry leading network, hardware, power, and infrastructure SLA guarantees.

    So I guess it does sound like they don't fully manage things and I would be responsible myself via a portal - (sounds scarey, hehe) so I 'll cross them off my list now.

  31. #31
    Hello all,

    Just heard back from Datapipe and they said their prices for a fully managed server (entry level) start at $850 month (ouch). That's more than Rackspace quoted. It's a shame because they had very good reviews and offered everything I need but I just cannot afford that sort of money.

    I'm running out of options now - I contacted Inetu but they don't allow use of Control Panels - The salesman said "our users connect via SSH, or FTP or Remote Desktop and make update through command lines". I'm not technical enough to do this and really need a Control Panel.

    Liquidweb was an option but they get very mixed reviews of different forums so I'm not sure about them now. They have been very helpful pre-sales though I must say.

    Lastly, Fastservers seem to offer "fully" managed services, and cost $430 mth so I think they will be my best option. My only concern is the fact they are up for sale but they have advised me that it's only for financial reasons to expand their company so maybe that's not an issue.

    If anyone else has any input or recommendations before I take that final step, please let me know.

    Thanks again for everyone's input on my posting.

    Dee

  32. #32
    Hi again

    I have 2 more questions. After all the research I have done this week I am wondering :-

    1. Could I possbly manage the server myself - do I really need a managed server ? I'm not highly technical but how much technical experience do you need to manage your own server? From one of the responses I received from a potential dedicated server company, they said they have software that will allow me to monitor my server performance, and do backups etc. If there is software that I can use - ie. WYSIWYG
    type software that doesn't require programming etc maybe I could manage the server myself OR is there a lot more to it than that?

    2. I was also looking for a dedicated server because this is what I have had for the last 7 years but from my recent research it seems that virutal servers are quite popular. Should I consider virtual instead of dedicated ? Are there any major downside of using a virtual dedicated server ?

    Thanks again
    Dee

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Hanoi
    Posts
    4,306
    1. any hosting control panel can have monitoring, backup features. Not anything special. Managing server is not only backup. It's about software installing, patching, securing, and you will need to investigate log files to find out reasons for your sites not working etc. If you dont have any experience about server management, managed server is the way to go. I dont say you cannot learn, but do you want to spend your time on that, or you want to use your time for your business?

    2. VPS says itself. It's built in shared environment, so it's not as strong as dedicated server. However, comparing between high-end VPS and low-end dedicated server, I would use high-end VPS with newer hardware, might be better performance.

  34. #34
    I thought there must have been more to it, otherwise everyone would be managing their own servers - hehe. I don't really want to learn all the ins and outs of managing a server - I don't mind learning a bit more than I currently know but I certainly don't want to get too involved, so that answers that question - I'll stick with a managed server.

    Thanks for that info on virtual servers - I will keep that in mind then and not rule it out completely.

    Dee

  35. #35
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    EU & USA
    Posts
    3,684
    Quote Originally Posted by Winton View Post
    Hi again

    I have 2 more questions. After all the research I have done this week I am wondering :-

    1. Could I possbly manage the server myself - do I really need a managed server ? I'm not highly technical but how much technical experience do you need to manage your own server? From one of the responses I received from a potential dedicated server company, they said they have software that will allow me to monitor my server performance, and do backups etc. If there is software that I can use - ie. WYSIWYG
    type software that doesn't require programming etc maybe I could manage the server myself OR is there a lot more to it than that?

    2. I was also looking for a dedicated server because this is what I have had for the last 7 years but from my recent research it seems that virutal servers are quite popular. Should I consider virtual instead of dedicated ? Are there any major downside of using a virtual dedicated server ?

    Thanks again
    Dee
    1.If you are not technical you should be finding a managed server, or hire a team to manage the server for you (there are several server management companies around. And they do not have to be priced that high as you quoted in your first post.

    2. a VPS is not an alternative for a Dedicated server. (not even if its on bigger hardware, it is and always will be a shared environment).

    Looking for a managed server company; we did use the following in the past:

    - beachcomber (great support and great servers)
    - platinumsever management (only server management for cpanel servers, not selling servers afaik, USA based).
    - cliffsupport (only server management, doing a great job from India).

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,779
    If you have concerns about a company from a financial point of view do not jump in until you are sure about it. In this industry there are lots of players that come and go and horror stories of companies closing down and leaving people stranded.
    Not saying that is the case of Fastservers but just be careful until you know for sure what the status is there.

    There are a lot more options for managed support with CPanel than most control panels so that could factor in your decision on what control panel to consider. Plus Cpanel has a Albanza transfer feature that allows you to transfer your Albanza sites to it.

    Before you agree to anything also make sure you fully understand the term managed and what the host you are considering calls managed.
    It is kind of a realitive term in this industry that each host seems to have their own definition of. So write your prospective hosts and ask them what they cover what is included, if it proactive or only response based etc..

    Sounds like you are on the right track so keep researching and you will find your match.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    1.If you are not technical you should be finding a managed server, or hire a team to manage the server for you (there are several server management companies around. And they do not have to be priced that high as you quoted in your first post.
    Thanks for that info. The only thing that worries me about using two firms, one for the server and another to manage it is then there are two companies involved and I fear some sort of communication breakdown because more people are involved in the chain. Gee sometimes it's hard being a women - we worry too much.

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Techark View Post
    There are a lot more options for managed support with CPanel than most control panels so that could factor in your decision on what control panel to consider. Plus Cpanel has a Albanza transfer feature that allows you to transfer your Albanza sites to it.
    That's interesting and I didn't realise that there was a feature in CPanel to import clients, so yes that may be one of my deciding factors. I have recently tried a demo of CPanel, Plesk and DirectAdmin and I like them all for different reasons so I was finding it hard to choose one, so CPanel maybe the one.

    I have found another two potential firms. The Planet and Peer 1. Both seem to have good reviews overall and I think they both offer fully managed servers. The Planet seems to consistently receive good reviews going back over the last 3 years (yes I've done some thorough reading on this forum - hehe) but then in Jan this year they had some bad reviews but I guess that can't be too bad in the course of 3 yrs. Just waiting more info from these two firms.

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,779
    NOOOOOOOOO.. Do not go to theplanet.

    That would be the worst mistake you could make. Do another search I think you will find they currently are considered to be a night mare.
    I had a few servers there and had a disk problem on one, I asked for them to mount a second drive in it and load an OS on it so I could copy files from the old disk over to the new one. Their answer sorry we don't do that.

    So I ask them to reload the OS so I could then restore from backups.
    Keep in mind the server was for all practical purposes down not serving web pages and they were told that several times.

    44 hours later they started the OS reload, all the time I am begging pleading and asking them to please hurry the OS reload up and they replied "our tos says we have 48 hours to do OS reloads and we will get to it when we can."

    Could not talk anyone on the phone but a front line level 1 tech that could only pass the message to the second level techs, managers refused to talk to me on the phone.

    Worst customer service I have ever dealt with with any data center anywhere.
    That was over a year ago and they have only gotten worse since then.

    Save yourself don't go there.

  40. #40
    Oh that doesn't sound good at all. Ok I'll keep searching. There seems to be a few really good companies out there but they are $600 mth upwards OR the ones I can actually afford don't offer "real fully managed" servers so maybe I'll have to start looking at some of these unmanaged servers and then find a management firm. My search continues :-)

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •