I have been asked by my boss to find a hosting solution. From my knowledge and reading, I expect that we will need a dedicated server. I am not sure what the diference between managed, unmanaged, VPS or colo is. I know our developers should be able to handle most things on the server.
I have been looking at Rackspace, Pair, Serv-Int. The prices are Rackspace are quite a bit more than the others but their reputation for service and support gives me consideration to pay the premium for it.
What I am looking for:
Can handle high bandwidth (millions of page view per month)
Can handle rich media (flash, streaming video, etc)
Excellent Support (24x7)
Security (even if it is extra)
Easiest grow or upgrade
I don't know the exact specs or OS needed. Right now I am really looking for what providers to speak to and why as well as suggestions for the type of service (managed, unmanaged, VPS or colo) and why.
Managed usually means it's a dedicated server and they fix issues and help you out with questions and problems or if you need something done. This may or may not include non standard requests.
Unmanaged means you're on your own. You'll need to hire an admin or seek help if you don't know how to run a server yourself.
VPS means Virtual Private Server (and a few other things, depending on whom you ask), and this is basically a virtual environment where you have super user access, but the physical system is split into different virtual servers. You share the physical resources with other VPS users, where it's divided up and restricted. A dedicated server is one you have full control over and it's all yours. That's the best option for large sites with a lot of traffic and resource usage.
As for "colo", this being co-location, where you supply your own server and just pay rent for space, power and bandwidth/connectivity, which can have the cost determined in different ways (actual usage, 95th percentile, a 2, 5, 10, or higher mbps connection). The difference being you own the system, but you are also responsible for paying for any hardware that might fail and if they have any on hand that are compatible. Once it's paid for, you are only paying to colocate it, whereas a dedicated is perpetually incurring a fee.
You shoud really check the review on here of dedicated providers and pick a few that seem to meet your needs. For what you are asking probably shooting them an email and asking for a custom config option would be most beneficial.
FYI I would suggest managed because the server is for a business (guessing) and you don't want to spend valuable time maintaining your server (or do you?)
Yeah based off reading the comments we wil probably go with managed.
I have checked a number of reviews but there are just too many to choose from. I was hoping for a few recommendations of the more respected and trusted providers.
What you can do, is search for the specific provider you want and if you can't find a review about the said provider, just open a new thread and ask for some review from the provider's client so someone can post their experience.
As for the server specs, it seems that you need a high end server with scsi drives.
I would check out Rackspace, They are not a perfect fit for everyone, but for your needs, they seem like they would be a good fit. They are fully managed, so you wouldnt have to worry about that. They also have excellent uptime and many different solutions that could probably be of great use to you.
You can always go the route of a self-managed dedicated server and then a management company to actually take care of the administration of it.
It really just depends on your budget, if you are willing to spend the money, go with someone like Rackspace. If you are trying to stay within a lower budget, then you may want to go the self-managed+management company route.
Also, where do you expect the bulk of your audience to be geographically located? This will help in determining the geographic location of the Datacenter (Provider) that you end up going with.
Best of Luck, and always remember that the more information you provide us, the better we can help you.
I would prefer one company to do everything. I have gotten quotes from Rackspace and their prices are a bit higher than everyone elses. We are willing to spend money but not waste it. I am just looking for the best (not cheapest) deal from a reputable and trusted company.
The bulk of the audience is US based with most traffic from the coasts.
I strongly urge you to check the dedicated offers forum, it will be a valuable resource, then do a search for whichever company has a deal that sounds like it would be more within what you are wanting to spend.
I'd look in this order given network uptime and quality:
So, you had it almost exact in your own list (I just swapped Theplanet and Softlayer). All of those are good choices, really. Some are better than others, but overall, you should be happy with any of them. Honestly though, I'd probably put LiquidWeb down a lot further on a larger list, but Rackspace, Theplanet and Softlayer are DC's you should be happy with. SoftLayer has had a lot of downtime compared to Theplanet, so this is why I swapped them on the list. As for support, this isn't a big factor for me, as we just needed the best network uptime, so if Support is a major issue, you'd want to select Rackspace, I think. Theplanet's support is so-so, as is Softlayer's.
No offense to anyone, but you should do a search for The Planet on this forum, and read the many many negative threads on that company over the past 3-4 years. There are more bad reviews than you can shake a stick at. LW consistently gets better reviews, but neither of those can compare to Rackspace in terms of overall quality, support, infrastructure or similar. Apples and oranges.
Rackspace are in league with Datapipe, Xiolink, inetu.net and similar.
I don't think anyone's going to be offended by one person's opinion over another. I've personally seen more negative threads myself about LiquidWeb over Theplanet. Also, I've hosted with LW and they are far less equipped than Theplanet (much more small time compared). Not that this is a bad thing, but it actually and factually was when I dealt with them for over a year (downtime, no real redundant connections, etc., and the list can go on). I really couldn't recommend them over Theplanet, since I've been using Theplanet (working on/dealing with about 7,000+ servers there) with only two very short lived network downtimes that I can recall over more than 6+ years (or there abouts).
So, I don't think ThePlanet is that bad, else I'd surely have noticed, as well as the people I have worked with that have also dealt with thousands of servers there. If you are talking about Theplanet in regards to billing or support staff issues, then that's another matter and it's too individual and specific for me to debate about who is better. I think we can safely agree that Rackspace is the best choice anyway, assuming you want to afford it and need their support. I know we'd be willing to pay whatever it took, if it meant the best uptime, and so far, that's been Theplanet, but if we had to look again if TP had a lot of problems, we'd be checking into Rackspace ourselves. I really don't think you can lose with them.