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  1. #1

    Switching from Rackspace to???

    Like a couple of others that have posted here recently, we are looking to switch hosting from Rackspace to someone else. We've been with Rackspace for 3 years, and host 2 dedicated servers with them for our e-commerce business. We were with three other hosting companies the 2 years before that with many headaches, and Rackspace really stabilized the IT part of our business.

    But they don't seem to be too competitive on pricing as our business grows. Our servers are over 3 years old now, and we just wanted to upgrade to comparable HW. We have already replaced a couple of hard drives and would prefer to be proactive. But they won't move on their pricing which would be a SIGNIFICANT increase in our budget, and most of our original support team has moved on, and I don't sense the same level of support we once had.

    Our system is Windows-based running Cold Fusion. We have a web server and a database server running SQL. I have a full-time Cold Fusion developer on staff, but need Windows managed dedicated servers for our growing e-commerce retail business. We sell products to consumers - we do NOT resell IT services. Our shopping cart and back end system was all developed in house in Cold Fusion.

    So these are some of the possibilities we have come up with to replace Rackspace, and I would appreciate any feedback from those that may be utilizing services from any of these companies:

    savvis
    datapipe
    handynetworks
    crystaltech
    att dot com/gen/webhosting?pid=10395
    theplanet

    Thanks.

    BWS

  2. #2
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    Would recommend against theplanet, they have had some problems of recent, search the forums for some reviews. The others aren't used to much around here because they mostly serve larger corporations which sounds like you are. Sounds like you have a fairly large requirement and plenty of places should be able to help you. WebNX, Steadfast, Softlayer. Steadfast provides fully managed servers as well as self-managed. Contact WebNX they have some pretty good deals and a solid network. Softlayer has some nice backend options but are self-managed, I have heard that you can pay them per-ticket with management help but I don't use them and don't know for sure. I had good luck by requesting offers through the forum and you may get some companies that can serve you that I haven't heard about.

    Also, does location matter to you? GNAX is in Atlanta, Softlayer and Steadfast have DCs in the central USA, WebNX and Softlayer both have DCs on the west coast.

    I recommend before you sign up to any of the companies you do a search here and talk to their sales.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by biggerboy View Post
    Would recommend against theplanet, they have had some problems of recent, search the forums for some reviews. The others aren't used to much around here because they mostly serve larger corporations which sounds like you are. Sounds like you have a fairly large requirement and plenty of places should be able to help you. WebNX, Steadfast, Softlayer. Steadfast provides fully managed servers as well as self-managed. Contact WebNX they have some pretty good deals and a solid network. Softlayer has some nice backend options but are self-managed, I have heard that you can pay them per-ticket with management help but I don't use them and don't know for sure. I had good luck by requesting offers through the forum and you may get some companies that can serve you that I haven't heard about.

    Also, does location matter to you? GNAX is in Atlanta, Softlayer and Steadfast have DCs in the central USA, WebNX and Softlayer both have DCs on the west coast.

    I recommend before you sign up to any of the companies you do a search here and talk to their sales.

    Best of luck.
    Location in the US is not important. We are looking at putting up a server in China at some point, so those with data centers in China would be a plus.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I use www.LimeStoneNetworks.com and they are great! Real competitive on pricing, and are really helpful, phone number to call, and their ticket response time hasn't passed 1 hour for me. I really recommend them!

    Regards,
    Nick Kitmitto

  5. #5
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    Out of your list I would suggest you contact datapipe.
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  6. #6
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    If you think Rackspace's pricing is high, I doubt you'll like the prices you'll get quoted from Savvis and AT&T...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    If you think Rackspace's pricing is high, I doubt you'll like the prices you'll get quoted from Savvis and AT&T...
    I suspect his pricing concerns were more related to the fact he has a really old system but who knows.
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  8. #8
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    DataPipe
    InetU
    Navisite
    Xiolink

    But mind you that none of these are cheap.

    The situation you are in we face with our clients as well. When an hardware gets old can we change it with more latest ones but keep the pricing the same or charge more....we are still debating. I am not sure what rackspace's stand on this. Try to extend the contract with Rackspace to longer terms, say 2 or 3 years, may be that will reduce the price.
    Last edited by HNLV; 03-27-2008 at 08:00 AM.
    Email: info ///at/// honelive.com

  9. #9

    Pricing

    I realize that for many in these forums pricing is the main concern, but we really are not looking for feedback on pricing. We can obtain that easily enough through quotes and negotiations. I looking more for feedback regarding experience with any of these businesses, in terms of support and managing dedicated servers, especially for a Windows/Cold Fusion environment for e-commerce.

    Thanks...

  10. #10
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    i would get a quote from DataPipe, they offer a nice service for a 'ok' price

  11. #11
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    Created,

    I would check with SoZo Hosting (http://www.sozohosting.com/) they specialize in Cold Fusion hosting. Contact Dean and w/sozo and see what they can do.

  12. #12
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    I'm not sure how you put this list together, but it's all over the place. Most of these companies aren't what I would consider competitors of each other any more than Hyundai competes with Lexus. AT&T and Savvis primarily target large enterprises; you're probably looking at $1k+/month per managed server in a reasonably powerful configuration. Datapipe is somewhat similar to Rackspace (in capabilities if not in size) in what I would call the midmarket managed hosting area, though typically I've seen more flexible pricing from them than Rackspace. ThePlanet is a low end, high volume budget host that isn't particularly known for it's high level of service. I don't really know anything about HandyNetworks or CrystalTech, but I'm certain they are quite a bit smaller than the others mentioned here.

    Honestly, I would imagine finding a managed hosting with ColdFusion expertise is going to become increasingly difficult. It's use as a server side programming language has waned considerably over the years. You might try contacting some companies from this list of Premier Hosting Providers on the Adobe site:

    http://www.adobe.com/products/coldfusion/hosting/

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post
    I'm not sure how you put this list together, but it's all over the place. Most of these companies aren't what I would consider competitors of each other any more than Hyundai competes with Lexus. AT&T and Savvis primarily target large enterprises; you're probably looking at $1k+/month per managed server in a reasonably powerful configuration. Datapipe is somewhat similar to Rackspace (in capabilities if not in size) in what I would call the midmarket managed hosting area, though typically I've seen more flexible pricing from them than Rackspace. ThePlanet is a low end, high volume budget host that isn't particularly known for it's high level of service. I don't really know anything about HandyNetworks or CrystalTech, but I'm certain they are quite a bit smaller than the others mentioned here.

    Honestly, I would imagine finding a managed hosting with ColdFusion expertise is going to become increasingly difficult. It's use as a server side programming language has waned considerably over the years. You might try contacting some companies from this list of Premier Hosting Providers on the Adobe site:
    $1K a month for a server is not a problem for a high-end e-commerce business. Reliability is the issue. But everyone wants good service and value for their money as well...

    As to the list on Adobe's site: we have used the first two on that list prior to using Rackspace and they were major problems for us!!

    I disagree with your assessment of Cold Fusion! I thought it was waning two years ago, but it is alive and well!

    BWS

  14. #14
    i Recommend PacificRack

  15. #15
    I feel good to add my thoughts because I don't have any commercial interest in Windows hosting. First I would say is that it is a good idea to explain to other web hosting companies what do you expect from them. I don't know how did the RackSpace support and customer service work for you? I don't put their network or reliability on discussion at all.

    It is a good idea to find a good small dedicated hosting company which will pay much attention on your projects. That means to know some people in their management or Customer service and to make sure they will respond promptly on your requests.

    The corporations provide stability and infrastructure but they are not as good in customer relationship as smaller companies are. So I hope you'll be able to find smaller or middle sized web host. Why don't you check offers section and when you find some hosts to speak with their representatives.
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  16. have you looked into liquid web

    id advise against the planet for your needs

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Created4 View Post
    $1K a month for a server is not a problem for a high-end e-commerce business. Reliability is the issue. But everyone wants good service and value for their money as well...
    I don't disagree; it's just that the list you provided was all over the place in terms of the service level offering and pricing. It's pretty rare to have someone consider ThePlanet and AT&T or Savvis for the same project; as I said, they are not really direct competitors of each other.

    As to the list on Adobe's site: we have used the first two on that list prior to using Rackspace and they were major problems for us!!
    I guess you need to keep moving down the list then...just kidding. Are you looking for a managed host that has specifically productized support for ColdFusion as a platform? To my knowledge (and I certainly could be wrong), Rackspace doesn't provide any specific application support for ColdFusion, does it? If you don't need a managed provider to help support and maintain ColdFusion, just the OS and hardware (which is what I assume Rackspace is doing), then you have a lot of options. If you do need that sort of support for ColdFusion, your options will be much more limited. And aside from ColdFusion, are you looking for support of what is I assume MS SQL Server?

    I disagree with your assessment of Cold Fusion! I thought it was waning two years ago, but it is alive and well!
    I guess we'll just agree to disagree then. Given that's it morphed into basically a gloried set of taglibs for Java I guess that's allowed it to eke some relevance going forward, but I don't see a whole lot of new ColdFusion development going on. But my point was that managed hosting providers seem to have started to move away from ColdFusion as a supported platform.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangewebhosting0net View Post
    id advise against the planet for your needs
    Why is that?

    I have noticed that some people pick on ThePlanet because most of the issues you hear about are disasters, like re-provisioning servers randomly etc.
    However you don't hear as often about the little issues. Now ThePlanet is a huge provider, if their service was really that bad, and it wasn't for me, we would be hearing more issues than what we see now.

    The only major issues I have seen with TP look more like rare occurrences if you ask me, and while it is good to be concious, the likelyhood of these critical issues happening to you is less than you think.

    I haven't tested their advanced support, but I know that they have a SOLID network and support isn't too shabby either.

    Not saying that is going to fit the OP's needs, but it can never hurt to contact them and see what they can come up with.

  19. #19
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    Just adding my 2 cents to this thread. We've hosted critical applications and ecommerce sites with a LOT of different hosts over the years, including Rackspace and The Planet, discussed in this thread. We moved from The Planet, because their support was appaling time and time again, and we moved from Rackspace because they simply couldn't compete on price.

    Ultimately we found Datapipe and Xiolink to be winners. Xiolink is nearly as expensive as Rackspace, but I don't think I've ever had a better or more personal experience elsewhere. Supreme company.

    Datapipe has been the best balance for us. Truly excellent service and overall experience. No unscheduled downtime for literally years.

    We're also a ColdFusion based business btw.

  20. #20
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    .. wanted to add: We do all the application server management ourselves. Datapipe don't touch the ColdFusion server at all. While I'm sure they can do basic installation and configuration etc, they're not managing it for us, they just take care of the hardware and operating system level, ie. patching, security etc.

    They do have DBA's etc for databases, Oracle, MS SQL etc if you need it.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Calgary, Alberta
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    I can't say anything bad about SoftLayer.

    We have our Windows boxes with them, very competitive pricing, awesome support and amazing uptime. Not only that, but the servers are actual servers, not white box "servers".

    We use LiquidWeb for our Linux servers and have had some issues with them and trying to get any sort of compensation for missing thier 100% Network SLA is next to impossible.

    So far, we have had amazing service and reliability with SoftLayer and so-so service with LiquidWeb, but it certianly beats the hell out of LayeredJoke whom we dumped after repeated outages caused by thier inexperienced network engineers. Thier outages cost me a HUGE reseller and a major loss in revenue due to the payouts I had to pay to my customers for missing our SLA.

    Since moving, I have not payed nor credited anyone for downtime as we have not had any and I got my Reseller back...

    My 2 cents...

    Cheers!

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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by lockbull View Post

    I guess you need to keep moving down the list then...just kidding. Are you looking for a managed host that has specifically productized support for ColdFusion as a platform? To my knowledge (and I certainly could be wrong), Rackspace doesn't provide any specific application support for ColdFusion, does it? If you don't need a managed provider to help support and maintain ColdFusion, just the OS and hardware (which is what I assume Rackspace is doing), then you have a lot of options. If you do need that sort of support for ColdFusion, your options will be much more limited. And aside from ColdFusion, are you looking for support of what is I assume MS SQL Server?
    Yes, SQL server, and no, Rackspace does not support Cold Fusion. Actually the two you said you had not heard of and wondered why there were in the list, Handy Networks (learned about them from these forums) and Crystaltech, are Cold Fusion managed hosting companies that we are looking into. So far Handy Networks has been the most responsive, and they own their own data center in Denver. We don't have to go with CF hosting companies (they haven't served us too well in the past, but that was several years ago now), but it is a plus if this is available.

    Thanks for your input....

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JDMundo View Post
    Just adding my 2 cents to this thread. We've hosted critical applications and ecommerce sites with a LOT of different hosts over the years, including Rackspace and The Planet, discussed in this thread. We moved from The Planet, because their support was appaling time and time again, and we moved from Rackspace because they simply couldn't compete on price.

    Ultimately we found Datapipe and Xiolink to be winners. Xiolink is nearly as expensive as Rackspace, but I don't think I've ever had a better or more personal experience elsewhere. Supreme company.

    Datapipe has been the best balance for us. Truly excellent service and overall experience. No unscheduled downtime for literally years.

    We're also a ColdFusion based business btw.
    Thanks for your valuable input. We are going to give Datapipe a serious look, especially since they have data centers in Shanghai and Hong Kong. We will also check out Xiolink.

    Thanks again...

  24. #24
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    Ive tried a good few hosts.

    I would recommend Softlayer, its not going to be fully managed as such. But they have a $3 a ticket option for managed services issues. Like upgrading a kernel, or managing an issue.

    TP seems pretty good too.

    LiquidWeb? just do a search for them and read my thread. Wouldnt touch them with a barge pole
    Damien

  25. #25
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    I'll second the recommendation for Inetu. For the level of service you're used to from Rackspace, inetu will be somewhat more price competitive, and will probably leave you with a better customer experience.

  26. #26
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    Hey, I am glad to see that CrystalTech is in your list of possible future providers. If there are any questions you need answered please let me know.
    Ryan Bishop
    Server Operations and Tech Support
    Newtek Web Hosting
    webservices.thesba.com

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