I have been hosting quite a few people more or less informally for a while (less than 50 and mostly people I know) on a dedicated box. Basically, this means, I have the know-how to create a pretty good hosting environment.
Anyways, I was thinking of launching something more "official", and I have a few questions...
For those that have started web-hosting businesses, what have you found to be a good starting place for servers and bandwidth?
For hardware, did you find renting a few dedicated servers was sufficient? Or did you provide your own hardware?
For bandwidth, did you start out with cheap bandwidth from somewhere like RackShack? Or did you get it by mbps (if so, how much)?
Ideally, starting out I would like to keep overhead cost to a minimum without sacrificing too much quality, while still providing a clear path for growth.
I have looked at a lot of dedicated hosting packages, and it seems very few are viable for a hosting business as they offer 50 - 100 GB per month which I wouldn't think is enough. The companies that provide a great deal more (300 - 600 GB per month) seem to not have a great reputation.
Anyways, I would appreciate any insight some of you might have for me.
You might consider it you want to develop yourself into a budget hoster or a quality support hoster. These two factors don't combine easily because of the costs involved of good 24/7 support. If you want yourself to be a budget host, than hire a server from a budget (by the way, budget is just the word to say it is low priced, not by any means this would mean quality is bad) dedicated server provider. If you settle for quality, hire from a quality servce provider (for excample RackSpace, but there are also lots of quality dedicated server providers on this board). After you have given this your thought and made your conclusion, you might want to refine your question which provider to choose again.