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  1. #1
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    Question Looking for [Grid/Cloud/Clustered] High Availability UK Linux Hosting

    I am looking for a new web hosting company to host our corporate websites. Over past 8 years or so I have tried several hosts, but yet to find a decent one worth sticking with. The market is absolutely saturated so googling is rather pointless as usually the worst hosts (1&1, Fasthosts, UK2) are ranked the highest.

    I'm not after a sales pitch from a bedroom host touting for business on here, I'm just after some honest feedback so I can find a host with a decent service and support. The website I am looking to move has been active for about 7 years, they are very reluctant to switch hosts in fear of downtime due to problems during migration, so I need to pick the right host first time, otherwise they may never move away from the comedians at Fasthosts.

    We want the reliability and availability of a managed dedicated server, but we can't really justify it for hosting one website receiving 5000 unique visitors a month (25000 page views) - we clearly only need the power of shared hosting.

    Besides, there isn't the budget available to move to managed dedicated hosting, so I was thinking we could pick up an unmanaged dedicated server very cheaply. But if I were to leave the company, or take time off for holiday/sickness, and there was a problem with the server they would be screwed.

    Recently there have been hosts offering Clustered/Grid/Cloud hosting. The problem is all of the ones I have found are only offering hosting in the US. I like the look of Mosso, a Rackspace company, but they only offer US hosting. Another problem is the word "Cloud" has become a marketing executives wet dream, I see the word describing everything to do with the internet - even if the service has nothing to do with clustered high availability servers.

    Can anyone recommend a decent reliable UK hosting company? Our budget is about 1000 a year. Our only requirement is PHP 5.2.x and MySQL 5.x running on a Linux server, but that is to be expected. A bonus would be if they offered Ruby on Rails and Python too, but it isn't a requirement.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Moving from one host to another can be a nightmare. Thinking of UK hosts ezpzhosting.co.uk comes to my mind. Have a look at their site, I have heard nothing but positive reviews about them.

    Is there a reason why your looking for only UK hosts? I am curious.
    Last edited by HighLayer; 04-09-2009 at 05:09 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I don't think Cloud hosting has really hit the maturity levels at which it needs to be for serious consideration, but that's just me.

    Your post seems to indicate that you've used shared hosting in the past, but haven't been happy and can't afford dedicated.. how about a VPS ? There's a fair few hosts on here that operate out of BlueSquare in London and similar places. I find the traces and pings to there are great if the majority of your clients are in the UK (to the poster above: I imagine luke and his customer base are situated over here, therefore makes the most sense to host here).

    1k/yr is about 80 a month and you can either get a very well managed and spec'd VPS server or a low level ranking dedicated box for that.. I'd personally go with a VPS with all the bells and whistles (management, lots of RAM, multiple IPs) considering the specs you've provided (altho obviously I have no idea about space or bw consideration).

    Check out the offers in the VPS forum and see what matches your spec. I'm with FutureHosting in the London DC and for about 40 a month after coupons, I get 1.3tb transfer and 40gb space with management and couldn't be happier. I'm sure there's a good chunk of hosts offering similar over here well within your budget without going the 'experimental' route.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighLayer View Post
    Is there a reason why your looking for only UK hosts? I am curious.
    Several reasons...
    - Potentially more responsive website due to lower latency between clients and server. All of our customers are in the UK.
    - Support will be available during working hours.
    - Potentially improves google/yahoo/live.co.uk search engine results.

    Quote Originally Posted by JayX View Post
    1k/yr is about 80 a month and you can either get a very well managed and spec'd VPS server or a low level ranking dedicated box for that.. I'd personally go with a VPS with all the bells and whistles (management, lots of RAM, multiple IPs) considering the specs you've provided (altho obviously I have no idea about space or bw consideration).
    The unmanaged dedicated server I was looking at would be 50 a month, I haven't really looked at any managed virtual server because I understand the majority of the cost associated with a managed dedicated server was the management aspect. I am put off by virtual servers as there is nothing to stop a hosting company putting loads VMs on a server that can barely cope, so you potentially can end up with a service worse than shared hosting.

    Regarding bandwidth or space. We are using about 30mb webspace at the moment - god only knows why so many hosting companies offer space in GB, cheap marketing ploy I suppose. Bandwidth? Fairly sure 10GB would do. We really don't require anything other than a reliable high quality service and good support, but that seems to be the one thing not on offer.
    Last edited by luke_a; 04-09-2009 at 05:39 AM.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2006
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    Good hosts will have 24/7 support.. I find having US hosts with UK servers works well as their going to be quieter during their night (our morning) so in theory I get faster service!

  6. #6
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    Are you looking to deploy your own virtual servers on a cloud - i.e. you're in control of the exact configuration - you deploy web servers, load-balancers, database servers and you also manage them and tie them all in together, or are you looking for a Mosso-like solution, that looks like shared hosting to the end user, but is actually clustered/load-balanced/very scalable without intervention on your part?
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  7. #7
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    I can highly recommend tsohost's cloud hosting. They have their own control panel, which is quick and functional. Support is excellent, friendly, again quick and they know their stuff. For a domain hosted with them just put .com after my username.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazmanultra View Post
    Are you looking to deploy your own virtual servers on a cloud - i.e. you're in control of the exact configuration - you deploy web servers, load-balancers, database servers and you also manage them and tie them all in together, or are you looking for a Mosso-like solution, that looks like shared hosting to the end user, but is actually clustered/load-balanced/very scalable without intervention on your part?
    Mosso: Cloud Sites pretty much is what we want, but UK based.

  9. #9
    I think that 1000 a year are not enough for you to have in-hose cloud. You can try to use any of the public clouds, but a budget of 100 pounds per month is just not enough.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_a View Post
    The unmanaged dedicated server I was looking at would be 50 a month, I haven't really looked at any managed virtual server because I understand the majority of the cost associated with a managed dedicated server was the management aspect. I am put off by virtual servers as there is nothing to stop a hosting company putting loads VMs on a server that can barely cope, so you potentially can end up with a service worse than shared hosting.

    Regarding bandwidth or space. We are using about 30mb webspace at the moment - god only knows why so many hosting companies offer space in GB, cheap marketing ploy I suppose. Bandwidth? Fairly sure 10GB would do. We really don't require anything other than a reliable high quality service and good support, but that seems to be the one thing not on offer.
    You're right to be wary of hosts essentially overselling VPS in the same way some hosts oversell their shared resources. This is where research and enquiries come in.. a $10/mo VPS host will promise to meet your requirements due to space/transfer required but will probably put you on an overloaded server. A host renowned for good QOS and treatment will cost more, but provide you with the excellent service a corporate site requires.

    Most hosts offering Hybrid services, or a Premium VPS promise to keep virtual services down to say 8 per node, which if loaded with dual quad xeons and 16gb RAM.. you're laughing. Plus a good monitoring host will ensure if anyone is causing issues on the node that leak into other peoples performances then they're moved around.

    For real world example, with a bunch of small clients, my Invision Power Board and a few shoutcast streams I'm using about 25% of my 1.5gb RAM (SLM) allocation, very low % of CPU and server load is always tiny. It's been like this for a month, and I have daily stats running so I can check for usage spikes across the board. I'm really happy given that my forum users love to moan if the site takes too long to load.. I've cut my page gen times from up to 15 seconds on shared to 0.05 to 0.1 second now, on a faster path (was US, now UK).

  11. #11
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    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishforcarp View Post
    I can highly recommend tsohost's cloud hosting. They have their own control panel, which is quick and functional. Support is excellent, friendly, again quick and they know their stuff. For a domain hosted with them just put .com after my username.
    This looks ideal.

    Quote Originally Posted by HostColor View Post
    I think that 1000 a year are not enough for you to have in-hose cloud. You can try to use any of the public clouds, but a budget of 100 pounds per month is just not enough.
    What could I possibly have written that made you think I wanted to set up my own cloud platform? Jesus wept, I'm hosting one website, not planning the construction of a datacentre. Don't bother replying just to spam your signature around, it makes you look like a ****.

  12. #12
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    Feb 2007
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    *

    If I couldn't find the Cloud computing forum buried 5 categories deep to post this in the first place what on earth makes you think that anyone else is going to find it to reply?

    Hardly any wonder that no one has replied since it was moved, cheers for killing my thread.

  13. #13
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    I would look for a host that will offer you a tailored service, to suit your need ect.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_a View Post
    I'm not after a sales pitch from a bedroom host touting for business on here, I'm just after some honest feedback so I can find a host with a decent service and support.
    ...

    Our budget is about 1000 a year.
    I really don't think you can expect much support from a hosting company for 1000 a year.

    Your load looks very light - less than 1000 pages views a day.

    How about:

    1) get *two* hosting services, and duplicate your site across them, so either can deliver the service. So if one fails, you can switch to the other.

    That's maybe 200 a year of your budget.

    2) contract with a retired support person to provide you with two hours a month support for 50 a month. They will do a good job, enjoy it, appreciate the beer money ... and if something takes longer than two hours, they wont mind.

  15. #15
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    I would reccomend www.tsohost.co.uk

    I've only used them briefly personally but they are one of the few UK hosts running on a custom Cloud setup and they have a very good rep
    System Administrator (RHCE, LFCS, cPPC::Tech)
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  16. #16
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    No this is stupid, but worth a try. Look at 1and1 again and they currently have a sale of old servers and are offering a fully managed server for 29/mnth. I have used those servers before and fair play they are fairly good. The difference between the normal server and the managed with them is they set your server up on their network with there shared hosting config but you have 100% access to the servers processors.


    http://order.1and1.co.uk/xml/order/S...op&__lf=Static

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  17. #17
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    Another vote for tso- these guys are simply fantastic and their service has been nothing short of incredible.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by logikstudios View Post
    No this is stupid, but worth a try. Look at 1and1 again and they currently have a sale of old servers and are offering a fully managed server for 29/mnth. I have used those servers before and fair play they are fairly good. The difference between the normal server and the managed with them is they set your server up on their network with there shared hosting config but you have 100% access to the servers processors.
    Did you even read my post? This is what annoys the hell out of me about this place, people just plug awful hosting companies regardless of what you are after.

    I'm not after an unmanaged dedicated server, I specifically said this is something we do not want.

    Do you realise that 1&1 and Fasthosts are owned by the same people? We are trying to get away from the imbeciles!

    Tsohost looks very good value for money and I am 99.9% sure we will be switching to them. Apparently their cluster has around 1000 users. On the shared server with Fasthosts we share that single box with over 1200 other domains, god knows how many databases are on the mysql server!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke_a View Post
    Did you even read my post? This is what annoys the hell out of me about this place, people just plug awful hosting companies regardless of what you are after.

    I'm not after an unmanaged dedicated server, I specifically said this is something we do not want.

    Do you realise that 1&1 and Fasthosts are owned by the same people? We are trying to get away from the imbeciles!

    Tsohost looks very good value for money and I am 99.9% sure we will be switching to them. Apparently their cluster has around 1000 users. On the shared server with Fasthosts we share that single box with over 1200 other domains, god knows how many databases are on the mysql server!
    Your budget seems to be very low for something managed and i have used 1and1s MANAGED dedicated servers for the past few years for a few customers ive designed sites for and fairplay they are decent.

    Thats all im saying.

    Best,
    Nathaniel
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by luke_a View Post
    Tsohost looks very good value for money ...
    Agreed! Thanks for the tip, great price.

    I've been looking at Uptimehost who seem to be doing something similar. Has anybody tried Uptimehost?

  21. #21
    Oh, i forgot to mention VPS.net who offer UK/US service, which looks like the customer can scale up and just reboot. I found them via Westhost, who are moving away from their custom hybrid type VPS, and appear to be sending customers to their sister site VPS.net.

    Does anybody know of a service similar to Tsohost or Uptimehost, but with servers in the USA?
    Last edited by tucker2; 04-15-2009 at 12:26 PM. Reason: forgot something

  22. #22
    More UK Cloud Hosting Providers: RapidCloud, ElasticHosts, Rackspace. cloudhosting.co.uk

  23. #23
    For that budget range I'd recommend talking to a few VPS providers and see if they can give you things like private LAN IPs, front-end virtual IPs etc. so that you can effectively ren a private LAN of your virtual servers from their existing system. It won't come with auto-scaling, self-healing etc. etc. and you need a bit of work yourself to get everything set up, but for the money you should get a much better server-side infrastructure than simple renting a virtual host or server.

  24. #24
    BTW not sure what sort of the online business you are in but generally US-UK network latency is acceptable for many online applications, especially if you are with suitable US providers (east coast ones I'd reckon?). Your budget would go much further spent in the other side

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwcw View Post
    BTW not sure what sort of the online business you are in but generally US-UK network latency is acceptable for many online applications
    However as Luke already pointed out, he'd suffer on UK results with SEO, and the further you move the data from the target audience, the more places things can and will go wrong ...
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