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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    18

    What do I need, Where do I get it?

    Sorry for the wordy post. I just need some advice. Thanks in advance!

    I have limited knowledge, so I was hoping some of you would be able to help me figure out what I need based on what I'll be using my dedicated server for. While my needs are modest now, they could and will grow, so I'll lay them out as best as possible.

    The dedicated server is for hosting client sites at an advertising agency. Right now that includes about 50 low traffic sites with basic marketing information and very small databases. I want the ability to install anything I'd like while also having a managed service. I need excellent 24x7 support and monitoring so I'll be notified if any of my sites go down. My highest traffic site sees about 2,000 visitors a month. However, that site has the possibility of growing to more like 100,000 visitors monthly.

    I want my sites to run as quickly as possible. We are currently using CMSs on some sites and may be running ecommerce engines in the future. In addition, we need the ability to handle large databases. Also, I want something that will grow with our needs.

    Also, I feel most comfortable working with a non-Windows machine. We're currently on Windows based server, but I'd like to move away from that since we aren't running anything dependent of the environment. I'd also prefer to have Plesk w/ unlimited domains, but I'd be open to other options.

    What I want to know from hardware/software standpoint:
    OS
    Processor
    Memory
    Hard drive (was thinking 250GB with RAID-1)

    What I want to know from a hosting standpoint:
    Best host for my needs with absolute best support and reliability.
    Price is of no concern.
    Last edited by mjurgemeyer; 06-18-2009 at 01:52 PM.
    Jurgemeyer Design
    A Colorado Design Company
    http://www.jurgemeyer.com

  2. #2
    Well, you'll probably want a good dual core with 4GB of RAM, and CentOS 5 as the operating system, and perhaps cPanel thrown in if you plan to have many sites and want to manage them through an easy to use interface.
    478east
    High Bandwidth Servers
    Custom Hosting Solutions

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    chicago
    Posts
    1,557
    OS= Whatever OS the company you choose prefers
    Processor= Any dual/quadcore cpu should be fine
    Memory= 4 gigs
    Hard drive (was thinking 250GB with RAID-1)= sounds good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    EU & USA
    Posts
    3,684
    Are you sure you want to go dedicated ? of course i understand your sites are of importance and a dedicated server might sounds more secure, but maybe a semi-dedicated solution would fit your business better as long its combined with a company which can make you grow fast if and when you need it.

    In the advertising business it can be quiet for a long period but when a new project goes live you need to be able to switch fast and be able to grow quickly.

    Personally i would advise you to look for a host which can be as dynamic as your company can be, those need to match, if you find that match you will find yourself in a much better position as that you have a dedicated server which can either be a much to big one when its quiet or to small when a site goes live and creates a good hype.

    An other point of concern might be the management of the server; if you are not able to do your own management you may need a company to do this for you; the question you have to ask yourself is; do i want to manage the sever my self ? and if i do not want to do this, or do not have the experience, what level of management you will need, would that be re-active management or pro-active management.

    Who ever you may choose for your hosting company, be sure you find the right partner.

    I wish you the best of luck to find the right partner for your company.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    18
    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    do i want to manage the sever my self ? and if i do not want to do this, or do not have the experience, what level of management you will need, would that be re-active management or pro-active management.
    I definitely don't want to manage the server. For that reason, I"m looking at companies with good managed solutions like WiredTree, Rackspace, Peer1, etc.

    I just want someone that is very reliable with a fast network and great support.
    Jurgemeyer Design
    A Colorado Design Company
    http://www.jurgemeyer.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    EU & USA
    Posts
    3,684
    Quote Originally Posted by mjurgemeyer View Post
    I definitely don't want to manage the server. For that reason, I"m looking at companies with good managed solutions like WiredTree, Rackspace, Peer1, etc.

    I just want someone that is very reliable with a fast network and great support.
    Those will all deliver you good services, but i am not sure if they offer pro-active management to your server; which means you still need to know what should be done to a server before you can ask them to do it for you. Make sure you contact them and check this with them.

    As said; look at the most scalable solution which fits you best now but also in the future.

  7. #7
    You may consider going with a 2 server setup: 1 for the sites, 1 for databases. The main sites could be on an average or slightly better than average server, and you could skimp a bit on the DB server. <<snipped>>

    OS isn't really going to matter - your choice, really.

    Processor - I really support the core i7. You could go with that and an older (say P4 3.0) as a DB server and I think you'd be farther along than spending the same amount on a single server.

    Memory - go with 2GB on each, should be plenty...

    Hard drive - probably hard to get much less than 250GB. RAID-1 never hurts - 1 less single point of failure.

    For providers, besides superbhosting, I'd always recommend checking out SingleHop, Softlayer, and The Planet. IMHO they are the companies to compare with/to.

    The suggestion of VPS isn't a bad one, so you should probably include that in your decision.
    Last edited by bear; 06-18-2009 at 05:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by mjurgemeyer View Post
    What I want to know from hardware/software standpoint:
    OS
    Processor
    Memory
    Hard drive (was thinking 250GB with RAID-1)
    OS = Debian and Centos are good choices
    Processor = Anything Xeon64 and newer should work - You don't have the traffic right now so I wouldn't go too high-end here
    Memory = Memory is cheap so go 4GB minimum - As your site grows, memory limitations are often the reason for slow performance
    Hard drive = 2 x 250GB RAID 1 should be fine, software or hardware RAID

    What I want to know from a hosting standpoint:
    Best host for my needs with absolute best support and reliability.
    Price is of no concern.
    Hah. No easy answer here. If price is no concern, go with the company that gives you a nice warm and fuzzy feeling after talking to them. Support is generally what differentiates companies in this space. Of course, make sure they have a solid network.

    Cheers,
    Ed

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ebuck View Post
    Processor = Anything Xeon64 and newer should work - You don't have the traffic right now so I wouldn't go too high-end here
    Not disagreeing, but curious what other people would say. I'd think you'd want to project about 2 years of growth and pick a server that can handle that. The thinking being the extra money spent is balanced out by the cost (and headaches) of migrating to a new server.

    Thoughts?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,955
    Here's what I recommend (keeping future growth in mind):

    • OS: CentOS 5
    • Processor: Dual Xeon (8 cores is ideal based on growth projections)
    • Memory: 8GB at least
    • Hard drive: 74GB SAS on hardware RAID-1 or 170GB SAS also on RAID-1. Don't go with SATA drives.
    • Management: fully managed
    • Control Panel: cPanel


    I know you're currently running Plesk but a switch to cPanel is definitely an upgrade. There's an easy way to migrate from Plesk to cPanel but you most likely don't need to worry about the transition details with a managed provider. Most importantly, do your homework and identify the best all-around provider. Read as many reviews as possible and ask a lot of questions before signing up.

    Regards
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
    [ cPanel Varnish Nginx Plugin ] - Enhance LiteSpeed and Apache Performance
    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    18
    Thanks everyone for all the recommendations and advice. It's all really helpful. I thought about VPS because that's what I do for all my personal sites and freelance business. However, I have a strong feeling that the people paying the bills around here are pretty tied to having a dedicated server. They're currently paying an obscene amount of money for a dedicated box, so I think I'll be able to give them a good option while saving them several hundred a month. Once I make a decision, I'll post it up and give a review after a while.

    Thanks!
    Jurgemeyer Design
    A Colorado Design Company
    http://www.jurgemeyer.com

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