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  1. #1

    I am a Reseller - I have CLIENTS, MONEY and TIME - Whats next?

    Hello,

    I have a question. I am new to these forums when it comes to posting messages, but I have read this board for over 7 months now, great information!

    I currently run a reseller account with 30+ paying people and have saved up $5000 to start a proper hosting company. What is the next step for me?

    Do I get a dedicated server in a datacenter, or do I rent a building, buy a few servers and get a connection? I plan on growing rather quickly because I have many web design clients that will switch to my hosting as I designed all of their sites. The main thing is, I want to do this right. Not the cheapest way. Not the fastest way. Just the proper way to go "Big".

    I have connections with most of my local advertising places, newspapers, classifieds etc. So I do not believe that growth will be a problem if I do everything correctly.

    Any suggestions on what I should do next to go to the next step is appreciated.

    -Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I don't think you need to build a datacenter. Get into a GOOD facility - get GOOD servers, get GOOD bandwidth. Make sure you know how to manage a server, even control panels can't do everything. If you don't know how, then make sure your staff can.

    Your $5,000 will run out faster than you can imagine.

    -Darren

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    To go "Big", you need three things. First, you need plenty of space. I would recommend a dedicated server solution. It's expandable without the overhead of a shop or the liability risks of trying to manage your own servers. Second, you should get good software provisioning software. This often comes free with your server space so include that as a factor when shopping your server deal. We reccomend Ensim, Plesk or Cpanel for entry level customers. Finally, you need a way to bill your clients.

    JonMcCarrick
    Last edited by Chicken; 11-12-2002 at 10:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Just start with a dedicated server. Then when you populate that server, get another server. Down the track, you might want to purchase your own servers and colocate them.

    Oh BTW you're currently running a "proper hosting company" using your reseller account as your supply. Nothing wrong with that. A lot of hosts started out that way.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  5. #5
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    That's true - your company is proper. Keep it up - maybe staying a reseller will be easiest as you don't need to deal with support.

  6. #6

    THanks :)

    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate that.

    So, by using a dedicated server, I am not really the "tech" guy if something goes wrong. This is not what I want in case something goes wrong and it needs to be fixed NOW. By this I meen in physical terms, hardrive melts etc.

    I am doing good with my reseller account, but I do not see much growth. I get someone asking about something technical, I have to ask my reseller host for the information because I have no way to receive that information because I am only a reseller.

    What would be the best way to get more control, where I do not need to rely on anyone, the more people that needs to be contacted, the more pain in the ass for myself and my customers.

    Thanks again for the quick replies

    -Matt

  7. #7
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    In order to have a dedicated server - without it being fully managed - you MUST be competent enough to run it. That is key - if not, you'll lose your customers fast. You might also want to have a contingency plan - what if it breaks - where are you backing the data up to? Lots of things come into play when running a dedicated server.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
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    Matt,
    Depending upon your skill level, you have a couple of options.

    You are far from being ready to build or open a data center. You will blow through your $5K long before you even open the doors. This should not even be a consideration!

    If you are skilled at administering a web server, you may want to start with an unmanaged dedicated server or colocate your own server in a good quality data center. Do your homework and know your vendor. Pay close attention to their Internet connections, redundancy, support, etc. They are all good when things work, the good excel when there is a problem.

    The difference between colo and unmanaged dedicated depends upon your needs and wants. In the long run colo CAN (but not always) be cheaper, but you are responsible for the server both hardware and software. Your upfront cost will be much greater and you can control the hardware and hopefully it will pay off down the road. The life of a server is about 2 years. If you get more it's a bonus. When figuring out your costs, keep that in mind. Figure out how much the hardware and software will cost and divide that by 24. Then figure out how much it will cost to get a dedicated server for the same equipment, figure in your colo costs and weight the differences. Remember to keep in mind in a dedicated server the host is responsible for hardware problems and support.

    If you are still learing and are not an experienced admin, start with a managed dedicated server. Again pick your host carefully as their service to you will be directly reflected on you to your customers.

    Plan on spending the bulk of your $ on marketing. Spend it carefully as it goes quickly. Find out what has worked for others in your market and test a couple options.

    Good luck.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  9. #9

    Ok

    So a dedicated server would probably be my best bet then? I would have complete control of everything EXCEPT the physical aspect of the servers, is that correct?

    I plan on also selling reseller accounts like the one I am currently using, by going dedicated, I also have completed control over that too correct?

    Thanks for all the information, I know quite a bit about hosting, however, I will admit I have some facts incorrect when it comes to dedicated servers. The first step is admitting it hehe

    -Matt

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Matt,

    Plan on spending the bulk of your $ on marketing. Spend it carefully as it goes quickly. Find out what has worked for others in your market and test a couple options.

    Good luck.
    Well put!

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    You will need to purchase a managed dedicated server if you do not want to be the "tech". This will cost you alot more as you can go to www.rackshack.net and get an unmanaged server for $99 per month but if you need a managed solution I suggest somewhere like www.rackspace.com the big difference? the price.. rackspace is going to charge you prob $700 for what rackshack charges $99 for. Now yes I know there are several companies that offer "managed" solutions for <$150 per month supposedly but by doing a search here at WHT you will see they are typically far from managed and sometimes far from servers.

    Another solution you might want to look into is trying to find a sysadmin that is interested in opening a hosting company, so basically you put up the $$$ and in turn he handles all the "tech" stuff. The one main thing is if you go this route the most important thing above EVERYTHING is you have a contect written up with the EXACT setup down to every single cent. As sometimes good relationships go bad and things turn ugly if you are a business and you dont have a clear agreement written up.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    St. Louis
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    Also....

    Keep in mind, if you have your own server whether it is colo or dedicated, you will be responsible for technical issues pertaining to the individual web sites.

    In a dedicated server your host will handle the overall, but not individual sites.

    In colo, you are on your own.

    Several companies have grown to be very large reselling hosting. Talk with your host (the one you resell for) and ask questions so you can speak intelligently to your customers. I am sure your host will work with you to help you grow. If not, find another host.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  13. #13
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    Very good choices - find a buddy who'se an admin - team up with him and do the venture - could work

  14. #14
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    So much good advice in this thread. Read all these posts very carefully.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  15. #15

    Alright

    Alright, so the best point of attack would be to go dedicated with RackShack.net.

    Each server will probably cost me about $150 a month. When they say 400 GB transfer for the server, is that per server? Or per account? As in, if I have 3 servers, is that 1200 GB or 400 GB?

    I will probably go with 2 servers to start off with, should I go one windows and one linux? Or both linux. Which panel should I use?

    When it comes to managing the servers, I would consdier myself above average on that matter, but what specific skills should I research and learn more of?

    Also, I am sure this thread is helping a lot of new comers with information regarding basic start up, so I say thanks for everyone

    -Matt

  16. #16
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    Re: Alright

    Originally posted by Matt-14
    Alright, so the best point of attack would be to go dedicated with RackShack.net.

    Each server will probably cost me about $150 a month. When they say 400 GB transfer for the server, is that per server? Or per account? As in, if I have 3 servers, is that 1200 GB or 400 GB?

    I will probably go with 2 servers to start off with, should I go one windows and one linux? Or both linux. Which panel should I use?

    When it comes to managing the servers, I would consdier myself above average on that matter, but what specific skills should I research and learn more of?

    Also, I am sure this thread is helping a lot of new comers with information regarding basic start up, so I say thanks for everyone

    -Matt
    I would stay away from RackShack.net - as they use Cogent Bandwidth - if you've got the money - go with Verio/NTT, InterNapp, etc.

    I love the CPANEL hosting manager - others don't. It's not the most stable, but i love it. In terms of your bandwidth question - 3 boxes would be 1200GB, not 400GB/3.

  17. #17
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    Re: Re: Alright

    Originally posted by dherman76


    I would stay away from RackShack.net - as they use Cogent Bandwidth - if you've got the money - go with Verio/NTT, InterNapp, etc.

    I love the CPANEL hosting manager - others don't. It's not the most stable, but i love it. In terms of your bandwidth question - 3 boxes would be 1200GB, not 400GB/3.
    Have you been on the moon for the last year? Rackshack has an awesome network I think.. I have been with RS for 11 months and have 5 servers with them, I have had less downtime with RS in 11 months that I had with one of the so called "managed" providers that I could never get anything managed and typically ended up waiting 36+ hours for a support response..

    The only thing with Rackshack is they truely are an unmanaged company ie: you call support and when the monkey picks up typically you dont get much help unless the issue is very clear. Sometimes you need to seek higher management to get something done but they have gotten better and reboots never take more that 1/2 an hour. Something the "managed" provider took 9 1/2 hours to do..

    Also if you get 3 servers that means that you get 400GB per server not that your total can be say 600GB on one, 300GB on the other two, you would get billed 200GB overage on the first server..

  18. #18
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    I'm on the same page as Matt. I've already decided to purchase a couple of dedicated servers and I'm currently working on my site design. Just have a question for all you experienced host out there...

    How do you all go about pricing your plans? What would be standard for a gig of bandwidth?

    Would it be $2/gig or do you charge based on other things?

    And also what would be good for overages in bandwidth and disk space?

  19. #19
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    that all depends on your HD space and bandwidth - are you going to oversell?

  20. #20
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    Well I will have 80gb disk and 600gb bandwidth. I have no idea if I will oversell. What are there any pros or cons to doing so?

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by LiNuX
    Well I will have 80gb disk and 600gb bandwidth. I have no idea if I will oversell. What are there any pros or cons to doing so?
    Most people bet on customers not using all the resources they purchase and 98% of them don't. But the thing is if they do you end up with the bill.. So if you get 600GB of bandwidth and you sell 750GB of bandwidth you are stuck with the bill.. This is why it is always suggested to start off with a reseller plan as you get a good feel of how much customers use. From my experience I can tell you that on average customers typically use 50% of less of what they purchase, but then again I dont bet the farm on it that it will stay that way.

  22. #22
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    Its the law of averages. You only know your customers - we don't. You say you already have clients...are they using the bandwidth they purchased?

  23. #23
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    No, on average they use %50-%60 of their 5gb accounts

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