I'm on the prowl for a dedicated server. Here are my concerns in order from highest to lowest:
1. The quality of management, how much the technicians can/will do, and how available they are by phone and through email.
2. The amount of monthly bandwidth allowed and the specifications on the server.
3. Monthly cost. I'm looking to keep the costs of the dedicated server between $200 and $350 per month. I'd be paying on a month to month basis.
I'm located in Massachusetts, USA.
Suggestions from the community here are definitely welcome!
I always found it hard to find a good dedicated server provider and I really do not think I'm alone. It honestly took me awhile before I found SoftLayer and I've been extremely happy with there level of service I've received.
It's completely true, "you get what you pay for". I'm glad to see you understand that with a budget at $200.00 or $300.00. I see all to offer people wanting wonderful dedicated servers for $70.00 'per' month - not possible. Best of luck to you! I hope you find a great server and datacenter.
We develop brand identity for the web.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Services ~ Custom Web Design, Branding & Identity, Development, Hosting & more! Portfolio ~ Websites, User Interfaces, Widgets & more!
Looking around you can certainly find good hosts to meet the specifications that you have mentioned.
Keep in mind that in most cases the quality and level of management is going to be tied to your costs and be very certain that you define the levels of management with your choice as what many may call managed hosting is really semi-managed.
It's harder to get recommendations when you don't answer the questions people have asked you, since managed is not the same everywhere, and not every company offers management for all Linux distributions, or at all when it comes to Windows.
If you're expecting management that will hold your hand and add simple things for you in your control panel, it might be more costly, as a lot of companies only deal with your server's backend, keeping things patched and working, as well as most likely not offering any sort of support for your applications or 3rd party applications running on the server.
High Bandwidth Servers
Custom Hosting Solutions
The server is going to be running a social networking website that's going to have an audio/video chatroom among other things which is why the bandwidth is a big concern of mine. As such, I'm just looking for a server that has scalability and stability to perform such tasks day in and day out so recommendations from providers and users here is definitely appreciated.
More than anything, knowing that I do have Root/SSH access is good in case I have a website developer or someone who needs to go access something like the SSH as part of an installation for something or to modify something existing to suit our needs. It's more of a "just in case" than anything else.
Location isn't a huge concern as long as it isn't somewhere all the way across the US or in another country.
Besides getting a beefy server initially, you could take advantage of virtualization tools to ensure that your server is portable and upgradeable. With a Xen server you will have the ability to migrate the whole instance to another beefier server should you need more resources.
For example, if you start out with a quad core running Linux+Xen as the kernel and later on find out your server can't handle the load as it is, ask the provider to live migrate your server to a 8-core or 16-core server. The live migration is accomplished with zero downtime (thanks to virtualization). No configuration changes are involved in the process. Not even IP or DNS.
As discussed, support is key. The meaning of "managed" amongst providers varies greatly unfortunately. So be sure to get those support questions out of the way (and keep copies of the conversation handy just in case .
as a lot of companies only deal with your server's backend, keeping things patched and working, as well as most likely not offering any sort of support for your applications or 3rd party applications running on the server.
True, managing your server and the applications that you choose to deploy can be two very different things. While you should certainly expect your host to be familiar with running a server it is very doubtful that they will have anyone familiar with a particular piece of software and this is why you would normally have a webmaster or make sure that the vendor for the software has good support.
Keep up good lines of communications with your host, not only with your expectations for your current requirements but with your expectation for future growth so that you can develop a seamless migration plan.