I am working on a project and really need help knowing where to start so here is my question. What are the technical specs that typical SMB web hosters need? Web hosters being companies that are building and managing web site(s) and paying a hoster to provide the hardware and software. Specs like: CPU, RAM, storage, bandwidth, software bundles. Do they pay for support or support themselves? What did I miss?
In terms of server specifications, it is totally depending on how loaded or how many clients you have or expect to get. I believe a Quad Core processor and perhaps 4GB RAM has become the minimal standard when it comes to a shared hosting environment. You may see some providers offering Dual Quad Cores with more RAM but the amount of resources depends on how many clients you have or expect to put on a single server.
As for support, you can choose to have your own in-house team or outsource additional support. You may want to look at this section of WHT for more information in regards to support and management.
I understand what you're saying. But I am looking for the average needs as I asked. Just like any other business there are a majority and there needs are very similar and then there are minority where the needs are drastically different than the mainstream.
You can host on anything from a P3 all the way up to dual quad-core or i7 with a single 50gb IDE drive all the way up to 10x300gb SCSI 15K RPM drives anywhere from 256mb ram all the way up to 32 GB of ram...
It really just depends on how many customers you want to put on a particular server and what software/control panel you plan on running.
Many providers that have 8 servers as an example could consolidate down to 4 beefier servers but then they are more likely to run into mail delivery issues and then if a server goes down it affects a larger portion of their client base.
It really just depends on what you want to do and how you want to do it. If you want somebody to tell you what you need I am sure there are individuals out there that will be more than happy to make all of your decisions for you at a nice fee for consulting.
If you can ask some more-specific questions such as "What would you recommend for hosting around 300 customers on a cPanel server?" then you will get specific answers.
Edit: I'm not trying to be short/sarcastic with you - I'm just trying to make it clear how vague your question really is.