Hey guys, I'm looking into starting my own hosting company and I'm trying to figure out the technical parts. First of I'm going to provide Shared hosting, domains, ssl, dns, etc. But I'll be looking into doing VPS' as I can expand and purchase more servers.
Here's a list of software I'm looking at using for shared hosting.
- client support
- free enom membership
- payment gateway support
- free fruad provention
- great McAfee discount ($99/yr)
I will probably use this server for DNS as well, does that mean I'll have to have cpanel installed on this server to provide automated DNS provisionin with WHMCS, or maybe I'll just host the dns services through enom?
If you guys see anything that's missing from the list or if you would recommend a replacement for any of the above, let me know.
Ok, now focusing on VPS, I was wondering what software you guys would recommend. WHMCS supports HyperVM, FluidVM, and Cloudmin, which would you guys recommend? Also when it comes to licensing cPanel with the VPS' is there a way to automate the process? I don't really want to manually order and install each license. Is there a reseller (or cpanel directly) with some sort of api for WHMCS? Note: I'm talking about the control panel I'll included for the user upon request to manage their websites (they normaly sell for $15/mo). I would be Happy with just having the base install of cpanel on the vm and provide the user with the license in WHMCS under addons that they can manually enter.
I'm also looking into licensing windows for VPS', but I'm not sure how to go about this. Do I need to actuly purchase each license? or is there a way I can get these at a monthly rate? I'm trying to do this with least amount of cash upfront.
Does anyone know where I could include a template membership for my clients? Like how host-gator offers 4,500 templates for their clients. Did host-gator just buy rights to the templates and offer them, or did they partner with someone? I'd be willing to pay on a client basis for access to templates. Or maybe even workout a partnership to offer good discounts on templates.
Also does anyone know if WHMCS supports Enkompass (the Windows version for cPanel I couldn't find anything about it on the site).
I would recommend starting out with shared/reseller hosting and expanding your portfolio from there. VPS can be complex with regards to management especially if you're not familiar with System Administration. For VPS, I would recommend going with Parallels Virtuozzo unless you want to target the budget market in which case you can look at SolusVM which I believe integrates with WHMCS as well.
For windows VPS, Parallels Virtuozzo containers should do the trick especially since you don't have to worry about individual licensing for each of your virtual instances.
Regarding the templates, I'm not sure what hostgator did but you can simply get a designer to design you a few templates and just offer them to your clients for free or at a charge.
Thanks for the quick reply! As far as the VPS solutions I'm just trying to keep the cost down, both upfront and monthly, so I can extend this lower cost to the customer. But I don't want to sacrifice quality over cost.
Concerning Parallels Virtuozzo, I only have to worry about the license the server is running on?
BTW, I've been a system/network administrator for some time now, i just haven't played around with virtualization much, aside from vmware on local machines. I'm just really wondering how windows licensing works on this front. I assume I'd just have to purchase bulk licenses or go VLK. Costly either way :-\, especialy compared to linux.
Also thanks for the SolusVM suggestion. Seems like what i was looking for, and pretty competitive on the price front. Only $10/node, and they do have a WHMCS module.
If you do decide to go with Parallels Virtuozzo Containers then it basically virtualizes the OS as well so you don't need to get additional licenses (windows OS) for your individual virtual machines. I hope this makes sense.
For your shared hosting Cpanel will be the best choice as it is affordable, well known and very user friendly
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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I think I'm going to start off with shared and reseller hosting (linux and maybe a windows server) then expand out to vps with solusvm and linux. Then when the buget can allow I'll get some windows licenses and launch some windows vps' I think I may use Parallels Virtuozzo for the windows systems. Parallels Virtuozzo will integrate with WHMCS correct?
I'll stick with solusvm on the linux vm's simple because I dnt want another server for every distro I'm going to offer lol I feel I could probably swing a few windows servers to get the different versions in though.
Concerning the windows shared hosting what panel would you guys recommend? Does enkompass live up to cPanel on Linux, or would it be beter to go with Plesk? I wonder how long it will take the WHMCS guys to integrate enkompass into the panel line up. :-\
While I'm thinking about it I wanted to ask what server monitoring software you guys prefer, and would recommend. I'll only need to monitor a few at first, but as we expand who knows how many. So it needs to be very scalable. I want to monitor and log all activity of the servers as well as uptime, network usages, etc, and be able to access it form a central location. Hopefully something that will support windows and linux. Alerts when something major goes wrong is required!
The cheaper the better but, at the same time quality over price any day
Welcome to the industry You have 2 options - to start with a pretty standardized service, which in Linux Hosting means a physical server (Dedicated or Colocation) that has cPanel or Plesk installed. I have to say that there are other very good web hosting control panels that you might use, but I do not have a significant experience with any of them so I will not express opinion that might mislead you. I'll add only that Plesk is probably more popular in Europe and Russia, while cPanel is widely used in both Americas and Asia.
There are various CRM management systems, but you have already mentioned WHMCS.
It is very important what kind of customers you are about to target. Virtuozzo Containers is an excellent technology that I like, but it is not cheap and you must calculate your costs. I would suggest you to consider any other virtualization technologies as well. Check Xen and KVM.
If you are planning to spend on creating your own infrastructure which is different from traditional hosting (rack-mountable servers) and to establish a Cloud computing generation service I would suggest you to carefully review what kind of services are available on the market. Virtualization and Cloud Hosting are probably better option and worth the money that you would invest.
Finally. The Shared Hosting market is very saturated it will not be easy for you to sign new customers. So consider to "buy" some accounts from small 1-server-hosts...
Hope that these suggestions are helpful. Wish you good luck!
Last edited by HostColor; 11-18-2009 at 12:36 PM.
Reason: spelling mistakes
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The main advantage of HSphere is that its multiplatform and works on the cluster concept where you have different name servers, web servers, database servers, etc. Very good if you have a large number of servers and would like to split tasks. You have one central CP server which communicates with the other servers
For the VPS part in windows only Parallels Virtuozzo will not help for the OS license. you should know the Microsoft os license
Windows Server 2008 Standard & Enterprise Edition comes with Box License
Windows Server 2008 Standard = $999 (One Free Windows Server guest OS )
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise = $3999 (Four Free Windows Server guest OS )
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition comes with Processor License
Datacenter licenses = $2999 single physical processor (Unlimited Free Windows Server guest OS )
Datacenter licenses = $6000 dual physical processor (Unlimited Free Windows Server guest OS )