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  1. #1

    Advice Needed on Dedicated/VPS supplier

    Hi,

    We are about to launch a system which will run our website and entire back office. The system will have about 45 users constantly using it and doing quite intense stuff, and the website is also pretty big with several million page impressions per month.

    Can you provide some recommendations on the system we would best be looking to use: IE Dedicated or VPS

    Also who would you recommend to host such a system - we currently are looking at 3 options:

    Softlayer.com
    xtrahost.co.uk
    rackspace.co.uk

    Can you provide any recommendations given this needs to be a mission critical solution as our whole office will depend on it.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Any of those providers have fine reputations, but given how mission critical your application sounds, you might want to look into a high availability provider, or a clustered solution.

    Be sure to talk to providers, too, about your needs. If it's a large contract you can often get prices that aren't advertised.
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  3. #3
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    The first one in your list is a good choice. When you expect there would be heavy resource usage in your server, try to go for a dedicated server. But it should match with your budget also.

  4. #4
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    I would go with softlayer or rackspace, both are very similar
    - Buying up websites, side-projects and companies - PM Me! -

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by e-Sensibility View Post
    Any of those providers have fine reputations, but given how mission critical your application sounds, you might want to look into a high availability provider.

    Be sure to talk to providers, too, about your needs. If it's a large contract you can often get prices that aren't advertised.
    Thanks - can you explain what mean by a "high availability provider"?

    Our concerns with xtrahost.co.uk (even though their support seems very good) is that they seem very small (reseller?) compared to the other two - our developers have advised that we also need a 100MBs private and public network connection.

    Thanks for the help.

  6. #6
    When you expect there would be heavy resource usage in your server, try to go for a dedicated server.
    Would you always go for dedicated in this instance over VPS? Softlayer and Rackspace offer "cloud layering" - is this just the same as VPS?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    By high availability I mean a provider with a failover scheme implemented, and one that backs it up with their SLA. I don't really know xtrahost -- I was commenting on rackspace and softlayer when I said "Any of those providers have fine reputations" -- must've glossed them over.

    As far as the private connection goes, will you be renting multiple machines (whether physical or virtual) which you want to be on their own VLAN? Most providers can put your machines on a private VLAN if you ask, and this would usually give you a 1gbps private network. As for public, are you saying you constantly transfer at a rate of 100mb/s or do you just want to be on a 100mb/s port for burst?
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  8. #8
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    HA is a more robust redundancy, all hosts will have redundancy built into their network but the hardware used by people like rackspace constantly monitor all paths and then route around any failed areas within seconds.
    - Buying up websites, side-projects and companies - PM Me! -

  9. #9
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    I would also add Cartika Hosting to that list. Offers great solutions at reasonable prices, along with an outstanding reputation.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Zee View Post
    Hi,

    We are about to launch a system which will run our website and entire back office. The system will have about 45 users constantly using it and doing quite intense stuff, and the website is also pretty big with several million page impressions per month.

    Can you provide some recommendations on the system we would best be looking to use: IE Dedicated or VPS

    Also who would you recommend to host such a system - we currently are looking at 3 options:

    Softlayer.com
    xtrahost.co.uk
    rackspace.co.uk

    Can you provide any recommendations given this needs to be a mission critical solution as our whole office will depend on it.

    Thanks
    Out of your list i would go with RackSpace, as you may or may not notice webhostingtalk is being hosted by them.

  11. #11
    Thanks for all the advise.

    Just to bring you back to may earlier question: "Would you always go for dedicated in this instance over VPS? Softlayer and Rackspace offer "cloud layering" - is this just the same as VPS?"

    Does anyone have any advise on this?

    Thanks

  12. #12
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    RackSpace's "cloud sites" is not a VPS, but a managed, traditionally load-balanced solution. You don't get shell access if you go with "cloud sites."

    Rackspace's "cloud servers" is a regular xen vps.

    I don't believe rackspace's vps's are failover protected, however; And they give themselves an hour to resolve your issue in the SLA before they have to give you any type of compensation. Also note that they use a pay-by-the-hour scheme, so you'll likely wind up paying a lot more than you otherwise would. Their VPS's aren't managed either.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by e-Sensibility View Post
    Rackspace's "cloud servers" is a regular xen vps.
    I would not call it "regular xen vps"

    I don't believe rackspace's vps's are failover protected
    based on what? if they are running xen essentials and some sort of storage platform (ie EMC, NetApp, Equallogics, Lefthand, etc) - they are more then likely configured in a self healing type of formation..


    Also note that they use a pay-by-the-hour scheme, so you'll likely wind up paying a lot more than you otherwise would.
    well, this really depends now doesnt it.. I mean if you price them out by the month, based on their per hour price - their costs are pretty reasonable actually.. paying by the day or the hour is something customers are wanting the ability to do.. you cannot present this as a negative.. if you are bursting for a few hours or a few days, you just want to pay for those resources for that period of time..

    Their VPS's aren't managed either.
    I think they are pretty clear that their cloud servers are not managed - they say so right on their home page.. having said this, I do not believe you are being fair to just label their offerings a "vps"...

    a cloud offering is almost always built on a virtual layer, a physical layer, a storage layer and of course - if used by a provider to sell resources to customers - then an administrative and billing layer..

    I am not sure how I ended up writing an entire thread to defend rackspace - as they are truly one of our primary competitors.. but honestly, your post above really was not fair or accurate..

  14. #14
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    If you are looking for vps, I will recommend wiredtree. My experience with them has been great so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    I would not call it "regular xen vps"
    Then you're just plain wrong. End of story.

    I do find it very interesting, though, how many misconceptions people have about what a "cloud" actually is.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by e-Sensibility View Post

    I do find it very interesting, though, how many misconceptions people have about what a "cloud" actually is.

    *sigh*

    there is marketing speak, which we all understand exists - and then there is actual architecture which makes up clouds.. what rackspace is selling with their cloud servers, is very close to what amazon is selling or google for that matter.. - just because they may utilize citrix does not negate the fact it can be constructed and delivered as a true cloud.. and certainly does not mean you are justified in calling it "just a xen vps".. there are several ways to accomplish and deliver capacity on demand and ultimately transform the delivery of IT infrastructure into a utility.. which is really what this is all about ..

    capacity on demand is really what we are speaking of when speaking clouds.. how you build that and how you deliver that can and does widely vary.. cloud is the new word, IBM has been selling this for years and back then, they just called it "On Demand"..

    Then you're just plain wrong. End of story.
    whatever and however you need to position this is fine.. fact remains, you still came on here and pretty blatantly attacked a competitor for no reason at all.. other then to demonstrate your signature I guess.. heck, it worked, I clicked over to check out what you are doing..

    BUT.. you are still well off with your comments - and trying to summarily dismiss me as "plain wrong" does not change this fact..

  17. #17
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    Oh, I get it, so demystifying a product is "blatantly attacking" it now, huh? Explaining what it actually is/does within the context of the OP's question (i.e. what's best for a mission critical application) was a poor choice, I guess; instead, I should've told the OP about how useful of a billing/business model "cloud" services can be like you have -- thanks. I think you've been way more helpful in answering the original question, andrew.

    By the way, you're right that what rackspace is selling is a "true cloud." And I'm right that, architecturally speaking, a "true cloud" is the same thing as a failover protected, plain old xen VPS.
    Last edited by e-Sensibility; 11-19-2009 at 04:50 PM.
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  18. #18
    wow...

    so, now turn around and attack our company as well?

    pure class act Jarrod...

    to the Original Poster - Jarrod is correct, I have unfortunately provided little value towards answering your original question - for this I apologize.

    as for your original questions/comments:

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Zee View Post
    Hi,

    We are about to launch a system which will run our website and entire back office. The system will have about 45 users constantly using it and doing quite intense stuff, and the website is also pretty big with several million page impressions per month.

    Can you provide some recommendations on the system we would best be looking to use: IE Dedicated or VPS

    Also who would you recommend to host such a system - we currently are looking at 3 options:

    Softlayer.com
    xtrahost.co.uk
    rackspace.co.uk

    Can you provide any recommendations given this needs to be a mission critical solution as our whole office will depend on it.

    Thanks
    I personally have not heard of xtrahost.. however rackspace and softlayer are both very reputable companies..

    VPS or Dedicated is really up to you to decide. VPS is really popular right now, as you can start with smaller requirements and pretty effectively scale.. you can also utilize 2 low end dedicated servers with some virtualization technology and some mounted shared storage from your provider and create a pretty cost effective HA solution.

    Your requirements are not out of the ordinary though, so, I would contact each provider in your list and explain to them what you need and why and see what solution they build out for you.

  19. #19
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    @cartika-andrew Rackspace has 3 different "cloud" offerings. Depending on which one you pick:

    cloud servers - rebranded slicehost vps (e-Sensibility is correct here)

    cloud sites - rebranded mosso (this is probably what you are referring to in your posts above)

    cloud files - similar to amazon s3


    I actually asked Rackspace once if there is technically any differences between their "cloud servers" and slicehost's vps offerings, and they said only the control panel is different. Underneath, the architecture is exactly the same.
    Last edited by g-a-g; 11-19-2009 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Sorry, I meant "cloud servers" not "cloud sites" in the last paragraph.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    wow...

    so, now turn around and attack our company as well?

    pure class act Jarrod...
    You must be friends with mike.

    I'll ask you just like I asked him in the other thread -- please be kind enough to point out where I attacked your company.
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by g-a-g View Post
    @cartika-andrew Rackspace has 3 different "cloud" offerings. Depending on which one you pick:

    cloud servers - rebranded slicehost vps (e-Sensibility is correct here)

    cloud sites - rebranded mosso (this is probably what you are referring to in your posts above)

    cloud files - similar to amazon s3


    I actually asked Rackspace once if there is technically any differences between their "cloud servers" and slicehost's vps offerings, and they said only the control panel is different. Underneath, the architecture is exactly the same.
    thanks g-a-g

    I actually did not realize that their cloud servers were simply the slicehost model.. that is too bad, I "assumed" - obviously incorrectly - that they took this technology to the next level, centralized storage, implemented self healing/failover, etc... combined with innovative billing..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-Sensibility View Post
    You must be friends with mike.
    Nope - but it's easy for multiple individuals to draw the same conclusions about you based upon your posts.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Zee View Post
    Our concerns with xtrahost.co.uk (even though their support seems very good) is that they seem very small (reseller?) compared to the other two
    Thanks for the help.
    Hi. Just to clarify this particular point.. we are in no sense a "reseller" of anyone. We lease datacentre racks from Interxion, own and operate our own equipment and run our own network (AS30827) on high end Cisco routers.

    We have sales of just over 1 million a year and have been established since 2001. That said, Rackspace and Softlayer are indeed somewhat larger!

    A mid-size company such as ourselves can often provide more personal and custom levels of service than the largest companies. I won't pretend we know every customer by name but we have managed to build up some very strong trusted working relationships with many of our customers. There is a trust that they know if there's a problem we'll look after them.
    Andrew Ogilvie | Xtraordinary Hosting | AS30827 | Member of LINX
    Dedicated Servers in Central London | Xen VPS Linux & Windows | Complex Hosting | London BGP4 Bandwidth

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by xtraordinary View Post
    Hi. Just to clarify this particular point.. we are in no sense a "reseller" of anyone. We lease datacentre racks from Interxion, own and operate our own equipment and run our own network (AS30827) on high end Cisco routers.

    We have sales of just over 1 million a year and have been established since 2001. That said, Rackspace and Softlayer are indeed somewhat larger!

    A mid-size company such as ourselves can often provide more personal and custom levels of service than the largest companies. I won't pretend we know every customer by name but we have managed to build up some very strong trusted working relationships with many of our customers. There is a trust that they know if there's a problem we'll look after them.
    Ok thanks for this information.

    From your perspective if we need a solution to run an custom made inhouse desktop application, which runs from a DB stored on the remote host, would you recommend VPS or fully dedicated server? The inhouse application will need approximately 50 concurrent connections - not accounting for growth (this system is effectively our entire office system), as well as a DB intensive website with several million page impressions per month.

    Thanks

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Zee View Post
    Ok thanks for this information.

    From your perspective if we need a solution to run an custom made inhouse desktop application, which runs from a DB stored on the remote host, would you recommend VPS or fully dedicated server? The inhouse application will need approximately 50 concurrent connections - not accounting for growth (this system is effectively our entire office system), as well as a DB intensive website with several million page impressions per month.
    For the back-end DB server we would strongly suggest a dedicated server, something like an HP DL380 with SAS and RAID6. This is due to the load levels and disk I/O required.

    For the webserver you could go with either a lower end dedicated server (typically SATA RAID1) or a virtual server. In the longer run you might want to load balance across multiple webservers (whether dedicated or virtual).

    Does the desktop app run on the desktops in the office? If so then you're going to be very dependent on the quality of your office Internet connection to and from the hosted DB server. The Internet is not perfect and this might be problematic from time to time. You might want to instead virtualise the desktops onto a hosted Terminal Server box (or similar) and directly connect it to the DB box to minimise reponse time and maximise reliability between the apps and the DB. We can go into more detail on this if you clarify where the desktop apps are running.
    Andrew Ogilvie | Xtraordinary Hosting | AS30827 | Member of LINX
    Dedicated Servers in Central London | Xen VPS Linux & Windows | Complex Hosting | London BGP4 Bandwidth

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by xtraordinary View Post
    Does the desktop app run on the desktops in the office? If so then you're going to be very dependent on the quality of your office Internet connection to and from the hosted DB server. The Internet is not perfect and this might be problematic from time to time. You might want to instead virtualise the desktops onto a hosted Terminal Server box (or similar) and directly connect it to the DB box to minimise reponse time and maximise reliability between the apps and the DB. We can go into more detail on this if you clarify where the desktop apps are running.
    Hi - the applications will be run from each persons desktop on a seperate install. Our Internet connection is currently 2 x Be 20mb connections and 1 Zen 6 mb connection. We are based in central London.

    Thanks

  27. HI,

    I have hosted my hosting server @ softlayer for almost 2 years.

    Their service is good, you can consider them.

    One more thing, i have one dedicated server @ softlayer and willing to let off, you may ask why i need to get the server from you? it is because when that time i signed up, they are still new and doing promotion so i can get it at very cheap price, it will save you $1700++ in annual fees calculation, it is a quad core sever, raid 5 with 3 unit of 250Gb HDD and 2GB RAM+ CentOS4.1 with Cpanel/WHM, it only cost me $266/month and if you get the same spec from softlayer, that will be $414/month, for anyone interest, i will let this server to you for one time fees $600, you still save about $1100++ for one year subscription. Please pm me for more detail.

    Thanks
    Andy
    Andy Ng
    WebGear Hosting
    http://www.webgearhosting.com

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Zee View Post
    Hi - the applications will be run from each persons desktop on a seperate install. Our Internet connection is currently 2 x Be 20mb connections and 1 Zen 6 mb connection. We are based in central London.
    Thanks
    Latency from Be ADSL in Central London into our Interxion London location is 17ms, and almost all that 17ms is on the Be side due to the overhead of ADSL. You'd really need to test how your application copes with that sort of latency on the database connection. What is clear is that it needs to be hosted in the London area.
    Andrew Ogilvie | Xtraordinary Hosting | AS30827 | Member of LINX
    Dedicated Servers in Central London | Xen VPS Linux & Windows | Complex Hosting | London BGP4 Bandwidth

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