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View Full Version : Enterprise Level Web Host needed.


turtle
2007-12-09, 22:27
Ok, as the thread title says I'm looking for an enterprise level web hosting. I am getting a site up and running with the help of other volunteers for a non-profit group and we need the site to stay rock solid. All of the "cheap" hosts I've encountered aren't known for solid connectivity. Shared hosting is out and fat pipe is more than a plus. Our BW needs aren't going to be very high, but we would like as much as realistic. Thanks for any help.

Brad
2007-12-10, 00:05
When I think "enterprise level" hosting, I think multiple dedicated blades, load balancers, remote serial console, scheduled off-site tape backups, etc. Any serious enterprise hosting package will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars, though.

It sounds like you just want a single dedicated server with a provider that will give you an SLA for uptime and bandwidth. Am I right? If so, I'd start by searching for managed hosting services in your local state. Having one within a reasonable driving distance is a huge perk if you intend to maintain the server yourself.

What do you define as a "fat pipe" for your needs? How much are you currently serving and how quickly do you expect that to scale? Are you doing a lot of server-side processing or are you mostly serving static files? What does your budget look like?

Shared hosting isn't as bad as some make it out to be, though. Much of its bad rep comes from cheap solutions by crappy companies. AppleNova, for example, runs off of a single shared server (although, admittedly, no one else is putting much of a load on it) and I can't think of more than a small handful of times that we've had any problems.

turtle
2007-12-10, 00:53
Well, we are certainly not to the scale of multiple blades, etc. I would say you are probably more correct in our needs of a dedicated server with SLA for uptime and bandwidth. We are based out of Va Beach and I have been trying to get us to host the site on-campus, but their (ones who write the check staff members) ignorance won't allow it. We have multiple T1's into our building with plenty of BW to spare, but they want it off site. :\

Anyway, by fat pipe I'm/we're wanting to ensure that there is little lag time on our side for uploading to the user. Example being where we have our media files for our podcast the speed sucks. Like, we can get the file at about 240k download. Everyone in our area has 5MBs download speeds who are either on FiOS or Cable HSI. Some a little slower if they are still on DSL. Based on our demographics, we aren't even gearing for dial-up at all.

As of right now the site is in the storyboard phase of development. It looks like there will be a few sections that use MySQL, php, Perl, Flash, SSL, etc. Most of the pages will be static, but again it's only in the storyboard phase right now.

I guess one of my biggest concerns would be the host actually staying up and working with us too. After some of scratt's stories and my own experiences with my host, I don't want (and can't afford) for our site to go off line for anything more than occasional HW faults.

So I guess as long as they are there for us and don't treat us like crap, they keep our site up and allow for fast upload speeds to our users, allow us to do what we need to when we need to, we should be set. Enterprise class to me means they work for us and take care of us and our user base, if they don't we would drop them like a bad habit.

PKIDelirium
2007-12-10, 02:23
What about a regular dedicated server? I'm on staff with a site that has a dedicated server with Surpass, and it's extremely fast and I've never seen it down.

turtle
2007-12-10, 11:19
Well, I'm not sure about just a dedicated server. If it'll actually work for me then I'm cool with it. Although with the couple of issues I've had with speed and my mail getting shut off from Surpass on my shared account I'm not sure I'd go with them. Maybe my issues are all because I'm on a shared system though.

Send me a link to a site you are hosting on the dedicated server? I'll poke around it and see if it meets my (most likely unrealistic) expectations for speed.

Taskiss
2007-12-10, 11:36
Are co-location contracts still available in this market? If so, put your own server in someone else's data center and go that route - you'll only have yourself to blame if you don't like the service! ;)

turtle
2007-12-10, 12:02
Are co-location contracts still available in this market? If so, put your own server in someone else's data center and go that route - you'll only have yourself to blame if you don't like the service! ;)

I like that idea. I just don't know where to start there. I'm trying to find some data centers in my area and I'm sure there are a few around here somewhere as forward progressed this are is.

Taskiss
2007-12-10, 12:19
I like that idea. I just don't know where to start there. I'm trying to find some data centers in my area and I'm sure there are a few around here somewhere as forward progressed this are is.Man, I KNOW this problem is getting you down, but you just made my head explode working out the syntax...

turtle
2007-12-10, 12:23
Man, I KNOW this problem is getting you down, but you just made my head explode working out the syntax...

:lol:

Forgive me. I had just started my second cup of coffee and was up 'til 5:30 this morning.

PKIDelirium
2007-12-10, 13:41
Send me a link to a site you are hosting on the dedicated server? I'll poke around it and see if it meets my (most likely unrealistic) expectations for speed.

http://www.coaster-net.com

The forums are the best test of the speed, the main page coding is a little sloppy (not my coding).

Are co-location contracts still available in this market? If so, put your own server in someone else's data center and go that route - you'll only have yourself to blame if you don't like the service! ;)

Coloc is good if you can find one, since it lets you build your own box the way you want it, and let someone else deal with the network.

autodata
2007-12-10, 16:46
Just note that poking around someone else's site isn't really going to tell you much about what kind of performance you'll get in your situation. You probably want to get a more quantifiable idea of what your needs are before spending too much money. If you are lucky, this site might be great on a standard VPS. If the problem is mainly media files, look into something like S3, although it's unclear whether you'll need anything like that. Get as little as possible, monitor how resources are being used and see if you need to move to something larger. Like any computer, sometimes you just need to upgrade something like memory if you are running into problems. It really depends on a number of factors.

I haven't done anything with surpass, but it looks like they have a wide enough range of plans that they could likely upgrade you seamlessly if you needed it.

turtle
2007-12-10, 22:30
Thanks for the input guys. Yeah, I know that going to someone else's site isn't a real test of what our site will do on that server, but at least I get an idea.

Right now we have a plan with Surpass because they have a shared plan that is super cheap for our podcast files. This way we don't have to pay through the nose for data from our current server, we just link to the shared host for the media files.

I'm going to be checking with Surpass, but I'm a little annoyed with the way they treat me like a spammer because I have 8 IMAP email account being checked regularly. Mind you, we only send out about 20 messages a day each. :mad:

I'm hoping their dedicated servers aren't anywhere near as bad.

Brad
2007-12-10, 23:28
I'm going to be checking with Surpass, but I'm a little annoyed with the way they treat me like a spammer because I have 8 IMAP email account being checked regularly. Mind you, we only send out about 20 messages a day each.
Really? What do you mean by "they treat [you] like a spammer"?

I've never used Surpass, but I've heard generally good things about it from others.

rollercoaster375
2007-12-10, 23:38
I love Surpass, but I've never used my mail server... So I can't comment on that.

turtle
2007-12-10, 23:49
Really? What do you mean by "they treat [you] like a spammer"?

I've never used Surpass, but I've heard generally good things about it from others.

I've had two occasions where my mail just stopped working. So I check my website and it's down too. I contact support via web contact because they offer no phone support. I create a thread in the user forum to help speed the process since it's manned by Surpass staff. After being shuffled around I get forwarded to the abuse department because my 8 accounts check the mail too much.

I'm told that I'll be under observation because of my activity. After loosing it and maintaining my "Lord of the Rant." status on their forums, they never give me a strait answer but I am re-activated and my mail works again. I continued asking how I was a spammer when I don't send anywhere near enough to be a spammer and I'm never given an answer; they still haven't told me why.

The second time was the same however I jumped their case from the start and got my service activated again without any further issues. That's twice for someone who isn't even close to a spammer being labeled as such. I'm guessing someone was spamming from my server (shared) and they picked me instead.

This still doesn't build confidence though. The fact that I can't call them and talk to a human also bothers me. It's like they are hiding from their customers by forcing us to communicate with them via email, chat or forums. This to me isn't real business class service.

Schnauzer
2007-12-11, 09:59
Why not get a cheap 1U rack server and put it in a local data center?

Brad
2007-12-11, 11:52
Why not get a cheap 1U rack server and put it in a local data center?
That's effectively the same as the aforementioned "managed/dedicated hosting", except for owning the hardware.

Schnauzer
2007-12-11, 15:19
That's effectively the same as the aforementioned "managed/dedicated hosting", except for owning the hardware.

Ah I see, thanks :)