Choosing the right server and hosting package
The following table is a quick comparison between the services offered by 3 major firms that I would recommend to family and friends:
|RAM||2x 2GB DDR2||4GB||4GB|
|Processor||Intel Core2 Duo 2.93GHz||2.66Ghz Quad Core Xeon||2.33GHz Dual Core Xeon|
|Hard drive||500GB No RAID||2 x 500GB RAID 1||2 x 160GB SATA HDD|
|Connection||Unlimited 100mb||Unlimited 100mb||Unlimited 100mb|
|Free IP||3 free IPs||Up to 16 IPs||2 free IPs address and £25 each|
|Setup fees||Free with 1 year contract||No setup fees||No setup fees|
Price is before VAT @ 20%
Are you ready for a dedicated server for your websites? have you considered other cheaper good value for money solutions other than a dedicated server?
It is very important to consider the pros and cons of a the hosting solution for you website. In this article I will try to help you find the most suitable solution for your needs through explaining the requirements and options available to choose from.
Are you ready for a dedicated hosting?
Web hosting solutions is a big market with lots of competitions hence price is getting cheaper, however to be ready for a dedicated server the minimal requirements should be meet in order to be considered cost effective:
- Technical skills available at an affordable cost. Having a server is one part and working on the dedicated server is another part that will require lots of time and management.
The cost of running the server includes hiring the technical personnel, security policy and backup strategy.
Perhaps hiring the IT staff to run, configure and manage the server is the prime cost.
- Traffic and visitors. Traffic plays a significant role in dictating the need for a dedicated server. The more bandwidths visitors consume the more needs there is for a dedicated solution
- Financial position. The result is often devastating if businesses do not plan a head and do basic homework such as cash flow forecasts and general financial accounts.
- Clear business objectives and strategies. The question why do I need a server should be answered. Dedicated servers are not always for business and commercial use only.
There are plenty of reasons other than commercial products such as charity, non for profits, hobbies, or even personal website for a celebrity, however regardless of the nature of the business, a person or organisation should have clear objectives with sound strategies.
Hosting your own server:
Technically with an internet connection and a static IP or dynamic dns a PC can be configured into a server, nevertheless the downside of this solution is that all home or business broadband, cable and satellite internet connection have at least a 70 download / 30 upload throughput which make it non ideal solution for a dedicated server solution.
Also the server should be a solid computer machine with high specifications in the main hardware such as RAM, Processor and Hard-drive. A server differes to a client machine is that it is without graphic card and without video or audio cards and playback that client machines often require. Servers are often configured remotely with minimal hardware additions.
Hiring a server from a data center:
This is the most cost effective solution because the hardware maintenance is lifted from the business shoulder as well as it has freed space that our servers would have needed if hosted in house.
Beside the dedicated line connection makes this solution to be the cheapest because leased lines are not cheap and those companies buy them in bulk or even invest in the leased line infrastructure in order to make it cheaper.
Un-metered 100mb connection to the Internet gives around 25600 GB of bandwidth a month and this is the standard for most cheap dedicated internet connections.
Choosing your hosting provider:
The cheapest is not always the poorest in quality as well as the most expensive is not necessarily the best. Moving hosting providers is not something enjoyable to do and consider making the right choice first time.
There are some cheap dedicated servers for example 1and1 is probably the cheapest but I found them to be the least helpful, I had two attempt to get my services from them but they ignored my requests and their reason is that the volume of orders they have received from customers is overwhelming and I were asked to resubmit my order!
At first I thought it was discrimination or something but then I have read enough complaints about them and it is common practice to ignore customers or and not bothering informing customers of what is going on during orders.
This kind of companies end up costing more especially for commercial products because of the lock of cooperation to resolve minor problems that then escalate to bigger ones.
I have been a customer with heart internet for over a year and I found them to be the best customer service and the most reliable data-center service for my needs and one of the reasons I am going to stick with heart internet for a long time is that the company doesn't restrict the services if a payment is missed in a given month.
We all know how devastating restriction of services can be to a business's reputation. Most companies will restrict the services without giving a notice.
I would also recommend UK2 for having good customer services that I have tried about two years ago. I have checked their latest offers which I found the price is more competitive than heart-internet and LCN at the time of writing this article however.
LCN is worth trying because I have worked on their servers for a client and I found their services to be excellent as well as the prices offered to be reasonable for the quality.