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  1. #1
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    Dedicated server necessary.... I am lost

    I need a dediated server to host my vBulletin forums. It burns about 35 to 40 GB per month. At peak times it is UNUSABLE because it is so slow. My host says the calls to the mySQL database are causing a bottleneck and only a dedicated server can provide relief.

    The problem I am having is the lack of all-encompassing info at the websites of dedicated servers. I have tried to email some questions, but the process is so slow. I get piecemeal answers from different sales reps... its like pulling teeth.

    I need a dedicated server that is "like a shared server". In other words, I want my own control panel, and I want a technician on the other side of a phone if needed. It seems that dedicated server also means no tech support at times. And if you want a technician to manage your server, add $300. Just can't do it.

    So, is there any way I can get a dedicated, managed, userfriendly, control-panel-enabled dedicated server that can handle 40GB transfer and a ton of mySQL DB calls, with techs that are at your beck and call and give you a warm fuzzy feeling, for $200 to $250 per month tops? Or am I out of my freaking mind and I should just close up my site now? Thanks for any help!
    Ted

  2. #2
    What's HTML?
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    Sorry, I don't know what dedicated packages are available and what the support package is. But several months ago I had the same problem and didn't know what to do, I knew nothing about running a server so I was doomed, so I thought.

    I ended up finding a decent package for $250 the month. It had a fast processor, plenty of storage and RAM, plus 100 GB bandwidth, but no support. I looked around and started talking to some friends, luckily I found a tech head who also needed a server but couldn't afford one. I pay the bills, he makes sure the server is running smoothly and fixes all my problems.

    It works out nicely...
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  3. #3
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    Re: Dedicated server necessary.... I am lost

    Originally posted by Ted
    I have tried to email some questions, but the process is so slow. I get piecemeal answers from different sales reps... its like pulling teeth.
    If they are very slow at answering sales questions, imagine how fast they will be when you need tech support!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Dedicated server necessary.... I am lost

    Originally posted by Walter

    If they are very slow at answering sales questions, imagine how fast they will be when you need tech support!
    Not always, I'd be upset if a company put answering sales emails before tech support. So it's not always true that a slow responce to a sales email means slow tech support.
    Karl Austin :: Profile :: KDA Web Services Ltd.
    Business Web Hosting :: Managed Dedicated Hosting
    Call 0800 542 9764 today and ask how we can help your business grow.

  5. #5
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    RackShack.net is always a good choice. Also try totalhost.cc.

  6. #6
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    What you are looking for is a "managed dedicated server"...which will provide you full support and system administration. Anyone without a working knowledge of how to run a server, can still make use of it...

    Regards
    Sean R
    BurstNET
    BurstNET® - an INC500™ Company - sales@burst.net - 1-877-BURSTNET
    New! Pentium-D Dual-Core and Dual/Quad Xeon 3GHZ Servers
    netBAQ™ Backup Storage | Unmetered Servers | VPS | Co-Lo
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  7. #7
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    Well,

    I would recommend getting a real Linux Server. I don't recommend getting a Cobalt. It won't do its best. Its best for small sites.

    Anyways, I feel glad to recommend you to get a dedicated server from Vemtures Online. I think their Dedicated #2 fits your need. If you want, you can resell some space to your friend to get in some money.

    And for help for managing server, there is always http://www.webhostingtalk.com and many other sites like that. Also I would feel glad to help you out installing things and managing the server.

    Secondly, VenturesOnline have a great respect for valuable dedicated Servers and also they provide superb and fast support, either post sales or pre-sales.


    I hope my post helps you a bit in your way to the dedicated server.


    -Omair
    36Host.com - $36/year web hosting [affiliates earn 30%]
    * Affordable Small Business Web Hosting since 2003! *
    "500mb space, 10gb bandwith, 50 pop/ftp accounts, php,
    mysql, pre-installed php scripts, 24/7 support & more...."



  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru
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    Forgot to add, but if you go for their Dedicated #2, then I would recommend upgrading the RAM because you would need it sooner or later.

    Ram Upgrades:
    $75.00 per 128 MB increments
    $32.50 installation

    -Omair
    36Host.com - $36/year web hosting [affiliates earn 30%]
    * Affordable Small Business Web Hosting since 2003! *
    "500mb space, 10gb bandwith, 50 pop/ftp accounts, php,
    mysql, pre-installed php scripts, 24/7 support & more...."



  9. #9
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    If you want someone to manage your servers backend (meaning the software and hardware) the best host for that is RackSpace.com They are huge, administer your system and you can call them 24/7 and get ahold of a systems admin any time, night or day or holiday.

    rackspace.com

    Also, if you go with rackshack.net, you have to admin your own server, with rackspace, you just are really like a shared website, but with your own server. They take care of all your needs.

    Jim
    www.unlimband.com - Anti-Unlimited Bandwidth
    www.speedlimitz.com - Track, Running, and more!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast Domi's Avatar
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    Ted: If you don't want to spend the money on a dedicated or don't have anyone or the time to manage it, I would recommend the VIRTUAL account with Tera-Byte.com I believe they offer 60GB of bandwidth per month for an affordable price.

    I wouldn't go with RackShack if your site is mission devoted. Meaning if it's a site that must stay up 24 /7 and can't loose 5 min of downtime.

    Good Luck.
    Dominik
    Webmaster / Owner
    HostRecord.com - Web Hoststing Resource
    HostTalk - Web Hosting Discussion

  11. #11
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    an answer

    my eyes aren't working tonight, I've gotta quit using my computer for non-essential tasks..

    to ted: when I first got my dedicated server I wanted a lot of hand holding and warm fuzzies too, but that goes against the very purpose of dedicated servers.. it's like buying a car and expecting a driver or buying groceries at the store and expecting them to cook them or refill your cup. The whole point of having a dedicated server is to run your own show, so while some dedicated server companies offer great tech support, such as the one I use, you are pretty much supposed to know how to operate it yourself.

    What you want is a good linux server with a decent chunk of ram, then you can do whatever you want with it; install any software, designate any configuration, etc.. anything that anyone can do, you will be able to do.

    The rundown on my experience is this: included on the server was a basic browser interface within which I could configure all my virtual accounts and permissions with almost zero server administration and linux know how. That got everything up and running.. For my questions they offer an extensive FAQ section that had all the answers if I only had the patience, and 30 days of free email tech support, beyond which tech support can be paid for by the hour or by the service package which may included specific services such as port monitoring, security/software updates, backup, etc, server reboots remain free.

    Now I'm into the first week of my second month and I am confident to run the server myself.. I have installed many softwares indluding jabber, webmin, phpmyadmin, shopping carts and more, upgraded php (www.jonathanisrael.com/phpinfo.php) and mysql, and know how to get around in command line. Webmin (www.webmin.com), is awesome.. it's open source (free as in beer and speech), very extensive, has many add-on modules available, supplies a built in telnet client, file manager, an add/remove/update type function, and more.

    You've got to change your way of thinking. With all your previous hosts you thought "what will they let me do, what service do they provide", with a dedicated server you can do anything, and with free, open source software at that! Any feature you've ever heard of, you can implement. You have the power, you are root user, you control the nameservers, mailservers, httpserver, etc. (which isn't as daunting as you may think, a server is just a computer peforming functions like the one you're on now.)

    I strongly suggest that you get a dedicated server, I am very happy with my decision to do so. I did extensive research before going with a company and i chose the starter linux package at www.dialtone.com and am very happy with that decision for a lot of reasons, this is a great company. If you go with them, please tell them john@sampsononline.com sent you so I can get a free month on my server at no cost to you. Feel free to email me with any comments and/or questions too.


    Jonathan.

  12. #12
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    Thank you all. I have tentatively narrowed it down to a few candidates.

    (1) Dialtone (yes, I will use your referral Jonathan, if I go with them) -
    Cobalt raQ4
    Sun Microsystems X86 450 MHZ
    64 MB
    10 GB HD
    65 GB traffic
    they do weekly backup
    $260 per month - No setup fee

    (2) Burstnet.net
    800 Mhz
    256MB
    60GB HD
    50GB traffic
    Seperate Backup Drive I control remotely
    $300 per month - No setup fee

    (3) totalhost.cc
    800 Mhz
    128 MB
    30 GB HD
    50 GB traffic
    they do weekly backup
    $184 per month - No setup fee

    (4) Hostproof.com - still waiting on more info but they have a dedicated plan to meet my needs in the $300 per month range plus $300 s/u.

    #1 Is a Cobalt which some say is not great for busy PHP/mySQL forums.
    #2 Is relatively expensive.
    #3 Is so inexpensive it is hard to beleive!
    #4 No enough info yet.

    I am leaning toward #3, possibly even a cheaper plan they can custom design for me. Any feedback, pro or con, on these particular options would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    Ted

  13. #13
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    The guys at Totalhost have been really nice to me. They installed stuff for free (hardware and software), they custom made a server for me at a really good price, and they even taught me some rudimentary Linux stuff.

    You should get more RAM on that system. They'll install it for a very low price, they're nice guys. But 128 really isn't much for a server.

  14. #14
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    hosting around the mountain.

    thanks ted.

    I just went to checkout totalhost.cc but their site seems to be down at the moment. If they are someone you can rely on then that sounds like a great deal, but make sure they are. I have seen some deals even quite a bit cheaper than that, but I've seen lots of bargain hosting deals, and even many with good intentions, but no good long term business and contingency plans.. Dialtone is more on par with dellhost, verio, rackspace and the like, and for offering that kind of assurance, they are very cheap. It means a lot to me that they are like a rock because if they go down my whole operation is down, dozens of sites, some very critical.

    Figure out what you really need, even a meager server like the one I have can handle hundreds of virtual accounts and millions of hits each day. I went for a standard server as opposed to a raq because the tech said there was something about the partitioning on raq that made it difficult to install some softwares. I know that with my server for $139/month I can do anything that can be done with a linux server, that puts you on the universal standard, once traffic rises I can buy more bandwidth for $2/gb, upgrade hardware components at lease rates or a onetime purchase price, or even upgrade to any other server or a cluster of servers, all with the same company. Once I get some serious traffic I will probably upgrade servers to one with about a gig of ram.. that's one great thing about dialtone, you can upgrade to any other server at any time without penalty.

    good luck and happy shopping.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict LiveTronix's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RKuhle
    I looked around and started talking to some friends, luckily I found a tech head who also needed a server but couldn't afford one. I pay the bills, he makes sure the server is running smoothly and fixes all my problems.

    It works out nicely...
    I'm jelous I need someone like that I pay the bills and don't know what i'm doing right now!

  16. #16
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    ya, but that's just because you're a loser.

    no, i take it back. this guy who is supposed to be learning linux, who could then help you but isn't and can't, is a loser.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict LiveTronix's Avatar
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    About your dedicated...
    what for hidden fees - lots of them.

    ask how much supports costs and if you get any free monthly

    how do they record there b/w the 95% percentile is good and bad

    be careful to see whats really installed

  18. #18
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Well... SitePoint and these Forums have been on a server at Rackspace for ages now.... you may want to look at them.
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
    Follow me on Twitter.

  19. #19
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Eh - waitaminute. I'd like to know why Cobalt are bad, really? They are cheap as dirt compared to the big stuff. What is, more specifically, wrong with cobalt?
    Mattias Johansson
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  20. #20
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    raq and rackspace

    Rackspace is just very expensive.

    Raq's are that cheap option with something missing, you know the sort. They're not a fully fledged linux server in the conventional sense of the word though I am not privy to the fullest ramifications of that. My experience is that when I got a server (i wanted to get a cheap raq too!) I asked the tech what the drawbacks of a raq were and if I could install webmin and certain other softwares on them. He said that because the "user" partition is smaller than normal you cannot install webmin without intensive reconfiguration, along with other programs that require that partition to be bigger.

    I too would like a fuller explanation.

  21. #21
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    Cobalts are not a lot cheaper. RackShack is a lot cheaper. They will be selling Linux solutions soon.

    A RAQ (with only 256MB RAM, and a 450MHz processor) is about $1500. For $1500, I got a Linux server with dual 40GB hard drives, dual 1200MHz Athlons, and a gig of RAM.

    They're not cheaper. The difference is that they're easier to admin.

  22. #22
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    lslsl

    so you're co-locating then, not leasing.

    as far as leasing goes, raq's tend to be the cheapest.

    I suppose administration might be easier but admin is pretty easy on a linux server too.

  23. #23
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    RAQs are only the cheapest at RackShack. As I said before. And I hear they'll be coming out with a 1GHz Celeron box soon at the same or a lower price.

  24. #24
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    ok

    everywhere I've been, raq's have been the cheapest option. perhaps not per hardware spec, but cheapest nonetheless. they are not highend servers, they are intended to be the entry of the entry level, often used for single sites by customers who feel they need a dedicated even when they don't. I agree that as soon as you go to the more powerful models they become very expensive and unfeasible.

  25. #25
    :) delemtri's Avatar
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    Most places I've seen RAQs start out around the same as Linux servers... PWebTech, or SkyNetWeb for example.


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