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  1. #1

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Anyone want to recommend their dedicated server hosting provider?

    Today theplanet has gone down again for the second time this month. This time, we were 3 hours in - and the company is virtually off the net. No updates on their support pages, their tech support lines unavailable, no updates on their forums HOURS after the outtage started. Finally now they are saying an entire DC has been evacuated - fine... does that means the rest of your company shuts down? GRRRRRRR

    Fed up with them - anyone have a provider they'd recommend? We are low-end server wise. Looking to spend about $100/month
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  2. #2

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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Isn't it wonderful when they promise "World Class Service" and give you direct numbers to the President and all the Officers and Data Center supervisors so you can track them down in an emergency - and then they change the numbers every three months to avoid dealing with pesky customers.

    The true solution depends on how tech savvy you are, how big a pipe you have to your house or office from Tha Intarwebz, and whether you can handle the server yourself.

    Because one answer is to get a Business-Class DSL or a Fractional/Full DS1 or DS3 to the office (with rights to do your own hosting in your contract) if you plan to have tons of traffic, get a GOOD firewall/router, plant your server in the DMZ port, load up your favorite Linux and Apache distros, and host it yourself.

    No more data throughput overages you dont know about, it's easy to meter the traffic as it comes through your router. Once the pipe is saturated, the pipe is saturated. And if you want to run Server-Side Scripts you don't have to ask - it's your server.

    Though there are drawbacks - First, if someone tries a DDoS attack they can knock down your office net at the same time, unless you get seperate pipes. And now you are responsible for keeping the server healthy, and the power and air conditioning on 24/7/365...

    You need all the network gear and the server on a healthy UPS, and install a backup generator and a transfer switch if the power is going to be out for more than a few minutes.

    You need someone nearby with the keys to the building and the alarm codes if you are on the road and need to have the machine rebooted. Or to go check/fill the fuel tank on the generator.

    You are responsible for your own data backups, and machine backups. Keep the older server there and updated in case the newer machine has a hardware fault, you can move over to it fairly quickly. And you can test a new software build with the backup machine before committing to it with the main machine.

    I'm not this server savvy, but I know how it works. I'd learn it to keep my destiny under my own control.

    But if you need an electrician to come install that UPS System, Backup Generator and Automatic Transfer Switch, and wire the emergency circuits to the server outlets and the window air conditioner serving the equipment room, drop me a line.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

  3. #3

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Nah - self-hosted stuff is way too expensive to build up. You can't build the cooling, network redudancy, power redudancy, and all the other aspects realistically at home. Plus, you could never afford the network costs without sitting at the peering points. When sitting in a peering point, you can get 100mb or more bandwidth for virtually nothing. To get half that would require a DS-3 which costs 10s of thousands a month.

    Doesn't matter how good of quality stuff you get, without the alternate paths, you'll always be exposed to external forces taking you down. Your network circuits in a residential area would all go the same route... your power as well.. It would be insane to build something that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and tens of thousands a month to run and still be exposed to a single point of failure when you can get all of that for hundreds of dollars a month through co-location.

    The issue here is the data center actually had an explosion and fire in it (high voltage short) which the fire department would (probably rightfully so) not let them switch to gen power. Started at 5:55 eastern yesterday - we are still out at this point.

    If I needed real uptime, I'd have my services spread throughout several data centers to isolate me from such an issue. We are not that high value, so we have not invested in spreading our services in that way. Distributing databases, etc really adds complication to the overall design which we really don't need to be bothered with at this level.

    What pissed me off is theplanet themselves exposed themselves as not being that resilient to such an outtage themselves. Their customer portals were located in the datacenter that was affected and did not have distribution to their other datacenters. It's still not clear why it took them 6 hours to give a full status of what happened, and finally are giving regular updates.

    My DNS is hosted elsewhere, so I could have pointed to an alt server if really required, but without an ETA, I was hesitant to change DNS records (which take time to converge on both change and change back). If I knew it was going to be 12hrs or more, I probably would have put up a park page somewhere so my visitors would at least know what's happening. Right now, we are hoping we are back sometime this afternoon
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  4. #4

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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Owie. I know it can be done, because Steve Gibson runs a lot of his stuff at www.grc.com out of his house for the "I can put my hands on the server" factor. But he also wrote his own web software in Assembly, so he's very thrifty with bandwidth - You use 100KB, he uses 100 bytes to do the same thing.

    I would arrange for a DNS redirect rather than a full-blown DNS change (and the propagation delays) - MiceChat changed hosts and then found they couldn't handle the load and changed hosts again, and AOL cut them off from their subscribers (wouldn't change their DNS records again) -something about "If you change DNS too often, it must be fraud..."

    I would love to see the post-mortem of that host site failure - see if there were easy and cheap measures they could have taken to avoid it. Spent a lot of time working CO Power for GTE, and some power failures are inevitable, since "that isn't ever supposed to blow up, just pop a fuse". Good, go tell that to Murphy.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

  5. #5

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    again - its not just about bandwidth - but environment. But that's another topic for another day..

    I'm in 'plan b' mode now trying to get a alt parking page up right now at least to have a page to get my visitors to land on rather then just timing out. Still no ETA on the DC being back online.

    They said the explosion took out 3 walls inside.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  6. #6

  7. #7

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Yes - but can you personally recommend any of those? I don't need a google search

    Most of those appear to be resellers of other people's hosting.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  8. #8

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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Yes - but can you personally recommend any of those? I don't need a google search

    Most of those appear to be resellers of other people's hosting.
    And even resellers of resellers... And then you find out several of them are at the same data center that blew up.

    Did they get you back on?

    Murphy was right - there is no "Foolproof Plan" you can devise that can't be broken by a really resourceful and determined fool.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

  9. #9

    • Pilot EdForceOne
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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    read here for details - http://service-update.theplanet.com/

    we were up and then down again due to the gen failure last night. We are back up now, but awaiting a move out of the data center all together so I'm keeping the site 'offline' until after the move.
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
    Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

  10. #10

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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    The service update blog is interesting, but as an electrician I have a message you need to pass along to them:

    "This thread is worthless without PICTURES!"

    Haven't been able to find any local news coverage on this - and I've searched several ways.

    I'm wondering why the h-e-double-toothpicks they'd bring high-voltage cabling into the building - the way it sounds, they had the 10KV or 35KV transmission voltage coming into the building to feed the transformer inside the customer premises.

    A sane designer leaves that pad-mount pig outside or in a manhole in the parking lot, you bring the power inside the building at 120/208V or 277V/480V. As they found out, there's WAY too much violent energy release potential in those puppies.

    --<< Bruce >>--
    There's No Place Like 127.0.0.1

  11. #11

    • Just this guy......
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    Re: Dedicated Hosting Providers - any recommendations?

    A friend of mine uses:

    http://qwk.net/

    He says that they are great. (I've never need Dedicated Hosting)

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