Dedicated Server and Server Colocation

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Dedicated Server Review Guide

When choosing a dedicated server for your hosting, it's MUCH more that just price... or even technical issues...

The obvious things the uneducated consumer looks for are

  • CPU /RAM/DISK for price
  • Network / Bandwidth / Transfer for price
  • pseudo goodies like BIG number old software packages, homepage builder software or other things you can count up...

This all is just designed to give you BIG number of "features" for a LOW price... price psychology... and of course according to Psychological Pricing theory it needs a tag for 19.99 for your server...

It's just like going to buy a new PC at the discounter... big numbers of MHz, Harddisk - but unfortunately an outdated low-performance motherboard with low-quality ram-chips that give you too many wait-states and thereby slow down the power-house CPU you paid for... not exactly what you expected.

I start a list of things and features to REALLY look at for a dedicated server provider today and will maintain this - with your comments and feedback over the next months or years, completed with links to forums that are there for a long time already and could be trusted.

Many of the following features are standard with some providers, not with others... also some features are usually included in managed service providers, but an unmanaged provider (giving you only a network stripe and a pre-installed box) should at least offer you some links or partners to hire if the need arises.

Communcation

  • Userforum : did the provider create a user forum for their clients to complain, talk about their server problems and hopefully have some of the issues as FAQ and HOW -To as Sticky Posts in there from the admin personell... if not, you might question why... beware and keep off
  • Support Channel Ticketing : does the provider give you a support ticketing tool that you can use to track the request and response even in a 24 hour shift? if not - hands off... does he charge for the service of "communicating" with you about the problems you have with his service... beware...
  • Support Channel Phone : does the provider give you a phone-number to call in for support when you are on the road?

Technical

  • Hardware UPGRADE : most important single issue is the "upgrade path" ... adding some RAM or HD for a good amount of extra-money must be possible if you are interested in your venture.. not all providers offer this service, selling you new bigger boxes instead that you have to re-setup again for yourself
  • Security : does the iSP offer security hardening may it be in form of "stickies", some partners he refers to or even extra-charge services ... if you don't find much about server hardening ...

Pricing

  • you get what you pay for ... price is the last thing that should influence your decision, altough you need to keep within a price bandwidth per service

 

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