* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!


» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)


Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Renting a Server (yes, we've already covered this).

It seems like a periodic topic, but every time the question of "what hosting to use?" comes up, there are a suspicious number of super-high-price options recommended. So, anyway, my current host is going out of business (1), and after researching for a time, I think I've found the cheapest possible dedicated server host (39.00/month for an oldish AMD):


...unless you count this (29.95/month for a refurbished P3 LOL):


I'm thinking of going with the first option. Does anybody have any experience with that company?

(1) A risk associated with going the cheapest route, I guess.
my name is here
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Just a small (perhaps bitchy) comment: remember to quote a currency as USD$39/month is completely different to £39/month and most people aren't going to check your links just to understand your post.  Sorry, I guess I must be having a bad day...
Jamie Lawrence Send private email
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
So your current host is going out of business, presumeably because the weren't profitable and now you are going to signup with the next cheapest host you can find so you can repeat the process all over. :(
Neville Franks Send private email
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Why do you think they went out of business?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Penny wise...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
If you go with the cheapest hosting, I would suggest the following:

1. Make sure the DNS is not hosted with the same company and you have pretty short TTL on the DNS (even godaddy offers a 1 hour TTL these days with their DNS service, which is FREE with domain registered with them).

2. Make sure you are not storing any new data on that server (i.e. the server is only used to server the content which is generated somewhere else, on a reliable media). e.g. generated on your work PC and then uploaded to the server.

3. If you must generate new data on this dedicated server, back it up automatically every hour (or as needed) on a DIFFERENT HOSTING COMPANY's server.

4. Step by Step instruction manual is ready to setup a new server in 15 minutes in case the server is not accessible and you have to rebuild the server at a different hosting company WITHOUT HAVING ACCESS to your old server.

In summary, you should be able to rebuild everything at a new server without having access to the old server / any server at old company's data center.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Have you looked into a Windows VPS(virtual private server)?  While some of the old AMD dedicated boxes are attractive for pricing, their age and probably reliance on single spindle ATA drives doesn't instill much confidence for me.
Anonysaurus Rex
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
use 1and1 internet hosting. They are cheap and will most likely not go out of business anytime soon.
Justin Silverton Send private email
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Jesus christ. Stop being a cheapskate. If your business makes or breaks based on a $29 or $79/mo webhost you're better off doing something else.

I've been with www.serverbeach.com and they've been 100% fabulous. Outages, yes, stupid power glitches, yes, whatever. They strive to do right and give me an overpowered machine with 2tb of transfer for $110/mo.  What's not to like?
Stephen van Egmond Send private email
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Most people are penny wise and pound foolish. that is why they do not succeed in life.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Why the criticism? My old service was perfectly good, except for going out of business, which is always a risk. I'm not being innovative here, looking for the lowest bidder on a commodity service. That buying strategy is typical of many successful companies:


Spending 80+/month on a server would be over-capitalization for me at this point. If I need it later on, I can always get it...
my name is here
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Slicehost offers some good packages starting at $20/month.  Virtual servers w/ root.  I've been with them for 6 months or so and they've been rock solid.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
"If I need it later on, I can always get it... "

That's true, and that's a valid point. If you're running a basic fantasy football league for a few friends, you certainly don't mind the occasional outage and it's not worth spending $80 a month.

I think our skeptism stems from the fact that with the possible exception of E-Tech's Slicehost, we've yet to find a single service that offers 24/7 customer support and reasonable guarantees of uptime for only $20 a month.

If it's my business on the line, I personally don't care about the server itself. I want to know that if the server itself melts, they'll transfer my disk image to another server within 30 minutes. I also want to know that if a backhoe breaks their internet connection, they had the foresight to lay a redundant set of cables on the otherside of the building. I also want to know that if I'm paying for X amount of bandwidth, they actually have the capacity to service me, my streaming video on demand "neighbor" and deal with the inevitable spam.

It's the cost of providing all of those services that ultimately drive the smaller hosting services out of business. It only takes one bad apple to tip the cart.

Sorry, I really can't be of much help. I'm a firm believer in the good shoes economic theory, but I do admit there are circumstances when the cheap, fall apart after one month shoes are appropriate. In that vein, I would recommend you shift focus from renting a physical server to renting bandwidth, that is, you provide the machine and simply pay for the connection.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to pay your "home" ISP for a business account or otherwise (ahem) steal it. For example, if I knew my monthly bandwidth was less than 2 GB a month, I can just hook up my old PIII to a NAT device at home and use one of the free DNS forwarder services to direct traffic to it. Total cost? Nothing more than the $50 a month I'm already paying for internet access to the house.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
You can get a very good VPS with lots of RAM and periodic free backups for the same price as those crippled servers.
Seun Osewa Send private email
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Highly recommend either virtual server or some kind of dedicated machine.

Otherwise you are at the mercy of whatever ancient install your ISP has.

Mine is pretty good, but has Python 2.3 and Perl 5.6, both very old, especially the Perl.

At this point it's only a vanity site for friends and family but I would not try to run anything serious from the site.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
Powered by FogBugz