* 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.

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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

The pain! The suffering! The need for a new ISP!

My long faithful ISP - alentus.com - tells me that "Mail server's storage array suffereed catastrophic failure" (sic) yesterday and they are still in crisis mode.

I'm afraid it may be time to jump ship.

So 2 questions: Dreamhost or somebody else?

Dreamhost after many issues last year seems to have cleaned up their act, and their support for modrails [ http://www.modrails.com/ ] (rails shared hosting that might actually work) is enticing. But not sure if they really have improved. Anyone dreamhosting here that can speak to that?

Or alternatively, do you absolutely love your host who supports LAMP, mySQL, Wordpress and actually answers the phone? If so, who are they?

Thanks in advance!
Bob Walsh Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Take a look at SliceHost, I am getting ready to move my rails apps over there. I hear nothing but good things and having a real VPS is nice.
James Avery Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
I think http://rimuhosting.com/ is great.
Joe Ferguson Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Bob, I'm surprised to hear this tone from you.  It sounds from your post that one single problem has caused you to think you need to switch ISPs.  I've always thought of you as someone who is more reasonable than that.

Or is this the final straw and you just didn't let us know that?
Karl Perry Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
"Or is this the final straw and you just didn't let us know that?"

If I had found out my email provider did not have working backups and an audited disaster recovery plan I would bail immediately as well.

Can't help on which host to use, just make sure they have the proper disaster recovery system in place so this doesn't become a problem again.
The Original Henry
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Screw hosted solutions, go for VPS. http://linode.com is good.

Why do you *want* someone to restrict you?
I. Hate. Integers Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Oh wait, email.

Well I do linode for server hosting and fusemail for email. Works great.
I. Hate. Integers Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Have you considered Google for your e-mail?  I switched my domain mail to Google a few months ago and have been very happy.
Jason Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
you will not go wrong with either linode or slicehost
Jay Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Karl,

More like a conditioned response: years ago the hosting service I was using completely turned to crap and I was down for 2 solid weeks - I spent months recovering. Like foreshocks before The Big One, there were warning signs I ignored. Not again.

From some of the responses, maybe I should be asking if it's time to go google for email, and do a VPS for my site/wordpress etc.

Only hitch is I could really, really use some good pointers/URLS to setting up a VPS. I have one for Project X sitting untouched because I'm lacking good, crisp info on setting up a VPS for rails.

Please don't think it's laziness on my part: it's trying to sift through too much information. I have a full plate between groking rails, writing Project X in rails, consulting, writing and whatnot.
Bob Walsh Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Call me paranoid (because I am).  I prefer not to have my two primary methods of communication hosted at the same place.  We use a dedicated email provider separate from our web host.
Mark Griebling
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Consider getting a managed dedicated server with full backup. Yes it costs more, but probably (hopefully) only a small fraction of what you make on your ISV anyway.

Need to set something up? Just tell support to do it.

http://www.pair.com comes highly recommended.
Brian R. [BitZipper and UpdatePatrol] Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
If email is the problem then really - give Google Apps a go.  Let Google worry about uptime.  I moved all my domains over about a year ago and haven't looked back, not to mention that the spam I get is down by about 99%.

I've moved hosting companies three times since then, and all I have to worry about is repointing the name servers of my domains.
Carp
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Rackspace. Yes it's quite expensive
Bardan
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Hey bob -

I'm using google apps for my email and it's been great. Some people have a problem with google having "possession" of their email - but you face that no matter what managed email service you use.

As for web hosting, I use linode for my blogs & it's great.
Starr Horne (ChatSpring Live Chat) Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Bob, there is exactly one way I'd recommend setting up a VPS for Rails: get to know Deprec (www.deprec.org) and type in one of their commands that essentially turns a bare install into a Rails machine.

You basically pick options from the menu like it is a fine Italian restaraunt, and the waiter takes care of the rest :)

Slicehost also has numerous articles on how to get it done.  They're largely applicable for other hosts as well.

http://wiki.slicehost.com/doku.php?id=automated_rails_install_and_deployment_with_deprec_capistrano

Since I am a Windows user: http://crackthenut.cracklabs.com/deprec2-your-slice-from-windows
Patrick McKenzie (Bingo Card Creator) Send private email
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
+1 for the VPS. Kicking shared hosting to the curb was a great decision. I recommend getting a server with a domain management program installed, like Plesk.
ZZ
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
Bob, we have been an Alentus customer for many years.  I've always been pretty pleased.  Now having said that, we now have two dedicated servers with Rackspace and our email is with Google Apps.  We still have a dedicated server at Alentus for backup purposes. 

I'm not sure this helps you at all, but I feel your pain regarding Alentus.  I still think they are a good company and better than most that are out there, but I've had multiple problems with their email and they've also seemed to have lots of DDOS attacks which they don't seem to be able to overcome (this could have changed though since we haven't been active on them for several months now).

If you are looking for dedicated hosting, you might consider Rackspace if you can afford it.  It is expensive, but I have to say that I've had zero problems and all my questions are answered unbelievably fast.  I shouldn't say zero problems...a hardrive on one of the servers failed about a week after I signed up.  I wasn't live, so it didn't affect me, but it was in a RAID 1 configuration and they replaced it in an hour, so it would have had a minimal affect anyway. 

Again, not sure if this helps, but there it is...
Crazy Eddie
Friday, May 23, 2008
 
 
+1 Slicehost for the web
+1 Google Apps for mail

I like independent services.  You could have your mail setup in 15 minutes and leave your web server where it is while you think things through.
Richard (Tudumo) Send private email
Saturday, May 24, 2008
 
 
I have a dedicated server with Pair, their service is brilliant, I can't recommend them enough.
Tony Edgecombe Send private email
Saturday, May 24, 2008
 
 
I've used dreamhost for several years for some of my sites, and I've always been surprised at the bad press that they gather as they have been fine for me.
Duncan Send private email
Saturday, May 24, 2008
 
 
I highly recommend pair. I've jumped around a few places but finally paid the little bit more to get pair and it's been great every since. Only fault I've found is that it sometimes takes 10 minutes or so for them to process incoming email.
Martin Pilkington Send private email
Saturday, May 24, 2008
 
 
I use BlueHost, it's dead cheap and I've never had any problem with them
SoftBall
Saturday, May 24, 2008
 
 
Have you made a decision yet Bob? If its not late, you may try mosso. You will get rackspace reliability & customer service for 1/4th price of their dedicated servers.
Saurabh
Sunday, May 25, 2008
 
 
I've been with Alentus for years and they've been generally great.

I don't think I could ever move somewhere else.
Dr GUID Send private email
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
 
 
A2 Hosting.  Best in the biz.
Vizguru
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
 
 

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