Hosting Providers

In the past I have had a Dutch shared hosting solution because it was quick and simply enough for my sites. Followed by sponsored hosting from a few providers. And in the last few years I have had a dedicated server to power the many sites and networks I am running. Including this blog. However, the bill ends in January 2010 and I simply don’t have the 1800 dollar to cover it. And I will need to go find an alternative. My current thoughts on this.

Shared Hosting (SH), vs Virtual Private Hosting (VPS), vs Dedicated Hosting (DH), vs Cloud Hosting (CH).

And I am ignoring Co-location Hosting and Managed Hosting. Because I want to manage it myself for a few reasons. I do want to be in control of what goes on, and I do not want a control panel sucking resources that I rather give to my visitors. Plus, if I can afford Co-location Hosting we wouldn’t have this blog entry.

Spoiler: Dedicated Hosting is the best, and I wish I could continue doing that. Caveat, the monthly price. Unless sponsored.

Let’s get DH out of the way and say that unless I find a hosting provider that I can afford and trust, DH is I guess off the table. The benefit of DH is that you get a single server completely to yourself. If they provide you with two cpu’s at 3Ghz and 4GB ram, you get to use that. You’re not sharing it with anybody else. This is the solution to host multiple domains and aliases, forwards, mail, name servers, and what not, for multiple web sites. Without noticeable slow downs. And excellent solution that can easily grow by adding more servers to the network for splitting off master and slave database read/write and read.

Anyway, perfect for multiple sites and perfect for high traffic web sites. This also explains the price to be covering the write off cost of the server plus the costs the provider has running it for you and the services they provide you and still have a profit. Starting at 150 for a pretty good starting server to 5000 a month for a high performance server. If I stop eating or get an advertiser that covers the bill, I can get away with the 150 dollar a month, but, I don’t want to starve and can’t find an advertiser. That said, I am working on a sponsor and asking around, we will see how this evolves.

CH solutions is going to be a short phrase: I simply don’t trust it enough yet. I will investigate further on this topic with great potential. CH could potentially be the future, especially if you own sites that might grow. For what I run at the moment, it is just as expensive as DH, and not really an option.

And with SH you are using one server with many, many others. If they provide you 4GB ram, you might share it with 250 other accounts, some small, some big. And a lot of them run poor quality coded sites with memory leak and buggy, and more worrying, insecure software. Resulting in your site being potentially underperforming. The hard drive quota I get usually is not enough for what I use. And the traffic I cause probably results in breaking their ToS and I potentially run in suspended accounts. I also don’t want my traffic to have an impact on the resources to cause other sites to be slow. SH to be honest is out of the question. Another big downside is that you are filled up to the roof with custom administration and control panels and what not, and no root access to a bash shell console.

What is left is a VPS account. This is like a shared and like a dedicated solution. The server is still shared, but with way less people, and you can choose to get control panel or not, an you get root access. If they promise you get 2GB, it is probably a 4GB server, and you get  2GB – the ToS will stipulate this. Look at it as a dedicated server, but running virtualization, and shared with hopefully just a handful of people. There is more quota and bandwidth to share, and this sounds perfect. I might have to consider a ‘good’ VPS hosting provider that comes close to the current DH account, but is at least half the money (per month).

And I think I have my eye on Linode VPS accounts, they grow as you go, and you can choose the data center it seems, and they allow IRCD + network linking. Which could potentially mean I can cancel a ircd shell account and move the ircd over to the vps account and save a bit of money.