Moderator: Roger B. Dooley
The room is empty, maybe 20 people here, max.
Alexander Barbara, CEO, ReidBrown Enterprises, Inc. is up first.
There is a tipping point, maybe your site is slow, your having a lot of down time, or your resources are low. What matters is fast, uptime, great support and room for growth.
Virtual private servers are a low cost way to move towards to a dedicated. They might take 50 people and put them on a single dedicated, but you do have root access.
Dedicated give your 100% resources, 100% control but your a 100% responsible.
Do a speed check, how many backbones they have, do a traceroute to see how many pass throughs and do a download test of a test file.
Factors to consider include are you serving static or dynamic pages, pageviews requirements and who else is on your server.
Alternatives to a new server is to cut down on page size, you can host images elsewhere and optimize HTML.
Dedicated servers are not always necessary. They are not always more reliable than shared, they are not always needed for high traffic and they are not better for SEO.
Questions to ask: (1) Do they backup? How often, size limits? (2) SLAs? (3) Are they in the data center? (4) Is there site monitoring (5) Ask for references (6) How old are the servers? (7) Cost and availability of the IPs and C-Blocks? (8) How many backbones do they have?
Questions for Virtual Private Servers: (1) How many VPS instances are on a box? (2) Guaranteed RAM? (3) Separate DNS server (off this server)? (4) Money back guarantee?
Questions for Managed Hosting? (1) Will they compile and install custom software? (2) Support hours? (3) Phone Support?
No one can guarantee your site will be 100% up.
Jeremy Wright, CEO, B5Media is next up. He shows his growth map, in a network map. From $7 a month hosting a account to a very large system, about 60 servers. But he still does have down time.
Share hosting principles: - Quality is more important than price - Get referrals (all hosts have upset customers) - Know what you need vs what you want - Dont switch to dedicated too soon - Go with a larger shop over a smaller one
His biggest mistakes are that he didn't plan their growth. He also moved to a dedicated hosting company too soon. He stayed with bad providers too long. They overpaid for managed hosting, instead of hiring a full time tech resource. They didn't use RFPs to get the best pricing.
Beyond a Dedicated Box. Don't buy unless you have to (I made this mistake). Use "lease to own". Find similar clients at their data center. Consider combining forces with another similar sized company to save money and share resources.
David Driskill, Senior Engineer, Verio doesn't seem to be here, nope, he is not here.
So Roger B. Dooley, the moderator, has a few notes. Page load time is critical to webmasterworld.com, and is due to the page design and resources. Faster pages keep people on your site. Another question to ask a shared hosting place is to ask what their internal migration policy is - upgrades, new technology, etc. Will your sites be live during this? What if they discontinue a product?
Now Q&A time...