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I'm going to use the dedicated server company that comes up most often on webmaster world. But I have a question.
I really want a second hard drive in the machine to have a duplicate of the data on the main drive. I inquired about a RAID 1 setup and it costs an addition $100/mo. (2 SCSI drives RAID 1)which is quite a bit of money. On the other hand, they mentioned I could add a second IDE drive for $25/mo. and could use a script or some sort of software RAID. This sounds very attractive for budget reasons, but I have NO clue where to look for such software and install/setup.
1) Is it even worth doing or should I not even consider it and just go with the hardware RAID 1 setup?
My second question is about a firewall. I understand they are very important pieces of hardware to have - but again - budget. They want an additional $170/mo. for a Cisco PIX 501 firewall. Can someone help me on this one? If I were to shut down all ports on the server except http,https,ssh2,and SMTP(mail) - would the server still not be very secure? I understand that there still are risks....but I'm trying to figure out how great the risks are.
In case it's helpful, I'm looking at a server with Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES3.0 with Red Hat's automated OS patching.
Furthermore, web servers tend to be IO bound rather than CPU bound - that is why memory can make such a huge performance difference. So you won't miss the CPU time, and it will improve your IO, giving over-all better performance.
That said, setting up software raid, especially remotely, isn't going to be easy for you.
I will definately look into APF - as it sounds like a decent software firewall (from breifly browsing around).
So far it sounds like a software raid isn't that bad. The majority of or I/O is reading - with most of our writing being done in MySQL during customer checkouts. Are software raids that difficult to setup? Does anyone recommend any? I'm curious how difficult they are. The company I'm looking at charges $100/mo. for a hardware RAID1 setup.... but then again, my time is very precious!
With my little office here we are connected with business cable internet. We get about 5,000 Kbps down and 400 Kbps up. It just doesn't seem like that would handle it (I don't know though). What would be required during high traffic times when you have 30-50 users on the site at the same time?
I can increase our business cable to 1MB up - but that costs $349/mo. here. At that cost it doesn't make much sense when I can get the server I need for $400/mo. which comes with very fast and redundant connections + redundant power supplies.
Anyone else have thoughts?
One more thing to think about...
How many web sites are you hosting? You need to be sure that you can get enough IP addresses.
Security by blocking ports should always be at the earliest point of entry on your network, not the final destination of the packet. If you can't afford a hardware solution like a Cisco PIX then go for the software, it's better than having nothing, but don't plan on a software firewall as a long term solution.
We had quite the rain storm yesterday and the power was out for 9 hours. This would translate into roughly 9 hours of lost sales!
Probably one of the first things that pops into many people's heads - "battery backup". Well, I have one, pretty hefty one too - but it failed! Turns out the batteries in those things are good for a year or two before you have to purchase a replacement battery to put in them....which I'm going to do, but even then, unless I spend a LOT of money - I'm only going to get about an hour of backup.
I don't know - I think hosting my own dedicated server is VERY attractive because I own the hardware and can upgrade and change out hardware as needed. However, by doing so I have to worry about:
- Power Outages (lost sales)
- Network Outages (lost sales)
- Not being able to take a vacation
- and probably a few more things I haven't thought of yet ;-)
If anyone has any thoughs regarding hosting my own dedicated server... with ease - I'm all ears.
From those of you who have dedicated servers with other companies - does this look like a good deal?
$400 per month
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3.0
- P4 2.8 Ghz
- 1 GB RAM
- 2 x 36GB SCSI Hard Drives
- RAID 1 Mirroring (hardware raid)
- 125 GB of Bandwidth per month
Currently, I'm looking at Rackspace and Interland for dedicated servers. They both are offering similar quotes to what I described above. I've never had a dedicated with either of these companies - they both seem to be recommended on webmasterworld. Thoughts?
Just throwing another idea into the mix, why not purchase your own server, and co-lo it? Your likley to save money on this in the long term, and you can configure it to your hearts content. Plus they benifit from redundant networks and power supplies. We co-lo'ed one of our main servers (from shared hosting), spent the time making sure everything was good, and its run faultlessly for 6 months (still early days tho').
Do they give you control panels to aid in configuration, or is it down to you and a SSH client?
Quick note about self-hosting, on ADSL (in the UK) running multiple ADSL lines in, isn't going to gain you 2x the bandwidth, since both of those lines are connected to the same exchange.. (BT person once told me this, so YMMV!)
You have to consider the support that at least one of them is also offering.
There are 2 really good hosts that are much cheaper, but they don't offer the support. If you have a mission critical site(s) then that support can pay for itself several times over within 30 minutes of potential downtime.
I have 2 dedicated servers with one of the hosts AprilS is considering (and pay more than her quote, at least for the remainder of this year's contract!), and several servers with the cheaper guys. You only need to pay for great technical support with one company to be able to use it at those that don't offer it;)
AprilS, from your "spec" I think I know where you are going, and you won't regret it for a second :)
I can think of at least one other that I can't mention here (tos) that has very good support ..i know that from France whenever I needed to raise them they were there ..I only needed them for my stuff ..not because of problems their end ...
APrilS ..sticky me if you want their name ...case you don't already have it ..
I considered doing colo hosting our own server, there were a few options. For $150/mo we could get a 2U space plus a 10MB (burstable) connection that we would share with other users (businesses, gamers, etc). Or we can rent a space and pay for a dedicated connection - so $150/mo for the space + like $250/mo for a 512Kbps connection - $350/mo for a 1Mb connection etc. The 10MB burstable solution for $150/mo is very attractive, but with gamers on that connection - I'm not sure.