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I think I might be but I dont know enough, how much bandwith and server space should I be using before I move?
Are there extra (hidden) costs in going dedicated?
Is the software thats included in package VPS deals, still on dedicated or does each cost extra?
Any information that any one has would be great I am considering doing it but I just have so many questions before I make the move.
When should you step up? Well that all depends on your situation.
Is your host complaining about your site using up too many resources (CPU time/space)?
Is your bandwidth alottment no longer sufficient to sustain your site?
If your site is begining to use a lot of CPU time on the shared server you're on, or it is starting to feel really sluggish, then chances are you need to move on up.
If it's just space or bandwidth, depending on the price, just move up to a larger package. Sometimes it's almost cheaper to go with a VPS than to stay with a shared hosting package with a lot of space/bandwidth.
Next you have to ask yourself "Do I know how to manage a server?"
Regardless of whether it's a VPS/VDS or a full dedicated server, it needs constant attention. If you are not willing to or do not have the knowledge to manage a server then you will have to shell out the added cost of a "managed server" or hire your own admin.
Me, I like to monkey with stuff so I keep costs low by managing my own servers, but sometimes I think how nice it would be to just call someone and say "Hey, fix that!".
Whatever your decision, research, research and research some more the most providers you can and choose the best one for your area. Make sure their data centers aren't full of monkeys with typewriters!
And what does it do. Sounds like im gonna need a manager for sure, is that expsensive I see maintanance plans for like $100 bucks a month unlimited support that doesnt sound to horrible? But do those normally include everything or not?
"Dedicated server 100MB Port"
This should have been 100Mbps.
MB stands for Mega Bytes. Internet connection at that speed is... let's just say you don't get them for $20/month...
So, presuming that your host is saying 100Mbps port - this could mean simply that the machine is connected to the local area network (LAN) with a 100Mbps network card, or that the LAN is connected to the Internet at 100Mbps. Most likely it's the first, and only the machine to LAN connection is 100Mbps. It's nice but the least of your worries.
I am a competent sysadmin but it's nice to have a smart, nice and very ethical college student who charges me $35/hour to handle issues I can't or won't deal with; like RRAS for a VPN.
Not budgeting for all the software I needed was my biggest mistake. At the time the firewall for Windows Server 2003 could only handle one IP Address and I needed several so I had to buy a server-grade firewall. Then there was the backup software. The log analysis software. A top-quality disk defragmenter. Upgrading the mail server from Standard (free) to Enterprise (over $1,000). SQL Server was the ultimate budget buster!
Whatever decision you make good luck to you. Moving up to a managed or self-managed dedicated server is a big move that takes a lot of work but has so many benefits over shared hosting or even a virtual dedicated server.
Like the "defragmanting software"
The defragmenter I purchased runs as a service and continuously defragments the HDs. This is much more efficient for the server and for me than having to run a defragmenter manually or on a schedule.
To keep somewhat OT, in less than a year the software has already paid for itself in terms of the time I no longer have to spend dealing with defragmenting the old-fashioned way. If your site is fairly static defragmenting won't need to be done very often. On several of my sites files are constantly being created and deleted. Fragmentation, and the resultant loss of speed would quickly become an issue if I didn't constantly defragment the HDs.
and the log analyzer. Did none of the Open Source code worked for you?
I tried several free stats programs. None of them gave me the level of detail I wanted for my niches.
$35 is not inexpensive.
The hourly rate a person charges can be good or bad depending upon how quickly they do quality work. Most of my jobs get done in an hour or less. :)