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Thread: Dedicated windows hosting

  1. #1

    Default Dedicated windows hosting

    Hi,

    Any reccomendations on what I should look for when getting a dedicated hosted web server from afrihost or is etc etc.

    note - I am a developer and will know the software environment well, but in terms of what goes into managing a webserver I am clueless.
    Afrihost wont manage the OS, only the hardware.
    IS apparently manage the OS also, but at like 10.5K pm (including OS licenses). Afrihost are 3.5k for the same thing (with better hardware). what am I paying 7k for? can I do it myself, or are IS just charging more for the name and I will still have to administer my site

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default

    I would say that depends what you are wanting to do.

    Check out:

    http://www.hetzner.co.za/index.php/b...dows-vs-linux/

  3. #3

    Default

    We've started hosting our own server a couple of years back. Started off with WebAfrica, but after re-examining the value-for-money that we were getting, I did some research and of all the providers, I found Hetzner gives me the best value-for-money. WebAfrica's new dedicated server packages have increased since I've moved away from them but I still don't think their offering matches what we're getting. Never had an issue with WebAfrica's service though.

    For approx. R1400 per month, you get a full server (same hardware specs as Afrihost or most other proper hosting providers) on which you can install your own OS if you have the licenses or you can get a Windows server license (or whatever you need) for an additional monthly fee. I had a server license and basically installed the whole OS myself through my web browser.
    In addition though, you get 50Gb space on a secondary server for FTP backups and 500Gb bandwidth which is something that not everyone provides.

    I suppose it will depend on your requirements, but I decided to manage the server myself. I'm also a developer and since I'm developing on MS, I had Windows 2008 R2 installed and managing the server isn't really that hard. I don't know much about managing servers, but in the couple of years we've done it, we haven't had any issues. I just have a batch file that is scheduled to execute each night which basically creates a RAR archive of all my data files and SQL Database backups and upload it to the FTP backup server each night so if something happens, I can get the environment back up and running at least on a new server.

    For me, the priority points to look for were:
    - Hardware specs
    - Ability to install the OS myself (some providers force you to use their OS license / did not support Windows 2008)
    - Backup ability (At WebAfrica, I had a network drive that I could copy to... Hetzner and Afrihost provides FTP Backup which also works well... others have nothing)
    - Monthly bandwidth... Depending on your usage, this may not be such a big issue anymore, but back when we were at WebAfrica, we only had 3Gb bandwidth per month which was one of the reasons we moved. These days most providers offer at least 50Gb.

  4. #4

    Default

    Even though I think Hetzner has slowly but surely gotten "behind" in the hosting space, they're actually the ones with the better servers/service out there (in a perfect world I'd like them to move away from MTN Business and their ****ty data centers though)

    When you get a new server from Hetzner, you can opt to putting up your own OS, they give you access to a KVM switch that works over an IP which is as if you're sitting AT the PC. You send them your discs and they pop it in the drive for you. A request for a CD change takes about 10 min to do but it's a non-worry when setting up the OS from scratch.

    As a developer you have to learn how to manage your own hosting and there is no better way than to start now. You'll learn a ****-ton about DNS/Firewall/IIS/SQL Server and once you're proficient at it, you wouldn't have to think twice to ask a monkey who just knows point-and-click, especially when it comes to debugging ****.

  5. #5

    Default

    My company hosts 8 or 9 servers with IS, I can tell you it's worth the money.
    We get a dedicated person who deals with our account, and when we have a firewall request it is actioned with complete diligence.

    Sure, they went down a while back with some idiot triggering the fire combat system - but our server components which blew where replaced with new ones within the hour.

    Personally (small websites of my own) I am hosting at Hetzner, and I can also state with confidence that they don't SUCK as much as Afrihost or Axxess when it comes to control panels and communication of set ups.

  6. #6

    Default

    I wonder why you aren't considering Hetzner Germany?

    Something like the EX4 (49 euro + 25 euro for windows). We end up paying about R670 per month for an EX4 because you don't pay VAT.

    http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/pro...rootserver/ex4

    You get 2TB bandwidth at 100Mb/s, thereafter it's limited to 10Mb/s unless you pay a top up fee, at which point you get another 2TB at 100Mb/s. Speed difference feels the same as uploading to Afrihost FTP, downloads max my ADSL line, so basically I don't see any benefit to hosting with the local guys.

    It also comes with 100GB backup space accessible via FTP.

    Their admin panel is awesome, and they respond to support queries very quickly, which is nice.

    Just throwing it out there, since this is a decision I had to make not long ago.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crudler View Post
    what am I paying 7k for? can I do it myself, or are IS just charging more for the name and I will still have to administer my site
    There's nothing difficult about setting up your own server. I was in exactly the same place a few months back... pinging the forums here for help.

    Google is your friend in this regard. You want to set up a mail server? hMailServer (or something else). Website? Well that's just pointing the DNS record to your server IP address and setting up a binding in IIS. Cert? Follow the instructions the cert provider like godaddy provides.

    Take the leap, then learn as you go. It's not hard, and just takes a little reading online.
    Last edited by shogun; 20-04-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: grammar

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shogun View Post
    I wonder why you aren't considering Hetzner Germany?

    Something like the EX4 (49 euro + 25 euro for windows). We end up paying about R670 per month for an EX4 because you don't pay VAT.

    http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/pro...rootserver/ex4

    You get 2TB bandwidth at 100Mb/s, thereafter it's limited to 10Mb/s unless you pay a top up fee, at which point you get another 2TB at 100Mb/s. Speed difference feels the same as uploading to Afrihost FTP, downloads max my ADSL line, so basically I don't see any benefit to hosting with the local guys.

    It also comes with 100GB backup space accessible via FTP.

    Their admin panel is awesome, and they respond to support queries very quickly, which is nice.

    Just throwing it out there, since this is a decision I had to make not long ago.
    Because you can get unlimited bandwidth packages at hosts right here in South Africa. There really isn't a reason why you would want to host overseas these days.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthro View Post
    My company hosts 8 or 9 servers with IS, I can tell you it's worth the money.
    We get a dedicated person who deals with our account, and when we have a firewall request it is actioned with complete diligence.

    Sure, they went down a while back with some idiot triggering the fire combat system - but our server components which blew where replaced with new ones within the hour.

    Personally (small websites of my own) I am hosting at Hetzner, and I can also state with confidence that they don't SUCK as much as Afrihost or Axxess when it comes to control panels and communication of set ups.
    It's never worth the money TBH. Company I worked with hosted all their critical systems at IS. It was a nightmare changing Firewall. Constant back-and-forth about justification, what should take a few minutes took days or weeks. We opted to have our own servers somewhere else and it was a breath of fresh air. Especially since you're in a dynamic developing environment, you couldn't afford to sit on your thumbs waiting for someone to change a setting on a server you couldn't access otherwise you forfeit the "managed" clause in the contract with them

  10. #10

    Default

    Its important to understand it doesnt matter with who you host

    You first need to decide what do I need from a hosting company ?? A company i will need help with setting my site up etc or I will do it they just need to be reliable

    If you want support overseas hostgator is unmatched in SA i would go with hetzner and afrihost

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