How good a hoster is, you realize for the first time, when you really need it: This sentence certainly contains a lot of truth. For professionals, it is equally important to have enough control over their own web space. This article explains the most important criteria for hoster choice and gives an overview of hosting offers in the “Managed Server” area.
Friday evening, 8.30pm. Actually, the website should go live at noon. Well, shifts are normal. But unfortunately, the first action starts on Saturday and TV advertising is already booked. No matter, now everything is ready, on the test server it works flawlessly and the chief developer launches the FTP program to push the data onto the web space.
What follows now, you can imagine: A problem – be it a different PHP configuration, a necessary update or a timeout when filling the database. If your hoster can help in this situation, you’ve got a good one. Admittedly, this type of last-minute support is not self-evident and with ever cheaper packages also not to be expected. In addition, such a service is usually not found in the extensive service descriptions on the websites of the hosters – our table with offers in the area “Managed Server” does not show whether a contact person is available quickly, who also has enough clue.
However, even for extreme cases, you can make some provision: The first question is whether your hoster can provide telephone support at all and what reaction time he allows you. Next you should not bet on the cheapest webspace package or on the cheapest hoster-not managed server. This usually gives you better support and more options.
For higher demands, the own (dedicated) server offers itself. If a project does not require quite as much power, a virtual server is enough. If you are a host and you want to rent webspace packages, you can rely on a reseller server – which, however, not all hosters offer (more about reseller hosting offers in T3N No. 15). Even virtual servers can not be found at every hoster.
The second decision you need to make next to the size of the package: who will take over the administration of the server – the hoster (managed) or you (root). In the case of our problem scenario, you would be on your own at a root server and would need to change the setting yourself. With the appropriate know-how, this is certainly faster than waiting for the hoster. For this you have to give up help in the normal case.
Root servers are generally much cheaper. However, this requires a lot of work on updating and the lack of support for maintaining and configuring the basic environment. In this article, we focus on the managed variant, because root servers are heavily defined by price rather than hoster performance.
Configuration and settings
For managed virtual or dedicated servers, the hoster typically provides its customers with a configuration interface. This can be an in-house development; For example, with konsoleH, Hetzner has an application that maps many functions, starting with the ordering process. 1und1 as one of the greats also has its own development in use. Other hosters rely on the familiar software interfaces Plesk or Confixx. And also in the open source area there are alternatives such as SysCP or VHCS.