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Old Oct 20, 2008, 10:21 AM   #1
Layer3
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Creating a webhosting server solution With a OSX server and VMware

Hello,

We are a fairley small design studio and are expanding into the web hosting business to host our clients websites. We are also going to use our server to host all our internal files via Adobe Version Cue server. Here is the setup that we are going to get.

Macpro, The lowest end possible.

10GB ram upgrade from newegg.com

x4 1TB Harddrives from newegg.com

x1 Full T1 line.

Mac OSX Server.

I have done some research and have not be able to find a suitable alternative to a plesk or Cpanal type web hosting services that we can have our clients use.

The main question that I have is,

1. Is it possible to run Plesk via Linux in a Virtual environment on top of OSX server. ( maybe install Linux via boot camp so that a physical image exists and run via vmware fusion?) How would we route the IP address to access the virtual host?

2. If it is possible how can it be achieved? and what kind of performance will it give

3. If not possible what alternatives are there? The only one that I can think of is iTools and it looks very unprofessional and outdated.

4. any other idea's? We need OSX to run the adobe cue server and are not willing to work with windows. we are also open to any open source alternatives. If you have another ideas we are willing to consider anything.


Thanks,
Tim
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 11:17 AM   #2
iSee
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I wouldn't get in to the hosting business unless you really want to go all the way in. To do it right will take a significant investment on your part. And if you don't do it right you are justy going to make your clients mad at you.

An alternative that might work out better for everyone is to find a great hosting partner. Choose a host that has the capabilities you need, great tech support, is willing to work with your needs etc. Don't shop on price, mainly. Find the right partner. You really want to interview and investigate them like you're hiring a key employee. You probably want to get a dedicated machine (one to start with, more to follow) and provide the first line of contact for your customers (that is, they call you first for support, and you escalate to the host, as needed.

For example, I can recommend Rackspace. They really have superb support (they help you immediately 24/7, have expert DBA's on staff (and experts in other hosting related areas, too), etc, etc. They are quite pricey, but even so, using them will end up being a lot cheaper than hosting your own and your customers will end up a lot happier. From your customer's perspective it will end up looking pretty much the same, except that they will probably have better uptime, and generally a smoother hosting experience.

There are probably some great OS X hosting companies out there, too, if that's what you really need.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 11:25 AM   #3
Layer3
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Re: iSee

I understand and Have pitched the idea fully. But my boss is not willing to go that rout, She is willing to put in the investment on hardware and software and wants to provide all the services from our end. Thanks for the quick reply. Any more ideas?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:55 PM   #4
zerohp
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Your best bet would be to subcontract your client's hosting until you can afford to build out a proper data center and a fast connection. These days hosting anything on a T1 will leave people unhappy. If you're willing to invest low 6 figures into this, then you could set up the core infrastructure you need for reliable hosting. Below that you're making serious compromises in what you'd get subcontracting to another company.

Setting up an in-house server for your Adobe software is a good idea, but you want a real hosting provider for clients unless all you're doing is setting up demo sites.

Last edited by zerohp; Oct 20, 2008 at 06:58 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:58 PM   #5
belvdr
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You really need to go back to the drawing board on this. You need a great backup solution, as well as disaster recovery solutions too. I wouldn't even think of hosting web sites the way you state. You need a dedicated server for this, as well as another dedicated server to backup the system, and someone to rotate the tapes. You also don't want to host this on desktop grade hardware.

These solutions aren't as simple as "throw up a server and an Internet connection and go." You need to have it architected correctly.

That said, I wouldn't tie myself to OS X at all. I recommend checking around to see if you can host this on Linux, and you'll find some great deals out there. Even if you have to lease a dedicated box just for you, you'll still be cheaper in the long run.

I would still highly recommend find an alternate hosting provider. You can get way more bang for your buck, while you will need to host many many clients to even reclaim your capital outlay. Sorry to say this, but it seems your company is taking the hosting option very lightly. You cannot just throw money at it and make it work. You need to get some consultants in there if you want this built properly, or go to a reputable hosting provider.

Last edited by belvdr; Oct 20, 2008 at 07:05 PM.
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 06:58 PM   #6
mathcolo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zerohp View Post
Your best bet would be to subcontract your client's hosting until you can afford to build out a proper data center and a fast connection. These days hosting anything on a T1 will leave people unhappy.

Setting up an in-house server for your Adobe software is a good idea, but you want a real hosting provider for clients unless all you're doing is setting up demo sites.
Or my 1.5 Mbps DSL connection
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Old Oct 20, 2008, 07:24 PM   #7
chameleon81
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I'm a pro but my logic tells me that you need to outsource the hosting part.

I requires knowledge , capital for equipment and extra stuff.

Not working hosting facilities will ruin your business and you will lose your clients.

I dont know but even if you outsource it you may get a cheaper price. Since hosting companies has the advantage of economies of scale. They also have the knowledge and experience.
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