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hosting



kief  2006-06-13 05:49       

My first experience with the RedHat Network reminds me of a major limitation of commercial platforms that doesn't get much press. You actually get less than you do with free alternatives like apt-get and yum.

I'm setting up a new hosting infrastructure for a client which, among other things, involves moving from the free Fedora to commercial Redhat Linux. Although I've managed Redhat machines before, this is my first time using the Redhat Network (RHN) for installing and updating software.

In the past I've used apt-get on Debian, and yum on Fedora, and found them a godsend. Set up properly, it takes minimal effort to keep multiple systems up to date and consistent, whereas when I've had to go the "by-hand" route, machines invariably ended up with older versions of software. It's just too hard to keep up with all the various packages installed on various servers, not to mention the headache of chasing down various dependencies and resolving conflicts when you do upgrade or install a new package.

kief  2006-05-27 17:43     

Why would someone pay £500 per month for a server when they could pay less than £100 from a different provider? The short answer is support. But it's a more complicated story than that.

One of my clients had a key server die this week, one of many they have with a cheap hosting provider. After investigating a bit, it was clear that it was not a system error - I was briefly able to examine the system logs using the provider's web based recovery tool, with no evidence of problems, but then the server stopped responding even to the tool.

So I called support. The first-line support guy verified that the machine wasn't responding and couldn't be recovered with the online tool, so he referred it to engineering at the data center.

kief  2006-05-13 22:42       

Here are some of the hosting providers I've worked with.

DreamHost

DreamHost offers shared hosting accounts with an amazing amount of functionality for a very low price. Lots of virtual domains, mysql instances, and tons of extras. They also have dedicated servers, but they seem to be in flux. When I looked at them a while ago they had dedicated Debian servers for under $100 per month, but these are now "coming soon", and the pricing for dedicated RedHat servers (as opposed to VPS servers) aren't promising. So I'm not sure if their dedicated servers are as great a value as their shared hosting.

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