Dedicated hosting under $100: mistakes to avoid

June 24, 2014 by iWeb Technologies in: Hosting Essentials

If you’re shopping for entry level dedicated hosting – perhaps comparing providers below the $100/mo mark – you’re probably comparing roughly similar looking server specifications. But when evaluating the value offered by dedicated hosting, server specifications are only the tip of the iceberg. Here are the things to look for beyond the listed specifications, to help you avoid the disastrous consequences of choosing a provider based on price alone, rather than value and quality.

Specs mean nothing when your server’s down

Dedicated hosting providers are responsible for the entire infrastructure behind your dedicated servers – everything between your server and its users. When only the specifications are published, what you cannot ascertain is the quality of the hardware and engineering used to build the servers and the network connections, and crucially the level of network and power redundancy.

Redundancy means replicating every element of the infrastructure twice, with no common element that could fail without having a backup.

Redundancy is an expensive business. If a deal looks too good to be true, it may be because the infrastructure behind your dedicated server is not fully redundant and there is a single/common point of failure that is not backed up. If that is the case, no matter how good the support staff, your server will go down at some point, and there will be nothing you can do about it.

If you depend on your website, database or applications to be live – serving customers, or generating revenue – network or power outages could mean an hours of downtime that could easily cost you several thousand dollars. Try calculating 5 hours lost revenue, or the damage to your reputation, resulting from your service being down.

Evaluating a provider

Here’s what to look for when shopping for entry-level dedicated hosting, with iWeb as a benchmark of what good infrastructure should deliver:

What to look for

iWeb benchmark

100% network and power uptime SLA Guaranteed 100% network and power uptime SLA.
An uptime record to match the SLA 100% uptime since 2008  (measured by Netcraft) – longer than any other premium provider.
N+1 network redundancy Redundant dark fiber connections to redundant carrier hotels. ISP peering connects server and user over the fastest of several redundant networks.
N+1 power redundancy There are 3 levels of power redundancy in our data centers: the grid, a UPS battery (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and two diesel generators.
Quality network and server hardware partners Cisco, Juniper, Supermicro, Intel, Western Digital, Solidfire
Dedicated bandwidth and high data transfer Dedicated 100Mbps bandwidth and 20TB data transfer (or unmetered data).

Look for service, not specifications

Server specifications are vital to achieving the performance that your website’s traffic or applications workload demand. But for a given server configuration, consider the wider “infrastructure as a service”.

Like any dedicated hosting provider, iWeb is at risk of network and power outages. Where we and other really good providers differ is that our business is about managing and minimizing risk in our infrastructure.

Our entire network and power (and other utilities) are N+1 redundant. In other words, we do everything twice, with no common point of failure anywhere in our networking and power supply. When we suffer outages (and we do) a backup kicks in, and your service is unaffected. Our uptime record proves that.

As a premium provider, iWeb also works hard to reduce network latency to a minimum, using quality hardware suppliers and patented IP routing technology to guarantee that not only is your server is available, but also that it delivers consistently high response speeds.

You can see our full range of dedicated servers here.

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