Final Home Found – slidepoint.net Site moved to LiquidWeb

After an exhaustive search and many discussions with various hosting companies, we decided to host the slidepoint.net platform on liquidweb.

We developed the majority of the platform on one of our servers over at rackspace, but we did not want the slidepoint.net traffic/processes/etc to affect our existing sites hosted on that particular server, and quite frankly, rackspace pricing is very expensive these days, so getting a dedicated server was way over budget at this stage.

We researched various ‘cloud’ options. We looked at rackspace and amazon. I’ll admit it up front – cloud servers are a mystery to us — we have very little experience with them – we are ‘old school’ I guess you could say, we just know servers.

So, I had a long discussion with the folks at rackspace, and here is what I got out of it.

  1. a cloud server is pretty much just a VPS server, with metered usage
  2. cloud servers start cheaper (when they are not used, that is), but you pay way more when you actually use it (not to mention the paltry specs you get)
  3. they don’t automatically ‘scale’ (I guess the ‘cloud buzz’ tricked my thinking)
  4. want support? add $100/month (and then some)

I my opinion (based solely on my conversation), there is zero benefit to using the rackspace cloud servers. Maybe its just me.

So, we spent two days tinkering around with the amazon cloud servers. Basically, you get a linux box with a command line. While we were able to get something going, it became clear this was going to be a non-starter. What happens if something goes wrong? What if something breaks? There is zero support initially. You can add support, but it gets very expensive, and quite honestly, it is not very clear. In the end, pretty much the same scenario as rackspace cloud – if you want any level of support, monitoring (any kind of reasonable SLA), expect to pay some big bucks.

So, we went with liquidweb. They have a nice assortment of VPS and Dedicated Server plans, each which can scale in either direction. Their starting price is approachable (they are as low as $60/month for a very capable VPS), they have a quite nice interface for building servers, cloning, backing up, etc. The key for us was this – the prices include 24x7x365 phone support, port and hardware monitoring, and SLA’s.

We did hit a bunch of issues on our first day (including needing a cpanel upgrade, httpd service configuration issues, php not working). It did take the better part of 4 hours total for everything to be worked out, but they were very responsive on chat as well as on the phone — we never had to wait, and Josh was kind enough to let me vent a bit on the phone (thanks Josh!).

So, we have reset our DNS to point to our new home. By the end of this weekend (meaning 10/16/2011), everyone should be landing here instead of the old home for slidepoint.net.

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