Building A Better Web Platform Chart

Building a Better Web Platform – Datacenters – Part 1

The datacenter is a critical part of any web hosting platform. Choosing the correct datacenter can make or break a website. Datacenters provide several services:

  1. Physical Hardware
  2. Network Connectivity
  3. Physical Security (and ideally resiliency)
  4. Technical Support

We wanted to ensure the above items were adequately met while also having a laundry list of desires.

We needed a datacener to give us the whole physical server. We planned to build our platform within VMWare’s ESXi virtualization platform. Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Servers, and Containers were all out for us. We really needed the ability to tweak and tune our “cloud”.

We needed a datacenter that was going to give us a dedicated connection. Many hosting services will advertise fast unmetered connections. Some of these same hosts over sell their bandwidth. Hosting on a service like this means we would end up competing for bandwidth with neighbors. This was unacceptable. If we need a full 100mbit line for a client launch or special event, we can’t waste time arguing with support about the lousy throughput.

Most of the professional datacenters in the US are highly secured areas. Physical security, flood protection, fire control, etc are things to worry about with an “in house” datacenter. We don’t have the time or money to outfit an entire facility for our private use. Hosting in someone else’s datacenter made the most sense.

We’ve been at this (hosting) for a long time. We have been through a lot of companies. We wanted responsive support and we really wanted a, “Restore” button. It’s a last resort, but in a pinch over the holidays when all of the normal support staff is gone, it can save lives.

With the above needs met, we started looking at the less important stuff. Budgets are important, but we believer that if there is no money to do the project right, the project should not be done. Once we had a couple price points, we compared features and finally settled on a datacenter that could meet our needs.

 

Our list of requirements:

  1. Quad Core cpu @3.0ghz+ with virtualization support
  2. 32GB+ RAM
  3. ~1TB Disk
  4. 100Mbit Network Connection
  5. Support for VMWare ESXi 5.0+
  6. Remote OS install
  7. Additional IPs
  8. Low Latency
  9. Quality Support

Published by

Daniel Widrick

An experienced programmer, software developer, and systems administrator, Daniel Widrick is technophile with a passion for making things work better.

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