webhosting – again

Frustrated at my company’s Internet applications failing yet again, I sent an email to my boss on how professional webhosting companies can provide more reliable service for a fraction of what our own guys will cost. The response from him? Interesting, any guarantees?

Oh yes, their SLA is high enough to satisfy ours. Their data centre is just as secure as ours, with disaster recovery, which we are still struggling with. For the price of half a man-day a month, we can get a dedicated server to host our lighter weight applications, whereas our own guys will charge in multiple man-days. With a dedicated server, we can install the necessary software packages to run our applications. I can already think of ways to test out the feasibility of this idea, migrating the less critical systems over first. There are ways to overcome our backend linkages with our internal systems. Data centres are a commodity these days, it is frustrating to be bound by our own inefficiencies and incompetencies.

While compiling a summary for the boss, I kept an eye out for a cheapo plan to host my own site. After all I do not expect to be making money from this, and so I should keep the cost low. The minimum requirement to fulfill my needs.

$70 a year for my own domain name, 50MB of disk space and 5GB monthly traffic limit, multiple email accounts and subdomains should be more than enough for personal use. Only with gmail’s 2.6GB (and growing) email space downloadable via POP3, the tiny email space available on this kind of hosting seems pathetic. Well you do get your own email address at your own domain name for people to send to. You can set it up to forward to gmail for storage, and send out from your domain name.

Mambo looked good as a portal tool, until I found drupal, with all the necessary features already bundled in without needing to go for extensions. But I suppose it is a question of whether to take the bare minimum and add extensions as you need, or take a tool with more built-in features so you need not spend time looking for extensions.



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