Recommend a server hosting comapny?
December 21, 2005 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a server hosting company that's reliable and responsive. I want to be able to upgrade my plan in a hurry. Also, a cheap mirroring service.

I plan on launching an online game (later) in the new year, and need a dedicated server host with plenty of bandwidth. Ideally I want to keep costs low, as this is an indie project. But if it gets very popular very quickly ("wanged" or "slashdotted" or "mefi'd"), I want the ability to upgrade my service and preferably hardware ASAP. The only real way to know how good a server hosting company is, is to ask people who've used them before. So, any recommendations?

Also, the client software should be fairly stable between patch/upgrades, and will be a significant chunk of my bandwidth. Can anyone recommend a good mirroring service that is a) cheap, b) reliable, and c) acts just like a regular download does? (That is, I click on the download link and the mirroring service chooses which mirror to rely upon, no interstitial ads or choice screens for the user to select.)
posted by Imperfect to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You might find something in This Thread.
posted by willnot at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2005 of course.
posted by joshgray at 1:34 PM on December 21, 2005

I like for stability and generous bandwidth allowance, but I like because they do not have an adult content policy.
posted by camworld at 1:49 PM on December 21, 2005

Or try - they're on a wicked fast backbone, and it looks like they offer gamer-specific plans. My experience with them is they're very responsive as well, though we don't use them for gaming.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:54 PM on December 21, 2005

Does no one search the archives?
posted by dgeiser13 at 1:59 PM on December 21, 2005

I've been very happy with Layered Tech. Dedicated servers start at around $70/month with 1TB of bandwidth / month. I picked them because they offered Debian and because they offer very little in the way of handholding sysadmin support and are therefore cheaper. If you know how to be root yourself, it's a good option.
posted by Nelson at 2:05 PM on December 21, 2005

BTW, the thread that willnot references is about virtual servers, not full servers. A virtual server is cheap and quite cool, but is not going to work for a real-time game server. The big drawback with a VPS is you only get a small amount of RAM. Latencies can be large and nonpredictable, too.
posted by Nelson at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2005

Someone is bound to pop in and suggest Dreamhost. Ignore them; they're dreadful. Truely the worst hosting company I have ever used.

If you're looking for expandability, it may be worth considering placing your own equipment in a co-lo facility: this way you can upgrade memory, processors and storage yourself. Also, look at Akamai for top-quality load balancing.

posted by blag at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2005

Second Ten years, and my server has been down for a total of 23 minutes due to catastophic drive failure. Otherwise, not even a hiccup.
posted by CaptApollo at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2005

You could Coralize your download URLs to reduce load due to the game client downloads. Check with them to make sure they're cool with that use of their network (they don't seem to have any published restrictions, but you never know).

Also, do provide a link to your game once it's up!
posted by breath at 2:50 PM on December 21, 2005

I checked the archives, dgeiser13. Went back five pages. No-one answered what I was looking for already. And that thread is helpful, but it's more for virtual servers and the like. I want someone to rent me a whole box.

The Planet looks good, but I think their gaming servers are targetted at hosting current games, like someone who wants a BF2 server with low ping and no worries.

I checked out Akamai and could not make heads nor tails of their corporate-speak website. It looks like the kind of thing that's designed for marketing buyers to read and evaluate.

"Wanged" is what happens when Penny-Arcade links to your game and it's not ready yet. They have a couple million people visit their site every MWF, I believe.

I looked at Coral, but I couldn't seem to find their TOS. Am I too retarted to read, or is it really well hidden?
posted by Imperfect at 3:22 PM on December 21, 2005

There's really only one name if you want VERY high uptime and reliability: rackspace.
posted by jedrek at 3:48 PM on December 21, 2005

I think you want this thread.
posted by jasondigitized at 5:02 PM on December 21, 2005

Independent Scholarship writes 'I don't understand your Dreamhost troubles.

And there, in a nutshell, is why so many people shrill for DH - they pay $100 for every person you refer to them. Which is enough money for you to leave their dreadful service and go to a proper host, leaving all the suckers who trusted you to try and use Dreamhost and weep.

If you're going to shrill for Dreamhost, at least have the balls to show your referrer link in the clear. This feels very fishy. Flagged.
posted by blag at 5:28 PM on December 21, 2005

Good grief. It's not the first time either.
posted by blag at 5:38 PM on December 21, 2005

"And there, in a nutshell, is why so many people shrill for DH".

Then how do you explain all the recommendations that have come with no referral link? They have some issues, but I've had very good experiences with them and I believe other people have as well.

For dedicated hosting I'd recommend as well.
posted by null terminated at 5:52 PM on December 21, 2005

You might take a look at I found them to be very flexible, fast to change/upgrade, totally reliable and a lot of help. I have no connection with them other than I have used them to run my customer's websites.
posted by RMALCOLM at 8:26 PM on December 21, 2005

I use They run about $70-$120 a month for full root servers, with about a terabyte of bandwidth and backup. Terrible email support, but good hardware and network setup, great datacenter (I think the largest in the world), and good phone support.

It sounds like you're probably 1337 enough to set up the mirroring yourself. I don't know how that works - are you talking about load balancing, or RAID, or what? Even so, a lot of the services mentioned above are in the $200+ range, for which you could get two or three servers from 1and1 and link them together with tape or gum or whatever.

BTW, the aforementioned DreamHost link has apparently been deleted by the moderators, in case others were wondering what people are talking about. 1and1 has a great referral program (which I have not linked to here out of good taste) - if you get a server, sign up for a $5 hosting plan first, then click your own referral link - the commission on a server is a full month's fee, which is substantial.
posted by Geektronica at 11:24 PM on December 21, 2005

Server Central Great connectivity, great service, great prices, and no funny business. I believe and a bunch of other fairly high profile sites are there.
posted by well_balanced at 12:02 AM on December 22, 2005

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