Today I spent some time researching a number of data centers server options and pricing. Basically I was board and looking for deals, the most cpu power, ram size, hard drive size, and bandwidth for my buck. And if I found a few other extras as part of the deal, even better.
I really was just trying to see if most data centers were in the same price range for a similar setup. I looked in to some of the different networks these data centers are plugged into also. Of course a big data center can't please all customers, but it did appear that some had better connectivity than others. But it's not totally impossible that the person didn't have other issues with the actual hardware or software on their server.
Anyway on to the details and pricing...
Now I don't know how technical all of you are. Without getting into the nerdy geek talk that tends to turn most people off I will use your home computer as a similar reference to a server just for comparison.
You can get a decent home based windows computer on average for $300-$700. A typical home pc these days will almost certainly be a dual core or quad core cpu. It will probably have 2 gb to 4 gb's of ram, and 500-1000 gb hard drive for storage. You will also get some flavor of windows vista($100-$200 average license). Sometimes even a monitor and printer and the whole works for $300-$700. Which will be more than acceptable for most home users.
So what I found is many entry level servers tend to be Intel Celeron or very low power Intel Pentium 4's, and a few low end AMD's. No where near the cpu power you would get as standard in store home computer.
-I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how a Celeron could or should be considered a web server.
The ram was 512mb to 1gb range.
The hard drive was 80gb's to 250gb's if you were lucky.
Bandwidth was 500gb to 1000gb.
They were generally cheap in this entry level server range. $70-$100 per month.
-Now the extra's come into play.
Do you know linux and all the shell command lines? Enough to administer a linux web server? If not then you are going to need a control panel...
Whm/Cpanel control panel add $20-$40 per month.(One of the most popular)
Add 1 gb ram $20-$40+ per month.
Upgrade to a 500 gb hard drive $20-$50+ per month
Add a second 500 gb hard drive $20-$50+ per month
Upgrade that low power useless celeron to a decent dual core Intel or Amd $30-$50+
Upgrade the same celeron to a quad core intel $50-$85+
Add a raid $10-$50 depending on hardware or software type.
Upgrade the 10mbps uplink to 100mbps $10+ per month.
Upgrade the 10mpbs uplink to 1000mpbs $20+ per month.
Add some additional tech support $50-$300+ per month.
Now basically what you thought was only going to cost you $70 per month is now going to cost you $200-$400 per month ouch!!
The numbers prices and offerings varied a bit from data center to data center.
Some wanted a monthly fee, others you could upgrade for a 1 time fee. Some of the 1 time fees varied considerably too. At one data center you could get a 500 gb hard drive for a competitive $150. While other data centers wanted a 1 time fee of $300-$500 for virtually the same hard drive.
I was just amazed that a standard even entry level server was powered by a celeron cpu, with 512mb ram, a small hard drive, and relatively small bandwidth. All on a linux operating system which is totally free.
When I can get way more power cpu power than this, much more ram, and a huge hard drive with an expensive windows operating system in almost any store.
Go figure, I really think these data centers need to step up into today's real world and offer a base system with a lot more power, ram, and hard drive size to begin with.
Of course some can get by with the $70-$100 machine, but I wouldn't expect it to handle processes that consume a lot of cpu power or ram. I wouldn't host a bunch of web sites for others on something like this either. But if you were just going to put a couple of your own web sites on there it might be something you could get by with, and you would have full control. This assuming you can handle full root control.
Maybe it's just me. I've never been a fan of the Celeron product line.
Any way just my thoughts on the entry level servers and what many data centers seem to be offering at the time of this writing.