I am about to launch my startup company, and we will be going live in a few weeks time. We have really tight budgetary constraints, since we are bootstrapping - and would prefer not to raise external capital.
I cant use shared hosting because I need more control of the server machine (for technical reasons - e.g. using proprietary extensions to PHP, Apache and in the database layer as well) - but want to control costs and dont want to go fully private server route, until we have determined the market size etc. So the only real alternatives AFAIK is between virtual server and the cloud.
At the moment, cloud services seem a bit "vague" to me. My understanding is that they allow an entity to outsource its IT infrastructure, which in my mind (at least), is indistinguishable from what a hosting provider provides (at least from a functional point of view) - I would like to seek some clarification on exactly what the difference between the two is.
Back to my original question, my requirements are:
- IT infrastructure that can scale with growth
- Ability to have control of the machine (for e.g. to install our internally developed libraries etc)
- Backup software that is flexible and comprehensive enough (yet simple to use), that allows a (secured) backup strategy to be implemented. On this issue, I have always wondered where the actual backed up data was stored (since the physical machines are remote, and one cant get access to any actual tapes etc backed onto). I would also like some advice and recommendations in this area. Regarding data size, I am expecting the dataset to be increasing by a few megabytes of data (originally, say 10Mb, in about a years time, possibly 50Mb) every day.
As an aside, I have decided to deploy on a Debian server (most of my additional libraries etc were compiled and built on a Debian machine).
Mindful of all of the above, I would like some advice (and reason) as to which route to take. I would also like some advice on which backup software to use, from people who have walked a similar path.