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Looking for some suggestions on hosting providers who can provide:

  • Mixture of physical systems built to our specifications, as well as a virtual "cloud" service that allows dynamic growth and on demand provisioning.
  • 24x7 technical support with fast response to urgent hardware/network issues.
  • Able to contact someone at 2am on the datacenter floor, if needed.
  • Enterprise features... hardware load balancing, high availability, etc.
  • Still be in business in like 10 years. Not fly-by-night.

I know there are a plethora of hosting providers out there. I am looking for the largest players out there... currently looking at AWS (though can't meet everything), Rackspace, Softlayer, and looking for a few more options.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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try reliam.com –  Geraint Jones Oct 13 '10 at 18:28
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closed as off topic by Iain Mar 6 '12 at 9:34

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4 Answers

In short answer there are a couple of players in this market of Hybrid Clouds. Providers that come to mind are Terremark, Rackspace, Logicworks and Amazon as you have mentioned. I know Softlayer does a lot of work on the development side I believe that is where they are at the strongest selling point.

If you have an RFP available after shopping around it may help in scaling out a solution and planning future growth. Check to see what each one has to offer, what differentiates them from one another, if its price, expertise, understanding of your needs as well as capability to deliver. If compliance or any other regulations become necessary that would also be a deciding factor I would consider.

Of course all of these providers will want to win your business so it is most important to stress what you need for your operations to run such as you have mentioned 24x7 technical support.

Also to get more granular on a response I'd also recommend asking what tier is the support that they offer and if it is a help-desk level 1 engineer with escalation level 3 on a callback basis that may not be the proper solution.

I have heard about the floods in the datacenter and other similar disasters if this is a mission critical application as it sounds i'd also recommend working with one whom also offers not only the industry standard of a datacenter today but also a disaster recovery proposal for your needs with a failover process.

If you would more specifics or a recommendation shoot me an email or your phone number and I would be more than happy to speak with you.

Best of luck, Nick

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Nick, thanks for your response. Currently, we don't have an RFP prepared. We are already hosted with AWS, however we are looking to move to something that is less transparent and where we have more directly lines of communication to support. Support is likely the largest aspect. Secondly, we've really been looking to move to physical hardware for DB servers, as continue to grow and will struggle with scaling disk IO. And finally, less magic and more knowledge of the hardware we're on, vendors, etc. –  Ken Robertson Oct 13 '10 at 19:49
    
Hi Ken, I agree the database layer is best served as bare metal, keep in mind growth of the database can be a concerning issue during the initial architecture based on a proposal providing the vendors you will be speaking with information on amount of transactions, size of the database, backup requirements and anticipated growth would help specifics on the hardware requirements for this layer. Support is the most difficult to validate unless there is reference from existing customers on experience of their engineering team. –  Nick O'Neil Oct 13 '10 at 20:29
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AWS doesn't do physical. Rackspace, IBM, and Verizon both do physical and virtual; I have spoken with all three in depth.

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I would add BlueLock to the list provided by Nicholas.

Cheers

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iWeb also offers both services.

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