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I want to make my own company for web hosting services. I plan to provide just shared web hosting. In the future I may extend my business to VPS. At first I just want to provide Linux hosting, in the future I will provide windows platform as well.

I do not have any background about how web hosting is organised, if you could recommend some books or tutorials before I start my business it would be helpful.

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First, you've got a 25% accept rate after 8 question. "Give and take"?

Second, based on my (poor) experiences with some hosting companies, you don't need to know much at all.

However, if you want to make a lot of money and have happy customers (usually the easiest way to money) you've got a metric crapton to learn, it's going to be a long and difficult process. I'd recommend sending your resume to an established hosting company and learning on the job if possible.

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+1 for that last sentence, which is the best advice I've seen for these kinds of questions. – John Gardeniers Mar 23 '11 at 8:00
Have to agree with this, especially the last sentence. I think for some things, if you have to ask how the answer is you don't, not just yet anyway. – RobM Mar 23 '11 at 8:27

If you are looking at hosting, you're going to have one question to answer first and foremost ... Why host with you and not somebody else ? What value added services do you provide that the established guys don't.

Once those have been answered, and you believe you have a business case, then you're going to have to decide on what sort of service you plan on offering your clients.

What are your Service Level Agreements ? What sort of uptime do you guarantee ? What sort of performance do you plan on providing ? What type of packages would you like to provide ? How much do you plan on charging clients / How much can you charge them before they go looking elsewhere.

Once you've got a brief idea of that, you'll want to think of hardware costs.

Do you plan on reselling another provider's services ? Do you plan on owning your own hardware ? Will you host this hardware at home ? Or will you rent out room in a colocation facility ? What sort of hardware will you require to be able to provide uptime/performance you want ? What sort of bandwidth will you need to have available. Will you need to purchase static IPs ?

Lastly ...

Is any of this cost effective ?

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