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I am new to this forum but is a a fair member of StackOverflow. So hello! :-)

The web company I am hired in is now interested in hosting our customers websites. For that we have gotten ourselves a dedicated server which is fairly good to host the websites. For now we are running a test period to see if we can manage this.

We all have many years experience in computers and programming (C#, ASP.NET), but we are completely new to servers and hosting websites - so I am looking for resources where I can gather information and knowledge on how to setup a server the best? Security, application and setting wise.

Our server is running Windows Server 2008 with PLESK (I guess it would be a good start for us beginners) and we will be hosting ASP.NET C# web applications with MsSQL databases.

I hope you can provide some information we should be aware of, and any other interesting information that would help us in our attempt to become a part of a the web hosting market.

Thank you. :-)

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you're hosting on Windows then TechNet has all the information you'll need to configure the server and MSSQL.

Whilst you're not alone in doing it be careful when hosting yourself. If you've only got a single server hosting you need to watch out what Terms & Conditions you give out to customers as components fail, usually at the worst times!

You also need to consider whether you have sufficient bandwidth in to and out of your location. It's usually more cost effective to take lease a server in a data centre where economy of scale means you get more for your money and they manage the hard parts for you in this respect.

Hosting reseller accounts are also a good way to go but since you've already bought the server I guess the advice is a little late!

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A couple of other thoughts:

  • Once the server's set up and actually hosting sites, monitor the hell out of it. Watch how it's behaving in terms of disk read/write requests, memory being consumed, CPU use, and all the relevant SQL and IIS performance counters. That'll let you see if anything needs tuned, upgraded or otherwise looked at.
  • It wasn't 100% clear from your question, but are you going to be using Plesk to administrate the server yourself, or is it just for your customers? I'd advise against using it alone - it makes basic tasks easier, but will prevent you from understanding what's really going on under your server's hood. Plus, if IIS should die, then you've just lost your admin tool. I should point out that I haven't used it myself, but these two have put me off trying it or any of its ilk for the moment.
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