Magento hosting providers

I’ve spent the last couple of days looking at various quotes for Magento hosting. Prices for managed, dedicated servers vary considerably. At the lower end on the price spectrum are ForLinux, who seem to have great Magento experience. Peer1 were mid range, and Rackspace were the top end.

There were a few other Magento specific offers in the mix, but they fell out because of professionalism issues. Quotes taking forever, being sloppy, unclear, or unresponsive (or in some cases rude) sales people. Bottom line, we’re buying peace of mind, not hardware, and that starts from the first interaction. If a company is too busy or insufficiently motivated to reply or send us quotes timeously, they take themselves out of the running.

ForLinux look like a great value, very responsive option. They have a cloud offering, but there’s no online pricing, and it’s not clear to me if they provide the cloud products themselves or provide a management service on top of AWS.

Peer1 have recently launched Zunicore, which is a highly configurable cloud service. It’s possible to increase memory or CPU without hard drive space, or vice versa. That’s an appealing option as it allows more careful tailoring of services required. For example, more memory and less disk for database servers, more disk less memory for static hosting, and so on. The Zunicore service launched last month and so it’s not fully battle tested at this point.

Rackspace have the most advanced cloud offering of all three. They offer servers (managed or unmanaged), load balancers, and cloud files linked to a CDN. It’s this breadth of offering that has me leaning towards Rackspace at the moment.

The idea of starting with a dedicated server backed by a management service, with the flexibility to add cloud servers for couchbase (memcache), reverse proxies, and so on, is very appealing. Plus, in theory, the ability to scale up resources for higher load times, and scale back after, is also an appealing idea.

In reality, I’m not sure how much difference this will make in practice. But having the option available is a significant factor in our decision.

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