Posted By RichC on August 28, 2009
For those of you who occasionally check My Desultory Blog, the database server for this WordPress install was is suffering significant slowdowns. I’m unsure if it was is load related or something else, but my complaint was finally heard and addressed … although ever so slowly. The discount host that I use for this personal blog finally agreed to move the database to a lower traffic server and all seems well as of this morning. UPDATED: That was this morning … now is now. Stand by again.
Lesson: Most of the time in technology you pay for what you get, both in product and customer service. Besides my personal blog account, I also work with clients accounts and can tell you first hand that those we have assisted or are currently serving on low cost shared servers have far more problems than those we serve on our dedicated leased servers. Last year we upgraded a couple older dedicated servers to new hardware and realized that one robust machine had been chugging since the late 90s … nearly ten years of service with hardly a hiccup. What I do know is that dedicated servers in 24/7 data centers can be a bit more expensive, but I have found that the hardware and technical assistance exceeds what can be found where your account is one of many random accounts by those selling discount hosting packages.
My advice: For those needing light web hosting and email, consider working with a company who intimately knows the client base they serve and splits the cost of dedicated server boxes between such customers. They will know the traffic and use on both the connection and load on the server. Use a company you can call directly, even if they do not have 24/7 service. Many with the latter are outsourcing their customer service anyway and I have found this many times leads to more frustration than waiting to talk to the person who can correct the issue.
If you data is mission critical, opt for a dedicated server with good customer service and solid backup — off-site preferable. Monthly cost is generally 10x that of a discount virtual host, but for most businesses who want only their traffic on a server, expect quick response to problems and solid security of they data, it is a worthwhile expense.