Selecting a new Hosting Company

In my previous post, I mentioned that I switched hosting companies over the Memorial Day weekend. Choosing a new hosting company in many ways is similar to a marriage – you want it to last forever, because it is costly to switch.

Like a marriage, “research” is required to determine how compatible you are with each other. Specific criteria I had for a new hosting company included:

  • Server with root access
  • Choice of Linux distributions
  • Resource scalability (memory, storage, bandwidth)
  • Automated backups
  • Customer Service

Based on the above criteria, I came up with a list of eight potential candidates and researched the options of each of them. Most of the hosting companies had similar offerings and were priced similar enough to not make price the deciding factor. Pretty quickly I was able to narrow down my list to two companies: 6sync and Linode.

Both companies met my initial criteria and I was leaning towards choosing 6sync based on reviews that I had read. I dug a little deeper and started wondering about how they perform backups. Their sales support pointed me to their blog which discussed pricing which was helpful but I still was unsure how their backups worked. I finally learned that their backups were file based and not snapshot based.

This would prove to be the deal killer for me, because of a practice I had developed while at Slicehost of making a snapshot backup prior to doing major updates. Creating a quick backup of the entire operating system makes it much easier to restore – no need to rebuild and then restore your files.

I was literally one click away from hosting with 6sync… and this one issue stopped me cold. So I double and triple checked what Linode had to offer, had chosen Linode.

Next up, migrating to Linode.

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