Brian

Our newest plans and services

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I made an "official" post at http://forums.hawkhost.com/topic/2319-semi-dedicated-plans-now-available/ but since that forum doesn't permit comments/feedback, I wanted to open up a topic here to introduce our newest service, semi-dedicated hosting.

What do you guys think of the plans? Any feedback or suggestions you can make initially? These plans are brand new, we launched them maybe an hour before I made this post so we're very receptive to feedback and opinions right now.

Let us hear it :)

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Out of interest, how does the processes limit differ between shared hosting and semi-dedicated? On shared hosting the limit seems to be 7 processes at anyone time.

Overall the new plans do sound pretty neat and it is good to see you guys adding new services :D

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Out of interest, how does the processes limit differ between shared hosting and semi-dedicated? On shared hosting the limit seems to be 7 processes at anyone time.

PHP limit is still set to 7, though this *may* change. A lot of the problem with raising this is each PHP process uses a lot of memory, and until we know how these systems will perform in the real world we don't want to get to crazy with what we're offering.

Overall the new plans do sound pretty neat and it is good to see you guys adding new services :D

This one has been in the pipeline for quite some time, and I'm equally excited about the launch. We have a large number of existing and potential customers that want a plan in between VPS and shared and we truly believe this hits that niche perfectly.

Prices look competitive.Maybe up bandwidth on the Nestling pkg. to 200 & offer it in other locals in addition to Texas.Also didn't see the CloudFlare app listed,so maybe add that as well.

Nothing is set in stone right now as far as the values, so I will bring this up with the powers that be. We're going to see how these plans sell first and if we feel more bandwidth or space will entice more people, well then you know exactly what we'll do. We're looking to expand this out to Washington DC and maybe another West coast location in the coming months though for now we're going to stick to our guns and keep it in Texas (enter joke about Texans and guns here).

Finally, CloudFlare is available still and if you view the comparison page (http://www.hawkhost....icated-hosting/) you'll see it on the right nav. We didn't make it an 'exclusive' or 'featured' offering for these plans since shared has it as well.

Thanks for the quick feedback guys! :)

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What are the restrictions for Semi-Dedicated accounts?Is it similar to shared or vps accounts?Mainly looking at resource usage.

A lot of the advantages, and looking at it the opposite way, limits, can be found at http://www.hawkhost.com/semi-dedicated-hosting/advantages -- Though working from the more common questions we get, the limits are:

  • Your account has access to 2 CPUs, if you reach that limit you're account will be slowed down until more resources are freed up.
  • 7 PHP processes, 20 concurrent processes (perl scripts, cron jobs, etc), 50 concurrent MySQL connections. A VPS has no limits on these values.
  • Memory is not limited though it is monitored and anyone abusing this policy will be contacted. This policy is similar to shared, on a VPS you are limit to what your plan allows.
  • 2,000 emails per hour. This is double the shared limit though VPS has no limit.

That all comes to mind as to what varies between shared and semi-dedicated, though more to the point the TOS/AUP and SLA/uptime guarantee are the same on each.

If there is a specific feature/limit you're curious about I'd be happy to clarify :D

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A lot of the advantages, and looking at it the opposite way, limits, can be found at http://www.hawkhost....ting/advantages -- Though working from the more common questions we get, the limits are:

  • Your account has access to 2 CPUs, if you reach that limit you're account will be slowed down until more resources are freed up.
  • 7 PHP processes, 20 concurrent processes (perl scripts, cron jobs, etc), 50 concurrent MySQL connections. A VPS has no limits on these values.
  • Memory is not limited though it is monitored and anyone abusing this policy will be contacted. This policy is similar to shared, on a VPS you are limit to what your plan allows.
  • 2,000 emails per hour. This is double the shared limit though VPS has no limit.

That all comes to mind as to what varies between shared and semi-dedicated, though more to the point the TOS/AUP and SLA/uptime guarantee are the same on each.

If there is a specific feature/limit you're curious about I'd be happy to clarify :D

Daemon services & chat scripts?

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Thanks for the quick answers Brian :D I was hoping the number of php processes would be higher as that is a limit we hit often. Even so those packages do sound pretty good... especially FlashCache.

Is there a reason why you only can order the semi-dedicated packages on a month to month basis and not offer discounts for paying 3 months, 6 months or a year in advance like on other services like shared, reseller and VPS hosting?

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Any chance of adding a "WHM Addon" for say $10-15 more a month on these?

What you'd pay us for a WHMCS license is the exact same you'd pay going through WHMCS directly, so we always suggest users go directly through them for licenses. Avoids having a middle man that way. I've thought about adding that option into these plans, but in our experience most people who need WHMCS go with reseller plans anyway, not shared/semi-dedicated.

Daemon services & chat scripts?

No to both, you'd need a VPS for that. Even with the beefed up hardware + setup we're using those still wouldn't play nice on the accounts and we don't want to risk anything at the server level to allow something we're not comfortable with.

Thanks for the quick answers Brian :D I was hoping the number of php processes would be higher as that is a limit we hit often. Even so those packages do sound pretty good... especially FlashCache.

Is there a reason why you only can order the semi-dedicated packages on a month to month basis and not offer discounts for paying 3 months, 6 months or a year in advance like on other services like shared, reseller and VPS hosting?

We went month to month for now to keep it simple and to allow us to launch and get a feel for the product in the public realm. I have full intentions on working up some pricing for 3, 6, and 12 month prepayments just like the other plans but for the initial launch we're trying to keep it simple.

Phew, you guys are keeping me busy today! :P

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What you'd pay us for a WHMCS license is the exact same you'd pay going through WHMCS directly, so we always suggest users go directly through them for licenses. Avoids having a middle man that way. I've thought about adding that option into these plans, but in our experience most people who need WHMCS go with reseller plans anyway, not shared/semi-dedicated.

No... WHM, like being a semi-dedicated reseller so they can have more resources not WHMCS...

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No... WHM, like being a semi-dedicated reseller so they can have more resources not WHMCS...

Whoops, misread. Sometimes I see only what I want to see :P -- I suppose this is something we could consider, but we learned our lesson putting "resellers" (I use that term loosely in this case) on the same machines as non "resellers" years ago and won't be going back. So we'd need additional hardware, and we'd have to charge a good amount of money to make it a service worth offering. Additionally it would require different configurations than the ones we're using to offer the kind of space/bandwidth a reseller would need on these hardware configs. So as of right now, not something we can do unfortunately. In the future? It's on the table.

Thanks again Brian for your quick replies :D

You're quite welcome. I want to get as much information out there regarding these plans as quickly as possible and answer any questions people may have. Since it is such a new product we still have time to make improvements/changes before we get too committed to where we're at, and I know we've got some sharp minds around here that can offer valuable feedback. I think of it as a form of crowd-sourcing :)

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Whoops, misread. Sometimes I see only what I want to see :P -- I suppose this is something we could consider, but we learned our lesson putting "resellers" (I use that term loosely in this case) on the same machines as non "resellers" years ago and won't be going back. So we'd need additional hardware, and we'd have to charge a good amount of money to make it a service worth offering. Additionally it would require different configurations than the ones we're using to offer the kind of space/bandwidth a reseller would need on these hardware configs. So as of right now, not something we can do unfortunately. In the future? It's on the table.

Oh okay, I see what you're saying. Like basically it'd be smarter for them just too buy a VPS I'm guessing is what you're saying? :)

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Oh okay, I see what you're saying. Like basically it'd be smarter for them just too buy a VPS I'm guessing is what you're saying? :)

Spot on, or even a regular reseller account through us right now. The plans are priced the way they are (that is to say as expensive as they are, though IMO you're getting a lot of bang for your buck) because we're using expensive hardware (SSDs aren't cheap) and we've put a lot of R&D time into making this work right (thank you to our awesome sysadmins). So for us to make it enticing enough for resellers to sign up and offer enough space, bandwidth, cPanel accounts, etc we'd have to price it at a level where you'd most likely see a better ROI from a VPS. It would be a really tough market to hit and a really touchy price point to reach. So instead of trying to crunch numbers and find that happy zone, for now we offer it as a "shared" type solution.

TL;DR - cost/benefit :P

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Looks like your "semi-dedicated" service can be seen as beefed up shared hosting, with increased limits on how much you can do, better backups, fewer accounts per server. Is any software and licensing supplied with shared hosting also included with semi-dedicated? I presume you still couldn't run services etc. on the service that previously required VPS?

All in all, though, it looks like a very nice offering for anyone beginning to outgrow shared hosting. I have no need for this level of service now, but it is very nice to have a growth path that doesn't require VPS with its greater management tasks and software costs.

I'll be interested in seeing how the flashcache works in practice. Yours is a different approach than Arvixe uses with their new servers--they are putting MySQL data on a RAID array of SSDs.

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Looks like your "semi-dedicated" service can be seen as beefed up shared hosting, with increased limits on how much you can do, better backups, fewer accounts per server. Is any software and licensing supplied with shared hosting also included with semi-dedicated? I presume you still couldn't run services etc. on the service that previously required VPS?

All in all, though, it looks like a very nice offering for anyone beginning to outgrow shared hosting. I have no need for this level of service now, but it is very nice to have a growth path that doesn't require VPS with its greater management tasks and software costs.

I'll be interested in seeing how the flashcache works in practice. Yours is a different approach than Arvixe uses with their new servers--they are putting MySQL data on a RAID array of SSDs.

Daemons and such are not permitted on our semi-dedicated plans - think of semi-dedicated as people who are using resources beyond a shared environment however are not able to manage / afford a VPS or dedicated server. Less users and a server / software build that allows for more resources to be utilized with zero configuration / worry from the end user.

There are no licenses currently bundled with our semi-dedicated offerings however we're open to suggestions. Generally the only license(s) we offer is WHMCS and or things more related to resellers not much of shared hosting customers. We however intend on adding some value-added services to our semi-dedicated plans however and they'll be announced shortly :).

We essentially have taken our experience in a typical shared environment and have tried to optimize it. The new servers to utilize FlashCache in a way that should benefit the overall usage we experience from "high resource users" on our typical shared environment. We evaluated a pure SSD solution for certain partitions (/var, etc) however we found that utilizing FlashCache and this specific setup / build we benefited from an overall performance / reliability for our use case - basically our servers see a wide range of usage and this build / setup seems to be the "best bet" out of them all.

Another reason we've utilized FlashCache over a pure SSD solution is the notoriety of the current SSD's on the market to kick the bucket after awhile which scares us in terms of reliability / data integrity. The way we've utilized FlashCache is we see a great performance boost while mitigating any loss of data (the data is written first, then cached and served). If an SSD kicked the bucket all data is safe and sound - which is what we like.

As SSD's mature and grow more reliable we'll evaluate different SSD specific builds. Until then we'll hedge our bets and take the best of two - high performance caching while taking a low risk of data loss in case of a hardware failure.

Great questions - keep them up :)!

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Your semi-dedicated does not fit with hosting standards. Sounds more like a re-sell account with some extra hardware.

These are not reseller accounts and we're not really promoting them as such either. You're limited to one cPanel account, there is no WHM access, no IP assigned solely to your sites (unless you have a dedicated IP), etc. Essentially it doesn't include anything that a typical reseller comes with. The semi-dedicated plans are meant as an in-between from shared accounts to a VPS, or for someone who wants more resources for their site. The full advantages are broken down at http://www.hawkhost.com/semi-dedicated-hosting/advantages

VPS was what I was thinking of switching to, but yours is not competitive in price at the moment.

We don't want to compete in the budget VPS market so you're right, there are a large number of companies out there that provide cheaper VPS solutions. Our VPS offerings are for existing customers who are looking to customize their environment or gain more resources and have found themselves extremely happy with the services we provide, or for people who need a reliable solution that they know will be online. Knock on wood but I can't recall the last time we had an issue with our VPS nodes so they're certainly reliable.

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Question/Suggestion/Maybe I missed it somewhere in the WHM/reseller discussion already. Can I resell the Semi-Dedicated accounts? Conform to your plans and work on the same semi-dedicated servers as yourselves maybe? Probably more of an affiliate relationship when I do that but just curious if that's possible. Thanks!

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Question/Suggestion/Maybe I missed it somewhere in the WHM/reseller discussion already. Can I resell the Semi-Dedicated accounts? Conform to your plans and work on the same semi-dedicated servers as yourselves maybe? Probably more of an affiliate relationship when I do that but just curious if that's possible. Thanks!

Resell in the sense of referring users, being their webmasters (with them knowing), etc is perfectly fine. A true reseller situation (whitelabel, anonymous, you have WHM access, etc) is unfortunately not possible with these plans. I broke this down a little bit more verbosely in this post (click here!) if you're looking for more detail :)

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These are not reseller accounts and we're not really promoting them as such either. You're limited to one cPanel account, there is no WHM access, no IP assigned solely to your sites (unless you have a dedicated IP), etc. Essentially it doesn't include anything that a typical reseller comes with. The semi-dedicated plans are meant as an in-between from shared accounts to a VPS, or for someone who wants more resources for their site. The full advantages are broken down at http://www.hawkhost....ting/advantages

OK, so even less than industry standards... Shared Hosting Plus. :huh:

We don't want to compete in the budget VPS market so you're right, there are a large number of companies out there that provide cheaper VPS solutions. Our VPS offerings are for existing customers who are looking to customize their environment or gain more resources and have found themselves extremely happy with the services we provide, or for people who need a reliable solution that they know will be online. Knock on wood but I can't recall the last time we had an issue with our VPS nodes so they're certainly reliable.

There are other host which offer all the above. Budget does not mean cheap and unreliable :rolleyes:

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