SoftLayer Rack Picture

A short while back I was reflecting on ways to share what high value, high quality hosting looks like to the customer. Can that picture be expanded?

What are some key points between a cheap (aka budget or commodity) provider and a quality (aka premium) provider?

Let me share with you some points shared recently in a web hosting provider forum I monitor:

These are general statements, not valid for all situations and not valid for all Premium or Budget providers.

– Premium providers have a robust network setup, budget providers usually have a collapsed core/distribution setup.
– Premium providers have multiple 10 gig to each rack, budget providers have a oversubscribed internal network.
– Premium providers guarantee dedicated bandwidth, budget providers have bandwidth restrictions and limitations.
– Premium providers have a more diverse network.
– Premium providers have guaranteed service response times, budget providers do not guarantee response times.
– Premium providers use server grade hardware, budget providers generally use consumer grade hardware.
– Premium providers provide many options standard in the package, including backup solutions, KVM/IP and options to easily add IP space (usually at a charge), Budget providers have restrictions or charge for these options.
– Hardware replacement times are usually faster done in Premium providers, some budget providers do not have onsite staff in evenings and/or weekends.

While the above contains geek, let’s put it into another perspective when it comes to consumer grade vs. commercial grade.

My father and mother in law built their own home almost 30 years ago. They went with commercial grade wood flooring (the type used in libraries and cafeterias) rather than consumer grade flooring.

Five years ago we went with consumer grade wood flooring for our kitchen; we thought we would save money (consumer grade is almost always less money than commercial grade).

Our kitchen floor is now almost completely shot, and my wife’s parents commercial grade flooring will probably out live all of our lives.

The lesson we learned is that had we paid for commercial grade flooring in the first place, we would have saved money because now we need to replace our consumer grade floor.

While my wife and I may live with our shot flooring for a while as we don’t run a business from our kitchen, can your business survive based on events you don’t even know is going on behind your back?

Commodity hosting providers — you have most likely seen them on television ads, magazine ads, and so on — offering hosting for just a few bucks a month have reasons why they set low prices.

Quality hosting generally starts around the price of a movie and drinks for two persons per month; that’s $20.00 to $30.00 per month.

Compared to a few bucks a month that may sound like a rip off or otherwise outrageous pricing.

Yet, it comes down to consumer grade vs. commercial grade. In-house staff including support vs. outsourced support and outsourced call centers.

In the end, you decide what matters most to you, and what you can live with for your organization.

If you want to work with a U.S. based high value hosting provider whose staff are U.S. citizens working in the U.S. whose servers are based in the U.S. with a focus for making sure you get the highest quality hosting daily, contact us.