It’s very easy to rent a server and the likes of OVH and others will sell you a server for £15 per month. This is risky as the “host” might decide its not for them, cancel the server and disappear. Ideally, you want a provider that owns and operates their own infrastructure and hardware as well as being an established company. Some will own and operate their own datacentre although this is increasingly rare; most, including us, lease space in a larger datacentre and deploy our own infrastructure leaving the building management to the experts.
The following points will help you research the technology
- Are they a reseller? It might be difficult to tell so its fine to ask them
- Do they own and operate their own hardware?
- If yes, where are the servers? If you’re looking for a UK host, you probably want UK servers.
- What specification and how recent are the servers? No one wants clapped out old bangers for servers, nor do you want a cheap desktop PC pretending to be a server. It will fail, cause you downtime and does not deliver that best hosting experience
- SSD drives are the norm in this day and age
- Solid network with DDoS protection? Do they have an IP or a download link you can test performance?
- What uptime guarantee do they provide, and do they have a track record of uptime? Can you see their status area to see how well they handle incidents, and how often incidents happen?
As a further note to number 7, servers can and will go wrong – even when meshed into a cloud. So you should expect to see infrequent, minor incidents in the status area. Look at how quickly they are resolved, look at how the host communicated throughout the incident.