Loic Le Meur complained about his hosting last night. The other day John Furrier, my former boss, complained his host was down too and he told me that he’s looking for new hosting. Loic runs Seesmic, which includes the popular Twitter client Twhirl and John is starting a new blogging company that covers the tech industry.
I’m not going to pitch them on Rackspace (my new employer). Instead, I’m going to ask you to help them out. After all, maybe Joyent or GoGrid or Amazon’s Web services or Google’s App Engine or Microsoft’s Azure or something else is better for them to consider.
Some things to consider:
1. Uptime vs. service vs. cost. Which one is best? My cell phone number is +1-425-205-1921, how many hosting company employees make themselves available like that? How many have hundreds of people standing by on the phone to help you 24/7?
2. Hybrid approaches, important? Some companies want to have a stack of their own servers as well as keep some things in the cloud. As their file sizes get bigger and bigger having them on the same high performance network might be important, especially as they use new cloudbursting techniques (moving files from their own datacenter to the cloud when they get popular or their own servers start to get too busy).
3. Agnostic from religion? GoGrid, for instance, lets you spin up Windows or Linux instances. If you’ve already built your infrastructure on Windows, that might be important. For guys like Loic and John, though, it’s less important because they are already on LAMP stacks. But still, they might need WordPress loaded. That’ll be tough to get at some hosting companies.
4. Other things? Does your business need hosted email, for instance? Some hosters do that, others don’t.
5. Best-of-breed APIs? Here Amazon and Google are leading the way, but their approaches are very different. Which one might be appropriate to Seesmic or John’s new blogging company? (Rackspace is making sizeable investments here, too).
But if you were in their shoes, which hosting company would you go with? What other things should they consider? Who is doing the best for super small startups like John’s company, or already-established companies with tons of storage needs like Seesmic?