I’ve started with day 1 of my own production windows hosting box.
So far, the results have been great, with specific regard to spam management.
One of the domains hosted is a huge spam target, and gets spammed continually with hundreds of spam emails a day.
The host they were with had various issues, these ranged from lack of spam management through to issues running specific scripting for security.
These issues were not manageable, or able to be worked around due to the inflexibility of the staff.
And prior Australian Web Hosts for Windows seemed to have countless issues which really made them more trouble.
One didn’t have email working properly, another DNS issues, website issues on another, server security on another.
All those are common issues you sort of just “naturally cover for”.
Sure, you won’t find fault free everywhere, but these operations that were being dealt with were poor in many aspects at allowing client flexibility, while still maintaining some higher degree of server security.
The best of them I think was the last, though the issue with email was something a little unmanageable, and they were not willing to solve the issue, simply recommending a VPS, giving me rise that they might have had a vested interest in having a process running to stop any new executables by customers (it could happen!).
So, my goal with web hosting (unfortunately, its expensive to setup), is to offer the best of reliability (up to the network level, hopefully beyond there, but no guarantee), with the best of flexibility, but also, with the best of customer isolation, so they can obviously be flexible, but in their own space.
And I think that will work greatly for them.
What I would like to end up doing with the windows server is sticking some customers on it, adding MSSQL and basically having it closed off after we reach a level where I think customers could potentially affect other customers.
Essentially it will want to work like good business grade hosting, you host your site, you place it there, all tested, and if it breaks on our server, then you are basically suspended until you fix it locally.
Seriously, production environments are for production purposes. And in a web hosting environment, production is the key. Maintain secure production grade principles, and you can host really high packed business websites, and piss all the crap from the lower scale off, so that they don’t cause any issues.
The next step on this subject is ROI.
I didn’t spend money to not make a dollar back (though that was the original plan in a small localised secured environment), we will now need to obviously have a retail operation, but we will certainly enter the market with a single goal, and that is not to pack on as many customers as we can (that would see high profits though), but rather, to maintain a reliable operation, where only the sites we host are found to be secure, and reliable.
Windows hosting is an expensive operation to setup, which is why you can see millions of the CrapPanel based web hosts out there, with many run by 15 year olds who provide no support, have no concept of security, and simply host their IRC eggdrops and make $5 on the site.
That’s not a way forward, or even a way of hosting in a production environment, you don’t produce anything.
The secret to locking out a lot of spam email is simple too, it’s been around for a fair while, yet not enough people implement this strategy.
It eliminates false positives in its approach, and ensures that no mail is left unreceived assuming the other end complies with mail server RFCs.
And many do.
I’ll reveal more about the web hosting operation as time goes on, but I really am happy with the results for today, with the domain that “gets a lot of spam” now seeing levels as low as 30 a day, down from 400.
I hope to emerge as a business oriented web host in this field, but again, a focus solely on the websites we host as being quality websites.