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Ubuntu Dedicated Servers and Server Administrators December 25, 2006

Posted by Carthik in servers, ubuntu, Ubuntu Sites.
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Oh behalf of a client, I have been looking for Ubuntu Dedicated Servers, as well people in the know who can administer the server. Starting with WebHostingTalk my search so far has been more or less futile. How hard can it be to find a good dedicated server, or for that matter an administrator for a server you ask? Real hard.

Let me define a “good” service provider:
With servers more than anything else, the added benefits are the biggest variable, and the one that will have the most long-term impact on the person who buys the server. There are several hosts (not Ubuntu hosts) that provide, for example, Cisco’s hardened external firewall, and some provide a serial console, some provide DDoS protection. These are often overlooked by someone who jumps in for a server. The other big differentiator between the good and the not-so-good is the quality of the hardware and the extent to which the offered services are backed by the provider and this is something that you learn over a period of months, if not years.

Now, to define a “good” administrator:
There are those that setup and adminster servers for a living, those who know the ins and out of managing servers. Such individuals(not corporations) are the best source for reliable information regarding servers, their security and their upkeep. If you have tried getting your hands on some of these individuals you know how hard they are to find. People for whom such service is a pleasure, and who are not in it only for the money – for whom such services are not the be-all and end-all, but a natural extension of their acquired skills.

Ubuntu’s Market Presence

Now when it comes to gaining a strong foothold in the server market, Ubuntu needs to work on visibility, and needs to make sure that those who want to try it have access to resources that point out the options available. Here’s where Ubuntu falls short currently. For Debian, there is a list of dedicated server providers. Though there is no guarantee as to the level of service provided by these hosts, there is a list, which is the least there should be. I wish there would a similar initiative from Ubuntu’s part. Also, for Debian, there is a huge list of Consultants from which you can pick and choose an administrator or manager for your server. Again, though there is a list of Ubuntu Partners, not many of these are individuals of the kind I mentioned before. I wish it was easier to find an Ubuntu developer(not necessarily someone with “main” commit privileges), who will do maintenance work for me. But this post is not just about me – it is about Ubuntu gaining a foothold in the server market, and for that Canonical needs to seriously think about constructing easily managed lists of both server-providers and service-providers, if I may call them that. Such information has to be available for various levels of prospective clients – the huge 1000+ employee corporate clients as well as small-business entities and enterprising novice individuals.

You might state the case for a community wiki-based effort to build a catalog of information. This would be a good first step, but what is essential is for the company that promotes Ubuntu (Canonical) to put the word out. This can inspire a lot of confidence in someone who is as yet undecided about going the Ubuntu way. Though there is evidence of Canonical’s interest in providing such info, the support page seems inapplicable for a person like me – I’d rather work in association with a good individual. A not-so-obvious reason for this is the fact that if I pay an individual for working on my Ubuntu server, then I am providing an incentive for the person to keep working on Ubuntu, without his/her having to “officially” work for a company that supports Ubuntu. I would think that a page at the Ubuntu wiki with a list of dedicated providers, and another page of Ubuntu developers with the services they are willing to offer would be an awesome way to start things off.

Finding a good Redhat, or Fedora dedicated server is easy, at various price-points. You can easily find servers for $100, and a reputed admin for $30 per month. I’ll be happy the day it is just as easy to find resources for Ubuntu servers. It is not that no one offers Ubuntu servers, search and you shall find some, but the important question is which of these are lemons?

I am sorry for the rant, if this looks like one. A day of flailing about on the internet looking for a good solution to a temporary problem gave rise to these thoughts. Please take this with a pinch of salt, for I might be over-reacting :)

Comments»

1. Steven Harms - December 25, 2006

I think a lot of us would like more exposure for Ubuntu on servers, nice post.

2. Guillaume - December 25, 2006

Disclaimer : I am by no mean an expert in the domain, but I have administered Linux servers for a few years for a small company. Only Debian, nobody talked about Ubuntu at that time.

I now use Ubuntu exclusively for my desktop machines. But I have to admit that for servers, I am still much more confident with Debian. I am by no mean trying to say that Ubuntu is not a good distro, but I see it as more desktop oriented. Distro have specializations, and this is a good thing ! It is probably easier to find good Debian hosts than Ubuntu hosts because in people’s mind, Debian is a more server oriented distro.

My question would be : why are you looking particularly for a Ubuntu hosting ? From a user (customer) point of view, Debian and Ubuntu (or most other distro) should be pretty close.

3. Pierre - December 25, 2006
4. ubuntonista - December 25, 2006

Guillaume,

I guess the reason I wrote this is not because Ubuntu is the absolute best server distro or anything similar(I will leave passing judgment to those in the know). The point is, if Ubuntu wants to develop a market share in the Linux Server market, then improving the resources, starting with list of consultants(independent) and providers, would be essential.

Of course, it goes without saying that I am interested in Ubuntu becoming more successful! :)

5. towsonu2003 - December 25, 2006

you might want to at least file a bug report at launchpad.net, probably to ubuntu-doc package as you want a list of providers in the wiki. I’d also send a link to the bug report to the ubuntu-devel-discuss list… good luck

6. Venkatesh - December 25, 2006

Ubuntu Is here to replace windows. Not for servers..

7. Ante Karamatic - December 26, 2006

Ubuntu is great option for server. Unlike Debian, you know how long it will be supported and/or when it will get released, and you have commercial support by company that develops that system. Unlike RedHat, you have an option of using different file systems, free updates and big community (and lots of other things). That’s what makes Ubuntu great server platform.

Don’t worry, first we take desktop, then we take server market. This is the path RedHat took and look at it now.

FWIW, I have one dedicated ISP server and lots of servers for SMB market. All of them are Ubuntu systems.

8. Herman Bos - December 26, 2006

We have a small business (OSSO) in The Netherlands, which focuses on Linux support, maintenance and deployment. We primarily work with Ubuntu (if we may choose), but hey we are not too picky, we support all mainline distributions. Too extend our services we also offer hosting their servers/services (95% ubuntu).

There are a lot of improvements to make with this Ubuntu Marketplace thing (oh yeah still have to fix our company is added). Make it possible to easily search in your region, choose if your a business or consumer (we only support businesses for example), etc. Its quite hard to do some quality control on the companies though but one (and simple) idea might be to list if the company has any LPI (Ubuntu) certified support people (would give the whole cert thing a push, it would make stand you out a bit and assures a minimum quality).

Maybe the LoCoteams should be involved as well?

9. Jonathan - December 28, 2006

I’ve been running behind on my blog posts/comments/writing and just wnated to say that Ubuntu does indeed need to increase its marketing to companies as well as different hosting providers.
I know that when I mention Ubuntu when talking w/ admins I get a lot of questions that would be nice to point them to a better referecene then the Ubuntu Marketplace or the wiki.

I also know that there is an official study guide being written to help w/ the Ubuntu portion of the LPI-C, maybe that will help increase the presence of Ubuntu admins and Ubuntu Service providers

10. Richard - January 3, 2007

Have a look at Rimu Hosting – http://rimuhosting.com/order/startorder1.jsp?type=1 lists Ubuntu as a dedicated server (they also do Xen-based virtual private servers at much lower cost). They seem to have some smart support people who frequent their forums, e.g. discussing best way to upgrade a Rimu VPS from Dapper to Edgy.

11. macdo - January 6, 2007

Here in France, http://www.dedibox.fr (by Free.fr) offer Ubuntu (as one of several options) on their servers. €30.00 a month, but I think that they only sell in France.

12. Maxim - January 11, 2007

I’ve distributed Ubuntu in about 100 of copies through my clients (LiveCD)..
Just for free, some of them still use it… But I’ve never tried to use it on the dedicated

13. iTproject - January 11, 2007

Actually, I’ve heard that my friend, it manager in SPE uses Ubuntu for router-center server… WiFi, switches and gate proxy for secured room…

14. Joel Watson - May 24, 2007

I’m a little late here, but I was wondering if you had any success in your search. I too have just begun looking for an Ubuntu dedicated server and hope your findings might aid in my search.

15. Cherry - February 7, 2008

This is really interesting and useful information. After much consideration, we decided to go with Server Intellect … and they have done a fantastic job of migrating our websites and providing what we needed to get set up quickly.

16. medical videos research news - February 23, 2008

nice, very good information

17. login - November 2, 2008

Nice! We very enjoyed your site .

18. Brian - January 30, 2010

I would like a dedicated root box any Debian flavor; at a p00r man’s price. if anyone has some offers please send them to bdean602@gmail.com

19. sikiş izle - September 26, 2010

I think a lot of us would like more exposure for Ubuntu on servers, nice post.

20. antalya ilaçlama - September 27, 2010

you might want to at least file a bug report at launchpad.net, probably to ubuntu-doc package as you want a list of providers in the wiki. I’d also send a link to the bug report to the ubuntu-devel-discuss list… good luck

21. porno sikiş - September 27, 2010

Of course, it goes without saying that I am interested in Ubuntu becoming more successful!

22. sex sikiş - September 28, 2010

Ubuntu is great option for server. Unlike Debian, you know how long it will be supported and/or when it will get released, and you have commercial support by company that develops that system. Unlike RedHat, you have an option of using different file systems, free updates and big community (and lots of other things). That’s what makes Ubuntu great server platform.

23. datacenter - January 21, 2011

This post is very interesting!A Dedicated Hosting environment provides an exclusive server or servers devoted solely to your web site. Anyway thanks for sharing.

24. click site - November 28, 2013

I savor, result in I found exactly what I used to be looking for.
You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man.
Have a great day. Bye


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