How’s your server management?

I can’t tell you how often people ask me about (or relay horror stories to me about) technical things that have gone wrong on their server, that they need help with.  Depending on who your host is, they might already have awesome support… for example I have servers with both LiquidWeb and Rackspace and both have tremendous 24/7 telephone support.  I’ve called both many times at 3am my time and gotten immediate help with whatever was wrong.

But in some cases, I need separate server management.  For instance with Rackspace’s Cloud Servers, they are totally unmanaged and you’re “on your own” for everything from initial server setup, to server security, configuring Apache, PHP, and EVERYTHING else!  I’m no Linux/server whiz, so I turn elsewhere for this kind of thing.

For years now I’ve used a company that frankly is SO cheap for what you get, I think any serious online marketer is doing themselves a big dis-service not subscribing to their services.  They’re called Platinum Server Management and they are a HUGE help when I need them.

Their services are a whopping $30/month with no contract.  I even recommend (and so do they actually) signing up for them just for one-off help when you need it.  Can always sign up, get help, cancel, and sign up again if you need them again.  But personally I choose just to subscribe and stay subscribed.

If they make just one little tweak of some obscure server setting for me in any given month, it was worth $30.  Let alone the occasions a few times a year when I throw some really BIG problem at them, that requires research and lots of experimenting on their part.  Sometimes my issues have taken many hours spread over several days and yet I still only paid $30.  CAN’T beat it!

The only catch of sorts is that they strictly support servers with “root” access (typically VPS and dedicated only) and are configured with WHM/CPanel.  But if that describes you, these guys can be a lifesaver.

One other thing to point out – technically they are NOT “emergency support” i.e. they promise responses within 24 hours I believe.  I can’t think of a ticket that has EVER taken them 24 hours to respond to, but that’s what they guarantee.  You can list a problem as an emergency and it will get priority status, but they won’t promise to drop everything right then and jump on your issue.  For that, you really have to hire a full-time sysadmin and a good one is not gonna come cheap, even though you’ll only need them once in a while.

I hope this helps some people out.  Again this won’t do anything for you if you’re on a cheap Hostgator or Godaddy shared plan, but if you’re at the level of having your own VPS or dedicated server and you’ve got WHM/CPanel, absolutely check them out.


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