Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Preparing to divorce our hosting company...

Hi all.  I know there are oodles of discussion boards dedicated to talking about hosting companies, but the signal/noise ratio there is typically pretty low, and I'm hoping to get some enlightened recommendations here.

The situation: we've been with Rackspace for three years on a dedicated hosting plan, and we're getting ready to do a wholesale migration to a completely new server.  They've been great up until now.

Now, they are trying to push RedHat AS 2.1 or 3.0 on us, because they're "supported" and "designed for mission-critical applications".  Well, they're also built with ancient packages (yeah, we're talking internet-time here): glibc 2.2.4, python 1.5.2, etc., etc.  Now, to get up to something that we can use (and that matches our development systems, which are running Fedora Core 1 right now), we'd have to upgrade over 200 packages (according to apt-get).  This is not the kind of hassle one should have to go through with a brand-new box. 

(Before you ask, so many packages would have to be touched because we need glibc in the 2.3 series, which forces an upgrade on tons of software on the box unless we want to try to maintain multiple versions of glibc (which I've done before, with great pain in the end that I don't want to relive in a production environment).

So, barring an about-face by Rackspace, we're casting around for a dedicated hosting provider that will enthusiastically support RH 9.0 or Fedora Core.  Suggestions, oh pretty please?

(BTW, feel free to comment on whether you think we're nuts, or over-reacting here.....)

Chas Emerick
Sunday, May 30, 2004

Another thing to bear in mind is that if you *did* upgrade all 200 packages, you wouldn't get support from redhat.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Koz --

That's the screwiest thing of all.  Rackspace told me tonight that they'd install Fedora Core 1 if we really wanted it, but that it would be unsupported (whether by them or RH, I've yet to clarify).  However, they have the position that if we did upgrade AS2.1 to a point where we could use it, that system would still qualify for full support from all parties concerned.

Chas Emerick
Sunday, May 30, 2004

> we need glibc in the 2.3 series

Why in the world do you "need" that?

Is there some crucial piece of functionality I've been missing all these years, or is it simply because you build on Fedora Core1?

There are ways to build glibc-2.2.x-compatible executables on FC1, you know ...

Employed Russian
Sunday, May 30, 2004

What is having Red hat support going to mean for you, or on the other hand what is not having it going to mean?

It strikes me that either the hosting company provides the support, or you have a naked box kind of deal and you employ your own system admin.

I've never quite understood what it was Red Hat could do that anyone else couldn't also do.

Simon Lucy
Sunday, May 30, 2004

We're building on python 2.3.x.  Both the binary and source RPM's report dependancies on libc (glibc) 2.3.something.

I could care less about red hat's support, exept for the fact that rackspace's support now seems to be tied to it.  Rackspace has saved our butts a couple of times, including one really nasty time about a year ago when our pam configuration somehow got nuked, and one of their technicians spent about six hours back and forth with us on the phone getting it resolved (with no additional fee).  Now they're saying that if red hat doesn't support it, they won't either.  That makes them no better than a good colo as far as I'm concerned.

Chas Emerick
Sunday, May 30, 2004

You will be hard pressed to find a serious dedicated host offering either RH9 or Fedora. RH9 is EOL so it won't receive any more (security) updates and Fedora is cutting edge, which makes it a support nightmare for the host.

Jan Derk
Sunday, May 30, 2004

> no better than a good colo

What the man said.

Why pay for "support" when it isn't provided.

That said, building a really complex app will almost always require colo. There are too many configuration choices made otherwise.

anon married man
Sunday, May 30, 2004

Just curious, did you consecrate the partnership?

SNT the evolution of RMS
Monday, May 31, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home