WHIR Magazine Builds Small Hosting Blueprint in May '09

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Web Hosting Magazine Lays Groundwork for Building a small Web Hosting provider, analyzing the big choices Hosts face

Ultimately, we decided that a shopping list of hosting-related components was not precisely what we hoped to accomplish

The Web Host Industry Review (http://www.thewhir.com), the publication of record for the hosting business, is excited to announce that the May 2009 issue of its Web Host Industry Review magazine has arrived, offering a kind of blueprint for building a small hosting provider.

In a special feature section incorporating a series of six pieces, the May issue covers some of the key choices involved in laying the groundwork for a hypothetical new hosting provider - among those choices are the important operating system decision, the automation and virtualization technology choice, an assessment of reselling and a look at the nature of managed hosting.

"Ultimately, we decided that a shopping list of hosting-related components was not precisely what we hoped to accomplish," says WHIR editor Liam Eagle, in the May issue's letter from the editor. "Since most of our readers are already involved in hosting companies, the hypothetical 'starting a hosting business' exercise is really a vehicle for revisiting some of the decisions they might have made along the way. The answer, we decided, was to focus on decisions that weren't necessarily related to products as much as to policies - though in some cases those policies involve products directly. In particular, we looked at decisions that might have changed substantially in the last few years - those that might actually offer a compelling case for reappraisal."

In a cover story that spans the entire features section of the issue, the blueprint focuses on a set of specific issues.

Regular contributor Dennis McCafferty looks at the platform, the large and somewhat ideological decision between the Windows and LAMP stacks. While it may not be the absolute biggest decision a hosting company faces, it is undoubtedly one of the most fundamental. It lays the foundation for many of the other decisions a hosting provider will face, and it comes with communities attached.

In an examination of a nearly-as-fundamental feature, WHR editor Liam Eagle looks at the evolution of automation and virtualization technologies into an increasingly integrated, and essential, platform for hosting services.

Another WHIR regular, Wayne Epperson, looks at the reseller role occupied by every web hosting provider at some level - whether they're an ordinary hosting reseller, or whether the service they resell is something further upstream, such as power or bandwidth.

While each piece of the blueprint addresses a specific technology or matter of principle - and each of those represents a choice - we don't conclusively make any choice for the reader. To do so would, in many cases, affect the other choices the host has to make. The decision-making path involved in starting a business is a complex network of choices, rather than a linear path. Think of this blueprint as a map that can help to navigate that path.

The May 2009 issue of WHIR magazine, along with all its back issues, is available in an online edition, which can be accessed through the WHIR website at http://www.thewhir.com/magazine/

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