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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2002
As someone whom is very actively involved in the Internet and hosting industry, I have experienced first hand the difficulty in the Hosting Provider selection process, either as a consultant to clients or as an observer to an organization's dilemma. This book should prove to be a valuable resource for enterprises hoping to understand and navigate this complex industry and as well as prepare them for the some of the changes it is currently undergoing.
Any IT decision-maker whom is responsible for mapping out a web-hosting strategy would be well served to spend the time to read this well written book.
Although the focus of the book seems to be from that of a prospective client of a Hosting Provider, this book should also prove to valuable to those Hosting Providers, providing an external but otherwise legitimate insight into the industry and some of the areas where service providers could improve their service offerings.
A definite read, or at least a quick perusal, for those who are sourcing a Hosting Provider or hoping to better manage a current Hosting Provider relationship.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This book's stated goal is to explain how to select a web-hosting service or MSP and how to manage that relationship once your site is up and running. It meets that goal in every respect by providing the customer side of the equation with a wealth of factors to consider, and a clear explanation of the significance of those factors.
Although the book has five parts, it can be divided into two sections that will serve two different audiences. The first section, comprised of Parts I through III, is focused on vendor selection, the hosting strategy itself (shared or dedicated servers, colocation or managed service providers), contracts, risk management, service level agreements and traffic forecasting. This is the heart of the book, and the depth of Mr. Kaye's knowledge and experience is nothing short of amazing. If you pay close attention to his advice and the pitfalls he points out, particularly in The Dark Side of Outsourcing and Service Level Agreements, you will be well armed to make informed decisions that will almost certainly avert the plethora of potential disasters inherent in web hosting and managed services outsourcing.
The chapter on service level agreements is essential reading. This is one of my areas of specialty and I came away with insights I hadn't thought of. I especially liked his treatment of traffic models, which underscores why any web hosting initiative (in-house or outsourced) needs to be a joint effort by business and IT. The spreadsheets used in the case study are available for download from the author's site that supports the book.
Technical issues are covered in the second section of the book. Topics include architectures, caching and content delivery (an area in which the author is a world-class expert), and details about connectivity, storage, back-up and recovery and security. This part of the book is more slanted towards IT than the business reader. However, I recommend that the chapter on security be read by all because it touches upon issues of which both the business and technical reader needs to be aware. The last part of the book covers tools. Again, this material is for technical readers, although I thought the chapter on monitoring would also be of interest to the business members of the book's audience.
What sets this book apart is that it's the only one I've found that focuses on the topic from a customer's perspective. Moreover, there is no other book that covers the rocky landscape of outsourcing, vendor selection and management, and contract service level management. If you're considering web hosting or managed services then you need this book.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2002
Don't listen to the guy who rated this book 2 out of 5 stars. He bought the book for the wrong reasons. If you are looking to learn what it takes to get a company to host your web site(s), this is the book for you. If you don't truly understand what it takes to set up a large web site, this book is a MUST read!
Doug covers everything. The first half of the book is about the different types of web hosts (shared, dedicated, co-location), and managed service providers (the people who can help you with whatever you might need to get done.) He tells you everything about the relationships between the managed service providers and the web hosts that you would have never known otherwise. He practically holds your hand and gives advice as to how you should select your hosting solution.
The second half of the book is where I truly believe the book really shines. Doug gets into Service Level Agreements which is absolutely critical when selecting a web host. He then talks about traffic models and how you should evaluate your site based on its projected traffic, bandwidth and so on. This is critical if you are planning a site, as it gives you a true sense for what's realistic, how many visitors translates into what types of servers and so forth.
Next Doug covers Web-Site Architectures and shows you the various models you will probably want to consider when initially setting up your site. He even goes into content caching, connectivity practices, storage, Backup and Recovery, Security and so forth.
I would have been lost and made so many mistakes without having read this book front to back. It is written well and is easy to understand!
I give this book an A+ as it is one of the top two technical books I've read. And don't take technical the wrong way. It is written in layman's terms, so anyone who feels comfortable with the Internet could pick this book up and understand exactly what Doug is talking about!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2002
Although the book's description states that it is intended for web hosting customers I found it to be invaluable for both customers and providers.
The first two chapters are clearly intended for hosting and services customers. They form an executive summary of what is to follow. Chapters 3 though 6 discuss various hosting and service options, While these, too, are written for prospective services customers I hope service providers will also take the time to read Mr. Kaye's assessment of service offerings. Where customers will get an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, service providers will see themselves in a mirror. The providers that want to rise to the top will spot opportunities to differentiate their services.
In a similar manner, the chapters on outsourcing, risk management and SLAs are intended for customers. However, service providers will gain much from reading these chapters because Mr. Kaye points out the many shortcomings in ISP/MSP services and business practices. Aggressive service providers will address those issues to attain competitive advantage. Customers who read these chapters, on the other hand, will have powerful negotiating advantages.
While I am not sure that the ten chapters on technologies and tools fit within the book's theme I learned a lot from them. I'm an IT consultant, but my primary skills and knowledge are IT operations, service level management and process improvement. The information in the final ten chapters got me quickly up to speed in the web technical infrastructure and related tools, but I doubt that the business decision makers, to whom the first part of this book caters, will find them interesting.
Overall this book is a valuable resource to both customers and providers. The strongest part in my opinion addresses service level agreements and vendor management. It stands out for sorting out the complex array of outsourcing and service alternatives, thus supporting sound business decisions. The web site and discussion forum that supports this book (the URL is provided in the book) increase the value because the material will never be out of date and you can pose questions directly to the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2001
Finally, a reliable web hosting resource I can feel comfortable referring my e-commerce consulting clients to ... covers all the bases in a way non-IT execs can understand and appreciate. A useful reference for any business-savvy, economy-minded IT professional.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2001
Doug Kaye's the expert when it comes to architecting strategies for web hosting services.
This book captures his best advice on the subject -- learned through his experiences with several actual projects and companies. Doug's a straight shooter -- and he takes that same direct approach in this book.
One of my favorite chapters in the book is "The Dark Side of Outsourcing" -- where he tells you everything that can go wrong -- so you're prepared to avoid all of those things.
If you're looking for a 'how to think' approach to the problem of outsourcing your hosting, this book is the place to start!
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16 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2002
Don't get me wrong...this is a well written, insightful book.
It is however a roadmap for a prospective outsourcing customer
rather than a design guide for those of us in the hosting industry.
Inversely, it teaches our industry what not to do, but as an industry engineer, I was hoping to find a best technical practices and design guide rather than a product qualification matrix with a lot of text around it.
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on November 22, 2007
not a hands on book. this is rather a guide to what to look for in web hosting architectures and things to consider whether you are looking at colocation or full outsourcing this will give you the education you need to make the right decisions. again, this will not tell you how to configure a load balancer or a redundant infrastructure, but it will explain common approaches to hosting problems and how to resolve them and general best practices in architecture, planning, selection. I've seen many of these books and this is the best.
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on November 15, 2009
I think this is very good book about hosting and managed services. The author knows very detail about things.

I just hope, he make the second edition, because it's 2002 book. Many things have been change or update now. Like there is a VPS (Virtual Private Server), and there are a file hosting business (like rapidshare, megaupload, etc), a game hosting (games is one of the biggest industry who use internet connection now), and some of link in the appendix (resources) have not working / have been change now.
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on February 18, 2002
This is a well-written, no-nonsense book that gets right to the point. An excellent guidebook to building a web-hosting strategy. Lots of information with available updates. Gets to the point - ideal for executives and other IT decision-makers.
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