When your host decides to give you two days notice that they're moving all their servers from London to a data centre in Manchester, and that there will be 8 hours downtime, it's time to find a different host. While researching hosts for a couple of other sites that I run I'd come across a few companies offering 'cloud' hosting, also called grid or clustered hosting.
They all work in roughly the same way - instead of your site being hosted on a single server they have banks of servers running the sites, so instead of 10 servers each serving 200 sites there might be 3 servers holding the files, 2 servers running the databases and 5 acting as web servers for all 2000. The benefit of this is that the load is spread evenly across all the servers and, in theory, any one server can fail and your site isn't affected.
The main cloud hosts that people recommend are Amazon EC2 and Mosso. The disadvantage of both of these is cost. Both had disadvantages. Firstly cost: a single 'server' with Amazon costs around £80/month minimum while Mosso is $99/month, more than I was planning to spend. Mosso's servers are only US-based and with Amazon you need to fully manage your own server - I was looking for something with UK servers and where I didn't have to worry about patching operating systems.
Finally, and I can't remember how, I came across Tsohost
. All their servers are in the UK and they offer their own version of clustered hosting for £9.99/month. I'd never heard of them so I Google'd for reviews; every single one I read was positive. So this site and 9 others I run are all hosted under a single account
; yes, for £9.99/month you get
- 100GB disk space
- 1000GB data transfer
- Up to 100 domains
- Windows or Linux hosting (or a combination of both)
Support has been excellent: on the couple of occasions I've had to contact them (config stuff, not problems) they've got back to me within minutes and have been very helpful. I've been with them for a month now, and if you're looking for UK-based clustered hosting for a reasonable price, I can't recommend them highly enough.
Tsohost - UK Clustered Hosting