Panasonic Youth

Contegix is Amazing. Plus Thoughts on Rails Hosting

I think I’ve raved before about our experiences at Seeking Alpha with Contegix for our hosting before, but I’m going to do it some more. As of late we’ve been having problems with our outgoing email for subscription being tarpitted or even blacklisted by certain well known public email companies. Obviously, this is a bad thing, and so last week our resident subscription specialiast (ie Jim) was doing a lot of frantic research and tweaking to make sure we did everything we could to show we are a legit in our massive email use, and not spammers. Throughout the whole ordeal, Contegix support was patient and always responded to our requests within minutes. Yes, literally minutes - if they need more time to read and research the issue, they’ll email you first to let you know they are working on the task. That kind of response really gives you security and trust in what they do.

Did I mention they completely overhauled our Rails staging environment, installing trac (0.10.3dev), apache 2.2.3, the latest versions of python, subversion, SWIG, and all required dependancies. This is all without anyone from Seeking Alpha having to touch SSH or a tarball. They even carried over our SVN post commit hooks and fastcgi - which I actually overlooked in the request but they noticed we still needed for the current test environment. Also had a SSL cert to secure svn and trac, migrate the repository, and everything just worked.

Their managed hosting starts at $325 a month, which you might think is a lot until you consider that they basically replace a full time sysadmin. Figure an entry level sysadmin starts at $40k/year, and you are saving at least a couple thousand a month right there on that salary. Contegix would suffice for most web companies that are below the youtube/myspace/yahoo level - ie if you are running a typical LAMP or Rails stack and just scaling up and clustering across machines, Contegix will be perfect for that.

My experiences with Contegix have made me question what I consider “quality” amongst VPS hosts. Granted, rimuhosting (my primary host) support has been good, and they have some scripts to get you up and running with Rails. Still, you definitely get the feeling that they want to help you get started and then only step in if you really break something. Can you expect more for $20 a month? Would it be possible for a VPS company to offer support anywhere near the Contegix level for, say, $50 a month? Engineyard and Rails Machine seem to have the managed hosting approach, but their prices are also more near the Contegix level. Maybe getting good people who can install a twenty point bleeding edge deployment recipe is just too expensive for the typical small VPS hosting company? Has anyone had experience with a VPS hosting company where they will just install everything, it just works, and you can just deploy and focus on development?