Well, the negotiations over the ogre3d.org server upgrade I mentioned a few weeks ago have reached a conclusion, and I eventually chose Dedipower. Given that all three of the UK providers I shortlisted had good reputations, it eventually came down to the nitty-gritty of the deal, and it certainly proved to be worth hanging on for a while and having several round-trips with all the parties bidding for the custom. In the end Dedipower made me the best offer, which will see ogre3d.org move to a box more than twice as powerful, with more than twice the monthly bandwidth, hardware RAID, proper managed backups and full 24/7 monitoring of all the major services (not just ping monitoring and rebooting) - effectively what most providers would refer to as an ‘Enterprise’ SLA. That should solidify OGRE’s web presence for the forseeable future anyway, and I won’t have to be scared of taking a holiday in case the server dies ;).
It’s not cheap, but had I just gone in and asked for that right off the bat it would have cost me a lot more. Every provider came down from their original offer and threw in extras once I started shuttling between them a few times, it’s certainly true that there’s no such thing as a fixed price when it comes to services. Provided you’re not in a hurry, are willing to go round the houses a few times, are honest (I’m sure if I made something up about what another provider had offered me they would have spotted it pretty fast) and are willing to push your luck a bit sometimes (all they can say is ‘no’ after all), you can get a far better deal than you might think, looking at headline prices.
Next I have to consider what CMS to install on the new site, since I’ll be revamping it a bit. For simplicity (time is short) I’m likely to stick with either Mambo or Joomla, the latter being a fork of the former (sort of, see the full story). I’m leaning toward Joomla at the moment, for no other reason than when I search for extensions I tend to find them there these days. The whole Mambo / Joomla split is a sorry tale of how an open source / commercial company relationship can go badly wrong, for no other reason (seemingly) than there being poor communication and a lack of trust. This is a lesson I intend to heed with TKS / Ogre - it’s quite different since the MD and primary shareholder of TKS is also the primary contributor of code to Ogre - if I can’t communicate with myself then there’s a problem ;). But, whilst there might not be so much of a separation of roles / distribution of development as there was at Mambo, being true to our roots and keeping the community thriving and on-board whilst commercial involvement increases is still paramount. I think I succeed in walking that line (probably to my commercial detriment sometimes, but then I’d rather be honest than rich ;)) but it doesn’t hurt to keep it in at the forefront of my mind.
The new server is likely to come online early next month; hopefully I can get Eihort RC1 out in a couple of weeks and spend the intervening time while people play with it sorting the migration out.