Rack Space and Servers

Are a pain in the ass to find. Actually I should narrow that down a bit. It’s hard to find cheap rack space and cheap servers that are in or close to London and from a company or someone you can trust. There are various offerings on the market most of which are downright rip offs. Its amazing how the prices can differ between 2 suppliers in RedBus or how the prices of 2 server can differ.
Out of curiosity I priced up a quarter rack ages ago (Aug 2003) to see what I could get and the cheapest was £3300 with a 1Mb connection and power. This also came with a £350 setup fee. I have had a look around a few forums and the cheapest I could see tonight was around £3000 with a similar setup fee. It would seem that rack space is holding its price regardless of how many people seem to be in on it.
I only need 1u or 2u to start with and the prices are quite expensive. I am currently looking at UKFSN because I know people with a box there and the guy who runs it (Jason Clifford) has a very good reputation. The proceeds also go to help the free software movement which is something I am interested in. I have seen a few cheaper than this but none by any great margin, at least not yet.
I also need to get a nice 1u possibly 2u rack mount server. I like Dell because parts are fairly cheap and common on ebay but I also like HP which are not cheap and parts are not as common on ebay. If the HP goes duff there is a good chance you will need to go back to the manufacturer and when you do make sure you visited Boots for some ky jelly.
As for which one is more reliable I would need to speak to several unbiased sysadmin’s who had been using both for years. There are good and bad reports for both online.
Given a choice between the 2 I would pick a dell simply because there are more spare parts floating around, although like HP, if you buy direct don’t forget to visit Boots.

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