Introduction to Limestone Networks
Limestone Networks offers dedicated, cloud, and colocation hosting solutions, built on a protected grid and backed by extensive support options. If you’re a small or medium-sized business anticipating rapid growth and requiring standout reliability, Limestone’s options are worth exploring.
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The History of Limestone Networks
The company started in Dallas in 2007, and it rapidly grew as one of the most popular hosting solutions for gamers. The enterprise-grade dedicated servers came along around 2008 when the company moved into a more secure datacenter.
They also state that this enterprise-grade hosting started to become more viable for smaller companies.
The cloud hosting product came available in 2014.
Limestone Networks’ Specialty: Dedicated Hosting
Limestone’s core business is dedicated hosting. This specialized focus allows them to keep costs reasonably low.
Dedicated hosting provides a unique level of security and comes with full customization options. Managed hosting options are available for those who do not want to run their own server.
Cloud and Colocation Also Offered
Cloud hosting and colocation are among Limestone’s other offerings. As of the time of this writing, they are offering some servers on clearance.
Quality Support Team
The Limestone Networks support team stands out because of its carefully thought-out (and well-articulated) provision of options.
If you’re a small company with a basic website, Limestone Networks probably isn’t for you. It primarily serves businesses that plan on expanding and scaling up rapidly.
The big question is whether or not Limestone Networks has everything a growth-oriented business site needs. That’s why we took a closer look at this company’s offerings.
Hosting Types and Plans
The basic offerings of Limestone Networks include dedicated servers and cloud hosting.
Dedicated Hosting for Enterprise
Dedicated hosting has a strong risk-management appeal to businesses: you are exposed to fewer risks when other businesses’ websites aren’t hosted on the same server.
Limestone Network’s dedicated server hosting runs on an optimized Cisco network and is located within an “ultra-secure” Tier 3+ datacenter. Using Tier 1 carriers, they promise the lowest latency possible.
Provisioning of Servers
Limestone offers a provision of dedicated servers within four hours.
“Instant provisioning” (within five minutes) is part of their cloud hosting package.
Managed and Unmanaged Options
Their unmanaged support covers:
- Server hardware
Managed support options cover standard server management tasks such as:
- Software installation
- Malware monitoring
- Operating system configuration
- Set up and verification of routine backups.
We also like that server migration are offered with the managed hosting plans.
Simple Replacement Policy
Their “No Hassle Hardware Replacement” policy is intriguing: they’ll replace any hardware you want them to with no questions asked or testing required.
The support team is one of the more passionate ones you’ll find in the business. You’ll never get a busy signal or have to leave a voicemail.
Along with high reliability, low latency, and some pretty impressive management options, the Limestone Networks hosting company has a lot to offer.
Cloud Hosting: Scalable Solutions and Instant Provisioning
The cloud hosting solution from Limestone Networks is called OnePortal Rapid.
It’s a highly efficient product with open source elements and a scalable infrastructure for the most rapidly growing businesses. Accessing your cloud hosting is a little bit easier since it’s not focused on a local environment.
Not only that, but Limestone Networks has no long-term commitments for cloud hosting. Rather, you pay per hour.
The redundancy storage generates triple layer protection, which is ideal just in case some of the hardware goes down. The self-healing setup ensures that no network or hardware failure will damage your website.
It’s a low latency 100 Gbps+ network, making it powerful and efficient at the same time.
Overall, the hourly payment setup means you’ll only pay for the cloud hosting used. So, you’re not going to end up getting overbilled, keeping your business costs low.
If you go with the cloud option you’ll get “instant provisioning” (provisioning within “five minutes”).
API Available with Tools and Libraries
They also have a full API available with OpenStack-based API libraries and CLI tools. Along with that, you can find everything from flexible billing to network protection and a management panel to dedicated resources.
A colocation plan is where the hosting company offers everything like the location, data center, security, cooling, and other maintenance aspects. You’re required to get your own hardware and set it up in the colocation space. Essentially, you’re renting a spot in the datacenter, but you might be more interested in choosing your own hardware and managing it yourself.
It’s not a bad idea for companies with a server specialist onboard, seeing as how the only other thing you would need is a safe place to store the server.
Colocation services start off rather low in price. They can get much higher if you plan on renting more than one slot. For example, a full rack can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Colocation for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency Miners
Limestone Networks doesn’t only just let you pay with Bitcoin, they help you generate the cryptocurrency too. They don’t seem to market their colocation plans specifically to miners.
Anyhow, a support rep confirmed that bitcoin miners – who need powerful computing resources to mine bitcoins – can also make use of Limestone Network’s colocation services to store their Bitcoin mining hardware.
As mentioned in the dedicated server section, managed hosting comes at a fee with Limestone Networks. Managed hosting is all about passing along the responsibilities of server management to Limestone Networks.
Some of the plans are less expensive with fewer offerings, but you could potentially pay to have the entire server managed through the Limestone Networks company.
Best Features with Managed Hosting
The meaningful services and features that come with managed hosting include:
- Uptime monitoring every 10 minutes. You get notifications if something is wrong.
- Some free operating system reloads.
- An incident KVM for a few hours per week.
- Live chat and phone support at all times.
- The routine backup is set up by Limestone Networks. They verify the backup to ensure it’s always operational.
- Limestone Networks applies OS patches when needed.
- You get routine anti-virus and Malware scans.
- Downtime investigation starts instantly after an incident.
- Per-incident management tickets.
- Constant analysis of items like traffic and server usage.
- Troubleshooting for spam, malware, and hacks.
Limestone Networks has a secure, Tier 3+ datacenter, with state-of-the-art security measures in the heart of Dallas, Texas. Some of the things you can expect with a colocation plan include:
- Monthly payments.
- Standard power going all the way up to 2x 20 A 120 V.
- Customizable bandwidth and port speed.
- No hardware included unless you go with the most expensive plan.
- Remote hands for an hourly fee.
- Some of the plans have setup fees. Others don’t.
- The option to lease to own.
Limestone Networks Payments and Plans
So what should you expect to pay for this dedicated hosting from Limestone Networks? The pricing is on par with the rest of the market and depends on the plan you choose.
The range of plans with this hosting provider is truly impressive.
There’s considerable flexibility within Limestone’s pricing and it appears to have an option for just about every small business budget. It’s worth noting that Limestone Networks offers a discounted annual prepay plan. However, it also has a convenient monthly plan.
Bitcoin Payments Accepted
Cryptocurrency fans will like the fact that you can pay Limestone Networks in Bitcoin. PayPal and the standard array of card options are other forms of payment accepted.
Here’s a summary of some of the main features that come with their dedicated hosting plans:
- Fast provisioning on all plans (within four hours)
- Tier 1 carriers
- Datacenter located on a protected power grid
- Customer support 24/7 and 365 days a year
- DDoS protection for every server
- A powerful control panel for controlling your site and server
- As much RAM as you need
- Multiple-core processors, starting at 8-core
- Multiple hard drives for every plan offered
- 4 TB for every drive you have
- 10 TB of bandwidth, no matter which plans you select.
As you can see, the offerings are pretty powerful in terms of dedicated servers. We like that you have flexibility with the RAM and cores. Not to mention, their customer support is always there to help you out.
Upsells and Other Expenses to Think About
After deciding on which dedicated hosting plan to go with, you’ll be asked about a few optional add-ons:
- DDoS Protection
- Server Management
- Operating Systems
- Software Licensing
The basic protection plan is included free with your plan. Upgrades are available for extra fees. DDoS attacks happen frequently, especially on large websites. This protection ensures that your sites stay up and running at all times. DDoS protection also alerts you (or your server manager) to potential threats.
If large DDoS attacks take place, Limestone Networks will disable the IP that’s under attack so the rest of your servers can continue to operate. With the free option, the system using a set of defined filtering rules, and it might take just five minutes for your traffic to return to normal. If the automatic detection couldn’t locate the IP that’s under attack, Limestone Networks will analyze your traffic and add the filter to the relevant IP.
If you select the premium option, DDoS is always on and can detect any attacks within seconds. The premium option can also detect new attack methods, blocking threats in real-time.
We’ll expand on the managed hosting plans below, but it’s mainly a situation where you hand over the reigns to the staff at Limestone Networks. You might not want to pay for someone full-time to manage the server, or maybe you would rather spend more time on your business than working on the server.
Limestone Networks supports hundreds of operating systems, and you don’t have to pay to integrate with them. However, a small monthly fee is required if you plan on having multiple Windows RDP seats.
From WHMCS CMS software to automated update managers and web hosting control panels, these are a few of the products and services that Limestone Networks has licensed for your use. All of them require a payment, but you typically get a discount when going through Limestone Networks.
How Does Limestone Networks Get You Online?
Since this is primarily a dedicated hosting company you’re not going to see much in terms of one-click installations for WordPress and Joomla.
It’s far more advanced than that. You do gain access to a powerful cPanel, where you can then take over and customize the size and power of your server.
If you go with a colocation plan, don’t expect anything but a place to put your server in the datacenter. If you decide on a managed hosting package, that’s where you’re going to get the most support from the folks at Limestone Networks. In fact, they’ll set up everything from backups to routine malware checks.
Does Anything Make Limestone Networks Truly Stand Out?
The fact that Limestone Networks primarily focuses on dedicated hosting is pretty darn cool. Most of the time you see shared hosting companies, where they also sell dedicated servers on the side. It’s clear that those companies are more focused on getting as many shared hosting accounts as possible.
Since Limestone has expertise in dedicated hosting, you know that you’re getting an experienced provider. Their sales reps are highly knowledgeable.
Premium Support is a Winner
We’ve noted that Limestone Network’s customer support is robust. A few of the plans also offer “premium support.” This gets you a techie on-call at all times.
And as for the managed hosting plans, this is most likely where you’re going to find some of the best support, since you’ve already paid for someone to set up and configure your server, and now they can manage it and keep you abreast of how everything is going.
Customer Support from Limestone Networks
We explained how the Limestone Networks customer support stands out, but what does that entail?
- Support reps are available 24/7/365
- You can contact support via phone, email, live chat, or Twitter
- You can also open a ticket: the Limestone team promises to respond within 10 minutes
- Resources include user forums, a knowledge base (114 articles), and an active blog with news from the support team.
As for backups and security, we’ve already discussed that the datacenter is state-of-the-art, with Tier 3+ ratings. This means that your server is going to be secure, regardless of whether or not you bring in your own equipment or decide to go with Limestone Networks’ gear. You can also configure automated backups for your server, ensuring that none of your information gets lost after a crash.
The best part of the support comes in the form of managed hosting. Those backups we talked about are configured by the Limestone Networks team, and you’ll get all sorts of information about the server, including server loads and what types of attacks occur.
Should You Go With Limestone Networks?
Let’s break down the pros and cons for you to make the decision-making process a little easier:
Consider Limestone Networks If…
- You need a dedicated server with the option to get hosted on the cloud
- Colocation is in the cards. You have your own hardware and only need a place to store and protect it
- Your company requires a dedicated server, but you’re not interested in managing it all of the time. This is where the managed hosting comes in
- You’d like a customer support squad available 24/7.
Don’t Consider Limestone Networks If…
- Your website only needs shared hosting
- You’re interested in a VPS.
Limestone Networks is a solid choice for rapidly growing companies that require a stable, fast, reliable solution that scales quickly. But they are well within the price range of companies on more modest growth curves as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Limestone Networks
What else is there to cover? In case you are searching for a few instant answers about basics, consider the below to satisfy your thirst of information.
How do I purchase an additional IP address?
From there, you can click on the Servers tab and following the simple instructions to purchase the required number of IP addresses.
Is Limestone Networks an Iaas?
One of the drawbacks includes that you have less control over the hosting environment, though most IaaS providers have a high level of security.
How Secure is Limestone Networks?
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