ASP.NET and SQL Server 2008 Host Needed

Good day experts,
I am looking for some recommendations on a reliable, reasonably economical Windows-based hosting service.  My primary platform requirements are ASP.NET 3.5, AJAX and SQL Server 2008, with a fairly large database storage need - on the order of 20GB.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
MinnRickAsked:
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ScubagoCommented:
We had several providers over the last 14 years. After using the services from Leaseweb for more than a year, we moved everything to Leaseweb. They really know hosting, offer great and fast service if there's a problem, even at night. They have datacenters all over the world.
www.leaseweb.com
MinnRickAuthor Commented:
Thanks Scubago, but I need a minimum of 20gb of SQL Server database storage, and have multiple databases.  Leaseweb's packages don't appear to support that much data.
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MinnRickAuthor Commented:
Thanks rkworlds, but neither of the hosts you mention supports the large database size that I need.  I appreciate the response however!
Rajkumar GsSoftware EngineerCommented:
Rajkumar GsSoftware EngineerCommented:
kevp75Commented:
shared hosting services will not provide the database storage that you need, so I would recommend going with either a VPS, or a dedicated server.

I have been using a VPS over at Internet Services Inc, for years now, and have not had any problems.  http://www.isicloudhosting.com
Steve BinkCommented:
You can also look at http://www.activehost.com.  They are a Microsoft shop with shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting (Virtuozzo and Hyper-V).  All of their plans can support a 20GB database, but stick with kevp75's advice - a dedicated or VPS solution will be much better for with that much data in the mix.  Shared hosting is normally not built to support that kind of size.
MinnRickAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.  Regarding a dedicated/VPS solution, a couple of questions (I've never looked into them before):
  -- The VPS plans that I'm seeing don't appear to list MS SQL Server as being included.  Does this mean that I'd be responsible for securing, installing and configuring my own licensed copy (which I don't currently have and couldn't afford on an enterprise level - I'm using 2008 Developer locally).  Are there VPS solutions out there that include SQL Server licensure and administrative support?
  -- Similar to item #1 above, I also need Visual Studio support, AJAX and a manageable control panel-type of UI..  I'm not a Sys Admin and do need assistance getting the configs on each of these properly set up.  Do VPS solutions include that kind of support, or am I just paying for the server space and the software and system administration to configure it is all on me?

None of this is clear looking at the VPS documentation.  Thanks again.

Rick
MinnRickAuthor Commented:
One hosted solution that I've run across is Arvixe..  http://www.arvixe.com/asp_net_web_hosting.  Extremely affordable but with an important restriction - their SQL Server is 2008 R2 Express, which limits my databases to 10GB (which I could probably make work), along with the 1CPU and 1GB RAM limitations that come with the Express version.  My site is a start-up so I'm not expecting substantial traffic out of the gate but my gut is still telling me to be wary of deploying a new business on a hosted SQL Server Express platform.  Would you all agree that this a valid concern?  Are there other substantial concerns which I should be focusing on as well when choosing a SQL Server/ASP.NET host?

I'd very much value the opinion of the E-E community on this.  Thanks all.
Steve BinkCommented:
With Activehost, the licensing for SQL Server can be negotiated as part of your order.  They have the standard run-of-the-mill order forms online, but calling and talking to the management sometimes yields better deals.  Still, if you need a SQL Server license, there is not much to be done about that.  That cost comes from Microsoft at a set level, and either the company you host with recoups it from you or they eat it.  Not too many companies will be willing to do the latter.  MSSQL Express is certainly an option, provided your database needs fall within the rather strict performance limitations it sets.  You can always upgrade to a higher license tier later down the road - there are no issues with migration.  If the license is just going to be too much a burden, look at MySQL instead.  It is free, and its performance is very comparable.  You don't get all the way-cool non-database additions that MSSQL provides, but I'm more of a traditionalist anyways.  Databases should not send email.  :/  In any case, if you use standard SQL-92 functionality, you could even switch back and forth between the two with the only issues being in stored procedure syntax.  

VS support and AJAX are taken care of through IIS and the .NET framework, so that should not be an issue regardless of where you go.  Server 2008 is a strong platform, and is very easy to configure for supporting different technologies.  I am not overly familiar with VS, but the only feature I'm aware you would need for it is webdav, which is a feature of the web server role.

If you want a control panel, you have to look at the same kind of situation as MSSQL - the license costs money.  On a slightly different tack, if you are comfortable administrating/managing your server through a panel like Plesk, you have enough knowledge to learn the "right" way of doing things and dump the panel.  A control panel's main use is to provide *limited* admin capabilities in a shared environment, where the customer does not have access to the server.  In many cases (<cough>Plesk<cough>) it actually makes things more difficult.  Yes, you have to learn where all the same stuff is in a different UI, but you can rest easy with the knowledge that the IIS UI is the same no matter which host you sign on with.  And again, it is the *same* stuff you'll be doing.  You would just be doing it in the MMC instead of some thunking-layer panel.  Don't let the "admin" concept intimidate you.  It really is the same tasks you are probably already doing through the panel.

For support, Activehost has add-on support plans.  Generally, their VPS/dedicated plans come with minimal support - bare-metal, network and some OS issues (depending on what you did and how involved it is to fix it).  A support package guarantees sysadmin help for all purposes, through phone, email/ticketing, or both.  That help can range from setting up new sites, assisting with PCI compliance, SSL certificate installation, or even software configuration (such as SQL Server/MySQL, Plesk/cPanel, etc).  They offer a range of options, everything from "just update my server when necessary" to complete "I need a babysitter to hold my hand".  The only real line they draw is at your application.

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MinnRickAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.
MinnRickAuthor Commented:
I'm not certain that what I'm after exists.  This was a very informative answer regarding one plausible route - much appreciated.
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