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Author Topic: How much would it cost to create my own high-speed server hosting solution?  (Read 3529 times)


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I'm getting tired of relying on other servers to meet my computing needs.  Except for the gracious hosting DC has provided me, it's all a headache I want to avoid.  So I am now considering managing and hosting my own server.  I'm a total newbie to this, so I'd like to know what is involved and how much I can expect it to cost.  I'm mostly concerned about monthly bandwidth charges and other similar monthly charges I may not be aware of.

I'm assuming I will be the IT guy, so I wouldn't have to pay for someone's services.

I'll buy the equipment.  The OS, server equipment, etc.  I'm assuming I can get away with a good solution for under $20,000.  If it's significantly more, please tell me, because I'm assuming I'm overshooting here.

I have no idea how much bandwidth I'd need.  But I want fast upload/download speeds.  Faster than residential speeds, but it doesn't necessarily have to be as fast as youtube would need.  I would like enough bandwidth to stream pretty good quality videos.  I don't know what else statistics to write here...I'm guessing no more 5000 visitors a month.  My current website gets about 500 visitors a month, and if I do some other sites, I don't imagine getting more than 10x that.  If it gets more popular, then hooray, and I'll deal with that then.

I know I'll need to buy a domain name, but that's relatively cheap.

I'm assuming the high speed connection service from the ISP will be the bulk of the cost.  Am I right?  Discuss, please!  I forgot who it was, but I know somebody here has their own server and he even let me use it once for something.


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I'm assuming I can get away with a good solution for under $20,000.

what on god's earth are you even considering hosting that is having you even contemplating that kind of expenditure.  and if you have that kind of money to throw around, just send it to DC and we'll find a way to spend it.

owning your own server is not really practical except for very large businesses.  because you won't have the bandwidth pipe in your house or even your business to do huge amounts of traffic, one will always end up "co-locating" in a server farm, even if you do decide to own the hardware.  so whether you co-locate or rent a dedicated server that is essentially a server that only you control, you are usually hosting it in someone else's location. you can talk to gothi[c] the dc server admin about some of this stuff, he knows a lot more about it.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 05:01 PM by mouser »


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Very few if any ISPs allow 'home servers' no matter what you pay them. Like mouser says perhaps the more common method is renting a dedicated server where your expenditure would be good hardware housed inside a good data center. There are famous or reputable data centers with good links to major providers. Real dedicated servers range from $100/month and up.


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Dedicated (leased) servers are a good high-end option if you really need that. But you don't, judging by the scenario(s) you've described. That would run you $100/mo and up - about $250 if you want a "premium" unmananged system with relatively high-end hardware and a decent bandwidth allowance. Comcast Business Class also offers fairly high bandwidth connections that you can get to your home if you tell them you have a home business. 50mbit/s download, 10mbit/s upload, that will run you about $200/mo. My old office had that connection and the advertised speeds were pretty close to reality. Back that up with some decent server-level hardware (about $2500 per server for a dual CPU system with 8-12GB of RAM and a 4+ drive RAID 5 array with hardware RAID controller). But again that's all massive overkill.

What exactly is a "headache" about normal web hosting that has you willing to spend so much money and time and effort to learn such complex systems and manage and troubleshoot them? People are paid good money to do this professionally because it's a complex, skilled job. Like mouser said, ask gothi[c]. DC runs some mid-range(ish) servers (2 I think) and it's a decent amount of work just keeping them going in top shape. You have to worry about OS and software updates, security issues, installing and configuring all your own server software and support packages, etc, etc. These are good skills to have so if you have notions of actually going into that professionally it would be worth learning. Otherwise I'd say don't bother. If you're unsatisfied with traditional shared hosting due to resource issues or downtime, spend your money on a good VPS setup or fully managed dedicated server, let them deal with all the hassles while you enjoy high reliability and excellent support. For a decent managed VPS you're looking at maybe $50-100/mo. For a dedicated server $200-400, depending on hardware, support level, etc.

P.S. I agree, if you have $20k to spend on just these web projects, send it DC's way. I guarantee mouser will find a way to provide you awesome, reliable server space for life, and do a whole lot more with the money to boot.

- Oshan

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The phrase Out of the frying pan & into the fire comes to mind. :)

Of the 3 servers on our office network two have public access services. We have an Exchange mail server and 3 websites spread between them. Pipe into the building is a fractal T1 ($250mo) - which hasn't given any performance issues... Yet.

Traffic on the websites is extremely low - Less than 2,000 hits a month for the trio. Exchange traffic is either really high, or really, depending of you count the spam (I love GFi MailEssentials) 80,000 total, 2,00 valid, per week. Point being the sites are mainly static pages with some dynamic stuff backed by a SQL db. There is no Video Streaming, and I've been fighting tooth & nail to prevent any flash movies from being added just so I can maintain the fragile balancing act that is our visitors x content to bandwidth ratio.

If the boss came to me tomorrow, and said we were going to be adding a series of streamed videos to the site - as much as I like having my very own servers to play with - I would also (as the crew above) have to go for/recommend/insist on commercial hosting. It's a go big or go home game, that you're either all in...or about to be killed. The middle ground disappeared years ago.