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  • does anyone here have their own server

    Just wondering if anyone here has their own server instead of paying for hosting.

    If so what did it cost you to buy the server/software and get it going?

    What are the pros/cons of doing it yourself?

    thanks !!

  • #2
    How will you be connected to the internet other than using a data center?
    ...steven
    www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
    bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
    "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

    Comment


    • #3
      through comcast broadband

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by paul1972 View Post
        through comcast broadband
        Probably a bad idea.
        1) Does comcast have rules about it in their agreement?
        2) What is your upload/download speed?

        Edit: Do some googling. webserver using comcast

        http://www.mahalo.com/answers/can-i-...s-for-a-server
        Absolutely forbidden in your terms of service. At the least they'll send you a warning, at the worst they will cancel your service.

        http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Customers/Policies/HighSpeedInternetAUP.html

        Direct quote as a prohibited activity:
        use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers;
        Last edited by steven s; Sun 26th Dec '10, 6:02am. Reason: updated TOS from original link
        ...steven
        www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
        bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
        "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by steven s View Post
          How will you be connected to the internet other than using a data center?
          Not everyone uses commercial hosting. Many host from their garage/home, or from professional uplink lines (since traditional home connections are deliberately limited to favour ISPs' offers for societies and discourage people from using their home connections for servers).
          Colocation is also a good deal. Band together for the hardware, and just store it in a datacenter, sharing maintainance and energy expenses.

          If so what did it cost you to buy the server/software and get it going?
          - Some webhosts write off the hardware to you after a period of use (thereby, its yours, and you can either keep it permanently or move away with it). Good deals if you get that.
          - CentOS is free.
          - Ditch commercial web control panels if price is an issue, unless youd be reselling (or are a non-profit/school). Kloxo is okay, Webmin better.

          VPS require different setups from traditional servers, on an aside. The nicest point is quick image reprovisioning (akin to instant server reinstallations), and relative ressource consumption economy.

          What are the pros/cons of doing it yourself?
          Possibly lowgrade human support and little availability for emergencies.
          - Even if someone is around, they might not have enough expertise to say, identify security breaches or stability issues.
          - Even if they have enough skill to not find themselves lost, they might not necessarily have the time availability to handle emergencies.
          - Security can be flakey, backups of questionable integrity and/or reliability (especially if not offsite).

          Overall, unmanaged VPSes/dedicaced servers from a webhost can be a better deal, since it should provide savings in at least energy. Youd still be on your own with those, pretty much, so having tech people around would be good. Of course, that still stands if you do your own home setup too.

          Comment


          • #6
            I own/operate my own server, however I have it colocated in a real datacenter in addition to [having] the proper experience and knowledge needed.

            To be frank, if you need to ask these questions, you are not ready to administrate your own server let alone operate one. Just get a managed one and save us the trouble of your box turning into an attack drone when it gets rooted.

            If you really want to run your own box, practice first on an internal network before you turn it into production and let the world at it.

            To answer some questions..
            • My servers are built from all server-grade enterprise hardware. Servers should never be made from consumer desktop parts. Desktop parts are NOT made for 24/7 use.
            • Anyone who uses a single drive server is a fool. At the very least an entry server should have hardware RAID-1 disk mirroring. RAID-10 is preferred.
            • AIRFLOW AIRFLOW AIRFLOW. If you're building your own server, properly route the wires. Airflow is critical.
            • BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS. Nightly on-site backups and weekly off-site backups are ideal. NEVER backup to your main array. Have a separate array dedicated to backup storage.
            • If you are colocating abroad (more than a two hour drive), make sure that your motherboard has IPMI capabilities and that it is properly configured.
            • Use CentOS. CentOS is a mature, stable operating system that is the defacto for *nix servers. For added fun, add the EPEL repository. Debian is also a nice alternative.
            • Use a standard LAMP stack. Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP
            • If your server is multi-core, trade in the Prefork for Worker. (In regard to Apache MPM)
            • Disable all proxy modules in the Apache config. 90% of people never use this and leave this open. It is a security risk unless you understand what is it for and need it for a specific purpose.
            • Do not use mod_php, instead use fcgi (FastCGI). It's faster, and more secure as it allows you to run each individual domain as the domain owner. You will never need to set a directory to 777 ever again.
            • MySQL, when first installed, is NOT secure for production use. Many people fail to realize this. Run this command after you install MySQL, this will give you a friendly wizard for basic security: /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation
            • FIREWALL FIREWALL FIREWALL. Learn how iptables operate. Learn how to write rules. This will be your first defense.
            • Secure your SSH and disallow direct root logins.
            • Secure your SSH and disallow password-based logins, use SSH keys.
            • Secure your SSH and only allow predefined users to log in.
            • In case you missed it, Secure your SSH.
            • Non-public services should never be run on default ports. While this won't add security from humans, it will help against automated port scans.
            • Use dedicated login credentials for your server and nothing else.
            • Don't trust 3rd party extensions that are not in an official repository. (unless you compile it yourself from source)
            • You need to understand how to control your entire system via the command line.
            • Server Security is an ongoing process. It is NOT set-it-and-forget-it.
            • Updates are important. Due to it's maturity, CentOS doesn't issue updates often, but when it does it is important to update. This applies to ANY distribution.
            • Monitor your logs as well as set up Logwatch and Logrotate.
            • You are NOT a professional. You are NOT a seasoned server administrator. Just because you can follow the steps outlined above it does not mean that you are 1337.
            • Google is your friend. Timestamps are your friend*. Your two new friends love you and will take over where I left off.


            One more thing, I know that you will ignore the parts about not running your own server. When your 'server' does get compromised, don't cry that it was hacked. Use the proper terminology. An attacker cracked your security and now your site has been compromised. Not 'hacked'. Ignorance is bliss.

            On closing, I would just like to say, do not host a 'server' from your home. The reasons not to are endless. Anyone who advocates doing otherwise is a fool and does not understand the basic needs of a server that the average home or small office cannot deliver. If you own the hardware, colocate it. There is no such thing as a 'Professional' uplink. It is still shared with your neighbors and not multi-homed. One static IP address does not equal a professional line.

            Learn your trade and make friends in the industry. You can get fantastic deals for insider prices.

            * By timestamps, I mean, don't follow instructions on the internet when they are ridiculously old. Instructions from 2000 have a good chance of not being relevant in 2010.
            Last edited by Private_Ale; Sun 26th Dec '10, 10:22am.

            Comment


            • #7
              Very well said.
              ...steven
              www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
              bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
              "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Private_Ale View Post
                I own/operate my own server, however I have it colocated in a real datacenter in addition to [having] the proper experience and knowledge needed.

                To be frank, if you need to ask these questions, you are not ready to administrate your own server let alone operate one. Just get a managed one and save us the trouble of your box turning into an attack drone when it gets rooted.

                If you really want to run your own box, practice first on an internal network before you turn it into production and let the world at it.


                To answer some questions..
                • My servers are built from all server-grade enterprise hardware. Servers should never be made from consumer desktop parts. Desktop parts are NOT made for 24/7 use.
                • Anyone who uses a single drive server is a fool. At the very least an entry server should have hardware RAID-1 disk mirroring. RAID-10 is preferred.
                • AIRFLOW AIRFLOW AIRFLOW. If you're building your own server, properly route the wires. Airflow is critical.
                • BACKUPS BACKUPS BACKUPS. Nightly on-site backups and weekly off-site backups are ideal. NEVER backup to your main array. Have a separate array dedicated to backup storage.
                • If you are colocating abroad (more than a two hour drive), make sure that your motherboard has IPMI capabilities and that it is properly configured.
                • Use CentOS. CentOS is a mature, stable operating system that is the defacto for *nix servers. For added fun, add the EPEL repository. Debian is also a nice alternative.
                • Use a standard LAMP stack. Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP
                • If your server is multi-core, trade in the Prefork for Worker. (In regard to Apache MPM)
                • Disable all proxy modules in the Apache config. 90% of people never use this and leave this open. It is a security risk unless you understand what is it for and need it for a specific purpose.
                • Do not use mod_php, instead use fcgi (FastCGI). It's faster, and more secure as it allows you to run each individual domain as the domain owner. You will never need to set a directory to 777 ever again.
                • MySQL, when first installed, is NOT secure for production use. Many people fail to realize this. Run this command after you install MySQL, this will give you a friendly wizard for basic security: /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation
                • FIREWALL FIREWALL FIREWALL. Learn how iptables operate. Learn how to write rules. This will be your first defense.
                • Secure your SSH and disallow direct root logins.
                • Secure your SSH and disallow password-based logins, use SSH keys.
                • Secure your SSH and only allow predefined users to log in.
                • In case you missed it, Secure your SSH.
                • Non-public services should never be run on default ports. While this won't add security from humans, it will help against automated port scans.
                • Use dedicated login credentials for your server and nothing else.
                • Don't trust 3rd party extensions that are not in an official repository. (unless you compile it yourself from source)
                • You need to understand how to control your entire system via the command line.
                • Server Security is an ongoing process. It is NOT set-it-and-forget-it.
                • Updates are important. Due to it's maturity, CentOS doesn't issue updates often, but when it does it is important to update. This applies to ANY distribution.
                • Monitor your logs as well as set up Logwatch and Logrotate.
                • You are NOT a professional. You are NOT a seasoned server administrator. Just because you can follow the steps outlined above it does not mean that you are 1337.
                • Google is your friend. Timestamps are your friend*. Your two new friends love you and will take over where I left off.

                One more thing, I know that you will ignore the parts about not running your own server. When your 'server' does get compromised, don't cry that it was hacked. Use the proper terminology. An attacker cracked your security and now your site has been compromised. Not 'hacked'. Ignorance is bliss.

                On closing, I would just like to say, do not host a 'server' from your home. The reasons not to are endless. Anyone who advocates doing otherwise is a fool and does not understand the basic needs of a server that the average home or small office cannot deliver. If you own the hardware, colocate it. There is no such thing as a 'Professional' uplink. It is still shared with your neighbors and not multi-homed. One static IP address does not equal a professional line.

                Learn your trade and make friends in the industry. You can get fantastic deals for insider prices.

                * By timestamps, I mean, don't follow instructions on the internet when they are ridiculously old. Instructions from 2000 have a good chance of not being relevant in 2010.
                while you are 99% right don't be so hard for newbies you learned it all from scratch to right... the threadstarter is obviously not ready to own and certainly not ready to operate a server but he can hire a real serveradmin while he is learning...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DelphiVillage View Post
                  while you are 99% right don't be so hard for newbies you learned it all from scratch to right... the threadstarter is obviously not ready to own and certainly not ready to operate a server but he can hire a real serveradmin while he is learning...
                  Maybe, but I think hosting a server is a 24 hr job.
                  It's one thing to set it up to learn, but if it's to be successful, it needs to be reliable.
                  He can't do it through his cable provider legally anyway, so the whole thing is moot at this point.
                  ...steven
                  www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
                  bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
                  "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by steven s View Post
                    Maybe, but I think hosting a server is a 24 hr job.
                    It's one thing to set it up to learn, but if it's to be successful, it needs to be reliable.
                    He can't do it through his cable provider legally anyway, so the whole thing is moot at this point.
                    yes most cable providers forbid there clients to run *any* kind of servers which is a good idea since the windows os is not verry capable todo that (depends which version offcource) also one user with limited technical knowledge might open security holes which brings the whole network in danger

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Very well, neat explained.
                      This is one of the reason, why one should look for reliable and professional server hosting provider. If it was so easy to host your own server [though it's not impossible, it's a matter of experience and security], who would have really cared to find a dedicated, 24x7 supported, 24x7 monitored, Real time service provider.
                      Last edited by WebKing27; Mon 27th Dec '10, 12:43pm.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        And another thing about a home server on a cable network.
                        You are sharing bandwidth with all of your neighbors.

                        I was in a hotel with a decent internet connection until everyone returned to their rooms and the bandwidth got sucked up.
                        ...steven
                        www.318ti.org (vB3.8) | www.nccbmwcca.org (vB4.2)
                        bmwcca.org/forum | m135i.net
                        "I tried to clean this up but this thread is beyond redemption." - Steve Machol

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I host my own server. It costs me about $94 per month, but the hardware is mine. Co-location
                          Shamil Nunhuck, - Radon Systems Ltd.
                          VPS + Dedicated Server Hosting and Management
                          vBulletin Hosting and Services
                          Server / Website Consultation

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have almost 30 dedicated servers, I pay a hundred to several hundred a month for each server, I have various servers, in various states and countries, I'd never suggest hosting it at your home, because your broadband upstream will be very limited, average 2-3mbit/s, vs a dedicated server has 100mbit/s or 1000mbit/s upstream, but if you don't know what your doing it's not a good idea to get a server yourself, unless your getting managed services, because you can't just learn overnight it could take months to years to actually learn stuff, so it's a good idea to pay someone to have the knowledge already to do it and help you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Interesting conversation. Private_Ale, et al make some absolutely appropriate comments for professional hosting; however, I think we first need to find out what Paul's goals are.

                              I am an IT professional with 15 years experience. My specialty is network engineering/administration. My employers have varied from a hospital with 700 users and 40 servers to a software development company with 200 users and 700 servers to a well-known not-for-profit corporation. I've run my own site out of my basement for 6 years. I began with one forum, but have now expanded to a second. They are both Web forums that allow me to merge my professional, geek experience and my boating obsession. They're both free; however, I'm hoping that the second might pick up some sponsorship to offset the costs of hosting the sites.

                              My Internet connection is a Comcast Business Class circuit (22Mbps/5Mbps). I'm running two separate firewalls (Netgear UTM-5 and UTM-25) for HTTP and SMTP because a lot of my outbound mail was getting blocked and caught in spam filters when I used the same firewall for my adult Web sites and my email server. The separate IP addresses split the email server from my personal messaging server and resolve the block problem.

                              I have been hosting the first forum on a 2002 HP Proliant that I purchased very lightly used from a previous employer. The drives are in a RAID 5 configuration and I back it up on a weekly basis. When I made the decision to add the second site, I purchased an HP Micro Server with two drives in a RAID 1 config. This second site is backed up on a daily basis. My first site is running on Windows Server 2003 that I got from a Microsoft Server 2003 launch promotion. Unfortunately, Microsoft no longer gives away free copies of their new OSs at launch. The second site is running on Ubuntu LAMP server.

                              I am aware of the less than ideal functionality of cable Internet to host a Web site; however, my sites are free and are provided out of my own passion for boating and the desire to share the fun. I'm a geek, so my home network is already as complex as (or more complex than) many medium-sized businesses. The cost was already there for me, so I figured that I may as well establish the sites. The only additional cost to what I was already experiencing was the business class Internet circuit and the additional firewall which was, technically, only required becaise of my adult-oriented Web sites content.

                              Practically, the business class Internet connection with Comcast is around $100 per month. My firewalls are the most expensive hardware in my network, but they're worth it with anti-virus, anti-spam, and maintenance subscriptions, as well as VPN capabilities. An HP Micro Server can be purchased for about $300 and Ubuntu is free. I recently purchased a Micro Server from NewEgg.com that bundled the hardware with Microsoft's Small Business Server for $800.

                              Bottom line: I've learned a lot of my professional skill from building and experimenting on my home network. Not all Web sites require colocation and enterprise quality hardware and circuits. If Paul wants to host a non-mission critical site from his basement, it can be done without a great deal of cost and it can provide some amazing learning experiences!
                              Last edited by Nauti Rogue; Sat 28th Jan '12, 2:12pm.
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