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  • own server with T1 connection?

    Currently I run my sites on a dedicated server. It's starting to look like I will soon be needing to add an additional server (or maybe several more) into the mix. Rather than spending $800+ per month for dedicated hosting, I'm considering having a T1 line setup at my location and hosting my sites/servers myself. Probably fractional T1 at first, and I'll upgrade towards full T1 bandwidth as needed.

    I'm just looking for feedback about doing something like this.

    I already do all the admin work on my dedicated server, so with a T1 to my location the server admin aspect will not change. I realize I'll need to have a good battery backup system in place.

    Are there any other issues that I might run into with hosting my own servers on a T1? Pros / Cons?

    Any & all feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    John
    ...john2k...

  • #2
    I presume that one of the reasons you are looking at another server is bandwidth related. How much bandwidth are you currently using? How much bandwidth do you "burst" to now? What will you do if your T1 goes down? What about power outtages? What about cooling? What about security?

    Those would be a couple considerations regarding hosting it at your home/office.
    AlphaOmegaHosting.Com
    http://www.alphaomegahosting.com

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    • #3
      Bandwidth isn't my main issue, it's mostly about the performance of my current server. If I host my sites on a T1 I can setup as many servers as I need and not incur any additional monthly costs besides the initial cost of the hardware. If I add additional (rented) dedicated servers rather than going the T1 route, my monthly costs will rise instead of just having a one-time expense.

      Co-location is also an option. I found one datacenter which is close enough to where I live so I can consider that route. They have multiple connections and also take care of the cooling, security & backup power. I see your point how these factors come into play if I host the servers myself.

      My goal is to minimize expense, without sacrificing quality. I'm also in this for the long run, started my first site in 1996, so long term benefits are somewhat of a consideration.

      It doesn't seem cost effective to continue renting dedicated servers as my server needs grow. Sometime's I feel like I'm buying my current server over & over. Maybe I'm underestimating bandwidth costs.

      If there is anyone out there who hosts their own servers with a T1, I'd like to hear about your experiences with it. Is it better than renting hardware or co-location? I definitely don't want to save money on one side and pay for that savings with other expenses.

      Thanks for the info!
      ...john2k...

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      • #4
        I would go with co-location over getting your own T-1 line... you don't know how much of a hassle it is to try and run your servers by yourself.

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        • #5
          I already do all the admin work on my server. The only thing my host does/did was to build the server, connect it to their network & setup my IP addresses on it. Then I do the rest. I expect that part to be similar with co-location, but the OS & hardware would also become my responsibility as well.

          What part of running my servers myself would be a hassle? Any specifics? Were you just referring to server admin, or something else?

          Thanks,

          - John
          ...john2k...

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          • #6
            No I wasn't referring to the server admin part, but the network admin... you would need to know how to setup and run a router, how to block packets if your server gets a DoS attack, and you would only have one network provider, which would mean more downtime if something happend. You also need a controller enviroment (the same temp and humity all the time), and backup power.

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            • #7
              Do most datacenters automatically protect against DoS attacks that way? Without being notified by the server admin of the problem?

              Is a temperature controlled environment absolutely necessary for hosting servers? Does this just extend the life of server hardware? Is the extended life significant?

              For backup power I was thinking of just getting some UPS units that automatically power down the server upon power outage and turn the servers back on when power is restored. Power goes out here only a few hours every month or two, so isn't very bad.

              Only one T1 surely wouldn't provide any redundancy. Most of the quotes I've received so far have service level agreements with guaranteed uptimes of 98+ %.

              Thanks for all of the info. All these pros & cons are helping me take all factors into consideration.
              ...john2k...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by john2k

                Only one T1 surely wouldn't provide any redundancy. Most of the quotes I've received so far have service level agreements with guaranteed uptimes of 98+ %.
                Most datacenters have several different ways of getting internet (with backsups) so they can typicaly gurantee 99.9% uptime.

                I'm curious about the temperature and humidity thing, though.

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                • #9
                  Having 10+ servers in a regular room is alot differnt temp wise then just one or two...

                  If you have that many boxes up and running, they are prolly getting a work out, and putting out more heat than normal, so yeah, HVAC is an important part of a system, you generally get fewer hardware problems, and fewer software problems by having a controlled temp...

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                  • #10
                    I never thought of it from that point of view. But it's true. My home office gets much warmer than the rest of the house, and that's only with 1 to 3 computers running.

                    Just a few minutes ago (before reading your message) I was fanning my office door to get out some of the heat. Climate control is definitely a consideration now.

                    Initially I would probably just run 2 servers, then eventually to 4 - and that should handle everything for a while. But 4 servers running 24/7 could probably really heat things up.

                    Doesn't mean T1 is totally out of the question, though. Just something else for me to consider.

                    Thanks!

                    - John
                    ...john2k...

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                    • #11
                      Well three years my family converted our guest house into a web host facility. The first few months it was pretty interesting. Here are my tips for you over what we have learned from our experience.

                      Rackmount all your equipment.

                      Find an Two ISP's that will back 99% of their SLA Contract.
                      ( the reason I say two isp's, is for ISP redundancy, you will have a primamary ( working ) ISP and a secondary ( protect ) ISP so if Primary ISP goes down then Secondary ISP will auto kick in ) at the moment we use 3 Major Internet Backbone Connections.

                      Make sure you use at least three DNS Server's

                      Use an OS that you are comfortable administrating.

                      Have a good security plan. Your friends or relatives should not be able to have access to your hosting room. Put a good firewall, encryption, intrusion detection and other security measures in place for the would be hackers.

                      Also power. Since you are running it from your house or office, what are you gonna do when your main power goes out. a $75 UPS will only keep you up so long.

                      Now for your HVAC. Electronic devices last much longer and experience fewer component failures when kept at constant temperature and humidity levels. Maintain a constant temperature that does not fluctuate more than 3°F above or below an optimal target room temperature of 68-72°F and a humidity level not to exceed 55%.

                      oh yeah dont forget about Fire Suppression. In just a few minutes, heat and smoke can seriously damage your enviroment. Get a good smoke signature detection system that constantly monitors for specific events or you can just use a pre-action pressurized pipe system.


                      welp I hope some if this stuff I just is useful for you. Depending on your financial background and how much you want to invest, you might just wanna do a co-location with a Hosting Company, find one that will offer support for your servers, unless you still wanna do it on your own.

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                      • #12
                        Why rackmount everything? Just to save space, or is there another reason for that?

                        About redundant T1s, do primary T1s often have outages?

                        Thanks a lot for all the info.

                        - John
                        ...john2k...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by john2k
                          Why rackmount everything? Just to save space, or is there another reason for that?

                          About redundant T1s, do primary T1s often have outages?

                          Thanks a lot for all the info.

                          - John

                          well we rack mounted everything because we had around 30 Servers to start with. So we chose the option of 30 1U Server's versus 30 regular sized server's. But really its best to have your stuff rackmounted in a rack cause of better organization, easier to get to the back of the server and other things, thinner is better, especially in a small enviroment. Lets face it 1U is the way of the future now.
                          Think about it, lay your server on the ground. lets see it hmmm 22" wide and about 6" high, well in a small enviroment thats 6 Rackmount servers you can be running compared to 6 servers that are 22" wide and 6" high. Dont want you run out of office space do you? Im sure in your office location space is not at quite such a premium to waste is it?
                          Standard racks are a little over six feet high and-not counting gaps an installer intentionally leaves to improve ventilation-are capable of holding 21 2U servers or 42 1U servers. So in other words thats jus one rack you can shove in the corner , but of course you wont be starting ot with 21U Server's but at least you will have a rack to secure all your equipment.

                          Well depending on the ISP you choose then your T1 should hardly go down. But lets say you ( primamary ) ISP has this huge network outage that last for like oh lets say 4 days. How are you going to explain to your customer that you didnt have a backup plan for such a disaster?

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                          • #14
                            Besides, alot of your networking hardware will be rack mounted..

                            Switches, routers, firewalls, IDS, etc..

                            Besides you gotta think about the insurance aspect of this, think how much your house insurance will be if you are running servers from it..

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                            • #15
                              How about making a single kick-ass server instead of several slower ones. You know, you can put up to 16 GB of RAM and two Xeon processors on the Supermicro P4DP8-G2 motherboard. Plus it comes with Ultra320 SCSI , and two Gigabit Ethernet ports on board. Add several 15K RPM hard drives, and you are flying!

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