Just earlier today I was looking at the hosting packages for a local hosting provider in my country (who shall remain unnamed as I want to work there and criticizing them might not be a very good idea right now) and they start at €250/month apparently. I thought - that's fucking ridiculous!

Like for real, I could literally buy a server for.. I dunno, €600 from the likes of bargainhardware.co.uk with some pretty darn good specs, put it in my home, get a business contract with my ISP for say around €100/month (and use it for my own purposes as well instead of my consumer contract, win-win!), and the server would pay for itself in no more than half a year, probably even less! And you're even getting the actual hardware with it!! And that is for the price of that hosting provider's starting option!!!

Now I know what you're thinking, sure there's more to servers than just the server itself, like redundant power, generators, SLA, multiple routers and switches, and all sorts of failover measures. And you are absolutely right. But does that really justify a rental cost of a server of €250/month?

Not only that, even their shared hosting.. shared hosting, the dreaded, shitty shared hosting! solution is starting at around €10/month. I'm paying about €5/month for 3 light-duty servers and a domain for Christ's sake!

So.. is this hosting provider just expensive as fuck or is this really the industry standard, particularly for the dedicated hosting part? And maybe that's why some services like.. say devRant which apparently gets around €600/month from 299 supporters at the time of writing, yet still has @dfox and @trogus pay from their own wallets for it (if at all possible, please let me know if that's still the case).. I wonder if those costs are all really justifiable?

It just strikes me as odd.. you can get *a lot* of server for a couple hundred bucks if you do it well.. no?

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    Hosting is expensive as fuck, but this one is a particularly bad case, I think I know which one you mean. But they have great support and everyone is happy with them, which is worth something, too
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    I'm paying 3.50 EUR per month for shared hosting (domain not included), but Iceland just isn't cheap. VPS starts at 20 EUR monthly, and a dedicated server would clock in at around 200 EUR - per month.

    What I get is hosting outside of US and EU, and real privacy because the provider didn't even ask for my living address.
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    Btw, shared hosting is fine if the server isn't overloaded, has a decent Nginx reverse proxy in front of it and you don't install resource hogs like WP.
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    Well, getting a business contract with your ISP

    = $100/month

    but what about:

    Redundancy from the ISP? Ability to call 24/7? UPS? Generator? Security of the facility? Maintenance of the server? Support?

    Yes, there is just much more to it.

    You actually need a lot of volume to be able to justify low prices like you are used to - and often does that not include any support at all.

    10/month for a shared hosting is not that bad really - it is more like a standard. But many providers does just dump prices nowadays and that is pretty bad.

    rant is invalid, sorry
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    Also, everything depends on how much is included in the price.

    Backups included? Because backups costs money and if they are for example using VEEAM - it is often licensed per server.

    DDOS protection included? That also costs money

    Does the hardware have some warranty from the vendor or support contract for the hosting company? That also costs money.

    New hardware does also cost money, ALOT of money.

    And if the server is a managed VPS - you suddenly got alot of the money.

    Not every company has the inhouse knowledge to maintain a server.

    €250 is not that much for a company.
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    @epse can you say which company you think he means? Then @condor can upvote you to secretly share the info of the company xD
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    @Codex404 if he doesn't want to tell, I have to respect that.
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    @Codex404 I'd rather not tell.
    @Linux Thanks for the clarification! Things like support and having knowledgeable engineers on site to resolve issues can indeed cost a lot of money I guess. And I'm not entirely sure how many and which features this company provides to be honest.
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    I went that route for a decade+

    You really need someone to live with the server 24/7.. and someone as backup for when you are ill, or out shopping, at work..

    Yes, this does mean you will be up at 3am, for the next 24 hours, fixing things..

    For one server, you might find a dedicated firewall PC handy, a workstation or two.

    Perhaps you will have a separate email server to your webserver.

    Not easy to get an ISP to connect you with static IP addresses, and good upload speeds.

    A backup powersupply is handy, kinda needed, APC are cheap, if awkward to get to work..

    You might want two, for when one stops working. :-)

    Don't forget servers need new HD's from time to time, or capacitors burst and need replacing.

    HD's also get full.

    And require backing up.

    OS's need patching.

    Regular checks to see if anyone is hacking your server lately.

    Keeping up to date on new security issues.
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    A friend and me, we seriously looked into, well, everyone is doing hosting, lets think about doing that ourselves and charging others for it.

    Even had an investor.

    But I did the sums, really hard to make any money, let alone pay ourselves a wage !

    It's much harder than you might imagine.

    Doable, if you are dedicated.

    You don't need to spend £600 on a server though, even something thrown away in the gutter can be pressed into service. :-)

    And a good way to cut your teeth on learning about all the issues.

    Electricity costs, and if you have several machines, AC cooling costs !
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    @Nanos Thanks for the explanation! Indeed, being the proud parent of a server here at home as well, I can definitely reaffirm that it is quite a demanding child to have. Waking up to change diapers and give milk every so often is.. not something that I'm experienced with yet, but damn well do I think that nannying a server comes close to it.

    You're certainly right about the static IP's from residential ISP's (at least when it comes to residential connections I guess). In my residential connection it is semi-static (unchanging as long as the router doesn't reboot, might be possible to work around with DDNS, although rather unwieldy), not sure about their business plans though. Maybe I should check with them.

    Dedicated firewall (and Linux router for that matter) sure are handy indeed. It's actually one of the major issues I had with this Fritz!Box, it doesn't allow me the control I want from it. But the problem is that in order to get on the VDSL network, you need to get certification from Belgacom, and the guys are all too comfortable with keeping those certifications low.. after all, slacking off with certifications promotes their own bbox routers. Bastards... So I can't just run my own PPPoE connection without somehow learning how to replicate whatever the Fritz!Box is currently putting out.

    Mail servers, web servers, of course, but those are low duty. Actually that's what those 3 VPS' I mentioned in my post are doing :)

    If anything, I think I'd probably want to go the same route as you went with as well. A sort of semi-professional hosting from home seems pretty fun to get my feet wet with :) service separation and such I got a fair bit of experience with now, but I've honestly got no experience whatsoever by actually letting others in too, and keeping things secure. Might be fun!
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    I'm reminded of other issues such as, where do you get a version of antivirus that works with servers..

    Unblacklisting your servers.

    An UPS bypass switch is handy.

    Don't forget those UPS batteries don't last forever !

    Don't forget to monitor your connection 24/7 and have SMS alerts to let you know when its down and you need to rush home and fix it.

    You may need to drill lots of holes in the case of your router to make sure it doesn't overheat.

    You might want 1 inch thick stolid steel door to protect your server from intruders, and 24/7 CCTV with night time ability to keep an eye on events outside.

    And fire extinguishers.

    And smoke detectors.

    And bugs, mice like to get inside servers.

    (Once found a dead mouse..)
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    You're looking in Belgium? That's error #1... everything is "expensive" here... x}
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    @xewl true story..
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    I think a lot of the responses here have hit on the important points and gave great explanations, but I'll just give my own take quickly.

    In short, it's a route we've looked into, but when all is said and done, if we wanted any kind of redundancy and good reliability, I think we'd save very little money, if any at all. The main option we've considered was dedicated servers at some datacenter in the mid-west USA, but it's hard to imagine us getting the same reliability there that we do with DigitalOcean. There's a few reasons for that. One of the main ones is, for database servers, I'd never host one on a non-RAID or non-distributed disk system. SSDs under heavy write/read load are not reliable and fail. That means if we got dedicated servers, they'd need to have RAID, which right away makes them more expensive than general offerings you see.
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    When you take that into account, combined with the headaches involved in having to have a person at the datacenter do work on your server(s) if needed, it seems like a bad idea for most small companies. If we didn't care about downtime or reliability for keeping the community up and running and just wanted to save cash, I think it would be an option. But I take pride in our uptime and think over the last year or so it's been pretty outstanding, and would like to keep it that way.

    As for hosting servers in our own apartments or living spaces, we've never considered that and never would. In NYC, real estate prices are insane and if you calculated the price/sqft relative to paying for DO, we'd come out behind if we hosted the servers ourselves. So yeah, we still lose some money (we're very close to breakeven though), but I'd rather have that and have the app be very reliable and figure out how to make up for that gab another way.
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    @dfox I have so much respect for the dedication from you both. Sadly I don't have the money to be a member and respect doesn't pay the bills, but I really hope things turn out well for devRant and you guys
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    @epse thank you, I appreciate those kind words! We’re trying to give it our all to make that happen.
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    I had RAID, bloody difficult to get working right I found, at least with the 2nd cheapest from the bottom RAID system..

    Interesting I've just retired some RAID drives, must have been working for 15 years and still going strong !

    So, paying extra for RAID HD's even if they are cheaper re-certified ones pays off !

    Just took me weeks to find the keys to unlock the cabinet with them in !

    When I say retired, I mean, now using them in my backup PC !

    But not in RAID configuration..

    I never did find out what would happen if we had a gradual HD failure..

    Previous RAID's I had tested, if one HD started to go iffy, it would copy the iffy data across the other drives, helpful NOT !

    I used to keep my servers under the dining room table. :-)

    Oh and one behind a brick wall I built next to the bed to quieten it down a bit..


    > Data Center White Noise

    I slept in the same room as the servers for 10+ years..
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    I recently got some SSD's, with MTBF of 3 million hours, I wonder how long that means in real life before one of them dies ?
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