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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Question If Your host went belly up-Now what?
    We've been reading here about web hosts going belly up and leaving people out of biz.

    Anyone with a bunch of sites paying $500+ a month for a dedicated server hosted who knows where, think about doing their own in-house server?

    It's not that expensive, a server, firewall and a T-1.

    The server can range from say 1,000 - $3500 for a dell 2900 w/raid 5.
    You can lease a Dell.

    Firewall $800, for a Gnat box. I know several people using these say they're great.

    A T-1 can be bought in 1/2 or full T's.

    They range $350-650 a month.

    Now your in control of your business, not a host that you have no idea of what they really look like other than a pretty picture of a server farm of computers on their web site that may not even be theirs.

    We've been self hosted since '99 albeit not as simple as stated above but it has been a decision we've never regretted.



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  2. #2
    Half a Bubble Off Plumb RemodelingGuy's Avatar
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    Hey PW,

    Thinking Out Loud.

    I pay many times that just for one site.

    If I ran my own server....

    Presumably, this server would stand alone, and if I had a power outage, a virus, a server issue or many more things that come to mind....

    How would I recover?

    No back ups....

    No power = SITE DOWN!

    Virus = Oh! Crap!

    How do I overcome these issues?

    If my site was down for 4 "PRIME" hours a month, it would cost me more than it would save me.

    Is this still a good option for me?

    Aren't there still server maintenence issues that need a pro every month or so?

    Just Asking Out Loud.

    My Host has since '99, been down once for about 30 minutes that I know of.

    I know the monthly / yearly cost ----

    Customer Service Rawks...

    The main reason that I would like my own set-up is to have more control over my newsletters and marketing campaigns.

    Thanks for your input!

    Jimmy

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RemodelingGuy
    If I ran my own server....

    Presumably, this server would stand alone, and if I had a power outage, a virus, a server issue or many more things that come to mind....
    How would I recover?
    No back ups....
    No power = SITE DOWN!
    Virus = Oh! Crap!
    How do I overcome these issues?
    You have to have software backups, backup power supply also, virus software.

    It's the same issues you deal with now, I have a friend that has a huge forum 2,000 poeple on at a time, he had a host in Fla, when a hurricane hit their backups only ran so many hours, they were down for days.

    If my site was down for 4 "PRIME" hours a month, it would cost me more than it would save me.

    Is this still a good option for me?
    So if it's worth that invest more in the server, we keep extra power supplies in a box and our servers have dual power supplies on board.
    We have extra drives in a box etc, but we also use raid 5 with two extra hot swaps.
    You can mirrior the whole server on a cheap box as an emerency backup, Dell will give you onsite service in so many hours.

    It can all be done but if you're paying 1500 or 2000 a month that's $20,000 a year, you can buy a lot of server power for that.
    Moreover it will last 4-5 years.

    Aren't there still server maintenence issues that need a pro every month or so?
    In a word NO, the upgrade are automatic from microsoft just like your desktop


    The main reason that I would like my own set-up is to have more control over my newsletters and marketing campaigns.
    It's your server your an ISP (almost) you can email to your hearts content.

    No more remote logins, just walk over to the server.

    Lastly, you also tap in to the T-1 to access the internet on all your desktops at no extra cost at high speed.


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  4. #4
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Most companies that offer T1 service don't do free installs in the US. Average Install cost can be in the 30,000 range
    Most companies that offer T1 service won't install service in a residential neighborhood
    Most Companies that offer T1 service and will install in a residential neighborhood would not have right of access on properties like cable companies and the phone company does, so they would need permits and permission from your neighbors.

    While you can get a decent server for 500 dollars ( build it your self) YOu will need more than one, You will need Firewall Hardware, You will need a hell of a Gigabit network, You will need to place your server in a cool secure place, Your POWER bill will go up, you will need a back up generator, if you have a dedicated server you probably ask your HOST for support sometimes, you'll have to pay someone to manage your server probably costing you an extra 2 to 300 a month.

    You can not always e-mail to your hearts content, your T1 service provider will set limits on you a lot of them do.

    Some T1 service providers don't even allow hosting, the ones that do that I know of charge 1500 a month not 650. The ones that charge 650 only allow exchange servers no webhosting.

    And umm T1 now a days isn't even fast enough to host a website. 1.5 Mbps. Give me a break 20 people decide to visit your website it will slow to a crawl.

  5. #5
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Also, T1 is 1/67th the speed you'll be able to get with most good hosts. Most of the major hosts provide 100mbps connections within their network and multiple gigabit pipes out to the Internet. Sure, you probably won't use a fraction of the total bandwidth of the T1, but it's nice to have that extra speed there when you're downloading datafeeds or get hit with a spike of traffic.

    My experience with T1 is different than HardwareGeek.com's. I know one neighbor in my neighborhood who got a T1 in his house for about $400/month, and the installation and hardware was well under $1000. I know many will seriously discount the hardware and installation (perhaps down to $200-$500?) if you commit to a year or two. I've considered getting one myself because we have no DSL or Cable and the wireless broadband providers (the only other choice besides satellite out here) are fairly unreliable.
    Michael Coley
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  6. #6
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    It is just like any business. You need to have a disaster recovery plan. Especially if you host at your own location. What if something happened there? A fire in your building, the power goes out for days, etc. (You should also have insurance to cover you in such an event. Some people don't know that business insurance for online companies is available just like it is for B&M shops.)

    I have multiple ISP's. One is for production, the other is for development and backups. I have a "live" copy of my sites on my backup 1,000 miles away from the live site. If something happens to my main host, I go switch my name servers and my backup becomes live. It's overkill for what I have now, but when I had very high traffic sites it was peace-of-mind insurance.

    I don't mean to disagree with you Bob, but in your scenario you have multiple single points of failure. Professional hosting companies have data centers designed for computers. Environmental controls, multiple paths to the Internet, multiple power supplies, extra hot swappable hardware on site, and 7x24x365 service. If I was going to put all my eggs in one basket, I'd rather have them in a basket designed to provide the best environment for them.

    Most of the complaints you see about people having problems with hosting is because they hosted with Fly-By-Night-Industries, Inc. for $7.95 a month. It's just not a smart business decision to do that. A little research goes a long way with hosting.

  7. #7
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    There is no way that I have the expertize or resources to have my own server.

    That said I have considered the importance of who hosts my websites and what their disaster plans are. I pay top $$$ for my web hosting and domain registration and am always backed up. (That might be why I have far fewer sites than other affiliates)

    Quite frankly there is not really much more I can do. I want to spend my time designing sites that make $$$.

    Nothing in life is a sure thing.

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Most companies that offer T1 service don't do free installs in the US. Average Install cost can be in the 30,000 range
    Most companies that offer T1 service won't install service in a residential neighborhood
    Most Companies that offer T1 service and will install in a residential neighborhood would not have right of access on properties like cable companies and the phone company does, so they would need permits and permission from your neighbors.
    I respectfully disagree, T-1's 5 years you may have paid for intallation if you were out in the boonies, not today.

    The most I ever heard and that was a remote location was $3,500

    I know plenty of people that have T's in their home including a close friend.

    I use PaeTec they offered a while ago a free install and router.

    You're scaring people off with that info, perhaps where you are located but not in most areas.

    While you can get a decent server for 500 dollars ( build it your self) YOu will need more than one, You will need Firewall Hardware, You will need a hell of a Gigabit network, You will need to place your server in a cool secure place,
    You need one server??????
    A great firewall is Gnat box hardware $850
    What Gigabit network? These people are not hosting Amazon.com
    My office has A/C it cools all no problems.


    Your POWER bill will go up, you will need a back up generator, if you have a dedicated server you probably ask your HOST for support sometimes, you'll have to pay someone to manage your server probably costing you an extra 2 to 300 a month.
    Not correct

    You can not always e-mail to your hearts content, your T1 service provider will set limits on you a lot of them do.
    Again I disagree

    Some T1 service providers don't even allow hosting, the ones that do that I know of charge 1500 a month not 650. The ones that charge 650 only allow exchange servers no webhosting.
    Why else would you have one?
    Not correct

    And umm T1 now a days isn't even fast enough to host a website. 1.5 Mbps. Give me a break 20 people decide to visit your website it will slow to a crawl.
    Absolutly wrong.

    Not trying to break your shoes Mike but I've been doing this for 8 years, I disgree with you opinion based on that.


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  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Mack, you can disagree, that's what a forum is for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mack
    It is just like any business. You need to have a disaster recovery plan. Especially if you host at your own location. What if something happened there? A fire in your building, the power goes out for days, etc. (You should also have insurance to cover you in such an event. Some people don't know that business insurance for online companies is available just like it is for B&M shops.)
    What if your isp goes on fire, like I said above my buddy had his sever in Fla a hurricane hit.
    You need biz interuption insurance also?

    I don't mean to disagree with you Bob, but in your scenario you have multiple single points of failure.
    Each one can have redundacy I was laying out a basic senario.

    Professional hosting companies have data centers designed for computers. Environmental controls, multiple paths to the Internet, multiple power supplies, extra hot swappable hardware on site, and 7x24x365 service.
    You can have all of that and save thousands a year.

    Did you read what happened to Sandra "Disaster" yesterday her isp went out of biz.

    How are you safe guarding that?

    It's Impossible to be 100% safe.



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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    One last point if anyone is interested in speaking with me about doing this please call me any time.

    Just check the cost of a T here
    Bob Pets Warehouse
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  11. #11
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    .... or leave it to the professionals and join rackspace
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  12. #12
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    that 30,000 had a 0 to many.

    I can name atleast 5 T1 providers in the NYC area that do not allow hosting.
    I can name atleast 2 that do allow hosting but do not allow video streaming.

    WHy would you have a T1? Because your dumb and think its fast when your cable connection is faster or because your a business and again don't know any better.

  13. #13
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
    I decide when the pigs fly!
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    I was gonna post something but Aunt Lily wrote exactly what I was going to. So I don't have to.

    Thank you Aunt Lily!

  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    that 30,000 had a 0 to many.

    I can name atleast 5 T1 providers in the NYC area that do not allow hosting.
    I can name atleast 2 that do allow hosting but do not allow video streaming.

    WHy would you have a T1? Because your dumb and think its fast when your cable connection is faster or because your a business and again don't know any better.
    Because I disagree that language isn't called for here.

    So now you're saying a T1 is slower than DSL

    see here
    and here

    There's really no resaon to argue about this anyone can look this up.

    a T1 is faster and a million time more reliable than cable/dsl



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  15. #15
    Full Member ske9963's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetsWarehouse.com
    One last point if anyone is interested in speaking with me about doing this please call me any time.

    Just check the cost of a T here
    Is this a self inplanted thread?
    Ma, where the beer? :escape:

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Mike, you can disagree without being rude.

    Some DSL connections will be faster for some things, but the reliability is nowhere near close to that of a T1. With a business, that reliability is very important. Also, many (most?) DSL plans don't allow you to run servers, many don't have fixed IP addresses, and many have significantly lower uplink speeds (which is what's most important with a web server).

    Running a business out of your house with DSL is an awful solution, IMHO.
    Michael Coley
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  17. #17
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Running a business out of your house with DSL is an awful solution, IMHO.
    What would be the best way to run it?
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  18. #18
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    A humbly asked questions from someone who does not know much about this subject - If I have my own server, would I have to physically be here all the time to make sure that it's okay?

    Because the ability to travel around the country and still run a biz is of growing importance to me.

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    That's one of the biggest downfalls of hosting at home (or in an office or anywhere that there isn't dedicated, qualified staff 24 hours a day). If something goes wrong, there are some things you can do remotely but often you have to physically be there.
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    For example, if a hard drive cluster fails, you might be able to do something remote, or you might not even be able to connect at all. Hardware can't be swapped out from overseas, it takes a physical presence.

    Unless you're looking to have an office building where you hire an IT staff to maintain your server and monitor security, etc., I'm not sure it's worth it. I'd rather pay someone to maintain things for me and call them at 2 in the morning to get my problems solved.
    Chris Sturgill
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  21. #21

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    I think Bob makes a valid point in hosting at your own location.

    We have an office (I am not always there, of course) and I have looked into setting up a T-1 (we can have faster if we want even) and it's reasonable in it's cost.

    Right now we have dedicated servers hosted at the major data centers and use reliable techs/managers to make sure they are running for us. It is cost effective and takes some of the workload off of us.

    However, we have been running test servers at our office using our fast business cable, and fast dsl lines. Keep in mind we are doing this just to learn the ins/outs of running our own servers and so we can test php code (and various modules) on our own conditions. These connections would not be the ones we would eventually go with and we are considering that route.

    Why? So changes we make are immediate and don't take time. We have plenty of people in house to watch over the servers, and our dedicated server costs are growing. It is nearly cheaper, not yet but close, to setup our own localized hosting.

    I think if you have resources and manpower to do it in house it is a good solid way to do it. Though you need some linux heads in the office with some apache experience (or teaching) to keep things running smooth. We have had to do that a lot with just what we are playing around with at this point.

    IMO.

  22. #22
    Affiliate Manager PetsWarehouse.com's Avatar
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    I started this thread to make others aware that there are alternatives to having your biz hosted by others. Further, it is not as expensive as most believe.

    There are thousands of companies out there doing it the larger ones are safer most of the time but not always. You can't control natural disasters or your host just going out of biz.

    This alternative can give some of you peace of mind in controlling your sever(s) others it will not.

    If you have a home office or office it can work fine. If your not there you can do 90% of what you need remote. As far as hardware failures yes you need to be there or have on-site service from for example Dell or a local service company.

    But you also can setup for example a raid 5 array with auto hotswaps, that would eliminate any drive failure, dual internal power supplies the possibilities are endless.
    There is software that will mirror your server 24/7 to another box and run that one if your primary stopped. There is load balancing.

    You can incorporate as many safe guards as you wish. Nothing is 100% either is your current host, there are stories posted here on ABW and www.webhostingtalk.com about people left high and dry see here.

    I hope I've just made some of you think about the possibilities.




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  23. #23
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    This is worth looking into thanks for bringing this to my attention, I was thinking about switchingto rack space but they aren't the best deal price wise.

    Some said "leave it to the professionals "

    Well nothing is foolproof, they had an employee that hacked into customers sites.

    U.S. Department of Justice
    United States Attorney
    Northern District of Texas
    www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn
    AUGUST 15, 2006

    Former Data Technician at Local Internet Hosting Company
    and Self-Admitted Supporter of Pro-Jihad Website
    Sentenced to 34 Months for Attempting to Cause Damage
    to a Protected Computer

    United States Attorney Richard B. Roper announced that Grapevine, Texas, resident, John Georgelas, was sentenced today by the Honorable A. Joe Fish, United States Senior District Judge, to 34 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $44,808.00 in restitution, following his guilty plea in May to one count of knowingly and intentionally accessing a protected computer without authorization and recklessly causing damage to that computer. Georgelas also voluntarily forfeited to the government all of the computer equipment seized from his residence pursuant to the April 14, 2006 federal search warrant. American born Georgelas, age 22, has been in custody since his arrest on April 14, 2006 on related charges outlined in a sealed complaint.

    John Georgelas worked at Rackspace Managed Hosting at the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Datacenter facility in Grapevine. He was employed as a Datacenter Operations Technician and as such, he was authorized to help maintain the DFW datacenter servers and to assist customers who leased servers at that location. He was not authorized to access Rackspace customer servers prior to receiving a “trouble ticket” or customer complaint, and he was not authorized to access Rackspace servers to obtain customer passwords, except for the limited purpose of responding to trouble tickets for the Rackspace DFW Datacenter.

    Georgelas admitted that in April 2006, he used his Rackspace work computer to access a San Antonio, Texas, Rackspace computer server to search for and access the passwords for a Rackspace customer, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC.org). Georgelas had not received a “trouble ticket” for AIPAC.org, and was not authorized to access the Rackspace servers at the Rackspace San Antonio Datacenter on that occasion for that purpose. Georgelas admitted he acted knowingly and intentionally exceeded his authorized access, and that upon learning the passwords for AIPAC.org, intended to cause damage to the AIPAC.org website at a later time.

    The government presented evidence at court hearings that following his arrest, Georgelas admitted that he had previously participated in a group of “hacktivists” who were known as “Global Hell.” Some members of Global Hell were prosecuted in the Northern District of Texas, but Georgelas was a minor at that time and was not prosecuted for his involvement with that group. He was also discovered to have made unauthorized access to 56 computer servers for various entities which were not hosted by Rackspace, and had compromised those computers providing himself administrative privileges.

    The government also presented evidence at the sentencing hearing that Georgelas’s unauthorized access of Rackspace was motivated by his desire to deface the website of
    AIPAC.org due to his fundamentalist Muslim beliefs. The government was able to recover chat logs in which Georgelas communicated with a Canadian woman concerning his desire to support Al Qaeda, and he provided technical support to a pro-jihad website, jihadunspun.com, which was used as a propaganda vehicle to promote Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

    As a result of Georgelas’s conduct, the Rackspace server system integrity was impaired and damaged and resulted in a loss to Rackspace of more than $44,000.

    I guess rack space doesn't do employee background checks too well?

    Dan

  24. #24
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    Bob,

    My point wasn't to argue too much against you. I would love the day when my operations are running so well that I can justify having an inhouse team. Personally, I'm not a networking guy (I'm a developer by trade), and I don't have the time to learn the in's and out's of maintaining a server. I would rather pay someone else to do it for me so that I can concentrate on what's making me money.

    Having a server inhouse isn't unfeasible, and I wouldn't dismiss it. But affiliates who are running a one to two man show need to be aware of the complications that could arise before they make a decision to drop thousands of dollars in upfront costs in moving their servers inhouse. I would venture to say that it doesn't make sense for the majority of affiliates to do this. If for no other reason than that you have to almost be married to the hardware!

    As far as abuse at Rackspace is concerned - I'm sure it happens from time to time. But I would imagine that the odds of abuse by Rackspace are lower than the odds of a hacker getting past a newbie's security settings.

    Merchants, on the other hand, especially those that already employ a full-time staff, are a different story. I'm a control freak by nature and I can see added value to your server being housed at the office. But I wouldn't do that until I knew that I could keep a staff on hand that could respond to problems 24/7. I still value my freedom to pack up my laptop, fly across the country, connect to the internet, and make a few bucks...
    Chris Sturgill
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals." - H. Simpson

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