I posted some questions here a few months ago and got some great advise.
Im now closer to the point where i need to find a host.
The site i need a host for has the following functions.
: A video download site where producers can upload and sell their video's (all download no streams, no previews).
: Local directory listing various services.
: Community forum (SMF).
: Blog (wordpress).
There are 3 parts to the site:
: Front end.
: Producers admin console.
: Top admin console.
Video files can be uploaded by producers via:
: FTP client (each producers FTP access would be unique)
: Built in uploader in producers admin console.
The site is being built using cake PHP & mySQL.
I was planning on going with a company like 100tb.eu, 100tb.com.
But now im more interested in going with a company that can offer a tailored service that will grow and expand according to my sites needs.
I have no experience with servers, so i will probably need a managed service.
I have been reading a lot to try and understand what i need.
I understand that the RAM is used for the mySQL side, and that the CPU is used for FFMPEG and other computing side.
I have no idea the amount of bandwidth i will need as this is a new project.
The movie file sizes will range from 50 - 700mb, the majority around 70-200mb.
I know that i will need lots of disk space, i myself have over 100gb of content to upload and there will potentially be hundreds of producers using the platform.
Ideally im looking to pay around $200 monthly in the beginning with flexibility to upgrade once the site is generating income.
The questions i have are:
1. Should i be looking at a dedicated, cloud or cluster? (is a cluster a cluster of dedi's?)
2. Is it wise for me to use an SSD drive for mySQL and data base, and SATA for file storage?
3. Should i get managed or unmanaged? The programmer who is building my site has proved himself to be very reliable so far.
4. Would you recommend using seperate servers for the front end and admins? Further still, would you recommend using different domains for front end and admins?
5. 50-60% of visitors will be from USA, the majority of the remaining will be EU & UK, and the minority rest of world. Should i go with a USA based host?
6. There will potentially be numerous producers uploading files at the same time. Will this affect the download speed for browsers downloading purchased files? How is this best managed?
7. Would RAID be the best method of spreading files over multiple drives? If so which RAID would you recommend? 1, 5, 10?
8. Some producers will use special characters in their file names "!@#$%^&*()":,?" How can i get around this issue?
9. Which hosting company would you recommend for offering great service and flexibility for future growth?
10. What would you suggest my requirements are for the beginning? (nr of hard drives, ram, cpu, bandwidth)?
11. If you were setting up hosting for the project i mentioned how would you go about it?
1. You should not look at a dedicated server but rather a Cloud. That would help you with your problem of "GROWTH".
2. What are you storing in your MySQL? Will it grow big? If you're on a cloud, you won't have to worry about that. But if you're really going with a Dedi, then it might be a good thing to have SSD for MySQL and SAS for the rest.
3. Dedicated Servers and Cloud Servers are almost alike but if you have no idea of what you're doing or getting into, then I seriously suggest that you think about getting a Managed Service. A designer is not someone whom you will trust to get things done in the event that you have a problem with the site or the server or etc. Server hardening, security and etc is also something which should be taken into consideration but since you don't know it, I'd advice on not trying to save and just go with a managed service.
4. In the beginning, NO. You can put everything into 1 server and see where it goes from there. If you're having a cloud, then it would totally be different. See where it goes and how everything works out 1st and if you need to move, then move later on. Make sure that the code is breakable into smaller chunks so that everything does not need to stay where it is.
5. Yes you should go with a US host considering that it's where your main viewers are going to be at. Also, perhaps you might want to get a CDN as well. It will help with the download and etc.
6. Well... if they upload all at the same time, of coz the speed will be effected. But then again this all depends on what type of port you're on with your provider and etc. If you're on a 1Gbps port and there's like 10 uplaods at 10Mbps, there's not much to worry about but if you're on 100Mbps and there's 7 uploads at 10Mbps, you're going to be on a very full line.
7. How important are those stuff? If you're worried about it going "bye bye" then Raid 10 would be a good idea. Cloud, you don't really worry about this.
8. Ask your developer or software designer to not let them use it. You should be able to control it before they upload it.
9. You'd have to search on this 1. Sorry can't really recommend any. Too many requirements. LOL.
10. Considering that we have no idea what your traffic is going to be like, I'd take a very very WILD guess and go with something like this:
HDD : 2TB
RAM : 8GB
BW : 10TB++ (or pay-as-you-go)
CPU : something which is more powerful.
11. I'd give you a proposal on it. LOL. But then again, that's our company policy to give out proposals for larger projects like this.
By the way, your initial $200/month is so totally not going to be enough. I'd say in the vacinity of $500 or more. Might be a good start.
Dedicated Servers - 100TB Servers - 100Mbps Unmetered Servers - Web Hosting - CDN Network
Servers in Central, East/West Coast USA, EUROPE and ASIA
Welltodo Century - www.welltodocentury.com
I will have to read more about cloud hosting, from what i had read i though dedicated was the way to go.
The mySQL will be storing data from the uploaded files, sorry i can't be more specific because im not fully sure. Also don't know how big it will grow.
Yes i feel in need managed, the programmer who is building my site isn't a designer and does have server experience. But i want everything perfect.
I'll need to read up on CDN too.
My understanding of RAID is that it spreads the files across several drives to compensate for busy periods.
The issue with special characters in file names is something that i need to fix, as i know producers will use them.
My budget of $200 month was just for the beginning, once the site is generating income i will be more than happy to pay more.
$500 a month for the beginning while the site isn't using major bandwidth seems pretty high.
Definitely dedicated. FFMPEG conversions will eat up disk IO and make you a bad neighbor on the cloud host. Get a dedicated machine that allows you to scale by adding RAM and Drives as your needs increase.
$200 per month is a great starting budget.
I'd feel much better about a dedicated server in your case, especially when expecting the heavy resource usage. For slightly less convenience, you'll have much more control over the hardware and exact configuration of the server. As mentioned, it would be best to choose a good managed service. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a suitable server for $200-250/mo.
So regarding the FFMPEG conversions being hungry.
Is the FFMPEG something i would need to run on the SATA drives where the movie files were stored, or could it be on the SSD where the mySQL DB was?
For the start up budget of $200, what do you think i could get for a decent managed service.
How many drives, ram, cpu?
I'm not sure about the FFMPEG question, but -
In the USA, you could expect to get a quad-core server with a decent amount of RAM (4gb or so), a 1tb SATA disk (or two), small SSD and managed support for around $200. In Europe, depending on the location, it would be slightly less expensive. You should be able to find a good price with US-based host if you ask around.
As for your budget, yes you can get a decent server for what you need to get started. Choose a hosting company that has very good support and will help and guide you along the way (without charging you extra for each question). You will be able to grow your server as needed.
You will be hard pressed to find SSD and SATA drives in a $200 budget server. I do not see a need for SSD. Convert on a second drive, web site and db on the other drive, or even use a VPS box for the db server.
I would ask the hosting company directly how they support ffmpeg. That would help you gauge their knowledge for what you will require and also their speed of replies. A simple quote request can start a conversation like this or just contact them through their website, I am sure you will find exactly what you are looking for. Keep in mind a backup should be included in whatever you choose and again dont pay extra for it. Little ways to keei in your budget and get the most for your $200.