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  #1  
Old 10-06-2011, 05:38 PM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Question

Looking for a Dedicated Server - Need Help!


Hi everyone,

I am a long time lurker but finally decided to create an account and ask a question that I have been trying to research but I feel that the deeper I did the more questions I get(if that makes sense). I have hosted and run many websites but this is the first time I am taking on a project of this size.

Here is the situation:
We are looking to get a dedicated server that can handle the load of our new website. The server will have hundreds of hours of video so we need at least 2TB of storage and hopefully unlimited bandwidth. We do not want to upload the content to third party sites such as Youtube, Vimeo etc. due to content licensing and agreements. Obviously reliability is very important as well as load speeds of the site and media.

From everyone's personal experience is there any hosting company you would suggest going with over another and why would that be? I will need to make the decision and move within the next few days.



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  #2  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:32 PM
ByteMaster ByteMaster is offline
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Hello KestrelProdigal,

Welcome to WHT! Glad you made the plunge - the water is great.

Need some additional info before we could make a recommendation. What OS do you want? Control panel? Managed or unmanaged? Will lieky need decent amount of RAM depending on how you are presenting the videos. Will need at least a 100mbps port. Depending on your traffic, might need a GigE instead. What is the expected traffic? Have you considered CDN?

Sorry for all the questions, but they really are important.

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  #3  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:51 PM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply!

OS: CentOS
Control Panel: CPanel
Unmanaged

As far as traffic we get about 55000 visits a month but we are looking to double that at the very minimum. I agree we will need 100mbps +.

I haven't really looked into CDN but I will right now, what are the main companies that are trusted and reliable? And then essentially their servers would stream the media correct?

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  #4  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:45 PM
net net is offline
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There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. You need to get a server with proper bandwidth that you need based on your budget.

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  #5  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:47 PM
MrRadic MrRadic is offline
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Bandwidth will be your biggest expense, do you have any estimates of what you expect to spend?

  #6  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:03 PM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by net View Post
There is no such thing as unlimited bandwidth. You need to get a server with proper bandwidth that you need based on your budget.
Ok thanks, sorry I am proficient in web design, and coding etc. but this is an entire new realm for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRadic View Post
Bandwidth will be your biggest expense, do you have any estimates of what you expect to spend?
As far as a starting budget we would like to keep it around $500 a month (which I know is low) but if it needs to be a lot more then that it can be arranged. In other words what do you think would be a reasonable budget to accomplish what we need.

  #7  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:40 PM
gordonrp gordonrp is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KestrelProdigal View Post
We are looking to get a dedicated server that can handle the load of our new website. The server will have hundreds of hours of video so we need at least 2TB of storage and hopefully unlimited bandwidth. We do not want to upload the content to third party sites such as Youtube, Vimeo etc. due to content licensing and agreements. Obviously reliability is very important as well as load speeds of the site and media.
I would suggest something like:
  • E3-1230 Quad Core Xeon
  • 16GB DDR-3 ECC RAM
  • 8x 500GB-1TB Enterprise SATA
  • Hardware RAID 10 or 6 with BBU
  • Redundant Power Supplies
  • 100mbit unmetered or a large amount of traffic on a gigabit port (depending on your traffic patterns)
  • hot swap drives
  • ipmi/kvm (for remote access to your server in case of lockout etc)
You should be able to get that for about $500/month.

Are you going to require system management, security updates, etc, or will you be managing the server yourself?

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  #8  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:43 PM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonrp View Post
I would suggest something like:
  • E3-1230 Quad Core Xeon
  • 16GB DDR-3 ECC RAM
  • 8x 500GB-1TB Enterprise SATA
  • Hardware RAID 10 or 6 with BBU
  • Redundant Power Supplies
  • 100mbit unmetered or a large amount of traffic on a gigabit port (depending on your traffic patterns)
  • hot swap drives
  • ipmi/kvm (for remote access to your server in case of lockout etc)
You should be able to get that for about $500/month.

Are you going to require system management, security updates, etc, or will you be managing the server yourself?
Thanks! We will be managing the server. Any suggestions on what company to go with?

  #9  
Old 10-06-2011, 11:33 PM
aodat2 aodat2 is offline
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Hi KestrelProdigal,

Nice seeing you here and with this, welcome to WHT.

Can we know what is your budget? I don't really think you'd need to get an E3 machine just yet but then again, we'd really need to know what your needs are and etc. Gordonrp might be doing an overkill on things. I highly doubt you'll be really needing this much power and this much things on your server just yet.

Do tell us the specific details on the questions below:
1. Are you streaming it or are you allowing it to be downloaded?
2. How many viewers are you expecting per day? How many are you expecting to be on watching it at the same time (concurrently)?
3. How much is your budget?
4. Where are you looking to put the server at? USA? Location?
5. Is there anything else which is going to be on the server other than the video and the site?

CDN might be a good idea but do you have the budget for it? Just in case you have no idea, a CDN might cost you 10X as much as a server if you're looking at growing which might be a problem for you. It's not a cheap solution.

Do tell us more about your needs and hopefully you could answer the questions I have above and we could start helping you more.

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  #10  
Old 10-06-2011, 11:39 PM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Hi aodat2,

1. Are you streaming it or are you allowing it to be downloaded?
It would be streamed

2. How many viewers are you expecting per day? How many are you expecting
to be on watching it at the same time (concurrently)?
Realistically I would say about 500 viewers a da

3. How much is your budget?
Starting with around $500 a month

4. Where are you looking to put the server at? USA? Location?
United States - Preferably the West Coast

5. Is there anything else which is going to be on the server other than the video and the site?
There will be a forum, blog, photo gallery and store

Thanks

  #11  
Old 10-07-2011, 12:09 AM
aodat2 aodat2 is offline
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OK, then I guess E3 would be a good solution for you since you're streaming it. Plus if you would like it 100Mbit Unmetered seems good but if you're afraid it's not enough, then get a 100TB Server. That should be enough for your needs.

With a $500 budget, you should be quite secured on your choice. There should be no problem in getting a host to do it for you.

E3, 16GB RAM would be a good idea and if you like, then 4 X 1TB HDD (RAID 10) would also be a good choice. Other than that, you should be all good to go.

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Aaron Ong
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

  #12  
Old 10-07-2011, 12:16 AM
KestrelProdigal KestrelProdigal is offline
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Sounds good thank you for your help!

  #13  
Old 10-07-2011, 02:10 AM
aodat2 aodat2 is offline
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You're welcome and hope you get whatever it is you're looking for.

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Dedicated Servers - 100TB Servers - 100Mbps Unmetered Servers - Web Hosting - CDN Network
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2011, 02:16 AM
gordonrp gordonrp is online now
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KestrelProdigal,

Aaron Ong's suggestion is a fine one (4 drives RAID 10, save some money, circa $300). However when you mentioned "content licensing and agreements" and "$500" I immediately assumed that you're running some sort of business/commercial video website that needs to be online as much as possible, and that you want to avoid rare but unnecessary downtime due to common points of failure ( typical human error and hardware).

Hence my previous suggestions:
  • redundant power supply - eliminates a common single point of failure, also typically gives you a 2u chassis, so up to 8 drives instead of 4. Usually can be hot swapped, so if a power supply fails your site keeps running and it can be replaced.
  • 8 drives - allows you to run 6-7x drives in RAID and allow for one or two hot spares, eliminating human failure to replace a failed drive quickly enough (it happens all the time). Depending on your RAID array if more than one drive fails then you could lose all your data. A hot spare ensures that the array is rebuilt and brought back to a fully protected state sooner than having to wait on a human to replace the failed drive.
  • 8 drives = more spindles, it doesn't sound like you need it, but having 8 drives in action instead of 4 will typically double your maximum throughput. More spindles helps when you have more content also; filling up a 4x 1TB RAID 10 (1.8TB max) with 1.5TB of data will result in slow seek times (loading random files), whereas the same data set across 7x 1tb drives or 8x 500GB drives will result in better seek.load times (that is very oversimplified, but that's the basic idea).

The above suggestions only really result in an additional ~$500-$800 in hardware costs for your provider, but provide you with a bit more piece of mind. So, just something to consider!

Good luck.

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Last edited by gordonrp; 10-07-2011 at 02:22 AM.
  #15  
Old 10-07-2011, 03:23 AM
aodat2 aodat2 is offline
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Perfect answer from Gordon.

What you suggest is for quite a High Ended client who requires quite a bit but I guess he's just the typical "I want a powerful enough server to fit my needs" kinda guy. But then again, you did give him a good suggestion.

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Dedicated Servers - 100TB Servers - 100Mbps Unmetered Servers - Web Hosting - CDN Network
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