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  1. #1

    Hosting Advice for Noob

    Hi Everyone

    Iím looking for some advice and recommendations on how best to achieve the following service for my customers, and hope that some kind soul would lend me their expertise.

    I sell home theatre systems which run XBMC, and am looking to introduce a service which will allow my clients to remotely update to the latest version of my software.

    The Ďadd-oní which enables the update needs to be able to copy files to the local hard drive. The files in question consist of hundreds of small files, which together total circa 1.5GB.

    XBMC currently supports the following protocols:

    1.1 AFP
    1.2 FTP
    1.3 HTTP
    1.4 NFS
    1.5 RSS media source
    1.6 Samba
    1.7 SFTP
    1.8 Slingbox
    1.9 SMB
    1.10 UPnP
    1.11 WebDAV

    To begin with, the number of simultaneous downloads will be small, but I hope that in the future this could rise to hundreds.

    Would someone be able to advise how they feel this would be best achieved?

    I would like to keep speeds as fast, and costs as low as possible.

    I have limited experience when it comes to web hosting so please be kind!

    Thank you

    Sam

  2. #2
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    You might be able to go with a VPS but IMO you need to get your own dedicated server for this.
    Probably some guys with good experience in web development can chime in with hands-on advise but it is apparent you need a lot of traffic if everyone of your users will be downloading a 1.5Gb update.
    Same is for all the services you need - you can probably run all of them on a VPS but that would most likely clog it up at some point.
    Also - VPSs rarely have large traffic quotas.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the quick reply kambone.

    Perhaps I could go with a VPS to begin with (as volumes will be low), and I could later migrate to a dedi?

    What protocols of those supported should I choose, and are there services that would set this all up based on my requirements?

    I have dabbled a little with Linux commands, but donít feel very confident going it alone.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, I'd honestly go with a dedi to begin with, you may be able to get away with a VPS at the beginning but 1.5 gb per user update is going to overload the VPS as soon as you have some decent traffic.
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  5. #5
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    How does it work ? You have developed a custom application based on xbmc ?
    Or something else. Which services would you need for your application to connect to a server, check for updates and download / install the updates ?
    I guess http and smb?
    You can do all that on a VPS as a VPS is generally a linux node. However it will eat your budget as soon as you hit decent traffic, just as the guy above mentioned.
    Either way this is very specific and custom task, which a host can probably do for a fee (usual charge per hour of work) or you might hire a independent developer / admin to set-up the platform for you.

  6. #6
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    If you go with a SSD drive VPS you should be fine. Of course it all depends on how many users you are talking about. Either way you go (VPS or dedicated) a SSD will be essential if you expect to do those kind of IOPS (IO Operations per second). Hard drive speed and IOPS will be the main bottleneck you face.

    A server with 1 SSD would work, however a RAID1 or RAID10 is always better, if a bit more cost prohibitive.

    If it were one archive I would say you could get away with spinning disk, however with hundreds and thousands of files being accessed at once SSD is a no-brainer.
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  7. #7
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    a quality shared host should be fine for what you need.

    there is no need for a vps.

  8. #8
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    I thoroughly disagree I'm pretty sure he'd want the ability to configure his services. Plus if I saw 100Mbps transfer on a shared hosting account it would be suspended in seconds flat.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberhouse View Post
    a quality shared host should be fine for what you need.

    there is no need for a vps.
    You are kidding, right ?
    Software update feature where each package is 1.5Gb and with hundreds or thousands of users updating at about the same time ( because everyone will update within a few hours / days of the update release ).
    No chance. Also OP will need to customize his environment quite a bit.

  10. #10
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    he said "the number of simultaneous downloads will be small"

    for a few users downloading at once shared hosting would work not if he has hundreds like he is hoping.


    Quote Originally Posted by kambone View Post
    You are kidding, right ?
    Software update feature where each package is 1.5Gb and with hundreds or thousands of users updating at about the same time ( because everyone will update within a few hours / days of the update release ).
    No chance. Also OP will need to customize his environment quite a bit.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kambone View Post
    How does it work ? You have developed a custom application based on xbmc ?
    Or something else. Which services would you need for your application to connect to a server, check for updates and download / install the updates ?
    I guess http and smb?
    You can do all that on a VPS as a VPS is generally a linux node. However it will eat your budget as soon as you hit decent traffic, just as the guy above mentioned.
    Either way this is very specific and custom task, which a host can probably do for a fee (usual charge per hour of work) or you might hire a independent developer / admin to set-up the platform for you.
    Thank you all for your advice.

    The add-on which enables the updates is called 'XBMC Backup' (sorry, I don't have enough posts to add a link).

    Essentially it allows you to back-up your configuration, and then restore this. When restoring it overwrites your current config with the chosen back up (copying over the files).

    You can choose to restore from either a 'local' drive or a dropbox account. Although I have never been able to complete a successful update via dropbox.

    So what I am intending to do (and in theory should work), is to add a remote server ,using one of the supported protocols listed above, as a source to XBMC. Adding the updates to the server, and then allowing my clients to browse said 'source' for the desired update. Once this is initiated the add-on will copy over the required files from the server to the local hard drive.

    A full restore will likely total 1.5 GB, but a smaller update could be much less.

    As I said in an earlier post I am not very familiar with Linux. Once Iíve decided on the hardware required, how would you suggest I go about setting it all up to meet my requirements?

    Should I approach a hosting co and explain what I need, look for a freelancer (if so any suggestions where I could find a good one), or are there scripts I could use (again a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated)?

    Also, I assume whichever hardware I choose it will also need a Gbit connection to handler the potential traffic volumes?

  12. #12
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    figure out how much space and bandwith you think you will need then contact a few managed providers to get quotes.



    Quote Originally Posted by samu-rai View Post
    Thank you all for your advice.

    The add-on which enables the updates is called 'XBMC Backup' (sorry, I don't have enough posts to add a link).

    Essentially it allows you to back-up your configuration, and then restore this. When restoring it overwrites your current config with the chosen back up (copying over the files).

    You can choose to restore from either a 'local' drive or a dropbox account. Although I have never been able to complete a successful update via dropbox.

    So what I am intending to do (and in theory should work), is to add a remote server ,using one of the supported protocols listed above, as a source to XBMC. Adding the updates to the server, and then allowing my clients to browse said 'source' for the desired update. Once this is initiated the add-on will copy over the required files from the server to the local hard drive.

    A full restore will likely total 1.5 GB, but a smaller update could be much less.

    As I said in an earlier post I am not very familiar with Linux. Once Iíve decided on the hardware required, how would you suggest I go about setting it all up to meet my requirements?

    Should I approach a hosting co and explain what I need, look for a freelancer (if so any suggestions where I could find a good one), or are there scripts I could use (again a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated)?

    Also, I assume whichever hardware I choose it will also need a Gbit connection to handler the potential traffic volumes?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by samu-rai View Post
    Thank you all for your advice.

    ...

    As I said in an earlier post I am not very familiar with Linux. Once Iíve decided on the hardware required, how would you suggest I go about setting it all up to meet my requirements?

    Should I approach a hosting co and explain what I need, look for a freelancer (if so any suggestions where I could find a good one), or are there scripts I could use (again a point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated)?

    Also, I assume whichever hardware I choose it will also need a Gbit connection to handler the potential traffic volumes?
    Hi there,
    1Gbit port is now pretty much industry standard, so don't worry about that, whether you get a VPS or a server it will most likely be that.

    What i would do if i were you - i would get someone experienced in linux / unix who is also a developer to consult me on the technical requirements, connectivity needs and all that.
    I would go to eLance probably, they might be other good boards / websites to find freelancers, but i am familiar with eLance and is the one where i had experience.

    Than after you have the requirements sorted out and you get a better picture of what environment you need ( i am pretty sure you will be ok with a standard VPS but you never know what you will find once you start picking up rocks along the way ) i would shortlist a few hosts and call them or get online on their live chat with my technical requirements to check if they can provide that. Live chat might be better, so you can save the chat log and use it as proof in case they promise something they cannot deliver ( not unheard of )
    If customization to the environment is needed see if they can do that. If you need something which the freelancer cannot configure, the host may configure it for you for a fee.

    This is how i see it, a bit simplified probably. But be prepared to spend some time and resources before you can get that project started.

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