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  1. #1
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    Good Colo in Canada with decent remote hands service?

    I'm currently leasing a server, but with the price of disk space and ram when leasing, vs the price of buying the hardware, to me it just makes no sense to lease anymore. I'd like to have a couple TB of disk space but that would be several hundred dollars a month, when I can pay that much once, and buy a couple drives myself.

    Thinking of building a server and just colocating instead. Problem is, I don't live close to any data centres. I would need to ship it out, have them rack it and if anything fails I would need someone to fix it.

    Is there any colos that would do this, and not charge an arm and a leg? I'm thinking stuff like replacing hard drives, PSUs, maybe even hardware troubleshooting if it dies.

    Also something that charges per bandwidth usage, not 95th percentile. That's too unpredictable imo. I rather be able to keep an eye on my actual usage and get charged that way. If I get DDoSed or something like that, at least I can power off the server before I hit my limit. With 95th percentile it's just not as cut and dry.

  2. Where are you located? There is many great colo providers here.
    You can look at netelligent.ca, was with them a year ago. They don't offer DDoS protection but can at least null route your ip. DCs are in Montréal.
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  3. #3
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    And they can rack it for you and some DC offer it free.
    Specially 4 You
    .
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  4. #4
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    Actually I was looking at netelligent.ca and it sounds like they have decent pricing and service. I'm in Northern Ontario, so the closest data centres are probably like 8 hours away (Toronto area).

    Idealy I'd love to host from my basement rack but there are no connectivity options here. Even though we recently got fibre service, they don't allow servers, which is too bad. Though having it offsite is nice too as one of the things I use it for is offsite backups.

    What I'd probably do is build a 1U box set it up to boot off USB, and have 4 drives in raid 10 or 5 (mdadm raid) and provide a spare USB stick. If it fails they can just swap. I would then send a replacement spare.

  5. #5
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    A couple of TB or something that could fit into a 4 drive setup shouldn't cost hundreds per month. Keep in mind that while some providers may charge a low cost for the base configuration and nickel and dime on upgrades, others will actually have more level pricing based on their real costs. Also, website pricing may not always be representative of what pricing you can actually get, depending on the configuration. I would definitely suggest actually speaking to sales at a few different companies before deciding to go the colo route. You don't seem to need anything particularly out of the ordinary, so dedicated should still make more sense (from a logistical perspective).
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Actually I was looking at netelligent.ca and it sounds like they have decent pricing and service. I'm in Northern Ontario, so the closest data centres are probably like 8 hours away (Toronto area).

    Idealy I'd love to host from my basement rack but there are no connectivity options here. Even though we recently got fibre service, they don't allow servers, which is too bad. Though having it offsite is nice too as one of the things I use it for is offsite backups.

    What I'd probably do is build a 1U box set it up to boot off USB, and have 4 drives in raid 10 or 5 (mdadm raid) and provide a spare USB stick. If it fails they can just swap. I would then send a replacement spare.
    Heh, this is pretty interesting, as I think I may have played on your UO server (but the domain was only registered 7 years ago apparently, it would have been [much] longer ago I would think....).

    Anyway, from a providers POV, what you're suggesting there is a nightmare, and what makes colo's more expensive then dedicated servers. Customers with hacked up configs, booting from USB drives loose in the server, etc. is not what you want to do on a box you don't have any physical access to. Providers hate it, because they're unpredictable, and if it's something more complex, they're going to be flushing time & money into solving it. It'd be better to hack a SSD into the box and forget the USB bit entirely (or simply ensure your RAID is bootable/hardware/proper).

    Remember, a good colo box is one that can have multiple bits fail, and not need physical access to resolve immediately. Memory sparing can deal with bad RAM to an extent, RAID can deal with HDD failures, adequate fans to deal with failures, redundant PSU's, etc. and you should rarely/never need to have any physical work done on the box. It costs more out of the gate, but a single multi-hour problem at > $100/hr after-hours, can easily offset the cost (and statistically, if you hack together a config, you're probably going to run into that eventually).

    Just some food for thought .
    Last edited by porcupine; 01-26-2014 at 11:31 PM.

  7. #7
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    Oh I actually don't run that UO server anymore, but yeah it's quite possible you played, it ran for maybe a year unofficially before the domain got registered.

    The idea behind the USB stick is that I could have a spare provided. Could do the same with a SSD though but would be much more pricy and require opening up the server to install it. I'm probably going to hold off for now though and wait till I get to a point where I need/can afford collocating two servers, for better redundancy. I can always fly down to fix something myself if needed, as it would not be as much of an emergency if there are two servers. I don't necessarily need extra space yet, but if I do, it's going to be cheaper to build a server and colo, then to upgrade what I have.

    I just wish server leasers they would stop making Celerons with 128MB of ram and 100GB drive be considered entry level. A core i7 with 8GB of ram and two 1TB drives should be entry level, by today's standards. I guess the newer stuff uses more power and costs more to run.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Oh I actually don't run that UO server anymore, but yeah it's quite possible you played, it ran for maybe a year unofficially before the domain got registered.

    The idea behind the USB stick is that I could have a spare provided. Could do the same with a SSD though but would be much more pricy and require opening up the server to install it. I'm probably going to hold off for now though and wait till I get to a point where I need/can afford collocating two servers, for better redundancy. I can always fly down to fix something myself if needed, as it would not be as much of an emergency if there are two servers. I don't necessarily need extra space yet, but if I do, it's going to be cheaper to build a server and colo, then to upgrade what I have.

    I just wish server leasers they would stop making Celerons with 128MB of ram and 100GB drive be considered entry level. A core i7 with 8GB of ram and two 1TB drives should be entry level, by today's standards. I guess the newer stuff uses more power and costs more to run.
    Entry level is the I3's usually, single socket, a few cores, and a handful of memory. Dual drives is basically never entry level (unnecessary expense, which is exactly what the "entry" level is all about avoiding). Having said that, most people don't use Celeron's for entry level, the entry level you're talking about there is people leasing their old/near death gear for the scraps, it's like comparing jeans you buy on Kijiji, to a retail store at that point.

    For the USB hanging off the back, most providers that I know wouldn't allow that. One bump, and bam, you're offline. Stuff like that is a liability for the provider, that's why I mentioned SSD's.

    Some mobo's have internal USB's, but at the end of the day most sticks aren't designed for that kind of gig, and it's usually a bad idea. Any properly setup RAID should be bootable, and a better solution if you're not after the performance of a solid state drive really.

  9. #9
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    Real hardware raid is very expensive though so I'd want to use mdadm raid for data, and still need a reliable setup for the OS. So that's why I was thinking USB stick, but maybe I'd just stick with a SSD, and then provide an USB stick too as a backup. Maybe just shove it inside the case in a little pouch or something. That way the tech just has to pull the SSD out and plug the USB so I'm back up and running till I can order another SSD then send it out. Would keep an image at home too.

    Though, think I'll hold out for now, I want to build myself a home server before I build one to ship out somewhere. My current home server is a core2quad with 8GB of ram, which is high end as far as server leasing goes and would typically cost like 300/mo, so I might even just colo that. Though, it's 4U so that would up the colo cost, but still cheaper than leasing the equivalent box. It has 10 drive bays too. Would make a nice online backup box if I fill that with 3TB drives.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    My current home server is a core2quad with 8GB of ram, which is high end as far as server leasing goes and would typically cost like 300/mo, so I might even just colo that.
    Again, where are you getting your pricing? core2quads are 6 years old now and are desktop grade to boot. Even more expensive providers shouldn't be charging more than half that.

    Just looking at Netelligent's pricing for example since they were mentioned, you'd pay $125/mo to colo your machine vs $119/mo for a core i7 3770 that could run circles around it, or $89/mo for a core i3 3220 which would still outperform by a large margin.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    Again, where are you getting your pricing? core2quads are 6 years old now and are desktop grade to boot. Even more expensive providers shouldn't be charging more than half that.

    Just looking at Netelligent's pricing for example since they were mentioned, you'd pay $125/mo to colo your machine vs $119/mo for a core i7 3770 that could run circles around it, or $89/mo for a core i3 3220 which would still outperform by a large margin.
    Yeah but start adding a couple TB of disk space to that and upping the ram to 8GB and it adds up quick. And that's per month. All the providers I've checked work this way. Carat, Softlayer, etc... Typical seems to be $25 per TB of disk space. That's a lot per month when you consider a 1TB drive is about 100 bucks, and would be paid off in 4 months.

    With colo the price would always be $125/mo and I can add as much stuff as I want. I imagine I'd maybe pay some kind of "setup" fee to get a tech to insert a new drive but I rather pay a 1 time fee every now and then than pay for the drive every month. $329/mo for 4x 2TB drives. Meanwhile I can buy a 2TB drive for about 200 bucks, that is a one time cost of $800. Pays for itself in 4-5 months. For a colo I'd probably throw a SSD in there for the OS drive, so the 4 drives can use md raid 10 or raid 5.

    Leasing only seems to make sense for low end servers, as soon as you want a decent amount of ram and disk space it gets very expensive. Though Netelligent actually seems to have way better pricing than other providers I've seen. Things do seem to be getting a bit better but it still adds up quick when you want a decent amount of disk space.

    I may also wait longer and just build a proper 1U box, or two of them for redundancy. The main risk with colo is if the entire box dies for some reason.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    All the providers I've checked work this way. Carat, Softlayer, etc... Typical seems to be $25 per TB of disk space. That's a lot per month when you consider a 1TB drive is about 100 bucks, and would be paid off in 4 months.
    Check a few more providers perhaps? SoftLayer is notorious for overcharging on upgrades. Carat was bought out sometime back I believe, and I'm not sure how they operate under their new ownership.

    I would agree with you if your requirements were on the high end, but 8GB is pretty much standard already, as are 1TB drives. You should be able to get an additional 1TB enterprise drive or a 2TB non-enterprise drive for $10/mo, or $20/mo for a 2TB enterprise drive. Long gone are the days where providers expect to recover their capital in 3-6 months. These days 8-12 is more common, and there are of course the extreme cases which can be as much as 20+.


    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    With colo the price would always be $125/mo and I can add as much stuff as I want. I imagine I'd maybe pay some kind of "setup" fee to get a tech to insert a new drive but I rather pay a 1 time fee every now and then than pay for the drive every month.
    So, not only do you need to take into account the remote hands charges, but the cost of spares, and the cost of storing those spares. Having n + 1 when n itself is only 1 is a significant portion of your costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    $329/mo for 4x 2TB drives. Meanwhile I can buy a 2TB drive for about 200 bucks, that is a one time cost of $800. Pays for itself in 4-5 months. For a colo I'd probably throw a SSD in there for the OS drive, so the 4 drives can use md raid 10 or raid 5.
    The numbers you are throwing out are not consistent with what can be found in the industry. You can also try talking to sales to negotiate down those prices significantly, especially in the examples where the upgrades are priced much higher than what they cost to provide. All I'm saying is that if you spend as much time shopping around for dedicated hosting as you presumably are going to for colo, you are going to find better value with dedicated given your specifications. Fundamentally, it's more cost effective for a provider to sell a dedicated server than colo, it's not just a matter of taking the hardware out of the equation.


    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Leasing only seems to make sense for low end servers, as soon as you want a decent amount of ram and disk space it gets very expensive.
    I agree with you on this. I just think what you're asking for is much closer to the low end than the high end, where leasing still makes more sense.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Yeah but start adding a couple TB of disk space to that and upping the ram to 8GB and it adds up quick. And that's per month. All the providers I've checked work this way. Carat, Softlayer, etc... Typical seems to be $25 per TB of disk space. That's a lot per month when you consider a 1TB drive is about 100 bucks, and would be paid off in 4 months.

    With colo the price would always be $125/mo and I can add as much stuff as I want. I imagine I'd maybe pay some kind of "setup" fee to get a tech to insert a new drive but I rather pay a 1 time fee every now and then than pay for the drive every month. $329/mo for 4x 2TB drives. Meanwhile I can buy a 2TB drive for about 200 bucks, that is a one time cost of $800. Pays for itself in 4-5 months. For a colo I'd probably throw a SSD in there for the OS drive, so the 4 drives can use md raid 10 or raid 5.

    Leasing only seems to make sense for low end servers, as soon as you want a decent amount of ram and disk space it gets very expensive. Though Netelligent actually seems to have way better pricing than other providers I've seen. Things do seem to be getting a bit better but it still adds up quick when you want a decent amount of disk space.

    I may also wait longer and just build a proper 1U box, or two of them for redundancy. The main risk with colo is if the entire box dies for some reason.

    The providers who sell the cheapest, with the most oversold resources have direct incentive to prevent you from adding new hardware to a machine without paying monthly for it (after all, it'll allow you to push more bits they've already sold you, etc.).

    There are plenty of providers who may not be the cheapest on the offset, or may not push the most bandwidth included with every machine, but offer one time fee's on upgrades, as their bottom line is already covered by the base hardware being priced higher, or having less overselling, etc.

    Having said that, Colo is not a fixed rate indefinitely. Colo rates can/do go up (unlike most server rates), and many will ding you if you use too much power, etc.

    If you're going high end, Colo definitely has merits, and I'd say is the right way to go, the only issue being what you've defined as high end, is what the industry defines as low end.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by porcupine View Post
    If you're going high end, Colo definitely has merits, and I'd say is the right way to go, the only issue being what you've defined as high end, is what the industry defines as low end.
    Why is it so hard to find a couple TB and over 2GB of ram for under 200 bucks then?

    It seems the leasing industry defines anything higher than 2-4GB ram and 500GB disk as higher end. Also, raid should be standard, not an extra (very expensive) option. Though, to be fair, real hardware raid cards are very expensive, even my home servers don't have hardware raid, I just keep an image of the OS drive and the actual data is on Linux mdraid. But that's different because I have physical access and it's easy for me to do stuff like image the OS. Not so much with a server 1000km away.

    Guess it may be worth trying to work some kind of deal with Carat if I want more disk space as I have been with them for a while so who knows, they might have some kind of discount. Right now I'm ok as far as ram goes but a couple TB of extra space would be nice, I just hate to be paying like 50 bucks extra per month for that, would rather pay a couple hundred bucks once.

  15. #15
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    I think you should just check out the offers section, you'll find for $150-200 many places are offering dual quad cores with 64+gb of ram and 2-4tb of disk space.
    2-4gb of ram I don't think you can find many places who even offer that little ram.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Why is it so hard to find a couple TB and over 2GB of ram for under 200 bucks then?

    It seems the leasing industry defines anything higher than 2-4GB ram and 500GB disk as higher end.
    It's not hard at all. I don't even know why any provider would bother offering anything less than 8GB nowadays, unless they were using all used hardware. You need at least 2 sticks for dual channel, and 2GB are not much cheaper than 4GB and are harder to source nowadays.

    It also hasn't made sense to buy 500GB hard drives for a long while now, as the price difference for 1TB drives is minor. I think you're just talking to the wrong providers, and incorrectly making generalizations about the industry as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Also, raid should be standard, not an extra (very expensive) option. Though, to be fair, real hardware raid cards are very expensive
    Expensive, and offer very little benefit. Unless you're running Windows or VMWare, and/or need to something like Cachecade, there's no reason to use hardware RAID any more. CPUs are so powerful now, that the amount of offloading done by RAID processors is inconsequential. Linux and BSD software RAID are just as reliable and easier to recover from, due to not having to depend on a proprietary data format, without adding a single point of failure to the system.

    There are a lot of other things you can spend $700 on that will have much more of a performance impact.
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  17. #17
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    Best way is the find a colocation that will provide you with IPMI/iKVM free of charge.

    Anything beyond 2TB (even 1TB) could considered as a custom server and most of the time when a server is outside the spec of a normal server the prices are often off the roof.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonea View Post
    Best way is the find a colocation that will provide you with IPMI/iKVM free of charge.
    Or just use a motherboard with built-in KVM over IP, which has been almost every Supermicro boards for the last 3-4 generations.

    Quote Originally Posted by lonea View Post
    Anything beyond 2TB (even 1TB) could considered as a custom server and most of the time when a server is outside the spec of a normal server the prices are often off the roof.
    I would have to disagree. A 1U chassis with 4x 3.5" drive bays are pretty standard. Adding 2nd, 3rd, or 4th hard drives does not require any special effort. 2U chassis with 8x 3.5" drive bays are also common. With hard drives, every provider is going to stock 2TB drives. So, at least 8TB to 16TB wouldn't be anything special. Likewise with RAM, every provider is going to stock 8GB sticks, and easily go to 32GB with an E3, or 64GB/128GB with an E5, depending on which motherboard model they've chosen to standardize on or what the largest sticks they regularly stock are.

    It's only when you go beyond that, where using onboard SATA is no longer an option, as you require an HBA or hardware RAID just to connect to the backplane, that variability starts to increase. This then depends on the provider, and how many units they sell with that particular configuration. So long as the provider can easily sell the hardware to someone else if you cancel your server, there aren't any extra costs for them to provide higher end hardware.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    It's not hard at all. I don't even know why any provider would bother offering anything less than 8GB nowadays, unless they were using all used hardware. You need at least 2 sticks for dual channel, and 2GB are not much cheaper than 4GB and are harder to source nowadays.
    Well explain this then:

    http://www.caratnetworks.com/in-stoc...ed-servers.php
    http://www.caratnetworks.com/clearance.php
    http://www.softlayer.com/dedicated-s...cessor-servers

    Those all start at like 4GB / 500GB and once you start tacking on extra drives or ram the price skyrockets. Googled dedicated servers and found a lot more. 4GB seems to be the standard for entry level, which is pitiful when even my 7 year old home server has 8GB. For the ones in the US you also have to add maybe 10% to the price to take into account exchange rates.

    Expensive, and offer very little benefit. Unless you're running Windows or VMWare, and/or need to something like Cachecade, there's no reason to use hardware RAID any more. CPUs are so powerful now, that the amount of offloading done by RAID processors is inconsequential. Linux and BSD software RAID are just as reliable and easier to recover from, due to not having to depend on a proprietary data format, without adding a single point of failure to the system.
    Well I was talking about the OS, you need hardware raid for the OS since it has to be raided pre boot. Unless you use an iSCSI initiator card but then you need a SAN. I'd hate to see the cost of leasing that.


    Now as far as a home server goes, yeah I'll agree 4GB and a few TB is fairly standard/low end these days, all servers I build have way more. But building and leasing is two different things. Building is much cheaper since you only pay once. If it was not for lack of proper connectivity I'd be hosting everything at home, the only reason I lease is because of the bandwidth. Home connections don't allow servers, either. That and spamhaus and such block residential IP ranges so it would be a pain in the butt as far as email goes.


    I'll probably end up building a 1U supermicro box at one point and collocating that. Seems to make the most sense. I just have to hope no hardware fails.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Well explain this then:

    http://www.caratnetworks.com/in-stoc...ed-servers.php
    http://www.caratnetworks.com/clearance.php
    http://www.softlayer.com/dedicated-s...cessor-servers

    Those all start at like 4GB / 500GB and once you start tacking on extra drives or ram the price skyrockets. Googled dedicated servers and found a lot more. 4GB seems to be the standard for entry level, which is pitiful when even my 7 year old home server has 8GB. For the ones in the US you also have to add maybe 10% to the price to take into account exchange rates.
    I already explained earlier in the thread. SoftLayer is known for overpriced upgrades, and are the worst possible example to use. Carat focuses on old, bottom of the barrel, desktop grade hardware. Most of their stock is 4+ generations old, and the newest hardware they offer is 2 generations old. And these are but just two providers. There are hundreds if not more out there. Try looking at some others. Considering you're on WHT, which is one of the best resources out there for this kind of thing, why not try looking on WHT instead of randomly googling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Well I was talking about the OS, you need hardware raid for the OS since it has to be raided pre boot. Unless you use an iSCSI initiator card but then you need a SAN. I'd hate to see the cost of leasing that.
    For Linux, /boot has to be RAID1. Everything else can be whatever you like. You can create multiple RAID volumes of multiple RAID types. For BSD, it differs for each one, but all likewise involve the boot loader being loaded from disk into memory before the RAID volumes are mounted. Even ZFS has been fully bootable for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Now as far as a home server goes, yeah I'll agree 4GB and a few TB is fairly standard/low end these days, all servers I build have way more.
    Why would you expect a home server for personal use to be beefier than a production server for professional use in a data centre environment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    But building and leasing is two different things. Building is much cheaper since you only pay once.
    There are numerous economies of scale you get with dedicated servers that you do not get with colo. You even made the point yourself that it's better to lease with low end servers. That discussion has been had on WHT many, many times. And your specifications, as others have corroborated on this thread, are on the low end, for all the reasons already mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    If it was not for lack of proper connectivity I'd be hosting everything at home, the only reason I lease is because of the bandwidth. Home connections don't allow servers, either. That and spamhaus and such block residential IP ranges so it would be a pain in the butt as far as email goes.
    Don't forget redundancy and environmental controls. Most data centres are on multiple power grids, with connectivity on multiple fiber paths. You also need not just temperature, but humidity controlled as if humidity is too low, you get static buildup whereas if humidity is too high, the moisture will corrode components.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    I'll probably end up building a 1U supermicro box at one point and collocating that. Seems to make the most sense. I just have to hope no hardware fails.
    That is a pretty major caveat.

    We're going around in circles here. Colo on lower end servers makes less sense from a financial or logistical point of view, which you yourself seemed to agree with. And for all the reasons already mentioned, your specifications are on the lower end.
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  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    934
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Well explain this then:

    http://www.caratnetworks.com/in-stoc...ed-servers.php
    http://www.caratnetworks.com/clearance.php
    http://www.softlayer.com/dedicated-s...cessor-servers

    Those all start at like 4GB / 500GB and once you start tacking on extra drives or ram the price skyrockets. Googled dedicated servers and found a lot more. 4GB seems to be the standard for entry level, which is pitiful when even my 7 year old home server has 8GB. For the ones in the US you also have to add maybe 10% to the price to take into account exchange rates.



    Well I was talking about the OS, you need hardware raid for the OS since it has to be raided pre boot. Unless you use an iSCSI initiator card but then you need a SAN. I'd hate to see the cost of leasing that.


    Now as far as a home server goes, yeah I'll agree 4GB and a few TB is fairly standard/low end these days, all servers I build have way more. But building and leasing is two different things. Building is much cheaper since you only pay once. If it was not for lack of proper connectivity I'd be hosting everything at home, the only reason I lease is because of the bandwidth. Home connections don't allow servers, either. That and spamhaus and such block residential IP ranges so it would be a pain in the butt as far as email goes.


    I'll probably end up building a 1U supermicro box at one point and collocating that. Seems to make the most sense. I just have to hope no hardware fails.
    I think you might want to hold back on building your own colo. You need to learn a bit more about software raid and total cost of ownership amongst other things or your going to have fun with the surprises. That's fine. Learn before just lashing out at other more experienced people on the forums. You might also want to check OVH and its other brands (e.g. kimsufi or soyoustart). The have a BHS DC in Quebec and like everyone else has been saying, is stupid cheap. If you don't like OVH for any reason, there's still a whole slew of people between that rock bottom and Softlayer.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    144
    Netelligent is a good provider
    I'm not a native English speaker and my writing and (even) understanding of the language is far, far away from fluent.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    829
    Quote Originally Posted by hhw View Post
    For Linux, /boot has to be RAID1. Everything else can be whatever you like. You can create multiple RAID volumes of multiple RAID types. For BSD, it differs for each one, but all likewise involve the boot loader being loaded from disk into memory before the RAID volumes are mounted. Even ZFS has been fully bootable for a while.
    But how would that work, the raid is controlled by the OS, how do you initialize the raid before the OS. How would it even boot? This is why I typically use a USB stick or SSD drive for OS (flash has no moving parts so less likely to randomly fail provided I don't write a lot to it) so that way I don't have to worry about hardware raid, which would be the only other way to have some decent reliability. Then mdraid for actual data.

    Why would you expect a home server for personal use to be beefier than a production server for professional use in a data centre environment?
    Because the equivalent server would cost an arm and a leg leased. Even my 8GB core2quad with 6-7TB of space (before I moved the drives to my new file server) would cost a couple hundred per month. Go on any lease provider and start customizing and adding in drives. Adds up. Don't really care if it's enterprise grade drives or not, especially when they are raided. Even Google does not use enterprise grade.



    Quote Originally Posted by tchen View Post
    I think you might want to hold back on building your own colo. You need to learn a bit more about software raid and total cost of ownership amongst other things or your going to have fun with the surprises. That's fine. Learn before just lashing out at other more experienced people on the forums. You might also want to check OVH and its other brands (e.g. kimsufi or soyoustart). The have a BHS DC in Quebec and like everyone else has been saying, is stupid cheap. If you don't like OVH for any reason, there's still a whole slew of people between that rock bottom and Softlayer.
    Well, I've been using Linux software raid for years now without any issues. This is a new server I just turned up at home. Moved the disks from my old server to here and added another array. Got about 11TB of space so far with lot more room. I can't imagine the cost if that was leased.

    http://gal.redsquirrel.me/images/hou...m/dsc_2651.jpg

    Server room:
    http://gal.redsquirrel.me/images/hou...m/dsc_2299.jpg

    Main issue now is dust and temperature (too low) though but that will be solved once I seal it up and do the hvac. Still a work in progress. Basically anything that does not need to be on the internet I host here, WAY cheaper.

    Netelligent sounds like it will probably be what I go with though for my online server. Can't beat $75/mo for 1U. I'll check out OVH too.

    Not ready to move anything now, I was just looking for various suggestions, not trying to start any arguments.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, B.C.
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    2,656
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    But how would that work, the raid is controlled by the OS, how do you initialize the raid before the OS. How would it even boot?
    That's the beauty of Linux Software RAID1. From the perspective of the BIOS, it's just regular disk format. You can read from any one of the hard drives in the RAID1 volume as if it was just a plain, standalone disk. The only real differences are the partition type ID, and some extra blocks for storing metadata.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    This is why I typically use a USB stick or SSD drive for OS (flash has no moving parts so less likely to randomly fail provided I don't write a lot to it) so that way I don't have to worry about hardware raid, which would be the only other way to have some decent reliability. Then mdraid for actual data.
    This is completely unnecessary. Just set aside a small amount of space on each disk, assign them all to a RAID1 volume, and partition/mount/install to it as /boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Because the equivalent server would cost an arm and a leg leased.
    I keep on telling you that this is not the case, and I'm not sure why you continue to cling to that belief. As this is WHT, there's limits to what can actually be posted, but I obviously know what we as a provider charge, hence I'm well aware that price points lower than what you are claiming are quite possible. And many of our competitors charge even less; it never ceases to amaze me how low some of their pricing will go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Even my 8GB core2quad with 6-7TB of space (before I moved the drives to my new file server) would cost a couple hundred per month.
    Maybe at some providers, but there are many providers where it would not. I know for a fact that you can find a build like that for significantly less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Go on any lease provider and start customizing and adding in drives. Adds up. Don't really care if it's enterprise grade drives or not, especially when they are raided. Even Google does not use enterprise grade.
    Have you tried talking to sales? Believe it are not, we providers are not unreasonable people. Sometimes, the pricing listed on websites is obsolete, simply because we haven't had time to update it. Sometimes, we just list higher prices so that we can offer discounts to our resellers so that they can offer pricing competitive to ours. Sometimes, we have excess inventory and are willing to sell for less rather than have capital tied up sitting there doing nothing. In any event, there many reasons why you may be able to get better than list pricing. All it takes is a few minutes to write an e-mail or make a phone call, so it's worth your while to give it a shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Well, I've been using Linux software raid for years now without any issues. This is a new server I just turned up at home. Moved the disks from my old server to here and added another array. Got about 11TB of space so far with lot more room. I can't imagine the cost if that was leased.
    I'm not sure how you've gone about using it for years without realizing that it's meant to be a complete replacement for hardware RAID, and can be fully boot-able.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
    Netelligent sounds like it will probably be what I go with though for my online server. Can't beat $75/mo for 1U. I'll check out OVH too.
    Listen, if you want to go with colo for the sake of going colo, that's totally cool. It's something I can certainly understand, and a large reason why I decided to start a dedicated hosting company in the first place.

    Just don't use false arguments to justify it. Factor in the cost of buying the hardware, the opportunity cost for that capital, the remote hands, the cost of downtime when (not if) hardware fails, the value of your own time taken up, and all the other things you have to deal with when it comes to colo that's just taken care of for you with a dedicated server. Once you take all that into account, the numbers strongly favour dedicated servers for anything but uncommonly high end configurations. This is a highly competitive market, and some providers operate on very thin (in some cases even non-existent) margins. If price is what you care about the most, you should use some providers' low pricing to your advantage. Just make sure you do your due diligence, so that you don't end up with a provider so cheap that they're not financially sustainable.
    ASTUTE HOSTING: Advanced, customized, and scalable solutions with AS54527 Premium Canadian Optimized Network (Level3, PEER1, Shaw, Tinet)
    MicroServers.io: Enterprise Dedicated Hardware with IPMI at VPS-like Prices using AS63213 Affordable Bandwidth (Cogent, HE, Tinet)
    Dedicated Hosting, Colo, Bandwidth, and Fiber out of Vancouver, Seattle, LA, Toronto, NYC, and Miami

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    70
    Give Telus Business Solutions a call, they have DC's with colospace in Van, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal and are staffed 24/7 with Tier 2 technicians (pretty knowledgeable) for remote hands & feet.

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