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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
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    826

    Blurring the line between dedicated and colocation...

    I've been trying to remember... a couple years ago there was a dedicated-server provider who had some sort of deal where you could send them a bootable hard drive, and they'd install it in a dedicated server in their facility. They took care of PSU/CPU/memory/NIC/mobo replacement, if necessary, and you were responsibe for supplying drives... anyone know who I'm talking about?

    I was thinking about them, because we, at the moment, aren't colocating anything, just leasing dedicated boxes. I've been playing with crypto stuff a lot lately - installing EGD, tweaking SSL, stunnel'ing anything that can be stunnel'd - and recently picked up a nifty PCI encryption-accelerator card that, frankly, would be a lot more useful in a server than in one of our office workstations. I thought it'd be neat if I could just ship the card to one of our dedicated providers and have them bung it into one of our servers..

    Anyway, that just got me to thinking about blurring the line between dedicated and colocated servers, which could be nice for the end-users but would probably be a PITA for the providers. That said, anyone ever done anything like that? Supply their own drives, or memory, or RAID card, or whatever, for a dedicated server?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    307
    As far as I know you can only supply hardware for colos. After all, when you rent a box you are not responsible for its hardware.

    Anyway if I find someone offering this kind of deal I let you know.
    ACcomunica

  3. #3
    I would think this would be more hassle than it's worth for a provider. It's one thing to say:

    "Okay, we are responsible for all the computers in this rack"

    "This rack is full of co-lo servers, we need not worry about those"

    It is a completely different thing to say:

    "Okay, we are NOT responsible for the hard drive (pci cards, raid, etc.) in server 3, 5, 7, 8, 12 and 19 in this rack"
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Under The Floor Tiles
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    566
    Originally posted by VanHost
    I would think this would be more hassle than it's worth for a provider. It's one thing to say:

    "Okay, we are responsible for all the computers in this rack"

    "This rack is full of co-lo servers, we need not worry about those"

    It is a completely different thing to say:

    "Okay, we are NOT responsible for the hard drive (pci cards, raid, etc.) in server 3, 5, 7, 8, 12 and 19 in this rack"
    Exactly. The industry has been streamlined like this to save costs and increase profits. Plus, it's really not worth the hassle of dealing with shipping a hard drive. (There is a high risk of damage if it's not sent in the original package, or manufacturer-recommended packaging.)

    You're best off just colo'ing a box, if you absolutely have to have the encryption card in there. It gives you more of a choice when it comes to CPU, RAM, and even mobo. Plus, you get one of those nifty ID badges to go in and maintain your server (if you're willing to travel to the DC.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,780
    why not send the whole box with the card?

    are u using the rainbow accelerators? we have them as well

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Saint Paul, MN
    Posts
    826
    Originally posted by Mfjp
    why not send the whole box with the card?
    Because, with the exception of a pair of 110MHz Sun Netra I's we have sitting around, we don't have any actual servers of our own. Okay, I lie, my WinXP workstation is an old white-box 8U P3 server with wheels. But we don't have any real servers as such, just a bunch of old (!), mostly Sun, workstations. That's part of the reason we choose the dedicated route...

    At the moment, we don't really need another server, and probably won't until July/August. I was just idly speculating... I'll probably look into what upgrade options there are with our existing providers; old Celerons can do an awful lot, but heavy crypto isn't one of them.

    are u using the rainbow accelerators? we have them as well
    At the moment I'm playing with a couple of different accelerators; two are meant/marketed as SSL accelerator cards (a cheap alternative, in theory, to a dedicated front-end SSL appliance), and one is a more general-purpose RNG/encryption coprocessor. They're of limited usefulness in my workstation, so I'm trying to cobble together a Linux box out of bits and pieces to see if/how much they'll help with Stunnel, email TLS, and the like, as opposed to https acceleration. I'm not expecting miracles, but any improvement in performance would be a good thing...
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    2,780
    We actually benchmark the rainbow accelerator cards before by doing https transaction. Though the accelerators are cheap, we found it quite amazing. They do work and acclerate https by 10 times. We also gave an old Nortel a try doing the same task and they were performing just comparable.

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