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  1. Question Selecting a dedicated server for SHOUTcast instead of buying slots from a reseller

    Hello all,

    After browsing the web for a while this seems like the most intelligent place to post this question.

    Here's a practical example:

    I manage a rapidly-growing Internet Radio Station.

    Currently a SHOUTcast reseller is offering us 150 listener slots streaming at 128 kbps for $1.40 per slot, or $210 for a 30 day term.

    I found a Dedicated Managed server from the company "The Planet" (theplanet.com) for $249. It's called a Professional Series: "Total Control P2800: Entry Level Value Server".

    The specs say 2000 GB of traffic a month, doesn't say how that is metered (50/50 in/out data split, etc.) since SHOUTcast is almost all "push" (data out).

    Is it a better deal, at the current pricing I am getting of $1.40 per slot, to switch to my own Managed Server, and if so, will I be able to gain more listener slots, which is my primary goal, without going over the 2000 GB monthly traffic limit? The Planet does offer an "upgrade" to 3000 GB traffic a month but I couldn't find the price.

    I am at a loss as to what kind of math SHOUTcast resellers use to accurately predict how much bandwidth a client will use, since the 150 slots are usually only full between the hours of 1am-4pm. The rest of the time they fluctuate between 60% and 30% full.

    An acquaintance of mine whose been streaming for longer than I says I am always better off with my own self-managed SHOUTcast server (running Linux or Windows) however this SHOUTcast reseller represents Hurricane Electric which, being a multi-million dollar company, has of late been agressively marketing audio/video streaming at competitive prices and has a competent support staff.

    If there are significant cost savings/listener slots to be gained, say 20-30% or more, then I would probably lease my own Managed Server, since I figure 20-30% of a gain is enough to offset the additional risks and maintenance issues of attending to your own server needs when a problem arises, rather than simply picking up a phone or opening a "trouble ticket" to the reseller.

    Anyone with experience in this subject I would greatly appreciate your advice, as I need to make a decision before the end of this month. Also if anyone has an idea how to calculate how many, if any, listener slots might be gained by going to our own Managed Server, while trying to stay in the same price range of $250, that would be great.

    After browsing the forums on here I know there are some brilliant minds participating who can offer me educated answers and perhaps an excellent solution. Our station needs to grow past our current budget "ceiling" of 425 slots to 500 or slightly more slots, and since there is no more money in the budget to do this my friend says the answer is to "find a more efficient, cost effective solution" than a reseller.

    And please no FDC or North Storm type service providers, our listeners are used to us providing a "zero buffering, almost no drop-outs" listening experience.

    Thanks,

    Gary Burke
    Radio Free Colorado

  2. #2
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    The total control servers are NOT unmetered. When you have a full shoutcast server its going to be using alot of bandwidth, and 2000gb might not be enough if its going to be full all the time. I would suggest for you to get an unmetered server, http://servermatrix.com/unmetered.html#mxc24 those are the unmetered servers. You dont need a top of the line server to run it so dont worry about it. servermatrix is a sister company to theplanet so it might save you some money, and its thru cogent so dont worry about the network. I hear alot of people saying that cogent is bad, but like some people say, the datacenter might just suck, and want to blame cogent because its their cheap provider. Well good luck.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2003
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    Simply do the math...

    128kbit x 150 listeners = 19.2 megabit/second stream.

    You need 19.2 megabit/second for 15 hours (54,000 seconds) a day or 1,620,000 seconds/month...

    Let's assume average of 50% load the other 9 hours (32,400 seconds) a day which comes out to 9.6 megabits/second for 972,000 seconds/month.

    ----

    1,620,000 x 19.2 = 31,104,000 megabits/month
    972,000 x 9.6 = 9,331,200 megabits/month

    Divide both by 8 to get megabytes...

    31,104,000 / 8 = 3,888,000 megabytes/month OR ~3.9 TB/month
    9,331,200 / 8 = 1,166,400 megabytes/month OR ~1.2 TB/month

    You need 5.1 TB or 5,100 GB a month just to sustain your current usage...

    So no, you can't use that plan... My opinion is there is no way you can do better for your budget of $2-300 with a self managed server because there is no way you're going to get a reliable 25-30 meg link for $2-300. You're better off using a leased streaming service as you are now.

    Even if you decide to go unmetered, a 20mbps server wont sustain your 19.2 needed. You would need something more than 25 mbps...
    Last edited by sungkim; 05-16-2005 at 02:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Numbers are off slightly, as 1Mbps = 1024 Kbps, not 1000. But Gary, you're definetly getting a pretty good deal right now. I'm seeing other providers offering 128Kbps slots at upwards of $3/month/slot.

  5. #5
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    yeah.. sorry.. x.x ...overlooked that... xP

  6. #6
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    Re: Selecting a dedicated server for SHOUTcast instead of buying slots from a reseller

    Originally posted by Radio Free Colo
    Hello all,

    After browsing the web for a while this seems like the most intelligent place to post this question.

    Here's a practical example:

    I manage a rapidly-growing Internet Radio Station.

    Currently a SHOUTcast reseller is offering us 150 listener slots streaming at 128 kbps for $1.40 per slot, or $210 for a 30 day term.

    I found a Dedicated Managed server from the company "The Planet" (theplanet.com) for $249. It's called a Professional Series: "Total Control P2800: Entry Level Value Server".

    The specs say 2000 GB of traffic a month, doesn't say how that is metered (50/50 in/out data split, etc.) since SHOUTcast is almost all "push" (data out).

    Is it a better deal, at the current pricing I am getting of $1.40 per slot, to switch to my own Managed Server, and if so, will I be able to gain more listener slots, which is my primary goal, without going over the 2000 GB monthly traffic limit? The Planet does offer an "upgrade" to 3000 GB traffic a month but I couldn't find the price.

    I am at a loss as to what kind of math SHOUTcast resellers use to accurately predict how much bandwidth a client will use, since the 150 slots are usually only full between the hours of 1am-4pm. The rest of the time they fluctuate between 60% and 30% full.

    An acquaintance of mine whose been streaming for longer than I says I am always better off with my own self-managed SHOUTcast server (running Linux or Windows) however this SHOUTcast reseller represents Hurricane Electric which, being a multi-million dollar company, has of late been agressively marketing audio/video streaming at competitive prices and has a competent support staff.

    If there are significant cost savings/listener slots to be gained, say 20-30% or more, then I would probably lease my own Managed Server, since I figure 20-30% of a gain is enough to offset the additional risks and maintenance issues of attending to your own server needs when a problem arises, rather than simply picking up a phone or opening a "trouble ticket" to the reseller.

    Anyone with experience in this subject I would greatly appreciate your advice, as I need to make a decision before the end of this month. Also if anyone has an idea how to calculate how many, if any, listener slots might be gained by going to our own Managed Server, while trying to stay in the same price range of $250, that would be great.

    After browsing the forums on here I know there are some brilliant minds participating who can offer me educated answers and perhaps an excellent solution. Our station needs to grow past our current budget "ceiling" of 425 slots to 500 or slightly more slots, and since there is no more money in the budget to do this my friend says the answer is to "find a more efficient, cost effective solution" than a reseller.

    And please no FDC or North Storm type service providers, our listeners are used to us providing a "zero buffering, almost no drop-outs" listening experience.

    Thanks,

    Gary Burke
    Radio Free Colorado
    I would go with the 1.40 offer. that is extremely cheap and likely the provider has not figured out that htey are losing their butts on that. so your gain their loss. jump on it man while it lasts.
    Dedicated Servers
    WWW.NETDEPOT.COM
    Since 2000

  7. #7
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    Re: Re: Selecting a dedicated server for SHOUTcast instead of buying slots from a reseller

    Originally posted by sailor
    I would go with the 1.40 offer. that is extremely cheap and likely the provider has not figured out that htey are losing their butts on that. so your gain their loss. jump on it man while it lasts.

    they'll figure it out when their bank account goes into the red

  8. #8
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    Unless they just have a 100mbps port from cogent, pay the $1,000 a month for it, host it on one of their servers if they have one. Then their probably not going to be loosing money, since most people wont actually get the servers full most of the time. Or if they have the money, they might go for the gigabit port for $10k a month and might host other stuff on there as well. You never know

  9. #9
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    i would advice you to get an unmetered server like RandyT said..you should only look at company that will provide 20mbps and up servers..dont get caught up with those offers from FDC 100 unmeter servers, since they will only give 4,500-5,000 gb a month which in your case would be tight! at your speed you need a little room for those days when you get 200+ listerners..

    even if your are getting a 1.40/slot it will slow your growth, this is because you will only be able to handle 150 slots and you could pay the same for a server that would handle 200+ listeners at time during the day(not 24/7)..if you sit down and do the math an unmeter server will be the way for you to go..

    good luck with your choice.
    el Dutty-Dutty

  10. #10
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    Thanks elfalso, you made me feel smart

  11. #11
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    dont forget you do have a constant upload as well.....

  12. #12
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    What do you think were takling about jimerson?

  13. Thanks so far for all your replies and the quick resposnse!

    From what Randy T says (and the great math you guys did) I am going to check out :

    (servermatrix.com/unmetered.html#mxc24)

    And as elfaso said, we have alrady projected that since we are a "donation only" (non-commercial) station that even at $1.40 per listener slot, our growth rate IS being slowed.

    Gary

    P.S. -- The $1.40 offer I received is a special promotion offered by EGIHosting to select (rapidly growing) established Internet Radio Stations. EGIHosting is the sales division of Hurricane Electric, which owns and operates its own Data Centers in California and New York. They also claim to lease their own data lines going in/out of their DC's and have "partnered' with several major backbone providers to be able to offer both competitive prices and superior performance. After 90 days with them, so far 100% uptime on 3 servers in 2 DC's.

  14. Randy T,

    You mention not needing a top-of-the-line server for our shoutcast needs.

    Do you think the Celeron 2.4 GHz with 1 Gig of Ram from Server Matrix can serve-up 150-200 SHOUTcast slots (Linux or Windows SHOUTcast software ver 1.9.5) without "crapping-out"? Because the next offer is for a Pentium 4 server at $299/month which is more than we are paying now.

    Gary

    P.S. -- Regarding using Cogent bandwidth: it depends where in the U.S. your DC is located and what newtork peering is in place whether you will have problems with Cogent. We lease a server in Texas (150 128k slots) on a Cogent but is it peered with AT&T, and except for a 31 minute period when they were upgrading the Ram in the server to 1 Gig, uptime is around 98.9 % over 60 days. Not bad at $1.60 per slot.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Radio Free Colo
    Randy T,
    Do you think the Celeron 2.4 GHz with 1 Gig of Ram from Server Matrix can serve-up 150-200 SHOUTcast slots (Linux or Windows SHOUTcast software ver 1.9.5) without "crapping-out"? Because the next offer is for a Pentium 4 server at $299/month which is more than we are paying now.
    .
    not even a 2.4ghz, you could run shoutcast in a simple low end server..if i was you i would not bother with a high end sever..this is because shoutcast does not need that much of resources to run..i was able to run shoutcast with about 150-200 users constantly for hours on a celeron 2.0ghz 512mb without any problem.

    you could take a look at oranfiber.com they have some nice offers for people like us who only need bandwidth..
    el Dutty-Dutty

  16. Sorry, can't find a website for "oranfiber.com".

    Please elaborate elfaso.

    Gary

  17. #17
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    orangefiber.com is what hes talking about. Also I'm pretty sure its not going to crap out, shoutcast doesnt use much memory, just bandwidth if Im correct. Also the downtime could be the data centers fault, not cogent so dont point any fingers

    PS orangefiber charges a bit more, and theplanets network and tech support is one of the best Ive used. I would preffer servermatrix over orangefiber good luck man.

  18. #18
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    Originally posted by RandyT

    PS orangefiber charges a bit more, and theplanets network and tech support is one of the best Ive used. I would preffer servermatrix over orangefiber good luck man.
    well, if you really look at their offers, servermatrix charges $99 setup fee orangefiber doesn't..also take in considaration that orangefiber does have the 2+1 special ( wow i sound like a salesman! ) last time i checked on the Dedicated offers section JHServers.com had an orangefiber sales from $139 for a 20mbps unmeter server to like a 30mbps server for only $200. a few weeks before servers4sale had something similar, 'till this day i have not seen anything close to those prices.

    so my friend if i was you i would be 24/7 in the Dedicated offers section looking, waiting and asking for quotes(thats what i did for a few weeks)


    ps. im not a sales person, im just feel comfortable talking about shoutcast and prices
    el Dutty-Dutty

  19. All the JHServers.com "deals" you mentioned are listed on their webpage as being sold out.

    What is up with that? They list an ad just recently on 5/6/05 and today is the 17th and they are already "sold out"? Sounds like they either bit off more than they can chew or they are practicing "bait and switch" sales tacticts.

    BTW for $10 per month extra Servermatrix will waive the $99 setup fee. So far, they are coming in at $219 per month for a 20 mbps unmetered server.

    Also the 30 mbps unmetered servers from Servermatrix are $239, not $200.

    All this means nothing. I could take orders for 1000's of 20 mpbs servers at $150 all day, take the money and then say "Sold out, you gotta buy this one for $250." Oldest trick in sales there is.

    I know vendors and salespeople read these forums so hopefully one will come along and provide Radio Free Colorado a 20 mbps or 30 mpbs unmetered server at a competitive price.

    Gary

    Still looking...

  20. #20
    You won't get any cheaper than SM to be frank. That's already the bottom of the pile pricing.
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Radio Free Colo
    All the JHServers.com "deals" you mentioned are listed on their webpage as being sold out.

    What is up with that? They list an ad just recently on 5/6/05 and today is the 17th and they are already "sold out"? Sounds like they either bit off more than they can chew or they are practicing "bait and switch" sales tacticts.

    BTW for $10 per month extra Servermatrix will waive the $99 setup fee. So far, they are coming in at $219 per month for a 20 mbps unmetered server.

    Also the 30 mbps unmetered servers from Servermatrix are $239, not $200.

    All this means nothing. I could take orders for 1000's of 20 mpbs servers at $150 all day, take the money and then say "Sold out, you gotta buy this one for $250." Oldest trick in sales there is.

    I know vendors and salespeople read these forums so hopefully one will come along and provide Radio Free Colorado a 20 mbps or 30 mpbs unmetered server at a competitive price.

    Gary

    Still looking...
    Hello, you are wrong sir. We sold a lot of those servers here on WHT, and when we ran out of hardware, we stopped selling. We will have more in stock by the end of this week. We didn't want to keep accepting orders without providing any servers, THAT would be a bad sales "trick." We have provided everything that was offered, and since we are in re-negotiation with vendors, our prices had to go up a little bit. We raised the prices after selling to a bunch of customers. I'm sure anyone will tell you our company is not out to scam people. Thank you.

  22. #22
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    I would just go with servermatrix, thats your best bet. They have great tech support and good service, their server will probably never go down, and its probably one of the cheapest places..

  23. #23
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    It just costs so much!

  24. #24
    Originally posted by RandyT
    I would just go with servermatrix, thats your best bet. They have great tech support and good service, their server will probably never go down, and its probably one of the cheapest places..
    And yet again, another side of the story. As with every hosting company you have your positives and negatives. Choose the company you feel will tend to your needs and not just look at you as a number.

    Cough!
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