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  1. #1

    Unmetered Server Pricing

    Hello everyone,

    I have a small question to all of those who offer and those who use dedicated servers with unmetered bandwidth plans:

    Let's say you offer/buy a 20mbps unmetered server; do you commit/expect a non-shared line or does it matter if it's shared so long as it is not congested and the bandwidth is there when you need it?

    We're looking at offering a new line of affordable unmetered plans but as part of my market research in terms of pricing, learning how others calculate or commit bandwidth would be hugely appreciated. My inclination is to provide completely dedicated bandwidth, but I might be able to negotiate the price a bit if the general consensis is that shared bandwidth is okay with the above conditions met...

    Thoughts anyone?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Unmetered Server Pricing

    Originally posted by MrManager
    Hello everyone,

    I have a small question to all of those who offer and those who use dedicated servers with unmetered bandwidth plans:

    Let's say you offer/buy a 20mbps unmetered server; do you commit/expect a non-shared line or does it matter if it's shared so long as it is not congested and the bandwidth is there when you need it?

    We're looking at starting to offer unmetered plans, but as part of the final price, learning how others calculate or commit bandwidth would be hugely appreciated. My inclination is dedicated bandwidth but I might be able to negotiate on price a bit if the general consensis is that shared bandwidth is okay with the above conditions met...

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance,
    Well for me personally so long as I could always do 20mbps when I needed it, and I could do it all month long, then I would not mind if the line was shared. I would like to see an SLA or something for the bandwidth, but that's about it.

    I would suspect that a service like this would also help to keep costs down. Some would prefer to have their own personal line, but if it is covered by a SLA I would not see any problem with it.
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  3. #3
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    From my experience, people that purchase 20 mbit unmetered lines usually expect and do utilize 50-70% of the 20 mbps on a 95 percentile usage. Once they can't reach 20 mbps, they will start complaining. But then, everyone is different.
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  4. #4
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    Well, perhaps you can do a shared or dedicated package. Extra $30 for dedicated or something like that, be more flexible.

  5. #5
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    If you get a 20MBPS line and you cannot push 20MBPS, you need to simply contact your DC and make sure the switch or uplink is not too congested if so, request a new uplink, casue you should be able to push the 20MBPS.
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  6. #6
    Originally posted by UltraUnixNET
    Well, perhaps you can do a shared or dedicated package. Extra $30 for dedicated or something like that, be more flexible.
    I would prefer to either do dedicated or shared - not both since SLAs can get confusing with too many options. So far, I can see only positive things from having dedicated lines as opposed to shared which requires convincing you won't oversell to create a congested line. But as long as your SLA says you will always be able to push 20mbps, then maybe shared is not all that bad as long as you can back that up.

    It's just that I've seen super congested lines and thought "ouch- would sure hate to be THEIR customer". But then I see under-utilized lines and think "wow- talk about wasted resources - no wonder their servers cost 5x market rate"...
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  7. #7
    Originally posted by Rodney-E2
    If you get a 20MBPS line and you cannot push 20MBPS, you need to simply contact your DC and make sure the switch or uplink is not too congested if so, request a new uplink, casue you should be able to push the 20MBPS.
    Rodney, the essence here is that we, the DC, provide someone (you for instance) a 20mbps unmetered server. If you complain of slow speeds, I can't very well go get a new uplink because it got saturated from being severely oversold. Either I screwed myself with poor planning or I did it the right way and saved myself a lot of grief. On the same note I can't stand to watch a gigabit uplink go only 20% utilized because no one with unmetered packages are using their bandwidth. A massive amount of headroom would be nice but to stay profitable, there is a medium somewhere and that's what I'm having this dialog for. But so far not a single host has chimed in. Maybe given time I'll see someone share a little.

    The customer perspective is most important perspective in my mind obviously, but other provider strategies would be an interesting read to say the least.
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  8. #8
    Originally posted by VapoRub
    From my experience, people that purchase 20 mbit unmetered lines usually expect and do utilize 50-70% of the 20 mbps on a 95 percentile usage. Once they can't reach 20 mbps, they will start complaining. But then, everyone is different.
    Exactly which is why I am leaning more towards a dedicated commit per server so there's never an issue with that causing any problems. If people buy a 20mbps unmetered server - I would suggest they have plans that would suck it up clean and quickly. Sharing the line would probably be a mistake. Maybe we just start dedicated and share it if it starts to look like it is being under-utilized....

    Thanks for the comments- this is very helpful getting your perspectives!
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  9. #9
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    When someone lease a 20mbps server, (do not matter if it is shared or dedicated bw) they:
    - usually intent to use all the bw
    - want 20mbps capability all the time.

    Dedicated bw (because of higher selling preice) is hard to sell but I think is easier on the provider as you sell what you have.

    Shared bw (because of lower selling price) is easiler to sell but I think is very hard on the provider. I think it needs lots technical and financial resources to see through this business. Provider needs to commit as little as possible and increase quickly when needed to keep the clients happy. This may be a very profitable business.

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    I would expect the line to be shared but not to the point where users need to use download managers to get good download speeds.
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    Are they going to be able to burst at all, 95% billing, or are you talkign about a strict cap at 20mbps? If you are doing the cap I would probably just do a mostly dedicated line but at the same time over a few weeks time you would be able to see if you can put another server on the switch. I would probably expect something like that to be a on a shared line that is monitored to ensure it does not get too congested.

    The big thing is being able to provide the servers at a reasonable free that a person will want to pay. If you can do that with a great SLA you are going to be able to do what you want.
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  12. #12
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    MrManager, I tried to do something that you're looking to do, but as you know a lot of WHT users hate competition and therefore made a big stink about it. I had started selling by offering 20 mbps, with the guarantee of 20 mbps at any given time, but that if customers were using more than 15 mbps 24/7 we would cap them to 15 mbps or ask them to pay a higher price. We have since eliminated that rule, and our network is fine with no congestion and etc..I think the reason hosts are trying not to help you here is that they dont want to help competition, I mean hey who would?

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    Originally posted by JHosts
    I had started selling by offering 20 mbps, with the guarantee of 20 mbps at any given time
    Since it is gauranteed 20mbps anytime, wouldn't that be dedicated bw with 20mbps 24/7?

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    Originally posted by efarmer
    Since it is gauranteed 20mbps anytime, wouldn't that be dedicated bw with 20mbps 24/7?
    No.

    A dedicated line means that no overselling is happening.

    Ie. Provider has a 100mbit drop, they sell 5 20mbit servers. That would be dedicated.

    Provider has a 100mbit drop, they sell 6 20mbit servers, but give an SLA that you can use 20mbit at anytime all the time. That's still shared.
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  15. #15
    Originally posted by eth00
    Are they going to be able to burst at all, 95% billing, or are you talkign about a strict cap at 20mbps? If you are doing the cap I would probably just do a mostly dedicated line but at the same time over a few weeks time you would be able to see if you can put another server on the switch. I would probably expect something like that to be a on a shared line that is monitored to ensure it does not get too congested.

    The big thing is being able to provide the servers at a reasonable free that a person will want to pay. If you can do that with a great SLA you are going to be able to do what you want.
    In this case I am leaning towards a capped 20mbps line for simplicity sake since the majority of users, without a signed contract, would just as well move on to a new host if they incur a ton of overage fees. That leaves the provider in the lurch which I'm not a big fan of.

    Calculating using the 95th% requires that the provider be prepared to get burned occasionally but also allows for bursting which agreeably is very nice to have. The benefits of bursting versus losing a customer over overages is something to think about for sure..

    On the other hand, a dedicated 20mbps line means you get what you pay for with no surprise charges at the end of the month. But I can only place (5) 20mbps clients on a single 100mbps line.

    I've had folks suggest I have multiple billing options but that gets so confusing, I can only imagine what the client would think while staring at 10 different bandwidth options. And you can kiss upgrades from 95th to dedicated goodbye since you need to arrange the network differently for dedicated lines.

    Anyway- thanks for the continued disussion- this is hugely appreciated...
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  16. #16
    Originally posted by JHosts
    MrManager, I tried to do something that you're looking to do, but as you know a lot of WHT users hate competition and therefore made a big stink about it. I had started selling by offering 20 mbps, with the guarantee of 20 mbps at any given time, but that if customers were using more than 15 mbps 24/7 we would cap them to 15 mbps or ask them to pay a higher price. We have since eliminated that rule, and our network is fine with no congestion and etc..I think the reason hosts are trying not to help you here is that they dont want to help competition, I mean hey who would?

    I don't know about that- many of us in this industry are really good people with a ton of hard work always still left to do. If they chime in - great. If not, I doubt it's because of any intent to harm or refusing to help. The way I see it, I'm getting the customer perspective which is by far the most valuable.

    Competition plays a part in some scenarios, but you'll notice some hosts keep quiet so another host can go through the learning experience. Most of the time that's far more valuable than any answer on a silver platter.
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  17. #17
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    I don't see anything wrong with a small percentage of overselling on the uplink. As long as a user can push 20mbits when they need it. People probably won't be able to pay the price for 20mbits if you don't oversell.

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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by elix
    I don't see anything wrong with a small percentage of overselling on the uplink. As long as a user can push 20mbits when they need it. People probably won't be able to pay the price for 20mbits if you don't oversell.

    -GSV
    Well it depends on your bandwidth providers. I know from experience that CalHost is far from a "cogent and go!" facilitiy, and I believe cogent isn't even in their mix. In any event assuming $10/meg via cogent a 200mbit unmetered machine dedicated would be roughly $200 in cost for the facilitiy, add in some markup and the price of the server and you would probably be looking at something like $300-400 just for a ballpark figure. That's not too bad for what you're getting. But with a shared line, you could probably drop prices to around $200ish and still be just fine.

    I still stand strong that so long as yu don't congest (sp?) your lines and keep a loose SLA in there it would be just fine.
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by justadollarhostin
    Well it depends on your bandwidth providers. I know from experience that CalHost is far from a "cogent and go!" facilitiy, and I believe cogent isn't even in their mix. In any event assuming $10/meg via cogent a 200mbit unmetered machine dedicated would be roughly $200 in cost for the facilitiy, add in some markup and the price of the server and you would probably be looking at something like $300-400 just for a ballpark figure. That's not too bad for what you're getting. But with a shared line, you could probably drop prices to around $200ish and still be just fine.

    I still stand strong that so long as yu don't congest (sp?) your lines and keep a loose SLA in there it would be just fine.
    Well, that's Cogent-only. Even though Cogent has improved massively, people still don't like it all that much.

    I would say and SLA that states "You will always have the ability to push within 10% of 20mbits" seems okay.

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  20. #20
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    Originally posted by elix
    Well, that's Cogent-only. Even though Cogent has improved massively, people still don't like it all that much.

    I would say and SLA that states "You will always have the ability to push within 10% of 20mbits" seems okay.

    -GSV
    Most all of your unmetered servers (at a decent price) are usually cogent only with a few BGP failovers from what I have seen.
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by justadollarhostin
    Most all of your unmetered servers (at a decent price) are usually cogent only with a few BGP failovers from what I have seen.
    That's definately true. Someone probably should release a product with something like InterNAP w/ 20mbit unmetered . I'm sure you can get InterNAP to go down to $20/meg on a high commit.

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    Originally posted by elix
    That's definately true. Someone probably should release a product with something like InterNAP w/ 20mbit unmetered . I'm sure you can get InterNAP to go down to $20/meg on a high commit.

    -GSV
    It would probably take at least a gig commit or more to see prices like that, but then again I have never actually purchased just bandwidth so who am I to comment?

    I would doubt you'd see very much sales from WHT on a product like that though, we are all cheapskates for the most part around here.
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  23. #23
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    Yeah I would also add I would like to see a 20mbit unmetered service that doesnt use cogent.
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  24. #24
    To keep things affordable from the dedicated server hosting perspective with a dedicated line, folks don't have a lot of options in terms of choosing a provider. But I agree, having more than a handful of inexpensive providers with a POP in our building would sure be nice.
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  25. #25
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    Well I don't think this will help you too much, but I am a unmetered customer from a couple different DCs.

    I have a couple 20mbits, a couple 10mbits, and a 100mbit server.

    These are all used for file downloads of sites where if the end user(my customers) are getting 400kb/s per thread or higher that is all I really require.

    For my unmetered as long as I can push 85% of the purchased comit(read 85mbit on the 100mbit line, 8.5mbit on 10mbit line) 24/7 thats all I care about.

    If my usage is higher then that I add capacity.

    I know a lot of people would let that 100mbit port go full and then some before adding capacity, I just know it really sucks.

    Please don't oversell your equipment.

    I had a provider who had 1gb switch with 15 100mbit unmetered people plugged into it.

    He would show us graphs of the core routers we were plugged into and say "Hey we are not anywhere close to capacity see?" when we complained about speeds.

    We all would cap out the connection between his router and the swith creating our own saturation.

    In my world of file hosting speed is important to a certain degree, but availability is more important.

    You can always explain that its a bad day and you are adding more capacity if there is network slow down. I have even turned up a couple backup servers to handle temporary loads.

    But if you are in a place where the links go down or there is so much traffic the connections are being reset or there is lots of packet loss it really makes it hard to stay.

    Just my 2 cents of course.

  26. #26
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    Originally posted by Chrysalis
    Yeah I would also add I would like to see a 20mbit unmetered service that doesnt use cogent.
    There are plenty of companies who do this. You just don't see them or the companies offers much around WHT because the unmetered market is so competitive. To keep costs down and prices low, providers must primarily use cogent in order to stay competitive. But there are providers here on WHT do not publically advertise a premium network, though they can offer it on request.

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    Well I found one recently from a guy using your service, you started selling NAC bandwidth now?
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    Originally posted by elix
    That's definately true. Someone probably should release a product with something like InterNAP w/ 20mbit unmetered . I'm sure you can get InterNAP to go down to $20/meg on a high commit.

    -GSV
    Have fun getting InterNAP that low. InterNAP is not a carrier, they do not have their own backbones, they do not do peering, thus they need to buy all their transit. Add on top of that the quality of their support and their intelligent balancing services, not basing anything on cost, and they won't get near $20, at least I highly doubt they would on any sized commit.
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  30. #30
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    Originally posted by KarlZimmer
    Have fun getting InterNAP that low. InterNAP is not a carrier, they do not have their own backbones, they do not do peering, thus they need to buy all their transit. Add on top of that the quality of their support and their intelligent balancing services, not basing anything on cost, and they won't get near $20, at least I highly doubt they would on any sized commit.
    With a large contract and at the right time, it can happen. I am well aware of what InterNAP is.

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  31. #31
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    lol a 8 gigabit commimtment and all the time in the world didnt get $20 a meg i don t think you know what you are talking about.

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    I do aplogize if I sound like an idiot. I really don't understand what you guys mean about the bandwidth.

    If I order a server with a 20mbps line to it, I want it to be fast and always be able to use that 20mbps 24/7 if I want to. I am paying for it, so I should get it. Is that true?

    And what really is the difference between shared and dedicated? I am sorry if I sound dumb, but I am attempting to educate myself and failing miserably. If someone can explain this it'd be greatly appreciated.

  33. #33
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    Originally posted by MegaGeo
    I do aplogize if I sound like an idiot. I really don't understand what you guys mean about the bandwidth.

    If I order a server with a 20mbps line to it, I want it to be fast and always be able to use that 20mbps 24/7 if I want to. I am paying for it, so I should get it. Is that true?

    And what really is the difference between shared and dedicated? I am sorry if I sound dumb, but I am attempting to educate myself and failing miserably. If someone can explain this it'd be greatly appreciated.
    Well there are pretty much 3 different unmetered situations.

    Shared 1: Provider claims it's 20mbit unmetered, but in truth they won't get upset at you for pushing 20mbit, and you won't pay overages, but they'll cap you if you use a massive amount all the time. This is kind of what FDCServers does.

    Shared 2: As an example a provider purchases a 100mbit line, and puts 6 20mbit accounts on it. They are overselling the line. But they keep an eye on things and it is never really maxed out, so everybody gets to use their 20mbit when they want to without any problems and the provider will add capacity as needed. The problem is that you *can* run into slowdowns if the provider is not on top of bringing in new connections when needed. The advantage is since the provider is overselling technically, they can offer lower prices.

    Dedicated line: For every 20mbit box purchased, the provider also purchases 20mbit of bandwidht for that machine. If there is 100 20mbit servers, then the provider has 2gbit dedicated to them. No overselling involved.
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    Thank you very much. That cleared it up 10 fold.

    I take it it goes from least expensive to most, or does it just depend on how the host sells.

    Dedicated is what I would want. how do I know which one the provider chooses. As they could easily lie to me.

  35. #35
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    Originally posted by MegaGeo
    Thank you very much. That cleared it up 10 fold.

    I take it it goes from least expensive to most, or does it just depend on how the host sells.

    Dedicated is what I would want. how do I know which one the provider chooses. As they could easily lie to me.
    Most will put right on there if it is a shared line or a dedicated line. If nothing else their TOS will let you know how they deal with it, just have to take some time to read it over.

    Dedicated is all good and well, but I'd rather save a few dollars and go for a shared line covered by some type of SLA.
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  36. #36
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    Originally posted by JHosts
    Who are you addressing?
    you sorry,
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  38. #38
    well. i have a 100mbit server with fdc, so i obviously fall under type one of my host, and dont expect to use the whole thing. but if i were to purchase a 20-30mbit server i would make darn sure i used 100% of the bandwidth 100% of the time.

    my 2 cents

  39. #39
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    Originally posted by JHosts
    We're using Mzima, NAC, nLayer, and Cogent, but its primarily cogent.
    Is there a reason its primarily cogent? here is why I ask.

    I have access to a box hosted by yourself, and for a unmetered provider the performance is very good, the only let down was that the eu traffic going through cogent was substamtially poor compared to NAC I had nothing going through mzima.

    For example yourself to steadfast I can get an easy 15mbit in 1 thread (20mbit server) this was going over level3 and cogent.

    I have some traffic going over NAC which was 500k+ per thread which is very good for transatlantic traffic but some of it goes over cogent which was sporadic between 50k and 150k, if you could make sure eu traffic was NAC based it would be an awesome service for europe and usa traffic because of the location in ny.
    Chris Collins
    Hostingfreak.net
    Directadmin Hosting in europe
    www.hostingfreak.net

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    600
    i have a 20mbps unmetered at Servermatrix, and I use about 30gb a month.

    i have a 5mbps unmetered at FDCservers and I use about 400-800gb a month.

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