For about a year I've been leasing a dedicated server from ECUI to host my own sites. All my development knowledge is VB/COM/SQL so it has to be a Windows server.
I originally started out with various virtual server plans with various companies, all of whom turned out to be fairly poor, and for the sake of my own sanity had to get my own box which has run quite happily for a long time.
I'm currently hosting around 20 sites, three of which are large/popular - total monthly transfer is around 40GB/mo.
However even with income from hosting, I make a loss every month. This is fine as it's just run as a hobby and the intention was not to resell hosting or make a profit from hosting.
However I'm now reaching the point where I need to upgrade the server and I would prefer it to be located in the UK. A quote today from a large well known company for the basic minimum spec server I'd need is £850/month.
I can't set up as a hosting company as I have a full time job, but assuming I left that and went into business as a host, on paper it just doesn't work out.
Looking at competitive prices for virtual hosting, I'd need to be hosting around 50 sites to begin to draw even. The spec of the server would cope with this provided they weren't 50 all very busy sites and still came in under 100GB/mo transfer, and that's with SQL and IIS on the same box - I couldn't afford two boxes at £850/month each.
To have two leased lines to my house and buy my own equipment would be out of the question as I'd be looking at over £2000 a month just for a couple of 1Mb lines.
So my question to hosting companies is basically - is it possible to profit from Windows hosting, and if so, how? Or is Windows hosting something you offer for the sake of a comprehensive package, but with a very low profit margin if at all?
Have you considering buying your own server (thus you would own it ...) and colocating it somewhere? Colcation is much cheaper than getting a high-end dedicated server. That would probably be your best bet, especially if you feel that you're knowledgeable enough to admin your own box.
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