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  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Going to start an ISP ( needs are in post )


Hi all,
I live in canada have extensive server experience and have a financial back who wishes me to get a serious business plan together.
So, here is some things i need and serious replies only.
While i have loads a experience running servers remotely, I know to start my own ISP is a bit more costly and involves things like rack servers, temperature controled rooms and BANDWIDTH.
I have handle on 1st two, ( and yes htings like insurance and a store are looked after )
What i need are a list of T3 providers that I can contact about purchasing a dedicated T3 line for our store. While the location isn't yet set in stone and i may in fact look at a existing computer store owner who may be open to the idea already.

The company will host local websites, and others websites.
AND allow for reselling on a lessor level and include at least 6 others who host game servers.
With these 6 the T3 line will probably be almost half used, so the ISP must be scalable for growth.
Regards
Scott
P.S. The thing i need in nut shell are pricing on a T3 line of my own in or close to downtown Oshawa Ontario, Canada



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  #2  
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronoss2008 View Post
The company will host local websites, and others websites.
AND allow for reselling on a lessor level and include at least 6 others who host game servers.
With these 6 the T3 line will probably be almost half used, so the ISP must be scalable for growth.
Regards
Scott
P.S. The thing i need in nut shell are pricing on a T3 line of my own in or close to downtown Oshawa Ontario, Canada
1) If you're looking to host websites and run a few game servers, do you really need a DS3 to your location? It's great that you're taking the middleman out of this, but the whole idea seems a bit overkill?

2) Most gamers are insanely picky about latency... something tells me that a single homed connection just isn't going to cut it. Unless these are all local gamers?

3) I'm not too familiar with providers in Ontario, but assuming Bell is the big player over there, you will have to inquire about a DS3 to your location including port / local loop fees.


Last edited by Patrick; 09-19-2007 at 05:57 PM.
  #3  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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well like i said each of these "online game companies" has more then one game,
and also has "other" sites they all host as well so its like a package to host them all where all there bandwidth needs are not only met but that there is a potential for growth, as i see it a DS3 would more then look after 40-50% of all there maximum needs plus a few ideas i have myself.

Doing this out of an existing computer store
A) one is right downtown oshawa
B) the other already has a internet cafe so growing it to a ds3 to look after that could net hte owner a discount plus ability to hsot some his own site and help others he knows as well.
C) last time i got into this remotely in a huge way was 99 and i was doing 13 million hits a month at 3 megabit avg /sec over the month.
that was with 900 free sites with ads ( 10% of traffic and 30% of revenue), and 4 paying sites ( 90% of the traffic 60% of revenue)
cost back then was 500USD/month and revenue was about 2500 USD/month
For one server.
Now these people i wish to deal with each want there own servers dedicated
and they have between 3-4 online games and are currently paying around 300-400/month.
If i can consolidate i can offer a break on ther cost and still make a buck.
The idea is sound and i know loads a local people as well as abroad to host websites and other services as well.

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  #4  
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Junior Guru Wannabe
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 50
To get into the business now is too hard...you will not make a profit for a long time and on top this market is saturated. I suggest looking at other things.

  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,454
Quote:
Hi all,
I live in canada have extensive server experience and have a financial back who wishes me to get a serious business plan together.
So, here is some things i need and serious replies only.
While i have loads a experience running servers remotely, I know to start my own ISP is a bit more costly and involves things like rack servers, temperature controled rooms and BANDWIDTH.
I have handle on 1st two, ( and yes htings like insurance and a store are looked after )
Not to discourage you, but I would advise that you do a lot more research before you decide if you want to go ahead with this plan. Getting into the business requires a lot more than just sysadmin skills.

What I think you are forgetting to take into account here is the cost of infrastructure. Standard AC is grossly insufficient for a data center environment; you will need at least two industrial grade HVAC's (for N+1) that handle not only temperature, but also humidity. Humidity that is too high will result in condensation and thus the corrosion or shorting of parts whereas humidity that is too low will result in excessive static electricity that can also damage components.

You are also forgetting power, which is a significant cost. You should get at least two industrial grade generators , as well as two industrial grade UPS'es. Again, this is to have N+1 and all of the above infrastructure will require support contracts to be maintained properly.

All this equipment may sound unnecessary and overkill, but the reality is that almost all of your competitors will be offering this so it will be a big black mark against you if you don't have it. This is the reason most businesses will co-locate with a data center rather than build out their own.

Quote:
What i need are a list of T3 providers that I can contact about purchasing a dedicated T3 line for our store. While the location isn't yet set in stone and i may in fact look at a existing computer store owner who may be open to the idea already.

The company will host local websites, and others websites.
AND allow for reselling on a lessor level and include at least 6 others who host game servers.
With these 6 the T3 line will probably be almost half used, so the ISP must be scalable for growth.
Regards
Scott
P.S. The thing i need in nut shell are pricing on a T3 line of my own in or close to downtown Oshawa Ontario, Canada
Your T3 providers will be the typical telecom communities available in your area. For most of Canada, this will be Allstream (former AT&T Canada), Bell, Sprint, etc... The choices are limited, and thus the pricing is not competitive. You will also need at least two different circuits, on different paths for redundancy. They would preferably be with two different providers, so that you have some flexibility with routing, and you would thus also need a BGP capable router to accomplish this in a meaningful way. If you choose to setup in Oshawa, keep in mind that there is no Internet hub there, and you will need to run your circuits to Toronto, be that visible to your or not. This will mean extra latency and an additional point of failure.

To be honest, given the scope and market of your business, you are most likely better off co-locating. If you haven't had a good look at co-location, I would recommend you start there first before shopping around for T3's. Uptime is everything in this industry as a whole, not to mention the particularly fickle gamer market, and unless you intend to undercut your competitors at what are already pretty slim margins, you will find that one or two major outages can jeopardize the sustainability of your business.

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  #6  
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm2000 View Post
To get into the business now is too hard...you will not make a profit for a long time and on top this market is saturated. I suggest looking at other things.
I think he knows what he wants to do and does't need your advise about starting a business of not.

Regards Terry

I'm sorry but I'm from Europe so can't help you the T3 connection

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  #7  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 18
Chronoss, I've been into and out of several small businesses, and let me tell you, it's a LOT of work and its easy to lose all your money.

Best thing is to pick a niche market that you already know a lot about, and to serve it well. Pick you 'core competency'. If you've got some places where you can colocate your servers, this is often the best solution. Gamers are sensitive to latency, and you need to address this issue. They also care about reliability - they're going to kill you if the server crashes in the middle of an important game. If you know a fair amount about routing, there are things you can do to minimize latency, but some of these are going to require the cooperation of a knowledgeable bandwidth provider - and these don't come cheap.

Build a relationship with your provider(s). Be open with them about what you want to do, and lay out a plan of how you're going to work together. Start out small, but make sure you have a clear path to expand as needed for at least three years. Make sure that your financial backer understands that it may be a while until your see profit. In particular, when you require high-quality service but not much bandwidth (in the beginning), there are going to be fixed costs or price disadvantages. If you've built the right relationship with your providers, you can easily expand and your costs will go down with increased volume.

I also think that communications are very important in business. Try to find ways to express yourself that are very clear. Don't use extra words just to impress. A good lawyer would help you draft a contract with your provider that addresses each complication that may arise. What will happen in terms of privilege and responsibility would be clearly spelled out. Unfortunately, a lot of lawyers these days just aren't very good, so you have to do some of this yourself.

Read the ISPs standard contract that they want you to sign, and see if there's anything that you don't understand or seems unreasonable. If you think you've found a loophole that gives you all the rights in the world, don't try to handle it with a poker face. Ask if its as really as good as it seems. When you're asking all these questions and getting explanations from their salesman, make sure that each question and response gets recorded and agreed to.

Let me tell you how bad it can get, if you let the lawyers handle all the paperwork. I was once in a company where we did consulting. We had a contract with this customer that we paid a lawyer several thousand dollars to write up. The idiot lawyer forgot to put in a section for reimbursement of travel and lodging expenses, and when there was a disagreement about the dollar amount which they said was a typo (contract said $196/hr, when it was supposed to say $136, or some figures similar to that), and we said that they signed it so they owed that amount, they noticed that there was no explanation of reimbursement of travel and lodging expenses (which were quite high) and so they wouldn't pay them. Their lawyers screwed up by letting a typo in the hourly rate get in, our lawyer screwed up by not taking care of expense reimbursement. So the two companies fought it out, and only the lawyers made more money. We lost thousands, and a client.

What if we had brought their typo in the hourly rate to their attention? what if they had said "well, what about expenses?", we could have defeated lawyers, and kept a business relationship. We could have saved lots of anger and heartburn.

OK, I am yammering on. I've had too much coffee.

  #8  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Hello Chronoss,

What everyone else here is saying is advice you need to heed. The expense of what you need for decent redundency will likely exceed most of your profits for a couple of years.

Look at it this way,
Utility Power - you have one feed from the street, what happens what it gets cut or the power goes out in the city.
UPS - you need 2 and your servers all need dual power supplies, you should have enough UPS capicity for 30 minutes run time.
Generator - you need 2 with either one able to provide full load to your needs. Generators are engines which are mechincal which will of course not start when you need them too, even though you test weekly. Thats why you want two.
HVAC - What was said before, of course you need 2 units.

Network - You need 2 of these atleast from 2 different providers. Expect to pay anywhere from $1500 and up per month for each of these. The term T3 isn't really valid anymore. You get a fibre circut to the store then just buy the bandwidth you need from your supplier of choice. So bell could supply the fibre but cogent could supply the band width. You can get from 1meg to 1000 meg all over the same line.

So advice now, take a serious look at co-location. For $1250 a month you can get a half rack of space in a datacenter that has 24/7 staffing, 2 generators, 2 HVAC, 2 UPS's, security guards, 99.9999% uptime SLA, 3 fibre connections into the center, etc, etc. With a 6 meg connection. That 6 meg connection can grow as you need it as well up to, well unlimted really.

What is your compelling reason you need your servers in your store?

  #9  
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,774
While I dont think the OP has the slightest clue what he's trying to dive into (being in the GTA, and a colo provider [technically having gone the cheaper route, as building outside our current location, properly would have been 7 figures]), I'm very disappointed to see the lack of clue about this thread (too many people posting about sunshine and rainbow powered ideas, and apparently few, if any with real world experience in this scale).

A good hint is the level of redundancy people are hinting at. I dont know any serious local colo (on their AC plant) that has duel diesel, and a legitimate 30 minute runtime (DC plant, sure, but AC? Thats unheard of). I dont know any local provider that test runs their generators once a week, etc. etc.

Talk a consultant whose *DONE* it before, not whose planned, priced, mapped, but who has the real world experience to back his claims, unlike most WHT threads/posters.

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  #10  
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Fibrewired has that. When you tour the facility with them they will show you all the gear.

  #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lat703 View Post
Fibrewired has that. When you tour the facility with them they will show you all the gear.
In most large production UPS's, that will equate to 4+ additional battery strings, *PER UPS*. The norm is 1-2 strings, to give 5-10 minutes of runtime. If your diesel doesn't start in 10 minutes, its not going to start generally speaking, and thats what most experts swear by.

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  #12  
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Thats is why it does make sense to test the diesel weekly. Making sure it does start, a typical engine will crank for 30 seconds, wait 30, crank 30, wait 30, crank 30, then announce a failure. Most modern generator control panels have weekly testing built in and network connections so that techs get emails, SMS, etc when it tests and the pass or fail.

Places that have 24/7 staff, should have a manual start procedure for generator that will allow the staff to attempt a manual startup, maybe it was the autostart control that failed, in which case a manual start would work. Of course this can take a few minutes for staff to get down there. So it does make sense to try and get a little longer out of the UPS.

  #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lat703 View Post
Thats is why it does make sense to test the diesel weekly. Making sure it does start, a typical engine will crank for 30 seconds, wait 30, crank 30, wait 30, crank 30, then announce a failure. Most modern generator control panels have weekly testing built in and network connections so that techs get emails, SMS, etc when it tests and the pass or fail.

Places that have 24/7 staff, should have a manual start procedure for generator that will allow the staff to attempt a manual startup, maybe it was the autostart control that failed, in which case a manual start would work. Of course this can take a few minutes for staff to get down there. So it does make sense to try and get a little longer out of the UPS.
Considering its really not good for diesel engines, lots of small tests isn't a good thing (and is completely irrelevant if its not run under load). This is why most companies do monthly, bi monthly, or semi-annual testing on their generators, and most who do it properly do semi-annual tests with actual load, for several hours.

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  #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porcupine View Post

A good hint is the level of redundancy people are hinting at. I dont know any serious local colo (on their AC plant) that has duel diesel, and a legitimate 30 minute runtime (DC plant, sure, but AC? Thats unheard of). I dont know any local provider that test runs their generators once a week, etc. etc.

Talk a consultant whose *DONE* it before, not whose planned, priced, mapped, but who has the real world experience to back his claims, unlike most WHT threads/posters.
I am a little shocked at this post. You don't know a provider that runs their generators once a week?

I am in the teensy-tiniest DC that Level3 owns, and they not only test every week, but do a complete transfer of full load to the generator each week (usually Monday mornings).

You nutty Canukistanis

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  #15  
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Originally Posted by MrZillNet View Post
I am a little shocked at this post. You don't know a provider that runs their generators once a week?

I am in the teensy-tiniest DC that Level3 owns, and they not only test every week, but do a complete transfer of full load to the generator each week (usually Monday mornings).

You nutty Canukistanis
What can I say, 151 Front is only the largest carrier hotel in the country. I guess I just dont have enough major providers to observe locally...

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