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  1. #1

    * Video Streaming - How to handle bandwidth and storage requirements?

    I will be starting a targeted (niched) video sharing site in the next couple weeks. I know it will require loads of space/bandwidth. My budget is just over $450/month.

    Could you guys help me plan out an effective hosting strategy which will keep the costs low, while providing a fast and reliable viewing experience for my visitors?

    Somebody suggested going with Amazon S3 once traffic starts to pick up. But I don't understand how it works. (there is also something called amazon Ec2..)

    If I start with say a dual Xeon dedi box, with 2000GB bandwidth, can I serve all my videos/files through amazon while the conversion takes place on the dedicated server? In that case, how would I transfer the files from the dedi box to amazon? Does that require custom programming? Is this even possible??

    Could somebody please clarify the whole process? I am expecting about 1000 hits a day within 3 weeks, if they each watch a 200MB video a day... that's a lot of bandwidth!

    Could you please recommend a viable and efficient solution to go about doing this?

    Thank you in advance!
    Ben

  2. #2
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    The Amazon s3 service is basically a file hosting service. You pay $ per gigabyte of data stored a month and $ per gigabyte of data transferred each month. It's extremely cheap, but it's only files and the site itself will need its own server.

    As for the server, it might depend on how much MySQL stuff you're going to be processing, as it will cripple a server if it's intensive with lots of users. But a dual xeon should handle it. As for the bandwidth, if you are really expecting 200mb of vids per person times 1000 a day, that 200gb a day which is ~6TB a month. So a 2TB server won't be able to serve it. Perhaps an unmetered server is best?

    Check out fdcservers.net, they have cheap(er) unmetered servers. Their bandwidth is shared accross their entire network I believe, dedicated bandwidth at 100mbit (minimum you should need) is in the $$$$'s

    Anyway, good luck!
    Afterburst - the best unmetered VPS - read why here!

  3. #3
    thank you Superbytes! Of course not all videos will be 200mb... it was an exaggeration but basically my concern is weather amazon s3 would be a better solution than 2 10mpbs/100mpbs unmetered servers

  4. #4
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    To work it out you'd have to look deep into pricing. Estimate (realistically) the amount of space and bandwidth you're going to need once the service is stable (so after a few weeks or so), then put those amounts into amazon s3 (using their prices). After that, work out the cost of 2 servers. On their site, fdc say each server can push (with ease) 9TB a month of bandwidth. 100mbps dedicated can, in theory, push 36TB (I think I've got that right). But obviously they start at about $1000.
    Afterburst - the best unmetered VPS - read why here!

  5. #5
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    yeah whats your budget? if you can afford it go with a full 100mbps. or see if you can find $10-$20Mbit bandwidth. on a good network to keep you up.

  6. #6
    yeah it seems like my budget it too small. I will have to go with shared 10 or 100mpbs bandwidth.

    Are we allowed to ask for host recommendations on this forum?

  7. #7
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    The good thing about Amazon S3 is that it's completely dynamic, so it'll scale perfectly with your traffic. The downside is that when it comes to very high volumes, like in any industry you might get better value by just buying it in advance.

    If you're expecting to push very large amounts of traffic I'd go with an unmetered server, ideally one of at least 100mb/s (shared). This should be pretty cost effective but alleviate the worry of bandwidth overages and give users nice speeds. 10mb/s is probably too restrictive for a video site and will result in slow, interrupted streaming.

    Another good thing about Amazon S3 is that the architecture is decentralised, which means one server isn't taking the burden of serving all that static content. However, you could get along just as nicely by having a dedicated static content server that uses lighttpd instead of Apache (very efficient but definitely suited to static content).

    Of course, I wouldn't worry about splitting things up like this until you actually have your expected traffic. It's very possible to use lighttpd to serve static files and Apache to serve your more complex stuff on a single server, which means each is handling what it's best suited to; just make it split those into physical servers when the time comes. Litespeed is another option, which although needs licensing I believe offers an attractive all-in-one replacement for Apache that provides much efficiency matching or exceeding that of an Apache/lighttpd combo.

    I've heard whispers that Amazon S3 file transfer speed isn't as good as you might hope, especially to countries outside the service's target region, and is best suited to smaller files such as images. However, this is definitely only a whisper so treat it with a grain of salt. Just remember to research it.

  8. #8
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    from what i know volumedrive and fcdservers are known for their unmetered ports and bandwidth

    i know volumedrive is a good company and i have never used fcdservers so i cant say how they are

  9. #9
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    I personally think going with Volumedrive isn't an effective solution. Their network (when i tried it personally a while ago) was fairly unreliable and slow.

    FDCServers seems to have improved their network. I do, however, suggest going with a few servers linked together for reliability and more capacity. Maybe somewhere like ThePlanet or Softlayer would be a good solution.

  10. #10
    how about Burstnet? Their unmetered servers are very cost effective! how come they have 100mpbs unmetered servers for only ~ $200 when places like theplanet.com or Cari.net charges like $3000 for it??

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by benplanet View Post
    how about Burstnet? Their unmetered servers are very cost effective! how come they have 100mpbs unmetered servers for only ~ $200 when places like theplanet.com or Cari.net charges like $3000 for it??
    That's because their servers do not have dedicated bandwidth. A dedicated line runs $8-$20/mbit. All these "unmetered" servers are sharing lines. Notice how it will always say something like "1000mbps or 100mbps port" - that's not a dedicated link to the internet at that speed it's just the switch port the box is plugged into, which means squat. That's like me telling you my car is fast and proving it by saying it has a black paint job.



    Regards,

  12. #12
    ohh great! how much bandwidth do you think i'll be able to pull?? I would have to suck it up and go with a cost effective solution for now... until I can get the FDCserver one

    Thanks for the priceless advice and tip guys!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by benplanet View Post
    ohh great! how much bandwidth do you think i'll be able to pull?? I would have to suck it up and go with a cost effective solution for now... until I can get the FDCserver one

    Thanks for the priceless advice and tip guys!
    It totally depends on how many servers are sharing the link, what size the pipe is and how much they are pulling.

    You get what you pay for. There is no provider/technology/solution that is substantially cheaper/better/faster then the next guy. If you think you've found something that is a great deal, it's likely becuase you are missing something, either misunderstanding what you're getting or there is something in the fine-print.



    Regards,

  14. #14
    I just pulled up the calculator to do a ballpark of the cost on the Amazon S3 option. Taking the usage numbers at face value, the cost on S3 would be around $1200/month without accounting for storage charges and per hit charges.

    Even so, I would still design with server separation in mind so that your site can be split up if necessary. For now, all the host names can point to the one server.

    If you want to know how a big site integrated Amazon S3 into their content distribution architecture, search for: Amazon S3 smugmug. You should find the head honcho's blog.
    edgedirector.com
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
    exactstate.com
    uptime report for webhostingtalk.com

  15. #15
    with given requirements i would suggest at least to go with dual xeon or quard core for long run with out issues. and for bandwidth most company providing 2TB bandwidth, there for you will be able to go for unmetered 100mb line. may be it will not required in initial stage. if you aware of managing servers/services you should choose manage hosting for this.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamson View Post
    I personally think going with Volumedrive isn't an effective solution. Their network (when i tried it personally a while ago) was fairly unreliable and slow.

    FDCServers seems to have improved their network. I do, however, suggest going with a few servers linked together for reliability and more capacity. Maybe somewhere like ThePlanet or Softlayer would be a good solution.

    We have made a few changes in the last few days to increase overall speed.
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  17. #17
    I am looking at a few companies, which one is the best out of these 5 - Hivelocity - Dedicatednow - Zipservers - Theplanet - LiquidWeb

    Which one has got the best overall support/network/reliability


    Thank you!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Williams View Post
    I've heard whispers that Amazon S3 file transfer speed isn't as good as you might hope, especially to countries outside the service's target region, and is best suited to smaller files such as images. However, this is definitely only a whisper so treat it with a grain of salt. Just remember to research it.
    The whispers are true. I often see max speeds of about 3mbit from S3 to my server and 12mbit from my server to S3.

    S3 now offers the ability to store data in Europe which should help international performance.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by benplanet View Post
    I am looking at a few companies, which one is the best out of these 5 - Hivelocity - Dedicatednow - Zipservers - Theplanet - LiquidWeb

    Which one has got the best overall support/network/reliability


    Thank you!
    Be careful with LW. True price was double the quoted price. I didn't find out until I was just about to order. They did nothing to make up for the mistake so I was disappointed with the overall experience.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8svn-k View Post
    Be careful with LW. True price was double the quoted price. I didn't find out until I was just about to order. They did nothing to make up for the mistake so I was disappointed with the overall experience.
    I'm not really sure how that could be, we have all of our pricing 100% transparent online in our configurator(web shopping cart). I would be happy to look into this further for you because I'm a little confused as to what exactly you mean. Feel free to email me directly or PM me. Take care,
    Travis Stoliker
    Liquid Web - Dedicated Hosting with Heroic Support
    StormOnDemand - Flexible Cloud Hosting Infrastructure
    1-800-580-4985 | Twitter: @liquidweb | @StormOnDemand

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidWebTravis View Post
    I'm not really sure how that could be, we have all of our pricing 100% transparent online in our configurator(web shopping cart). I would be happy to look into this further for you because I'm a little confused as to what exactly you mean. Feel free to email me directly or PM me. Take care,
    I think your internal sales ticket number is 867151. I emailed sales directly and did not use the website.
    The first Pay-As-You-Go Backup Service.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8svn-k View Post
    I think your internal sales ticket number is 867151. I emailed sales directly and did not use the website.
    Hi 8svn-k,
    Thank you for sending me your ticket so that I could look into this further. I see where the problem came in, you were looking for a discounted server from old hardware inventory, that is why you couldn't order from our website. I see that our sales engineer quoted you a discounted older server to try to fit your budget but after he looked into the inventory further we were not able to provide that discounted price. I understand your frustration and do apologize that we were unable to provide that exact hardware configuration. I would like to go ahead and get you set up w/ that same deal if you are interested, contact me or Patrick and we will get your setup with some older hardware that will fit your budget.

    Thank you very much,
    Travis Stoliker
    Liquid Web - Dedicated Hosting with Heroic Support
    StormOnDemand - Flexible Cloud Hosting Infrastructure
    1-800-580-4985 | Twitter: @liquidweb | @StormOnDemand

  23. #23
    I want that deal too since you are jacking my thread LW!

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