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  1. #1
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    Starting a mini datacenter

    I would like to start a small datacenter within my home, i have about 10 dells server, and i was talking with XO about getting a 100mbits.

    What are the steps i would need to start?
    What are the equipment i would need?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I think this will be better discussed at the Colocation Forum. Moved.

  3. #3
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    Step 1) don't do it.

    What about cooling? What about UPS? What about gensets?

  4. #4
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    small

    Just a small 1 i dont need 100% uptime, i just would like to know wheat i would need.

  5. #5
    i'm interested on how this will continue. so my thought you will need:

    1. one dedicated room for server room (of course you don't want to hear the server noise when you sleep)
    2. good Air Cond. to cool down your servers.
    3. generator with enough power to power up your servers.
    4. UPS
    5. fire extinguisher
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  6. #6
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    question

    Ok, now how would i get bandwith to the server? i just contacted XO for a price quote

  7. #7
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    I think after all the calculations it is still cheaper getting a cabinet/rack in a local datacenter.

  8. #8
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    Why not just get a full or half cab from a colo provider, and start building there?

    If you really want to do this, you're going to need a switch. Cisco equipment's recommended. A good one is going to cost you a pretty penny.

    Does your home have any fiber in it?
    How reliable is the power in your neighborhood?

  9. #9
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    I think getting fiber in your house is going to be far too costly for this to make sense.

    Forget about uptime and reliability...
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    /subscribed..
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  11. #11
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    Sorry, I know everybody's trying to be helpful here and actually give advice, but I'm going to have to be the turd in the punchbowl and break it to the OP that turning your home into a datacenter will not work out as well as you think it will.

    I'd start off by getting a rack for the 10 Dell servers. Depending on who your current internet provider is, you could upgrade to Business-class cable, in which case you could get a netblock for your servers and you'll actually be allowed to host servers on your connection.

    If by some miracle XO actually agrees to put a fiber drop in your house, then you'll need to get a nice beefy router. I'd suggest Cisco Catalyst hardware - the 4000s and 5000s accept fiber uplink s and CIDR. The latest 4000 models also support BGP if you ever decide to multihome.

    Again, sorry to be the turd in the punch bowl, but 100Mbit to a residence is something that no provider would never do for somewhat decent price.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    i just contacted XO for a price quote
    Once you get back the quote and see how much it's going to cost you, you'll probably reconsider this whole idea. Just rent a rack in a datacenter. Unless you live in a building that is already on-net with XO, it's probably going to be a lot cheaper to colo.
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  13. #13
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    quote

    Thanks for the input, i was talking with xo and the price they gave me was $6 per mbit with minimum 100mbits

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    Thanks for the input, i was talking with xo and the price they gave me was $6 per mbit with minimum 100mbits
    6 per mbit with 100min == where do I sign up, our local cable for a fiber into our office quoted us about 100 a meg with a 20meg commit..but they would pay all the fees to get the fiber to us if we signed a 2year contract -- we just wanted it for steady uptime on our connection.. but damn that is very inexpensive....

  15. #15
    The more you commit to, the cheaper price you can get, and it also depends on the quality of the provider.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    Thanks for the input, i was talking with xo and the price they gave me was $6 per mbit with minimum 100mbits
    So, if this is true, and I'm assuming this is with at least one year contract. You're looking at $600/Month in bandwidth alone. Not to mention the cost of electricity, which prices have risen, and you're looking at having servers pull power 24/7. Plus cooling.

    Also, pray you don't get a DDOS attack.
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  17. #17
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    Is that quote from XO with "installation" fees included?

    -fin
    Thales

  18. #18
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    XO loves to get you on installation fees

  19. #19
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    I got a quote for a 10mbit dedicated line from our local cable company, $75.00 per mbit. If I sign a 5 year contract they wave the installation costs, never inquired about the cost of installation. Considering our close proximity to one of their "switching stations" and offices, I'd assume the installation wouldn't cost too much. We decided to just go with a business-level cable connection, 15mbit/1mbit. Provided business continues profitably trending we may upgrade, but not to run a data center from our office. Although I like the idea of hands-on proximity, it would just cost too much. However, good luck if you intend to pursue this. WHT is a great place to dig up information on this subject.

    -fin
    Thales

  20. #20
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    Talking thanks

    thanks everyone for their input.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    thanks everyone for their input.
    Your conclusion? If any.
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  22. #22
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    none

    I think most were right, im just going to do a colocation over at XO, I live close to them and they offered me a great price. But the only thing i was worrying about, if the server goes offline i would have to go there in the middle of the night.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    I think most were right, im just going to do a colocation over at XO, I live close to them and they offered me a great price. But the only thing i was worrying about, if the server goes offline i would have to go there in the middle of the night.
    Ask for KVM over IP or a remote reboot console.
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  24. #24
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    ok, Also which is better for colocation, XO or level3, as they are both close to where i live.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    ok, Also which is better for colocation, XO or level3, as they are both close to where i live.
    And where do you live?
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  26. #26
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    us, but i really need it to be good in europe area

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    us, but i really need it to be good in europe area
    Asking specifically, as in what state. As different ISP's are better in some locations than others.
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  28. #28
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    California
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  29. #29
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    I would go with XO. Level3 (usually) does not offer single server colocation, or anything below $10,000 in revenue I heard.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    ok, Also which is better for colocation, XO or level3, as they are both close to where i live.
    The account is small enough that Level3 won't talk to you directly. Contact one of their resellers-- colocation.com, iland.com, etc.

    Speaking from experience with both carriers, if I was forced to single-home, Level3 would win without a contest. I would never, repeat never, single-home to XO. My personal opinion of them is, they are like Cogent only far more arrogant.

  31. #31
    What price did they offer to you for colocation at XO?

    If you don;t mind saying..
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 111111z View Post
    What price did they offer to you for colocation at XO?

    If you don;t mind saying..
    And a followup question-- is their facility carrier neutral? (i.e., are other carriers present in the facility to cross-connect with)

    It's my understanding the facility in our area is not, meaning you cannot purchase transit from anyone except XO. That will put you into a difficult position should your XO experience reflect ours. You would be pretty much held hostage to their network until your colo contract expires.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecompro View Post
    And a followup question-- is their facility carrier neutral? (i.e., are other carriers present in the facility to cross-connect with)

    It's my understanding the facility in our area is not, meaning you cannot purchase transit from anyone except XO. That will put you into a difficult position should your XO experience reflect ours. You would be pretty much held hostage to their network until your colo contract expires.

    I am not sure but i am guessing that it is the same over here, it shouldn't be a problem if there bandwidth is good.

    im still waiting for a response on how much they are going to cost me.

    thanks

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    Thanks for the input, i was talking with xo and the price they gave me was $6 per mbit with minimum 100mbits
    I'm having a hard time believing that quote. There must be a catch (such as it's for home/office use only, and not for serving). Also, the local loop fee is going to be the big expense, since they have to get the bandwidth to your house somehow. I'd expect 100Mbps of internet transit to your house to cost several thousand dollars per month on a realistic quote.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    it shouldn't be a problem if there bandwidth is good.
    If your experience mirrors ours, you won't be using "XO" and "good bandwidth" in the same sentence for very long. Their bandwidth isn't frighteningly horrible, but I would never single-home to them unless there was absolutely no other choice.

    Since you have a Level3 facility nearby, I strongly encourage you to speak with one of their resellers first. Level3 is way above XO in terms of bandwidth quality and in most (if not all) their facilities you have other carriers to XC with, if you so choose.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by notmove
    Thanks for the input, i was talking with xo and the price they gave me was $6 per mbit with minimum 100mbits
    I'm having a hard time believing that quote. There must be a catch (such as it's for home/office use only, and not for serving).
    Same here. I couldn't even get Cogent anywhere near that low, and that was inside a Cogent facility in a major metro market.

    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet
    Also, the local loop fee is going to be the big expense, since they have to get the bandwidth to your house somehow. I'd expect 100Mbps of internet transit to your house to cost several thousand dollars per month on a realistic quote.
    Agreed. If that $6 figure is real (I still think there's a "gotcha" somewhere in there) it has to be on a multi-year contract, with local loop NOT included. And as we all know, the loop (especially if provided by the incumbent telco) sometimes costs more than the transit.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by notmove View Post
    I think most were right, im just going to do a colocation over at XO, I live close to them and they offered me a great price. But the only thing i was worrying about, if the server goes offline i would have to go there in the middle of the night.
    what would happen that SSH can't fix? I have had my server coloed for 1 year over 3000 miles away. I just found a place that stocks hardware incase something fails. And if you buy quality stuff and run raid you have not to much to worry about.

    oh maybe look at a colocation place that would have multiple connections to different people and will sell you bandwidth at the 95% rule. That's what i'm doing and it works great.
    Last edited by KayakStudio; 05-19-2008 at 07:16 PM.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayakStudio View Post
    what would happen that SSH can't fix? I have had my server coloed for 1 year over 3000 miles away. I just found a place that stocks hardware incase something fails. And if you buy quality stuff and run raid you have not to much to worry about.
    <chuckling quietly> You're assuming the OS will boot. Manage servers, remotely, long enough, and it's not IF... but WHEN... a server will go down (usually at the worst possible time) and can only be fixed from a local console.

    Here are a few true stories from my career.

    Ever had a PC hang at the BIOS/POST screen for no apparent reason? I have. Server was rebooted but never came back up. Made the 32 mile trip to the colo in a panic because this was a very important box. Got there, only to find the machine sitting on the POST screen with the infamous "Hit F1 to Continue" message. Hit F1, server booted right up. Walked back to my car, drove another 32 miles back to the office relieved it wasn't serious, but highly annoyed something so stupid wasted 2 hours of my day. (then promptly called the vendor for a new motherboard) This was ~6 years ago before we got KVM/IP gear.

    Ever accidentally disabled a NIC on a running machine? I shamefully admit to doing that once. Another 64 mile round trip to re-enable it. (also circa 6 years ago before we got KVM/IP)

    Ever had a machine blue screen on boot, but were able to get into Safe Mode (Windows box) and correct the problem? I have, and thankfully the box was hooked to KVM/IP. I did NOT have to make the 64 mile round-trip to the colo, and server downtime was minimal. Problem was fixed from my office in about 10 minutes.

    Ever had a customer crash their server to the point it wouldn't boot-- but you had a good backup image stored elsewhere on the network? I have. The box had KVM/IP and I was able to PXE boot it, restore the image, and get the box back online without driving to the colo. Solved everything from my office.

    Ever had a machine go down somewhere in the vicinity of 3:00 a.m.? All you know is your pager went off but you have no clue what happened to the machine. It WILL ping but NO services are responding. I have. And again, thanks to KVM/IP (which is worth its weight in gold) I was able to fix the problem and get back to sleep before 4:00 a.m.

    This one isn't KVM/IP related, but I'll throw it in because it relates to remote-control hardware. Ever had a machine not fully unload the OS when rebooting, and hang? I have many times over the years, and a quick power cycle fixes it. Of course one time it had to happen to a box that-- for reasons the employee who installed it could not explain-- wasn't connected to a PDU (remote reboot switch). Drove 64 miles round trip just to hit the Reset button, wasting nearly 2 hours of my Sunday afternoon.

    I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Manage enough servers for a long enough time, and it will happen to you, too.

  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Ecompro View Post
    <chuckling quietly> You're assuming the OS will boot. Manage servers, remotely, long enough, and it's not IF... but WHEN... a server will go down (usually at the worst possible time) and can only be fixed from a local console.

    Here are a few true stories from my career.

    Ever had a PC hang at the BIOS/POST screen for no apparent reason? I have. Server was rebooted but never came back up. Made the 32 mile trip to the colo in a panic because this was a very important box. Got there, only to find the machine sitting on the POST screen with the infamous "Hit F1 to Continue" message. Hit F1, server booted right up. Walked back to my car, drove another 32 miles back to the office relieved it wasn't serious, but highly annoyed something so stupid wasted 2 hours of my day. (then promptly called the vendor for a new motherboard) This was ~6 years ago before we got KVM/IP gear.

    Ever accidentally disabled a NIC on a running machine? I shamefully admit to doing that once. Another 64 mile round trip to re-enable it. (also circa 6 years ago before we got KVM/IP)

    Ever had a machine blue screen on boot, but were able to get into Safe Mode (Windows box) and correct the problem? I have, and thankfully the box was hooked to KVM/IP. I did NOT have to make the 64 mile round-trip to the colo, and server downtime was minimal. Problem was fixed from my office in about 10 minutes.

    Ever had a customer crash their server to the point it wouldn't boot-- but you had a good backup image stored elsewhere on the network? I have. The box had KVM/IP and I was able to PXE boot it, restore the image, and get the box back online without driving to the colo. Solved everything from my office.

    Ever had a machine go down somewhere in the vicinity of 3:00 a.m.? All you know is your pager went off but you have no clue what happened to the machine. It WILL ping but NO services are responding. I have. And again, thanks to KVM/IP (which is worth its weight in gold) I was able to fix the problem and get back to sleep before 4:00 a.m.

    This one isn't KVM/IP related, but I'll throw it in because it relates to remote-control hardware. Ever had a machine not fully unload the OS when rebooting, and hang? I have many times over the years, and a quick power cycle fixes it. Of course one time it had to happen to a box that-- for reasons the employee who installed it could not explain-- wasn't connected to a PDU (remote reboot switch). Drove 64 miles round trip just to hit the Reset button, wasting nearly 2 hours of my Sunday afternoon.

    I could go on, but I think I've made my point. Manage enough servers for a long enough time, and it will happen to you, too.
    You’re talking rebooting and windows. <laughing hard> Anyway that is why you make sure the DC has free helping hands. Chances are they would have walked over, hooked up KVM and pressed F1 faster than could drive there. It is cool if there is a data center near you but in reality it isn't a big deal if it isn't.

    The only data center near me charges $600 a month for 10Mbps (plus space). Considering the prices anywhere else even if I have to pay someone a couple hours it will still be cheaper.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KayakStudio View Post
    You’re talking rebooting and windows. <laughing hard>
    Not all servers I mentioned above-- or which caused other drives to the colo in panic-- were Windows. It wasn't until Windows 2000 came out that I even *considered* running public-facing Microsoft servers. NT 4 was worse than an abortion. Its security was criminal. Before that, 90% of what I ran was Caldera OpenLinux and the rest was Red Hat.

    Quote Originally Posted by KayakStudio View Post
    Anyway that is why you make sure the DC has free helping hands.
    Chances are they would have walked over, hooked up KVM and pressed F1 faster than could drive there.
    This particular facility was lights-out.

    Quote Originally Posted by KayakStudio View Post
    It is cool if there is a data center near you but in reality it isn't a big deal if it isn't.
    I'm curious how many servers you've managed. Early in my career there was no commercial internet, and nothing I managed was critical enough to be up 24x7. I didn't even wear a pager.

    Then about 12 years ago I took a job at a tech services company that was expanding into web hosting, and we put 4 servers in colo. I thought SSH was all we needed. I was wrong. As I took bigger/better jobs and the number of servers I was responsible for climbed into the dozens... then hundreds... I quickly woke up to the reality of just how incredibly important (highly reliable) remote-control tools are. At my current job, we spend a lot of extra money for HP servers with the ILO2 Advanced pack option-- because remote management really IS that important, especially with that much revenue depending on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by KayakStudio View Post
    The only data center near me charges $600 a month for 10Mbps (plus space). Considering the prices anywhere else even if I have to pay someone a couple hours it will still be cheaper.
    A (good) KVM/IP unit will set you back about $700, one-time cost. That may sound expensive-- until it saves your butt, then you'll think it's the best money you ever spent. Daisy chain that to a standard 8 or 16 port KVM switch and you can remote control that many servers for minimal incremental cost increase. Some day it will happen-- believe me it will-- that your box is dead, no SSH, and the colo rack jockey is on break. (and do you really want them messing with your box, or worse, knowing your root password?)

    BTW, if the bandwidth is good quality, $60/megabit on a small 10 megabit commit isn't that terrible. But if you only have the 1 server I can understand how unappealing that is. (at which point I'd have to ask if you'd given a second thought to just renting a good server from a reputable company instead of colo'ing your own box, which I understand does have its advantages)

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