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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    120

    Bandwidth Costs Big Bucks ? ? ?

    I am starting a business which consists of an online web site development tool for corporate customers. I need a host for the tool itself which needs to be reliable as it will be the heart of mission critical websites. The end users will pay for their own web-server packages under their own contracts with host providers and install a small stub to access pages dynamically from my tool. Pages are cached locally on their own shared/dedicated server so my bandwidth won't go up based on the popularity of my customer's site. Therefore my bandwidth is mostly related to design activities.

    What I need is a reliable host for the tool itself which consists of perl scripts and a database (MySQL for the moment). I am a techie but definitely not a Linux guru. I strugle with a test Apache/Linux running in a VM on my development box and am a bit uncomfortable with the idea of maintaing a mission critical setup until I gain more experience. Not that I have not done it before but we do live and learn! Therefore I am looking for a managed host provider that can resuce my chessnuts from a raging fire when needed (hopefully never).

    Everything that I have read on this forum points me to rackspace.com. The only thing that kills me is the cost of the bandwidth. Unfortunately I really don't have a clue as to how much I need but the idea of paying $1245 for 500GB/month seems a bit like daylight robbery.

    Any thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Washington, USA
    Posts
    5,991
    Rackspace.com is spendy, but they are pretty good.

    Perhaps you should checkout, http://www.pwebtech.com/ or http://www.webreseller.net/ both of which offered managed servers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    154
    Have you figured out how much bandwidth you will realisticially use?
    I could'nt really tell from your post if your customers will be downloading anything massive.
    Therefore my bandwidth is mostly related to design activities.
    What kind of design activites?
    Because 500GB is really a lot , especially if your company only has a few customers/visitors.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    120
    Figuring out my bandwidth needs is very important. Unfortunately I won't know how much bandwidth I will need until I complete some pilots - after I choose a host. As I said, my customer web-sites will cache via my stub so they will be downloading pages from my site only once (hopefully). Therefore I don't expect huge amounts of bandwidth to be used. My back of the envelope calculations suggest I won't need much. In fact the the 30GB rackspace.com offers as the miniumum will do just fine to start with. The question is once things get going if the application ends up being a "hog" I will be paying thru the nose for bandwidth when it seems to be available much cheaper elsewhere.

    "Always start with the end in mind"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    61
    Just because it's cheaper doesn't make it better. You can get amazingly cheap bandwidth from a company that peers with maybe one or two other providers, making your application server all but useless for people to access.

    What you should consider is the fact that a single server might not be the best idea. Setup a single server in the begining, but have the ablity to add servers later build into your application. This way you can have a server on one side of the country/world and one on the other. This will allow you, when you setup the second server, to negotiate a better rate for the server and bandwidth since you don't have to stick with one provider.
    Jason Murdock

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    120
    Just because it's cheaper doesn't make it better. You can get amazingly cheap bandwidth from a company that peers with maybe one or two other providers, making your application server all but useless for people to access.
    Now we are getting to the real question of the quality of bandwidth. Reading between the lines on this forum it is clear that all bandwidth is not created equal. Why is this? Is it how far off the main backbones the DC lives? Is it the spare capacity of their providers? Is it just too complicated to spell out?

    Rackspace.com seems to have big pipes with a number of providers that at least I have head of - AT&T, QWest, Sprint, Time Warner, UUNet. A lot of providers don't really discuss the subject. None the less Rackshack gives me 30-40ms pings while rackspace gives me 60-70ms pings. Both are 15 hops away. This alone is probably not representative of the quality of the bandwidth.
    What you should consider is the fact that a single server might not be the best idea. Setup a single server in the begining, but have the ablity to add servers later build into your application. This way you can have a server on one side of the country/world and one on the other. This will allow you, when you setup the second server, to negotiate a better rate for the server and bandwidth since you don't have to stick with one provider.
    An excellent suggestion. In fact I want to do that from the start so that I can have a backup server running while I am doing upgrades or DB reorgs on the primary server. Replication should do the job as all my data is served from a database. I would either use DYNDns or an equivalent service with the hosting company to switch between primary and backup. Rackspace.com have a second UK data center and have the dynamic switch capability.

    While I won't get to defer negotiations on the second server there really is no reason to limit this to two servers. Growth could include servers at other hosts that have less expensive quality bandwidth down the road.

    Thanks for your suggestions JT.

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