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How to buy a web server? Which server is right for me? Please help!

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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 21

How to buy a web server? Which server is right for me? Please help!

Please excuse me if posted in wrong section!

We are 5 people thinking of moving our site to a new serve (but want to host it by ourselves)!
This is due to the costs! And of course to save some money and also to have the server physically in our office!

We are already paying 150 per month to a friend for hosting our site, so now must move! Don't have any idea of what's the details of friend's current serves!

What about internet connection! Does anybody know where we could get that from! And how much is it per month!
We already have fibre optic internet with Virgin media with speed of 50Mb, but that's up to 50Mbs! Is that still enough!

So after search and searching still don't have any idea of which server to buy that suits our needs!

We have been looking at Dell PowerEdge servers only! But as there are many out there! So need your help out there!

We need a web server that handles;

Visitors Per Day:
50K ~ 60K
Disk Space: Doesn't matter as we have SATA hard disks of 160GB, 250GB and 500GB, but obviously need to know which ones is better to use for web server! Of course must use 3 ~ 4 hard disks for back up and so on!
Bandwidth: Don't know anything about this (We use about 50GB of hard disk storage), also we will be running a classified ad site for cars, so say about 10 pictures for every ad!

By the way how many servers are required! We're not sure for this! Like don't we have to have 2 servers at a time and then switch between the two every say 12 hours, or maybe I'm wrong! Please make us clear on this! Thanks!

What else! Also we live in the UK, London (Ealing).
Please help ASAP as we need to move quickly, less than a month!

Last edited by dazraf; 10-24-2010 at 10:04 PM.

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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,598
Visitors Per Day: 50K ~ 60K
Disk Space: Doesn't matter as we have SATA hard disks of 160GB, 250GB and 500GB, but obviously need to know which ones is better to use for web server! Of course must use 3 ~ 4 hard disks for back up and so on!
Bandwidth: Don't know anything about this (We use about 50GB of hard disk storage), also we will be running a classified ad site for cars, so say about 10 pictures for every ad!
I suppose you need to post that in the "FIND A HOST" section. Then there you may give few direct offers from the companies to get web hosting solutions to review. I suppose they will be as close as possible to your initial request.

WHT Addict
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 121
Based on the nature of your questions, I suspect that you have limited experience of running your own servers.

I strongly advise you to lease servers rather than co-locate servers so that you're not responsible for the hardware. Broadband connections are not suitable for hosting servers in respect to performance and reliability, not to mention that it will likely break the provider's usage T&Cs.

If you don't have internal skills to manage the servers, you should look for a managed dedicated hosting provider. This will mostly likely cost you more than 150/month.

Michael Follett

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Junior Guru
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: London
Posts: 227
Oh WOW!! I love that question!!!

OK... Firstly you need to think practically.. Running your server from your home connection is a GREAT IDEA in theory but a TERRIBLE idea in practicality!! Just some pointers to get you going and reasons not to do it from home...

Firstly - internet connection... Virgin Media is GREAT for downloading stuff from the internet (aka. Downlink) but you will be limited to about 2.5Mbps (MegaBITSpersecond) for sending stuff (aka. uplink). This is the wrong configuration for a server as the load coming INTO the server is really small... It is the load coming OUT of the server which is important. If you count this correctly... A 1MB(MegaByte) image will take 3.12seconds to be sent using that connection - with traffic like that you won't be able to load enough to keep your website online... Especially with the figures you show us at the top. The only option for you would be to get a leased line - I looked at getting one of them setup in London, it comes down to about 12,000 setup and 2000per year from there on for a 50Mbps (duplex connection). Here is one thing you need to know... This already makes you spend more money than you are at the moment.

Secondly - SERVER... To get a decent server, which will be able to cope with everything... and last you a long while... You'll need at least a quad cores with plenty of RAM - costing you a few thousands at LEAST... You only need one server at any one location!

Thirdly - SERVER SETUP... To get yourself going, you will need a cabinet.. generally in a specially setup room.

Fourthly - COOLING... To ensure the server is kept at the optimum temperature... This also requires a backup unit just in case the first fails... Otherwise the server could overheat and bring your website offline...

Fifthly - ELECTRICITY... To ensure that you get the right amount of electricity to the server and the cooling units, you will need to have a constant supply of electricity, potentially even have a backup electricity line...

Sixthly - Backup electricity - should the electricity fail... What then? no more online website! GREAT STUFF!

Seventhly - Management... A server is not an easy task to manage.... This will cost you another full time employee who will be able to sort out any problem as they arise...! Its not as simple as turning it on and it works... or setting it up and then it runs... You need to manage it, and update it and do all kinds of things on a daily basis...

OKAY... SO... Now that you have a vague idea of what it entails... Here is a basic run-down of your direct costs:
Internet line Setup 12k
Internet line Rental 1k
Server 2.5k
Small Cooling units 5k
Electricity setup 2k
electricity Bill 100+ per month
management 35k (per year)

So that said...
This is your grand total for setup: 27,000
This is your grand total per year: 38,000

So... the total per month is: 3,200 + setup

If in doubt... Run in circles like a headless chicken... I think that 150 per month for a server isn't so bad now is it? If you want to move however... You have PLENTY of options... Have you had a look at hosting in Germany? They have good server at Hetzner? Only like €50 per month + software + management... totals maybe €150 per month? so around 120 per month? thats quite a bit saved...?

But really... you have to think about this thoroughly... Why do you think datacentres invest millions of pounds? It isn't just to play around with money you know?

Anyway.. I hope you find your remedy!

Best Wishes!

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Shared, Reseller, ShoutCast & Dedicated Hosting

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,573
Without knowing more about your application nobody can really say for sure. And I strongly suspect you don't know enough about it to say.

If you have 50k - 60k visitors a day, and it's running fine, and you're only paying a total of 150 a month, including system admin, you're already on a bargain deal. As the above post spells out in detail, it will cost you thousands to setup a server of your own in-house, and many hundreds to get a server set up by a qualified admin so it will run smoothly.

Add to this the fact that you have no idea how much bandwidth, disk or CPU you use or even how many servers your application uses, and you're just crying for absolute pain over a very long period of time.

Some advice - if you're determined to move away from the current hosting, hire a qualified admin to work out what you need, to setup the server (it's absolutely not trivial) and to setup your software. Test thoroughly before turning off the old server.

I think you'll agree once you look into it, that your efforts are probably better put into things like marketing and promotion and similar business development activities. Re-hosting something that is already working will cost you a lot.

Web Hosting Master
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: UK: Oxford
Posts: 1,242
Well judging on what you have just written and what others have pointed out, you DONT need co-locate or without assistance, you will really need a expert or Fully-managed service to help with the techy problems you might have. One good advantage is it if you want to hit the ground running, this will allow you to...

So, from that: My advise is "Liquid Web" or "RackSpace".

They are dedicated server specialists and are very handy when it comes to scaling up or down for your business.

Or even go for Cloud hosting; Liquid Web's 'sub' company which is extremely powerful hosting and you are in complete control of the hosting environment but can be costly so I'd read into that first.

Pub, Gym and Programming is now my life.


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