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My own server? Questions

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by 0xym0r0n, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    I know it's not the place to ask but most of you own forums of your own and many have their own servers.

    I was just wondering the minimum reqs for a server.

    I'd be hosting approximately 5 forums that are around 500-3,000 members and 10k-100k posts each.

    I really want to self sufficient when it comes to certain things, if possible.

    What things need to be done on a daily basis?
    What type of internet upload/download speeds do I need?

    I have a quad core pc at home that only needs a hard drive to be put back in use... was thinking of using that.
    I figure that ram and disk space will be easy for me. I've used WAMP, XAMP, and LAMP before... is it something similar I just have to open ports/permissions for others to access the files?
  2. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    what's your daily activity like for each forum?
  3. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    So you are wanting to host the sites from home?
  4. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    meh it's slowed down a bit it's really nothing demanding imo (but im not an expert)
    My biggest forum bandwidth usage is around like 20-30k/month. Daily posting at least 30-50 new replies/posts. Numerous image uploads. Using 8gb of space
    My 2nd largest forum bandwidth usage is around 15-18k/month. Mostly replies about 20-30 per day. Minor image upload use. Chatroom gets more use on this one but still not THAT many. Using 4 gb of space.

    They other 3 are hardly anything to mention only getting between 10-15 active users per day (more like clan forum) and probably 5-10 posts per day if I'm lucky. lots of lurkers.

    Just my forums.
  5. Ditto

    Ditto Member

    Was thinking same thing. If yes, his ISP better allow it otherwise they might close his account down once detected running a web server using their connection.
  6. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    Personal opinion, it's not worth it. A home ISP connection may even not allow port 80 inbound.

    You'll then have to factor the cost of electricity in, the fact you probably don't have UPS in the event of a power issue. You'll not have any redundant uplinks so what happens if your ISP goes down? How about cooling the equipment?

    For what you'll probably end up paying a month, if you want to use your own hardware, look into co-lo'ing it.

    With your details above, you'd be able to host all your sites on a decent spec VPS.
    trichome likes this.
  7. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    If you have all gaming sites, you're welcome to apply over at http://simgames.net
  8. 0xym0r0n

    0xym0r0n Well-Known Member

    I would not mind paying for a separate business type connection. I know it'd be more than normal, but I'd rather host my own for some crazy reason.
    If it exceeds $100/m i'd pass it up. If it's less I may consider. In the end I may just end up seeing about a dedicated and hosting everything I own on it? I know it depends on my stats/traffic/activity for all the sites.
    and co-lo'ing it? so co-location? I'll have to look into this.
  9. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    They would start clicking and:

  10. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    I have a friend with a dedicated server and is in need of more customers.

    I can get you in without much hassle. It's going to be on the same server where I have my sites on.

    We'll even help you move your sites over.

    $100/mo? PC me.
  11. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    If you are prepared to through upto $100/month at it, that would get you a pretty decent spec dedicated server to host your sites on.
  12. The Forum Heroes

    The Forum Heroes Well-Known Member

    Look into co-lo, not your house. Most cities with a 50k+ population have some sort of data center and most offer 24/7 access, so it would be just as same as at home if it's in or close to your city. Co-lo is prety cheap now, you can get 4U (tower size space on the rack) with 2-5TB bandwidth for under 50.00 a month.. plus your computer. 15k members between your sites, you could even do that on something cheap like an atom or even a old P4, shouldn't need more then 2-4GB RAM either.
    MattW likes this.
  13. AdamD

    AdamD Well-Known Member

    Yea I would avoid hosting from home, to many unknowns.
    I agree with the other poster, a decent, NON oversold VPS would more than suffice for you.
    I have one with Racksrv (I also work for them) and it's fast, the server load average is always low and I get better performance on the VPS, than I do on my Dedicated i7 920, with 8gb of ram from Icebluehost.
    If you want me to setup a test domain, so you can see how your forum works on it, I'd be happy to help.
    JVCode, 0xym0r0n, MattW and 1 other person like this.
  14. shawn

    shawn Well-Known Member

    That doesn't sound like particularly demanding usage. A low/medium-end VPS from a good vendor is all you need. The nice thing about a VPS is you get all the control of a dedicated server without the potential downtime.

    Let's say you fix up that server of yours and have it colo'd at a data center somewhere. Then the hard disk dies. No big deal, right? You were proactive and set it up with RAID-1, so it's running on the mirror drive. But somebody has to go fix the box. So a technician has to go pull your machine out of the rack, bring it back to a bench, swap the parts, make sure it's running again, hang it back in the rack again, etc. Hours if not a day's worth of downtime. If you're on a VPS and there's a problem with the underlying hardware, you'll never know about it. They'll shift your instance to a different machine and you'll keep chugging right along. Worst case, your vps node is unresponsive for a few minutes.
    0xym0r0n and MattW like this.
  15. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    If you go colo, be sure to use a local datacenter.

    Being in Northern Ireland, I've got just about 0 choice other than to colo over to the mainland, so when stuff goes wrong as it inevitably does, I've got hours of downtime waiting for support tickets, or in the case of hardware failure, days of downtime pulling in favours from friends around London to go and replace a part.

    Edit: Actually that's another point to raise, if you don't go for a local DC, make sure whoever you colo with will let you pay them to replace a part or tinker with the hardware. My DC flatly refused.

    Oh and be sure to use linux software raid, will save you countless nightmares in remote admin and has lots of nice features to let you continue to take advantage of dodgy disks (eg setting a disk to 'write only', though this only applies to RAID1). Plus you get near-RAID0 random reads out of RAID1.
  16. fos

    fos Active Member

    For an exercise, I developed and ran a server from home. My service provider was Comcast Cable. I paid for a commercial account that had increase bandwidth and allowed servers. I also paid extra for a static IP address. You don't really need the static IP address but it makes it easier. Suitable bandwidth is very expensive if you have much traffic. Another issue is power reliability, connection reliability, and equipment reliability.

    Bottom line, save your money and rent a virtual server from linode.com.

    If you search, you can still find the original setup and discussion on my linuxagora forum.

    karll, AdamD and MattW like this.
  17. intradox

    intradox Well-Known Member

    I use ServInt and host 2 small forums off their FlexVPS. If you want your own hardware, you can look into their new Flex Semi-Dedicated servers they just launched. Been with them for over 2 years and I'm quite satisfied.
  18. Biker

    Biker Well-Known Member

    Pros of running your own box.

    1. Timely updates.
    2. You fully control what's installed and what isn't.
    3. You don't have to worry about some other pudknocker doing something on their account that compromises the security of the entire server.

    Cons (and these are some big ones)

    1. Security. You're responsible for it. Screw something up and leave a gaping hole on the box, it's your head in the noose.
    2. See #1
    3. You have to have an above average grasp of the OS being used. (Although why anyone would contemplate hosting a site on a Winderz box is beyond me.)
    4. See #1
    5. Sometimes updates break something else. This is where #3 comes into play, because now you have to fix the boo-boo.
    6. See #1

    I spend an hour each morning going through the logs and making sure everything is running as it should be.

    Running your own box has its own rewards, but it's also a pain in the backside. There are days when I'm up to my butt in alligators and then something happens on the server that requires my immediate attention. Many times, it's not something you can ignore until you have time to address it.

    So unless you're sure you have the time and knowledge to run your own dedicated server, don't do it. If you're wanting to do this to get experience, set up an isolated server in your home and practice on it before it even talks to the Internet. The world is full of servers that people think they know how to run, and my security logs state otherwise.
    0xym0r0n likes this.
  19. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    I can get by with a VPS server with some extra memory. You on the other hand need to be looking at dedicated servers. You'd bog a VPS down to the point of crashing lol.
  20. MattW

    MattW Well-Known Member

    You must be on pretty crappy VPS hosting then, because with the figures he's given, a VPS would be the perfect starting point. I host 2 forums, 230k and 320k posts, and the load of my VPS hardly ever goes above 0.5, and RAM usage is at ~1.8GB out of the 3GB I have available.

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