Hosting

From Bilbo
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2009-05-10: It's been fun, but I'm not going to do this much longer. Wow, has it been three years already? I'm moving my own servers to Xen-based VPS hosting. It's affordable, and this way I don't have to deal with hardware failure, cooling, power, space in my house, etc. I also get benefits I can't provide myself, such as geographically redundant infrastructure, including power, cooling, connectivity, etc. After moving my own services to hosting, it won't make sense to do this for others anymore.


I'm looking for friends that want servers hosted for $10/mo. My new internet connection is sweet, but kinda expensive so I'm hoping to share the cost with a few people. It's 1536K down, 1024K up, and I have 16 IPs. I'm hoping to get around 5 people -- that would cover the cost difference between my operating costs and a standard cheapo cable modem. If I get enough, I will upgrade to a faster (or second) connection.

It's pretty much anything-goes, as long as it's bandwidth-friendly and legal; so for examples:

  • Personal web site
  • Email
  • Irc servers or bots
  • Off-site backups

Coordinate with me to be sure your bandwidth and purpose are acceptable. I'm fairly flexable, but I do want to be aware of what's happening and stay out of trouble. If you need lots of bandwidth, I can purchase a dedicated DSL for your machine, but since you'd have to cover those costs, it probably isn't cost-effective unless there's some reason you can't easily get connectivity at your own residence.

You are free to supply your own machine, or I might have a spare to give away.

Services:

  • Backups. I have a backup server of my own that uses rsync over ssh to do daily backups, storing several daily, weekly, and monthly backups. Coordinate with me to see if your storage requirements can be met. My backup server is mirrored off-site nightly. You'll need to install rsync and allow root to log in via ssh with my backup server's key.
  • Firewall. While a local firewall is the best option, since another machine on my DMZ could be compromised, I can add custom rules to my firewall for your machine if desired.
  • Monitoring. I can provide notifications via email (to a phone if you wish) if your machine is unavailable. I do not have a dial-out modem. Instead, I have an off-site machine that monitors my firewall. I can also add you to the list of addresses to notify if my firewall becomes unreachable.
  • UPS. I can put your machine on a battery backup if you provide one or if I have enough spare capacity, but I do not have a generator.
  • DNS. Hosting a typical domain name is no problem. My name servers are known as ns1.dname.net and ns2.dname.net, and you can do dynamic updates via dname.net.
  • Shell account on Smaug: Smaug is on the same ethernet segment, so this may be useful for diagnosing problems.

I may be able to provide spam filtering in the future.

This service is only open to friends. I do not forsee this becoming a commercial service. This is not enterprise-level service; it is strictly a non-profit polite tea party where the costs are offset by donations. On the other hand, reliability of my stuff is typically better than most residential ISPs, with only a few hours of downtime each year. It's targeted at hackers like myself that need a place with a decent amount of upload bandwidth that isn't encumbered by strange ISP policies to work on projects.