New Server

I have just ordered a new server for hosting my web site. The current server, Tarquin, is starting to feel the pressure of running a couple of quickly growing databases and quite a few active web sites that are also expanding rapidly. The plan is to slowly move everything from Tarquin to the new server, which has yet to be found a name. Please comment if you have suggestions!

The new machine is a Dell PowerEdge SC1425 with the following specs:

  • 1 × 2.80GHz Intel Xeon Processor (1MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)
  • 1.5 GiB of RAM (DDR2 PC2-3200)
  • 2 × 80GB Hard Disks (in a RAID-1 configuration: 80GB of storage)
  • 1U form factor, for cheap colocation when I get round to that

As with all of my Linux machines, it will run Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 (Sarge), which isn’t yet the stable branch, but is on its way to becoming that.

Once the server has had a good long period of testing at home, and once the web sites hosted on it outgrow the home broadband connection I have, the plan is to go into colocation, which means that the server will be kept at a company’s data centre on their much larger Internet connections. These days such a thing can be quite cheap, and one quote I got a few months back was £35/month for 10Mbps bandwidth. Very nice.

To help cover the costs, I might start selling hosting to people, which would help me pay for both the new server and for colocation, and would be a very interesting exercise. My intention is to offer hosting with a difference, i.e. you can do practically what you want with it, but you need to know what you are doing. The level of support will be minimal, and a “control panel” will not be provided except for things that can’t be done by oneself.

I may offer a few hosting “plans”, but I was also thinking about creating an à la carte system where people pick what parts they want and only pay for what they actually need. Many a time I’ve found a hosting company provided what I wanted, but only on a much more expensive plan that I couldn’t afford, and hopefully this would attract those in such a position.

What do people think? Any suggestions?

2 thoughts on “New Server

  1. Sounds like a good idea to me, why make people chose from set plans? I would perhaps have a sample plan so that people had an idea of your pricing, details etc.

    I would like to host a few people on my reseller account, it would help a little with the costs involved. I have a couple of people interested, will see if it goes anywhere!

    What sites are you currently hosting? Is the sever new?

  2. Well, the reason why companies only offer hosting in plans is because people (especially businesses) are likely to go with a more expensive plan because it has an extra feature or two they require. I don’t like that, I need as many customers as I can! 😉

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