[thelist] Reasonable DC Colocation costs?

Gary Pupurs garyp at speakeasy.net
Mon Apr 2 07:56:40 CDT 2001

I've been mulling over colocating a box someplace (Win2K, maybe an
OpenBSD box down the road).  Primarily to host a few sites I work on
(starting to use .NET) and a few
friend sites (plain HTML or ASP).  Partly to experiment with .NET, which few
virtual accounts
are hosting (except for $45+ accounts, which after a few, pays for
colocation).  Also to learn a bit more server admin and move the sites I
currently host off my DSL line.  (I'm greedy for
my bandwidth, and things like the 5 hour downtime last weekend due to a NYC
router failure isn't stable enough, even for DIY hosting, IMHO...)

I had planned to toss my server box under a desk at work someplace (with
permission), but the new firewall, NAT, and updated security policies on our
network has nixed that idea.

Maybe I'll make enough cash off these sites to pay for it, maybe not, so I'm
somewhat sensitive to cost.  Ideally would like <$100/month to start.

I've found a few how-tos on building your own 1U or 2U box for under $1000,
cool, save big
bux there, get exactly what components I want (go Duron!), and get the colo
discount of not using a big tower case that takes up too much rack space.

Also found a few colo hosts for $65-150/month for reasonable bandwidth.

My question, how important is it for that server box to be down the street
opposed to across the country?  I'm in Washington, DC.  I've only found one
company with reasonable
rates around DC (http://services.superb.net , starts @ $65/mo for 1GB xfr,
with four steps up to $330/mo for 100GB xfr), the other deals are a plane
flight away.  Most other colos in metro DC I've found are big time guys
to big needs at high price tags. Or don't list their prices online. Neither
of which is appealing to me.

The out of towners might be the better deal, but I'm a bit wary.  I've been
doing web stuff (and light server mgmt. of Linux at home here) for a while,
but always
been within a walk of the server.  Is Win2K Terminal Services enough for
most of you?

Anyone ever used Superb?  Others under consideration are CIHost (really like
everything except Austin location) and Sentris (a bit sketchy but cheap).
DellHost also seems to be a good deal if I don't build my own, from an
obviously very solid HW provider.  But I'm not sure I'd have the total
control I might want.

I also have little reference for bandwidth needs.  Most sites I work on are
more specialty sites, like small non-profits. Biggest site at work is 12M
hits/month.  Assuming I host one or two reasonably popular personal sites
without MP3s and such, would 1-5GB be adequate?  I'd imagine even 20GB
should support a site like, say, Camworld or LockerGnome, should something

Am I somewhat on the mark here?

Also, any thoughts on MS software 'licensing' on colocated servers?
Something tells me I might need to be a bit more rigorous with license
enforcement once a server leaves my apartment, which raises costs too...

Last question (I think I've got too many in one message here!).  As I
understand it, most colos don't offer any firewall protection.  Do I have to
get two boxes and have one just play 'gatekeeper' to keep out the bad guys,
or would running some firewall software on the actual server suffice?

Thanks for your time on addressing any of these issues, hopefully the
answers might be useful to quite a few others as well...


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