[Theforum] FundRaising and Hosting/Move Solutions Proposal

Ron Dorman rwd at csi1st.net
Sun May 19 23:30:11 CDT 2002

I have a few proposals after reading all the posts of the last couple of
weeks and thinking a lot.  This is a long one, but stay with it please.

Both proposed fundraising projects would be long term monthly revenue as
opposed to occasional calls for donations or drives for a specific
purpose.  One of these projects has been discussed and had considerable
work already done.  The second is a new idea that has not seen much
discussion yet.

Either of these projects has the potential to fund hosting on it's own.
Operating both and launching quickly could easily cover all costs by the
time we have to move the servers.  By all costs, I mean hosting costs,
shipping/delivery costs, new box, backup/replacement parts, spare backup
box, technical support and some I haven't mentioned.  We do have to be
aware of, and plan for, all aspects of running and maintaining a large,
always up operation.

1)  Fundraising.  We need some cash flow and the following two
projects could accomplish this quickly.

1.a)  TagWear, evolt.org branded clothing, sports wear, computing
accessories, etc.  Last week during talk about the wiki, I offered that
my company, CSI, Inc., had a Linux workstation not being used that could
be rebuilt as a server for zope/wiki to allow us more control and
customization of our wiki system.

** CSI can also put phpShop on that server and quickly create a site for
TagWear. **  CSI has a module for phpShop that provides zone shipping
for UPS, Fed-Ex and USPS without using the InterShipper site/system.
CSI has another module for it that process payments via AuthorizeNet
and/or CyberCash(Verisign) and/or PayPal.  CSI has put 3 sites together
using this package in the past month.  We can make the TagWear site
happen pretty quickly.  I have also talked with the owner of the company
that did the shirts for us the last time and they are interested in
moving forward with this project.  They already have the "tag" screens,
logo screens (there are opinions that the logo screen needs improving)
and the logo embroidery, which evolt.org has not used yet.  I think we
can get TagWear up and running within a couple weeks and generate some
profit from it,  especially with all the php folks we have now and the
work already done on it.  I added to the wiki about this at

1.b)  A couple of weeks ago someone posted about finding an affiliate
hosting program.  CSI has been working on getting things together to
offer reseller hosting programs and is ready to launch within a week.
An affiliate program with evolt.org would fit in with this very well.
For example, any evolt.org member (registered list or site member) that
hosted with CSI (personal and/or commercial sites), CSI would pay a
percentage (I am thinking around 10%) of the fees to evolt.org.  Page on
wiki at http://freezope2.nipltd.net/acorn/evolt/AffiliateHosting.

2)  Hosting.  evolt.org needs a place to park our servers and a plan to
get them moved.  I offer the following option.

CSI can and will colocate/host evolt.org.  While I wish I could do it
for no cost as Dan has, it is not within my capability right now.  CSI
can do it very reasonably and donate some of the expense to evolt.org.
We could keep all sites and lists as they are now, only needing to get a
box together for meo and re-locate the boxes (and generate cash of course).

CSI has people that can put a box together if we get parts donated
instead of cash, or a combination of both.

3)  Moving.  We have basically two options for moving, here or anywhere.

3.a)  No down-time move.  This requires more planning, coordination and
a few tasks not needed in a down-time move.  We have enough capacity
here to move some things (all right now) to our servers and keep them
running while we move the boxes.  We should have to resync data when the
evolt.org boxes arrive here and then resume service off the evolt.org
boxes again.  The amount of services that could be moved here
temporarily will depend on how much hosting comes into CSI between now
and the move.  We might be able to do it all at once, or we might have
to do it a box at time.

3.b)  Down-time move.  This would require announcing a day or two of
downtime, doing backups, shutting down, moving, starting and testing,
then serving off the evolt.org boxes.

I have done both types of moves and prefer the down-time move if
possible.  I have experienced much less problems and surprises with the
down-time method.

Our biggest issue is getting the boxes from Wisconsin to Virginia.  Matt
offered to do some hauling, but don't know if he would be willing to
haul to Virginia.  I did a check at http://www.mapsonus.com/ for the
drive from Milwaukee, WI to Altavista, VA.  It says 834 miles, 17 hours
and 30 turns.  I can say that anyone that does deliver boxes will have
lodging and food taken care of at this end.  Our other option of course
is shipping.

1.b & 2 support information)

CSI currently has two T1's in place with two more in the wings.  CSI
also has an OC-12 fiber with multiplexing for multiple providers planned
and waiting for growth (vendors are already in the loop and waiting for
go signal).  First hop from CSI's primary router is the Washington DC
NAP with two separate providers (Cable & Wireless and Sprint Data
Services) for redundancy if one fails.  The two T1's in the wings and
the fiber are planned and staged for growth.

The local CO is about 200 feet out CSI's back door and most of the cable
to them is under ground.  This provides a pretty safe link in the
(usually) weakest part of the connection chain.  From the local CO, the
circuits run different paths so the the possibility of a cable cut
bringing CSI down is minimized.

CSI ran new 3 phase, commercial grade power to the part of the building
CSI is in and has a 7.5KVA UPS with power conditioning and battery
power for about 6 - 8 hours of backup power.  CSI is also wired for a
generator with auto-switching at power outage and is looking for a good
deal on a generator for extended power outages.

CSI experienced only 4 hours of downtime in 3 years and no longer uses
the provider that caused the problem.  We had a direct lightening strike
on our building 2 weeks ago during a storm and did not go down even
though the entire city block was without power for about 4 hours.  The
strike fried the compressors and fan motors in the air handling system
for the rest of the building, but none of our equipment was damaged.
CSI has good electrical systems in place.  CSI's goal is 100% uptime and
we are very close to providing it.

CSI has RH Linux and Win2K Pro servers with lots of room for expansion.
  CSI a solid host that provides something many don't, person to person
support in addition to email and on-line support.

I have also talked with a few people this past week about financing (if
needed) for expanding CSI's services.  I have been told by more than one
of them, that if CSI generates enough business to require expansion
(currently at 10-12% of capacity) the needed cash would be available.

I provide the above information so that all members can see that CSI,
Inc. is serious about being a good hosting service and that we are
not offering a short term option, but a good home for evolt.org.

Ron D.

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