General discussion


Bulding a Server

By rgallagher ·
I've been thinking of bulding a server and wondering what I should be looking for hardware and software wise. I want to be able to host other people's sites to make a little extra cash and would also like to do streaming audio. Possible video in thefuture.

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What services?

by shepherr In reply to Bulding a Server

The first thing you should be asking yourself, is what What services will you offer? 'Other peoples sites' is a good start for their web site, but are you also going to offer cgi? Java? How about using one server to host both Windows AND Linux sites? VMWare makes a good product to run a linux box on your windows box. That way you could offer the best of both worlds.

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It all depends on what you want

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Bulding a Server

Building a server comes down to several things firstly what do you intend to do with it?
How much money do you have to play with?
What type of processing power do you require?

But as a good starting point try these M'Boards


Either of these would be a good basis for a server but they do cost money and a lot of it in comparision to the desktop M'Boards. Also if you consider any of those M'Boards don't skimp go with the built in SCSI option as you will find it far more usefull than just simply fitting a PCI SCSI card.

The rest of your question all depends on exactly what you want to do but if you would like to leave some more detail I'll be glad to follow up with more information.

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more details

by rgallagher In reply to It all depends on what yo ...

Well my girlfriend designs webpages so we thought to make some extra cash we would also supply the server. For now I want the server to be able to handle streaming audio and to hold basic webpages. I would also like to be able to upgrade to handle streaming video, java, both windows and linux based pages. Basicaly I want it to start out small but be able to upgrade with out a lot of trouble. I would also like it to be fast and reliable as well. If you have any more specific questions just ask.

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There is alot that goes into hosting

by LordInfidel In reply to more details

It is not enough just to build a server.

****, any system can be a server. I have crappy pII300's that are servers.

But you are talking about hosting websites. Not being cruel, but if you have to ask about how to build a server and you want to host sites, then you should not be hosting your own pages.

Also, DSL does not cut it for hosting needs. Plus you need DNS servers, Substantial bandwidth.

Linux/Unix and Windows are platforms, not pages. So you have to make a choice onto which platform you want to support.

Also, how are you going to secure your publicly accesible web server? Not physically, but electronically. Because I am assuming that you have never secured an OS before. Again not to be cruel, I only make this assumption because if you have done this before, you wouldn't be asking our advice.

My strongest advice, team up with a hosting company. Have your clients pay the hosting company that company's monthly hosting fee. Your girlfriend can still design the pages.

Investing in hosting if you have never done it before will get pricey. Plus your clients will get pissed when they can not get to their sites or access their e-mail becuase your connection is down, or your power went out.

Personally, I have been using for several years to house my clients sites on. And I am more then capable of hosting at my home. I just understand that it is not in the best interest of my clients to have me do so.

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by rgallagher In reply to There is alot that goes i ...

No offense taken. I guess I should have been a little more specific. I know how to build machines and lock downon an OS on the client end. I just never played around on the server end. So I wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into financially and time wise. You make some valid points that I didn't think of. Maybe I should just stick with hosting my own stuff on the server.

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by chris hirst In reply to

I host my own stuff, test sites, client demos etc and looked into the cost for hosting some of the sites I maintain. When I got to needing to spend around ?20k (GBP) on leased line, UPS, aircon, router, firewall, OS etc etc plus bandwidth charges Igave up the idea. I would have to charge my clients triple what the remote host charges are just to break even!
If you have enough clients a co-located solution may be better, you can control the server while someone else provides the infrastructure.


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Check it out first...

by dvsnnr In reply to

Check out this article:

It goes into a little of what it takes to run your own Web Hosting firm.

However, there are many good firms you can sign up with which allow you to sub-leaseyour allocated bandwidth and drive space. You can then provide your web design services along with the hosting service for a lot less time invested in the process. I like, but they are not a company that provides a lot of direct tech-support, only e-mail and on-line support. But they are cheap, fast, and they do offer a reseller program. Or do a Google search for web host providers that offer reseller programs. Best of success!

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Thats a big ask

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to more details

Personally I'd go with a White Box to design the Web Pages and then lease space from one of the major ISP's in your area as anything to do with hosting is a big deal and that doesn't include securing the server either. Then there is the cost of the thing and you have to have a permant power supply, it then starts getting really expensive from here on in.
Most of the smaller ISP's lease from the big players and even one that I deal with here in Australia has an aragment with a company in the USwhere most of the stuff is diverted through they run a small server here for web page design and then upload everything to their main supplier. It saves a lot of money and technical expertiese as securing any OS is a really big deal even if you where prepared to use 2003 with ISA on the front of it there would be quite a lot of thime spent isn setting up not to mention all the phonelines that you would need. Lordinfidel? {I think that is how he spells his name but as I can't get back to the main page I'm not sure} has the right idea although he went a little overboard in his way of explaining how things are but he is correct if you wish to host you need bulk experience in all aspects of Web Hosting and that issomething that doesn't come quickly or cheeply either.
One of the smallets ISP's here invested nearly ! million dollars AU in just setting up and then they worked for nearly 2 years before they began to show a profit and all the people there had a lot of experience with other ISP's.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Thats a big ask

But basicly you can call anything a "Server" and provided it does all that you require it will be fine even something like a Duron 1300 could be called a Server by some people but for anything serious you are looking at some big money and remember the computers are the cheapest part of the endevour. Web Hosting is not something that you can't start out small and grow into you start out fairly big and then get bigger as required.
However on the bright side most of these Web Servers are running Linux so they are a little bit easier to tie down but you still need to know Linux before you even attempt to try this out, Microsoft currently is trying to make a push into this market and has introduced ISA {currently I'm not sure what version is on sale as I'm still playing with trial copies for evalutation purposes} and at the moment it looks very easy {well compared to what came before} but it still takes quite a bit of time to setup and then you have to constantly keep checking things as the hackers change track but right at the moment ISA has the smallest opening to the big bad hostile world outside of your computer so at present it is the easiest to setup but it isn't cheep as it has to run on 2003 and should be on a computer betwenthe internet and your server/s.
If I was you I would try your local ISP's and see what they would require for you to Co-Host as this will work out much cheeper for you and you won't need all the associated equiptment or the hassle when things go wrong as once a customer can't get their e-mail or thier web page isn't available if even for only 5 minutes you better believe that you will hear about it in no uncertian terms.

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Just as an afterthought

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to P2

The ISP that I personally do some work for has about 8,000 clients and they allow 5 MEG per client for a personal Web Page now I'll leave it to you to do the maths on just how much storage space they have and that doesn't even take into acount the the rest of the equiptment that they have in place.
Now this is a reatively small ISP and they run 10 servers for different things that are all involved in their core business and all of their accounting computers are not connected to the Internet sothey have two seperate systems in their place and this is by no means uncommon.
They presently have 10,000 incoming lines available and in January this year they switched to W2K as thier base OS and had all the problems in the world they where effectively off line for about 2 weeks until they got the new system up and running somewhat smothelly in the mean time they continued with their old systems and switched over to the new system on a semi regular basis just to iron out the bugs. It is nowJuly and there are still some problems that occure but these are minor and fixed in a realitevly quick manner but they first must be aware of the problem for example everything seemed to be working properly until they got a phone call telling them that one of their customers couldn't upload their new web page but everything else was running smothely, they had applied a Hot Fix from MS and where unaware of this problem even though they had spent a lot of time and effort testing the fix before they deployed it across the system.

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