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  Post #1 (permalink)   04-12-2002, 08:35 AM
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We have been fumbling this idea for a while and we cannot find any other provider that has this service (or perhaps we don't know what it's 'officially' called).

Does anyone have any feedback on offering such a service. I would especially like to hear from anyone interested in such a service. Have any hosts tried this before and failed?

It's not about the money, it's about the time we put into it. I don't want to spend time scripting a control panel for these customers if the demand for the service is weak. However, in the past couple of weeks alone I have seen people on WHT asking for a similar service but probably had to get an actual web hosting account with lots of transfer and little $ (if they find a provider that allows it that is).

This service would be FTP-only with HTTP/FTP downloading and some other perks and features we have in mind

Any thoughts?
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   04-12-2002, 09:31 AM
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Do you mean like 'clusters'?
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  Post #3 (permalink)   04-12-2002, 09:45 AM
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No, like you are the author of some program and want to distro that program to as many people as possible. On a regular hosting account it could get quite expensive. On a mirroring account, there are no CGIs, no PHP, no nothing except striaght HTTP/FTP downloads. Costs become lower due to lower server loads. I'm talking $1.00 - $1.50 per GB or even cheaper. Raw data transfer.

I'd say a server could easily handle a few mbits of this kind of traffic with little load problems. The only loads would be on Apache and/or the ftp daemon (Proftpd or some other one). Those can be optimized to handle many connections and lots of transfer, though.

Just wondering if anyone thinks there is a market before we put the effort into making it happen.
 
 
 


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  Post #4 (permalink)   04-12-2002, 09:53 AM
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I'm sure there is a market for that. I think some software companies will like to have service like this. It will be easier for them to rent your server as their backup mirror and then give you the file to download.

But honestly, I have never encountered any request for such. I'm not sure if you need to be in a different market to offer that, because I think it's not entirely connected to the web hosting industry. More like Application Server or something like that.

I'm interested in finding out myself, and I hope that more input comes from different people to enrich this topic.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   04-12-2002, 10:03 AM
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Any searches I make anywhere for mirroring software results in authors looking for mirrors, but hardly any of them want to pay for it. Can't find any hosts that offer it as a service. Not even a hint.

Anyone know of any?
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   04-13-2002, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by allera
On a mirroring account, there are no CGIs, no PHP, no nothing except striaght HTTP/FTP downloads. Costs become lower due to lower server loads. I'm talking $1.00 - $1.50 per GB or even cheaper. Raw data transfer.
I don't see how you can lower the cost just because the server load is lower. What really matters is your traffic cost. The best bet for you to offer download at cheap price is to use cogent bandwith, which will be more than sufficient for this purpose. And you know, you can get much lower than $1/GB for cogent.

cheers,
 
 
 


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  Post #7 (permalink)   04-14-2002, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dektong
I don't see how you can lower the cost just because the server load is lower. What really matters is your traffic cost. The best bet for you to offer download at cheap price is to use cogent bandwith, which will be more than sufficient for this purpose. And you know, you can get much lower than $1/GB for cogent.
Our shared hosting prices are based off of server costs. We have a general rule-of-thumb when generating plans 'based' on the bandwidth and space used. We charge a certain amount for the bandwidth and space such that it incorporates the present and future costs of the server.

If we have 150 customers on a shared hosting server all running CGIs, PHP, and Mysql, the loads will be _significantly_ higher than a server not running those; not even running apache or proftpd but specialized softeware designed specifically for mirroring and downloading (I goofed in my earlier post). There would also be no need for SCSI drives, so 2 60-80GB IDE drives would be great.

As for lower than $1/GB for Cogent, I'm aware of what Cogent-only costs... but setting rock-bottom prices leaves you with little profit margins and no room for 'deals.' We gotta eat! Multihomed centers cost a bit more per GB, too. Cogent-only is not an option for us right now.

Ultimately, though, the server loads (in this case) do make a difference -- we can _potentially_ transfer a much larger amount of data from this kind of server than from a shared hosting server with BBs and all sorts of CGIs and SQL queries being run and called. In the end, mirrorbox generates 5mbps of traffic for $1,000 and sharedbox generates 1mbps of traffic for $1,000 (it's the principle, not the #s).

Does that makes sense to anyone? Maybe I stand alone here...

Anyway, it's not the pricing I care about right now as I have an 'idea' of what to charge but nothing in stone. I care about whether we should go through with it or not based on demand. Not many people seem to be speaking out saying they need it...
 
 
 
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