Where I don't care what others think

Seeking Server Space

July 31st, 2008 Posted in Life

I am in the market for a new web host. My current host is getting outdated and I like to keep it fresh. Some of you may go out there and buy a new car every few years, I on the other hand go out there and acquire a new host for my stuff. I’m not looking for the server equivalent of a car with sun roof, navigation system, rear entertainment system or whatnot, just one that works. My goal is simple, spend under $120 a year on a decent web hosting provider.

I think I’m going to start approaching my hosting model into 2 groups, statics and everything else. Things like images, javascript source, pdfs, flash video files are all really big compared to the few kilobytes of text I might generate dynamically on a server via php or rails and I think I can save substantial dollars by hosting those elsewhere. I can cut down on disk space and bandwidth at my primary host, and just throw everything that doesn’t change into a big bucket elsewhere. Yes, I said bucket… implying Amazon’s S3 is top on my list. They have decent pricing and a moderate reliability. I think I could probably use < $1 a month after my initial import of stuff.

The dynamic stuff is what keeps me searching. If the internet was great I would click a button and get my own dedicated server for $5 a month and just do my own thing. Maybe I could drop a spare machine off at my local colo center for a few bucks a month or something. Unfortunately both of those options tend to throw the monthly cost closer to my yearly cost, and for what I do thats unnecessary. My next step is middle ground, a virtual private server. For those of you unfamiliar its like a virtual computer, setup as a slice of a more powerful machine.. lots of people share the same physically hardware to run their own little machines. I’ve been looking around and I’ve found some in the $4 – $10 range, but I can’t say I have found myself particularly compelled to choose one over the other. They all have somewhat poor websites with little technical information thats of use to me. I’d really like to know what these companies default image looks like. I’m not the leading authority on VPSes, but I’ve seen some range from clean installs to full blown LAMP installations. Personally I’d like the clean install, and with no control panel too. The 128-256 MB of RAM you’ll be “dedicating” to me needs to be busy processing useful things, not scanning for virii or checking for updates.

So I am making an offer, which probably won’t work but here it goes. Let me know how cheap you can get me a VPS with the following specs… lowest price that doesn’t seem like a scam wins me as a customer.

Minimum Specs:

  • 1 Dedicated IP
  • 5 GB Hard Drive Space
  • 5 GB Monthly Bandwidth (fast backbone connection preferred)
  • 128 MB dedicated RAM + Burstable or 256 MB RAM [doesn’t have to burst if its 256]
  • CentOS 5 or Debian 4
  • Full root accessfor me to do whatever I want [the idea behind a VPS]. No, I will not host adult content, illegal content, or anything related to IRC
  • Ability for me to control my own firewall [either unmanaged, or managed by someone friendly]
  • Max monthly cost: $10, I am willing to pay for a few months in advanced… like 3 or 6, not a year.

If you have questions please comment or email me at bmichalski@gmail.com

I am looking forward to some exciting offers here on the table. By offers I mean 2, so that I feel like I have a choice.. even if its not a very hard one.

Also, if anyone knows of a good host that they’d reccommend, I’ll take that too.

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