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    DIY dedicated/colo hosting questions
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    DIY dedicated/colo hosting questions

    Tyler91Tyler91 Member

    Hi, my name is Tyler. I'm new here from east coast usa. I have an IT background from college but I will admit I have not been in the business for over 10 years since graduating. I'm in the commercial real estate business I buy/sell/rent property for a living. I've been off and on searching for a forum to guide me - here is my question:

    I recently acquired a small building the downstairs of the building I'm going to rent to a small smoothie franchise. The upstairs of the building use to be a data room the previous owner said it was a data storage business. It's currently just empty room with a really expensive fiber connection running to it that I may or may not keep depending upon how this conversation goes. Anyways, Would it be worth it to keep the upstairs and do colocation & even buy some servers and rent them out? I would need someone from here or somewhere to do some remote work (paid of course) on the networking/management side of things. I'll post a speed test picture of the connection later this evening if you want. Before someone asks me, the 2nd floor is 1,025 square feet it's 95% empty with some old server shelves left behind and one Xeon server was left behind that the previous owner says we can keep because the tenant left abruptly without paying several months rent and utilities. If you want I can post pics/ and try to get specs off of it. One other note about the property is it will be extremely difficult to fill the 2nd floor with a tenant due to no elevator in the property and it's in a high traffic retail area thus making it even more difficulty due to parking restrictions.

    The connection is -
    ISP: Comcast Business Fiber
    5 Dedicated IPV4 Ip's we can add more but we have to buy them by the block 5 at a time.
    1Gb Down
    100 UP

    I can run a speedtest and post it at request. I'm unsure if I can upgrade/downgrade it I do know that I have 30 days to decide if I'm keeping it or they will come get the equipment if I do decide to keep it will be a year contract.

    This connection is strictly for the 2nd floor the other tenant below is required to obtain internet connection from whoever they would like.

    Thanks, I will check this periodically looking forward to getting some solid advice.

    Comments

    • One thing I worry about is the fact you mention there is no elevator. Is there freight elevator at all? Bringing equipment in or out will be an arduous task.

    • ITLabsITLabs Member
      edited June 2019

      Hello @Tyler91, welcome.

      Well, there are so many factors you have to consider, I will quickly state only the most obvious:

      1. Your willingness to learn/start a new business... 10 years out of IT is a long time;

      2. Infrastructure: redundant power feeds, backup UPS, generators, cooling, redundant network connections (only Comcast is too risky), racks, servers, switches, routers etc.;

      3. Security: fire protection, surveillance cameras, doors etc;

      4. Certifications: ISO/IEC (sometimes expensive);

      5. People: sales, techs, 24/7 support etc.;

      Also you have to think about business competitiveness and ROI. I am sure that more experienced members will be able to give you a detailed picture of this kind of business.

      Good luck.

      #lexit | FatPal - Official LET payment gateway

    • donlidonli Member
      edited June 2019

      Short answer: Unlikely.

      What are they charging you for the 1 GB/down 100 up/month ?

      What is the power and air conditioning situation ?

    • deankdeank Member
      edited June 2019

      Short answer: No. It won't be viable.

      Long answer: If you dedicate your time and effort, anything can work provided that you have a solid foundation. Since you say that it used to be a data storage place, I suppose everything is already set up to be used.

      My big question would be: Is there demand in your area?

      P.S. Having no elevator is a kicker in the balls. Servers are fucking heavy. Even a mere single fully populated 2U server can be heavy enough for your legs to shake once you climb one single floor.

      1. A/C was installed 5 years ago to handle heat/ from all the servers and storage devices. I believe it will suffice for a while.
      2. It does have a freight elevator in the back to handle the heavy packages I assume the past tenant installed it works well and seems to be fairly new looking
      3. It has backup battery power but after doing some research it's likely only enough to host a few servers and keep fiber delivery switches online along with a firewall so it would have to be upgraded as we added clients.
      4. Help - We would have to do this as we grow for this type of business I could utilize a lot of remote help probably even source some of them from here as this seems to be a very active knowledgeable community.
      5. It has cameras, and sprinklers throughout the building I would most likely put a few cameras up that clients could access to see the equipment live time I think that would be a nice feature and a small business touch. It wouldn't cost much and would be a nice touch.
        @ITLabs @daxterfellowes

      @donli
      We are paying $800 a month but this would increase dependent upon the number of ipv4 addresses we add to the we currently have 5 addresses to start that's fairly standard for this grade of account they give you 5 included in the account price and then any additional is extra per block = 5 Ips.

    • @deank said:
      Short answer: No. It won't be viable.

      Long answer: If you dedicate your time and effort, anything can work provided that you have a solid foundation. Since you say that it used to be a data storage place, I suppose everything is already set up to be used.

      My big question would be: Is there demand in your area?

      P.S. Having no elevator is a kicker in the balls. Servers are fucking heavy. Even a mere single fully populated 2U server can be heavy enough for your legs to shake once you climb one single floor.

      HAHA! Yeah, I meant it doesn't have a man elevator for office renters this is a deal breaker. It has a freight elevator it's small but can handle a lot of weight and packages.

    • Sounds complicated. Maybe @cociu DIY datacenter King can help?

      don't buy what you don't need: you'll save money and will end up able to grab a quality VPS when really needed.

    • donlidonli Member

      @datanoise said:
      Sounds complicated. Maybe @cociu DIY datacenter King can help?

      Or have some advice on starting a purfume business in the space.

    • @datanoise said:
      Sounds complicated. Maybe @cociu DIY datacenter King can help?

      Interested to here form him he must have his own as well?

      @donli said:

      @datanoise said:
      Sounds complicated. Maybe @cociu DIY datacenter King can help?

      Or have some advice on starting a purfume business in the space.

      Does he have his own data center? I'll take a hard pass on perfume business, HA!

    • deankdeank Member
      edited June 2019

      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      I am good at throwing maple syrup jars by the way.

    • @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

    • deankdeank Member

      Such a business is best done locally or between those you trust.

      On LET, people look for the absolute, to a sickening degree, bang for the buck, so I doubt you will find any potential customers here.

      I guess it's hard to just dismiss the space since it's been already set up. After all, the setup cost itself is pretty high to begin with. I don't blame you for tying to make a use of it.

    • CoreyCorey Member, Provider

      @Tyler91 said:

      @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

      You'll probably need a symmetrical pipe, none of this 1000down/100up stuff. You will also need to have your own ipv4 address allocation from Arin or someone else similar so you aren't paying comcast exorbitant fees for 'packs of 5' addresses. Just starting out for a single /24 can cost you between $2,000 - $5,500. To accomplish this you will need comcast to allow you to run a (presumably) expensive router that runs BGP and that they accept routes from.

      BitAccel - OpenVZ VPS / IRC,VPN,Anything Legal & Unrivaled Support!
    • @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

      You'll probably need a symmetrical pipe, none of this 1000down/100up stuff. You will also need to have your own ipv4 address allocation from Arin or someone else similar so you aren't paying comcast exorbitant fees for 'packs of 5' addresses. Just starting out for a single /24 can cost you between $2,000 - $5,500. To accomplish this you will need comcast to allow you to run a (presumably) expensive router that runs BGP and that they accept routes from.

      We can get 100/100 symmetrical for the same cost we are paying now but we would be downgrading the download speed. as far as the packs go they are "blocks" of addresses 5 cost 4.00 each which is a little high but it would prevent the cost of 2-5k as you talked about in the short term wouldn't you agree? 5 additional static ipv4 addresses would cost us a little under $25/monthly

    • williewillie Member
      edited June 2019

      There has also been no discussion of power feeds. You need a lot of power to run a DC, much more than a normal office would be set up for. You will probably also want a lot more bandwidth, for that much server space to be online.

      As a general purpose hosting site this doesn't sound viable. If you can rent out office space in the building to a dotcom that wants to run its own gear, or if there's a company like that in the neighborhood, a server room right nearby could be an attraction to them. Maybe they could also handle getting bandwidth. Or maybe it could be a lab or machine room for companies that like to compute a lot.

      Usually data centers have direct fiber connections to carriers rather than a Comcast subscription. Is there anything like that there?

      What city is it in?

      #lexit spread the word.

    • deankdeank Member

      Well, Joe's datacenter is similar to OP's.

      It can certainly work but not in LET market.

    • @willie said:
      There has also been no discussion of power feeds. You need a lot of power to run a DC, much more than a normal office would be set up for. You will probably also want a lot more bandwidth, for that much server space to be online.

      As a general purpose hosting site this doesn't sound viable. If you can rent out office space in the building to a dotcom that wants to run its own gear, or if there's a company like that in the neighborhood, a server room right nearby could be an attraction to them. Maybe they could also handle getting bandwidth. Or maybe it could be a lab or machine room for companies that like to compute a lot.

      Usually data centers have direct fiber connections to carriers rather than a Comcast subscription. Is there anything like that there?

      What city is it in?

      To clarify it's not just a comcast package it's a carrier grade fiber line that's sort of what sparked my interest and the fact the space was equipped with servers before it has sufficient power, A/C for a small data center. The seller of the property told me they had 50 servers roughly (don't take that to bank he's an older retired gentleman. I will have a certified electrician look at the space and power being delivered.

    • This particular building is located in Washington, Pennsylvania it's roughly 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. @willie

    • CoreyCorey Member, Provider
      edited June 2019

      @Tyler91 said:

      @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

      You'll probably need a symmetrical pipe, none of this 1000down/100up stuff. You will also need to have your own ipv4 address allocation from Arin or someone else similar so you aren't paying comcast exorbitant fees for 'packs of 5' addresses. Just starting out for a single /24 can cost you between $2,000 - $5,500. To accomplish this you will need comcast to allow you to run a (presumably) expensive router that runs BGP and that they accept routes from.

      We can get 100/100 symmetrical for the same cost we are paying now but we would be downgrading the download speed. as far as the packs go they are "blocks" of addresses 5 cost 4.00 each which is a little high but it would prevent the cost of 2-5k as you talked about in the short term wouldn't you agree? 5 additional static ipv4 addresses would cost us a little under $25/monthly

      The industry has moved away from 100meg and everyone expects gigabit minimum, this is what I meant when I said you will want to get that symmetrical. You would have to renumber everyone of your customers if you ever grew past a very small bar, or keep absorbing high addressing costs. It's better to start out the right way and absorb some cost in the beginning so you can profit more later on. Is comcast the only transit you will ever offer? If you offer transit through other providers you will want to be routing all that traffic with your own AS number and IP addresses. If I were looking at you to colocate for me and you told me you only had comcast I would look elsewhere. Most of your colo providers are offering at least two blended providers in a multihomed configuration in case one goes down.

      If you sold colocation a single customer in a single rack could have almost 50 servers on their own. You can fit a lot more than 50 servers in 1200 sqft. Do you have any cable management already setup? (You can fit 40 racks in 1200 sqft)

      A better question would be... have you ever been inside a datacenter? I would get in talks with some local DC's and go check out what they have done.

      Thanked by 1ITLabs
      BitAccel - OpenVZ VPS / IRC,VPN,Anything Legal & Unrivaled Support!
    • @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

      You'll probably need a symmetrical pipe, none of this 1000down/100up stuff. You will also need to have your own ipv4 address allocation from Arin or someone else similar so you aren't paying comcast exorbitant fees for 'packs of 5' addresses. Just starting out for a single /24 can cost you between $2,000 - $5,500. To accomplish this you will need comcast to allow you to run a (presumably) expensive router that runs BGP and that they accept routes from.

      We can get 100/100 symmetrical for the same cost we are paying now but we would be downgrading the download speed. as far as the packs go they are "blocks" of addresses 5 cost 4.00 each which is a little high but it would prevent the cost of 2-5k as you talked about in the short term wouldn't you agree? 5 additional static ipv4 addresses would cost us a little under $25/monthly

      The industry has moved away from 100meg and everyone expects gigabit minimum, this is what I meant when I said you will want to get that symmetrical. You would have to renumber everyone of your customers if you ever grew past a very small bar, or keep absorbing high addressing costs. It's better to start out the right way and absorb some cost in the beginning so you can profit more later on. Is comcast the only transit you will ever offer? If you offer transit through other providers you will want to be routing all that traffic with your own AS number and IP addresses. If I were looking at you to colocate for me and you told me you only had comcast I would look elsewhere. Most of your colo providers are offering at least two blended providers in a multihomed configuration in case one goes down.

      If you sold colocation a single customer in a single rack could have almost 50 servers on their own. You can fit a lot more than 50 servers in 1200 sqft. Do you have any cable management already setup? (You can fit 40 racks in 1200 sqft)

      A better question would be... have you ever been inside a datacenter? I would get in talks with some local DC's and go check out what they have done.

      Existing cabling in place from old equipment roughly 70 drops and ran to the rack that is left and few drops on shelves for full tower machines it looks like.

      Your talk regarding IP / AS number and ip addresses makes sense.. I will need to look at costs of doing that. Blending with another provider being so close to the major city we have several providers to pick from but this may or may not be an option right now.

      Yes, I've been in a data center but as stated before it's been a while. I think this is very possible on a small scale but at the same time a lot of the big data center features you wouldn't get right away but then again big data centers features also have cons of their own. You bring up a lot of good points do you have your own data center or do you rent dedis/ colocate?

    • It'll be hard to make money. The dedicated server scene is competitive and people around here only buy stuff that's dirt cheap and then they wonder why it sucks in 30 days the Lowend circle of life. Or they use OVH and think it's premium. Rolf. Someone here mentioned Joe's DC I've heard good things, I think it's a small/medium operation sort of like what you are attempting to do. BUT I'm unsure how competitive Joe's DC is does anyone use him for dedis / colo ? maybe they could shed light.

    • deankdeank Member

      Back in 2000s, Joe's and BurstNet were the two dirt cheap DCs that offered cheap colo as well as bottom barrel dedicated.

      BurstNet is gone but Joe's is still around. As far as I know, Joe also accepts desktop servers.

      OP's business can potentially grow in Joe's as long as he is dedicated enough.

    • @deank said:
      Back in 2000s, Joe's and BurstNet were the two dirt cheap DCs that offered cheap colo as well as bottom barrel dedicated.

      BurstNet is gone but Joe's is still around. As far as I know, Joe also accepts desktop servers.

      OP's business can potentially grow in Joe's as long as he is dedicated enough.

      Good to know. I don't hear much about Joe's. I bet we hear from a few members soon on them. I know he does a lot of colo.

    • CoreyCorey Member, Provider

      @Tyler91 said:

      @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @Corey said:

      @Tyler91 said:

      @deank said:
      Ehm, the dude is from Romania and is known for DMCA-ignored bottom barrel hosting. Due to his lack of English fluency, I doubt he can be of much help other than arranging a sister trafficking route.

      LOL!!!! Let's hope maybe he can shed a little light and just for the record I don't have any interest in being bottom of the barrel, I'm looking to provide a small limited quality service. I think it's doable with the right people and talent. This space can fit quite a few servers and I believe we can do it at a very competitive rate which helps everyone drive costs down. As far as the perfume? and trafficking route I'll pass HAHA!

      You'll probably need a symmetrical pipe, none of this 1000down/100up stuff. You will also need to have your own ipv4 address allocation from Arin or someone else similar so you aren't paying comcast exorbitant fees for 'packs of 5' addresses. Just starting out for a single /24 can cost you between $2,000 - $5,500. To accomplish this you will need comcast to allow you to run a (presumably) expensive router that runs BGP and that they accept routes from.

      We can get 100/100 symmetrical for the same cost we are paying now but we would be downgrading the download speed. as far as the packs go they are "blocks" of addresses 5 cost 4.00 each which is a little high but it would prevent the cost of 2-5k as you talked about in the short term wouldn't you agree? 5 additional static ipv4 addresses would cost us a little under $25/monthly

      The industry has moved away from 100meg and everyone expects gigabit minimum, this is what I meant when I said you will want to get that symmetrical. You would have to renumber everyone of your customers if you ever grew past a very small bar, or keep absorbing high addressing costs. It's better to start out the right way and absorb some cost in the beginning so you can profit more later on. Is comcast the only transit you will ever offer? If you offer transit through other providers you will want to be routing all that traffic with your own AS number and IP addresses. If I were looking at you to colocate for me and you told me you only had comcast I would look elsewhere. Most of your colo providers are offering at least two blended providers in a multihomed configuration in case one goes down.

      If you sold colocation a single customer in a single rack could have almost 50 servers on their own. You can fit a lot more than 50 servers in 1200 sqft. Do you have any cable management already setup? (You can fit 40 racks in 1200 sqft)

      A better question would be... have you ever been inside a datacenter? I would get in talks with some local DC's and go check out what they have done.

      Existing cabling in place from old equipment roughly 70 drops and ran to the rack that is left and few drops on shelves for full tower machines it looks like.

      Your talk regarding IP / AS number and ip addresses makes sense.. I will need to look at costs of doing that. Blending with another provider being so close to the major city we have several providers to pick from but this may or may not be an option right now.

      Yes, I've been in a data center but as stated before it's been a while. I think this is very possible on a small scale but at the same time a lot of the big data center features you wouldn't get right away but then again big data centers features also have cons of their own. You bring up a lot of good points do you have your own data center or do you rent dedis/ colocate?

      I colocate. I've been in this industry for over a decade. I've consulted with several companies on colocating their own gear as well.

      BitAccel - OpenVZ VPS / IRC,VPN,Anything Legal & Unrivaled Support!
    • williewillie Member

      Joe's is in Kansas City and I have the impression there's a lot of DC's there (WSI, Nocix, etc.) because of cheap real estate, cheap power, tax abatements, connectivity, and other special goodies. Those might not apply to other places. Also Joe's is a dirt cheap DC whose customers are cheapskates like us, what Obi-Wan Kenobi might have called a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      My feeling as a small user is I could imagine shipping gear to Joe's (or other cheap locations like LA, Dallas, Seattle) for low end colo hosting, but I'd pay a decent premium to have it nearby so I could bring the stuff in person instead of shipping it. That makes it much easier for me to do stuff like swap hard drives in and out. So that's a possible angle if there's not much other hosting nearby.

      I have to wonder who colos at all any more, other than LET hosts and people with specialized requirements like big GPU servers (read: power hog), storage, etc. Otherwise dedicated servers are almost always cheaper for some reason. Most companies I know of though prefer to just set money on fire every month, and send the ashes to AWS for EC2 hosting, managed databases etc.

      Another topic not mentioned is backup generators: colo customers will tend to want those. Do you have them? If not, are you ready to deal with that?

      Thanked by 1uptime

      #lexit spread the word.

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