|Originally posted by ThingyNess
Having said that, 50GB/month isn't all that much. I've uploaded *checks stats* about... 920gb this month. Damn near a terabyte. I pay $26usd/month for internet access. I honestly wouldn't mind chu hosting the forums on my linux box - he can have a couple gigs of hd space and he can administer the entire box, for all I care. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be as fast as the host he's on now, i'm sure.
I've done a little math. Even if you transfer 20K per second (which isn't much, right?) over 31 days, that's 51 GB of data transferred.
When it comes to high-level hosting, which is required for busy forums like this one, the equation is multi-faceted. It's: bandwidth in bursts and averages, CPU/processing, rack-space (if you co-locate), data/power backup.
50GB transfer doesn't seem like all that much, but the ISPs we work with (i.e. Level3, Verio, UUnet) have different service level agreements. The agreements do not look at total transfer
, they look at maximum transfer rates
and average transfer rates
of data. That's why high-level hosting is so darn expensive.
And no matter what, smaller and medium hosting companies ALL deal with the same backbone providers such as L3, Verio, and UU.. so regardless of what these middle-men say, they're bound by max
transfer rates rules.
CPU processing is another issue. head-fi.org is being hosted on a Solaris (SPARC) box with a ton of RAM. The forums can be quite CPU intensive because there are over 16 back-end database queries for every single page view, not to mention that PHP can be quite CPU intensive alone when hit hard. The ability to span and scale across multiple servers at the data center also exists.
Rack-space is quite expensive as well.
Lastly, data backup and power backup are essential. Data is on scheduled on-site backup and off-site backup, just in case stuff hits the fan. Power backup is pools of batteries + diesel.
I'm only mentioning these things because there's a very large jump between hosting a small site (i.e. on a cable modem at one's house, or with a smaller hosting company) and hosting a large/busy site (i.e. these forums) and I'm a geek that loves to talk shop.