Talk me out of paying for a dedicated server!
November 18, 2009 10:19 AM   Subscribe

What kinds of cool things can I do with a Dedicated Server?

I’m active in a few torrent communities and the majority of the other forum members seem to paying for and using their own dedicated servers as “seedboxes” (Gasp!) and other cool things. As a result, now I want one. Partly to “keep up with the Joneses” and partly because I’d like to learn about server administration.

I also run a few websites and do some affiliate marketing stuff, so I know I could use a dedicated server to host my own sites and cancel my Bluehost account. So that would save me money. But what other things can I do with it, and why does everyone seem to have one but me?

I dare not ask everyone in my forums how they justify paying $60-$100+ a month for their servers for fear of a massive flamefest at my expense so I wanted to ask here

Thanks guys!
posted by Hellafiles to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just 60-100 per month? Goodness, I spend around 600-800/month on my dedicated servers.

I use them for hosting a myriad of websites, both for myself and for clients, I have some Windows machines that I use for running applications that require a lot of bandwidth and data processing power, and I even have a couple that I re-rent out to people (set up multiple user accounts, charge them less than what I pay per month, but in the end I get more back than I paid for it).

Don't get one if you don't have a specific purpose for it, though. I've done that before, and the dedi just sits there, unused, while I pay a huge fee every month for it. Have something picked out first, and then go over to the site and check out the deals they have on dedicated servers. You'll always find a better price over there than you will on the website.
posted by omnipotentq at 10:31 AM on November 18, 2009

Try slicehost. I don't know if they allow for seeding, but they are cheap. More importantly, they have great documentation on how to do sysadmin tasks on their slices like website setup and such. You don't need a full box and even for seeding or even hosting. I'd wait awhile before you xfer your sites over. Make sure you like whatever system you choose. Sysadmin can be frustrating while you are learning.
posted by bprater at 10:33 AM on November 18, 2009

What kind of internet connection do you have? If you're using a domestic broadband connection, they often won't allow you to run hosted services.
posted by cimbrog at 10:40 AM on November 18, 2009

You don't mention what exactly you want to be seeding, but if it is not legally sharable content having the server in your back bedroom or garage seems like a huge liability risk.
posted by COD at 11:08 AM on November 18, 2009

I use, which provides virtual servers. For all practical purposes, you will have a server that behaves identical to a "real" server, but its much cheaper and you don't have to worry about making a trip to the datacenter when you need to do maintenance/upgrade/mess something up real bad.

Their lowest price bracket is only $19.95 a month.
posted by worpet at 11:41 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Seconding linode. It's like having a dedicated server without the large monthly expense. Aside from some recent downtime (about 4 hours), they've been great and from what I understand that was their first major downtime in over 5 years.
posted by jaden at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2009

Thirding linode.

I wasn't impcated by this recent downtime, it must have been in another datacenter. Though for $20 a month, you can get two, each in different datacenters and have a hot spare/start towards a HA setup.
posted by Brian Puccio at 12:31 PM on November 18, 2009

Oh, and there's a neat article on using Amazon's EC2 (pay for what you use, though if you use it 24/7 for a month, it comes out to about $70 at their lowest price point) and bittorrent:
posted by Brian Puccio at 12:33 PM on November 18, 2009

Seedbox providers tend not to be dedicated server providers. Basically with a seedbox you're paying for bandwidth, storage and a torrent client. They want zero other attention and zero other things to deal with -- just your money for bandwidth until something shuts them down, and they know that everything you're seeding is probably pirated.

(And unless they've said so, their seedbox is probably not their own server, but a shared server with lots of bittorrent users on it.)

Dedicated server providers, on the other hand, won't give you near as much bandwidth or storage for the buck but will let you do whatever you want, but will probably require (in their AUP if not in practice) that it be legal.

Don't cross those streams. The point of a seedbox is to build ratio, and as such it's basically a throwaway thing.
posted by mendel at 8:06 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

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