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Need some advise


Cibertec

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Hello everyone I'm a noob when it comes to GSP. I'm thinking of having a couple of dedicated servers. I've talked to a co-location company in Atlanta GA since I'm less than 2 hrs from there. They quoted me 4 mps of throughput for $149. Is this a good deal. I already have a computer repair business but have always been a gamer and wanted to run my own servers. I see from reading the forums here that TCAdmin is a must have. I know being a GSP is hard work and I'm ready to take on the challege. Can anyone offer me some good advise. I want to start small even though I know I will lose some money to start of with. Thanks alot in advance.

 

 

 

Also do GSP's run VMWare to host different games or the same game on the same box since you have to have two different IP's or is eveything on the same box?

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I am happy to see someone that is actually taking some time to do some research before plunging into the GSP biz.

 

 

 

The price you mentioned is pretty standard for bandwidth. It seems to be roughly $30-$40 per meg.

 

 

 

I would suggest posting the providers name here, so you can get some feedback on them. Different carriers offer different bandwidth types in terms of quality.

 

 

 

As an example, steer clear of any company that uses Cogent as a carrier. Cogent is cheaply priced bandwidth that performs ok for webhosting, but is terrible for gamehosting.

 

 

 

You should also formulate a business plan before doing anything. Some things to keep in mind.

 

 

 

1. Server specs. What I need to run the games I want to host?

 

2. What games do you want to host? Some games have free dedicated server downloads, while others require you buy the actual game CD, and then upload them to the servers.

 

3. How will I handle billing?

 

4. What type of payment methods will I take? Paylpal, credit cards, other?

 

5. What are the costs for a control panel?

 

6 What type of support will I offer? Email, messenger, ticket system, phone etc.. Will it be 24/7 support?

 

7. Hardware backups. If one of my servers has a hardrive or operating system failure, can you quickly repair it?

 

8. Software backups. If I have a hardware and/or OS failure, do I have backups of all my clients games files?

 

9. Pricing your rental fees. How much do I need to make in order to make a profit?

 

 

 

 

 

These a just a few of the many things that must be though of, and planned for before starting such a venture. By taking care of these things up front, you are given a better chance at success, than if you simply rush into it.

 

 

 

I am sure the other GSPs will have some input as well. Feel free to post any other questions you have.

 

 

 

 

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X-Gaming laid it down like it is. Many people did not like his posts because they were true and to the point.

 

 

 

People would rather hear warm fluffy posts that tell them they will make some easy money with minimal effort.

 

 

 

This of course is not true, as many of you know.

 

 

 

A perfect forinstance is me sitting up til 4 am waiting for our NY server to regain connectivity. :cry:

 

 

 

It takes a lot of work to run any type of hosting business. I would hazard a guess that 95% of your time will be spent on support your clients.

 

 

 

Another though I had for the original poster, is maybe break in easy. Get a couple servers, learn the games etc.. rent out servers at reduced rates to say friends or clans to cover your bills. Once you get the feel for it, then you can begin to get your website togather and start really charging clients.

 

 

 

Also I missed in the original post, the question about the VMWare. Dedicated servers run differently from the regular games. For most games you can run multiple instances of each game, each with it's own ip or seperate port. There is no need for VMware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks everyone for their post. I really appreciate everyone's help. It will probably be another 2-6 months of planning before I even think about going live. To begin I was thinking of going very small and only hosting for my current gaming glan and getting some advertisement on a new gaming ladder that is about to launch which I'm apart of. I was also hopeing to start off in Atlanta with a 1u server then hopefully putting some up in Dallas. The company in Atlanta is called Capital Internet - http://www.capitalinternet.com/ IF anyone has had any experince with them please let me know. I'm really excited about doing this and getting some current investors up now. If anyone out there with a current gaming business needs some servers up in Atlanta maybe we could work out some kind of deal. Sometimes it takes two companies teaming up together to turn a good profit. I know theres alot more advise so please keep it coming in cause it looks like I'm going to need all I can. I will apply for a demo liscense of TCadmin soon so I can start learning everything. Thanks alot guys I'm glad to see GSP out there willing to help me.

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From their website it looks like you are safe with the carriers they use.

 

 

 

<div class="pre"><pre>Capital Internet offers connectivity to major Tier1 ISP's - like AT&T, SPRINT, BellSouth, and UUNet. We offer all the traditional telecom rates from DS-1 to OC-48. Our layer 3 routing capability affords us the ability to offer Virtual Local Area Network's (VLAN's). This innovative product offering allows customers to connect multiple locations and consolidate data into a single pipe.

 

</pre></div>

 

 

 

4 Meg is a good start for bandwith. Keep in mind that some games require extreme amounts of bandwidth, such as Battlefield 2. A 64 player BF2 server full, could eat that bandwidth up for lunch.

 

 

 

Good luck with your new venture :smile:

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You might want to think about your latency before installing in Atlanta AND Dallas... there's only a 20 - 40ms diff between them... Most people that ping well to Atlanta or Dallas ping well to the other also.

 

 

 

I'd try to find somewhere more diverse, like NYC/NJ and Dallas, or such...

 

 

 

That's just something that has been brought up to me, and Ive had to consider and thought I would pass it along to you.

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I'm going to at least start in Atlanta because if everything doesn't work out for the best then I have a backup plan of business apps that I can run for alot of my clients. Thanks for the info, I will do alot more research before I co-locate to another location.

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<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">

 

 

X-Gaming laid it down like it is. Many people did not like his posts because they were true and to the point.

 

 

 

People would rather hear warm fluffy posts that tell them they will make some easy money with minimal effort.

 

 

 

This of course is not true, as many of you know.

 

 

 

A perfect forinstance is me sitting up til 4 am waiting for our NY server to regain connectivity. Crying or Very sad

 

 

</td></tr></table>

 

 

 

hehehe, You guys make me sound like a mean guy or something ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can't wait to get started!! Did you guys start off co-locating or dedicated servers. I was thinking about maybe a combo of both or I could start off my co-locating at two different places. I've been reading WHT but alot of post doesn't refer to GSP so I decided to ask the question here instead. Thanks for everyone's input so far it has been very helpful.

 

 

 

Also is 1mps of throughput and 1500 monthly bandwidth good enough for game hosting or would I need more throughput speed.

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That is entirely up to you and your business model/plan. Co-lo is more $ up front to buy the servers etc.. but in the long run will most likely pay if you run for more than a year or so.

 

 

 

In my opinion I would tell you to go dedicated at first. Since you are still learning the whole biz, renting is a better cost option. If you don't use a server at a specific location, you can allways give it up. With co-lo, you are still in the hole for the price of the server whether you use it or not.

 

 

 

I would suggest getting a rental and playing around with the different games you plan to host. And make sure you understand them inside and out. The create the business plan, and at that point make decisions on leasing or buying hardware.

 

 

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Correct. but don't forget the cost of those 2 servers. Even at bargain pricing, a decent Dual Xeon machine with 2 gigs of ram and Windows 2k3 will run you a couple grand a piece roughly.

 

 

 

Make sure you factor those machine costs into the equation.

 

 

 

As for throughput. 1 meg would be good for a couple of Counter-strike servers. but you would need more than that if you fill those two servers up with games.

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OK ECF after giving your post some thought and reading for 8 straight days in WebHostingTalk I decided to just go ahead and rent one server for about 2-3 months to get the hang of things then maybe moving into co-location depending on how things go. Next question is.. should I go with Chicago or Dallas. Either SteadFast networks or Colo4dalls? I'm sure these companies are both good from what I read and I hope that one day I can have a server at both but which one of these two should I start off with. Anyone else use any of these companies. By the way thanks ECF for always replying to my post, TCAdmin will be the first thing I buy after my server goes up.

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I would say go Dallas first, as it is pretty close to the middle of the country. Pings should be decent from either coast for the most part.

 

 

 

I haven't had experience with either of the companies that you mentioned. But maybe some other people can offer some reviews of them.

 

 

 

1 Main thing to look for in a datacenter, is that they have multiple carriers. Such as ATT, MCI, Level3, Savvis etc...

 

 

 

Also, steer clear of any network that has cheaper bandwidth mixed into it such as Cogent.

 

 

 

Good luck on your way :smile:

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<table border="0" align="center" width="90%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td class="SmallText">Quote:</td></tr><tr><td class="quote">

Hey cyber, were in Georgia are you from? I would be glad to chat with you for a bit share some of the knowledge I have gained of the business over the last few months. Maybe i can save you the mistakes i made starting out.

</td></tr></table>

 

 

 

Thanks for offering your help you can contact me on MSN azrael04@bellsouth.net - I'm currently in Columbus GA which is about an hour south of Atlanta.

 

 

 

ECF-what about SoftLayer do you think they have all their issues worked out or should I look at a different company. One more question for everyone. Is it a good idea to run TS or Vent on the same server or is it better to run off a diff. server.

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I think Softlayer will be a fine company once they get their issue sorted out with The Planet.

 

 

 

I have spoken to one of their sales reps, and they seem to be working towards a solution. Hopefully the will reach one soon.

 

 

 

 

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I use Steadfast and am very happy with them. I also use ThePlanet. Steadfast does better for customers in the midwest, northeast and Canada, TP does better for the south, mid US and western US. I tried Layeredtech, but left them due to support issues. Softlayer looks like it should be a winner as soon as they add in their Saavis line (they are single honed with Abovenet right now). Colo4Dallas should also be very good if you get their premium line and not their Cogent line. I have no experience with SoftLayer (but plan to get some servers with them) or Colo4Dallas (but have stongly considered them). I am presently leasing dedicated servers and need to go colo, but lack the initial funds for the hardware/software purchases....hopefully in the not too distant future tho :smile: I have also considered the NY area and a west coast datacenter, but for both of those I have not had enough demand to justify either. If you are going with just one location initially, ECF is correct that Dallas appears to have the best overall coverage for the US.

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