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  1. #1
    Regular Coder
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    I want to host my own server but am a total newbie

    Ok well im fed up with using hosting plans as i always tent to run out of bandwidth and space... i like the prospect of not caring about user image uploads to a server etc so i think owning my own server is going to help me LOOOADDDS!!

    What i basicly need advice on is:

    - Will i need an unlimited internet package?
    - Will i be able to turn my computer off and still leave my server on and it still work?
    - What is a good server and is it wise to choose a dell seems as my computer is a dell?
    - Will i be able to install opensource software so that it behaves like my current host?... adding new domains via clicking on "Add new domain" on an online link etc...
    - Is there any other hidden costs i should know about
    - Is setting one up for the first time hard or can i download instant software
    - Do i need a special server to handle bank details (maybe for future)
    - Does 80GB run out fast on a server? (i cant imagion so)

    any other advice is welcomed as i honestly do not have a clue how to work a server!!

    Thanks for your time.
    Dan

  • #2
    Senior Coder JamieR's Avatar
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    Well tbh if you don't know how to administer a webserver or any other kind of server, you shouldn't do it. Server administration is something that isn't for newbies at all because of what it involves..security is a big factor. If you don't know your way around a server operating system then you shouldn't be trying to administer it at all from a security and reliability pov.

    And you'd need a special dedicated internet connection for the server, you'd need a fairly powerful computer + run a server class OS (Linux or Windows Server for instance)..etc etc...For a webserver that'd be getting quite a lot of hits per minute (or whateve) then your internet connection is going to have to be fast, and that will cost a lot.

  • #3
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    What i basicly need advice on is:
    - Will i need an unlimited internet package?

    probably be a good idea.

    - Will i be able to turn my computer off and still leave my server on and it still work?

    erm, if you host the web site on your computer, turning it off will mean no-one has access to it!!

    - What is a good server and is it wise to choose a dell seems as my computer is a dell?

    you actually want to **buy** a server?

    - Will i be able to install opensource software so that it behaves like my current host?... adding new domains via clicking on "Add new domain" on an online link etc...

    That probably depends if it is Open soirce, and if you know enough to install it. And of course you are running the correct OS - not everything is windows based when it comes to hosting.

    - Is there any other hidden costs i should know about

    you'll need a static IP for one.

    - Is setting one up for the first time hard or can i download instant software

    Setting up may not be hard, as yes there are some nice packages out there. However locking it down with regard to security may be a lot more difficult.

    - Do i need a special server to handle bank details (maybe for future)

    you want to run a bank site from your own server? security would be paramount in that case.

    - Does 80GB run out fast on a server? (i cant imagion so)

    80GB of what?

    - any other advice is welcomed as i honestly do not have a clue how to work a server!!

    yep, don't do it. Seriously unless you know what you are doing yo could create more trouble than it is worth.
    my mind is on a permanent tangent

  • #4
    $object->toCD-R(LP); vinyl-junkie's Avatar
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    You might want to pick up a book on the subject, such as Run Your Own Web Server Using Linux & Apache. To quote a paragraph from the book's overview:

    Whether you’re planning on running Linux at home, or on a leased Web Server, this book will walk you step-by-step through all of the common administration tasks, from managing traffic reporting to log-file rotation. This guide even includes step-by-step instructions on installing Linux (Fedora 4), Apache 2.0, PHP 5 and MySQL 4.1 on a home or office development server, so you can test all of your applications before rolling them out.
    Another option you might want to consider is getting a managed dedicated server. That is one where your hosting provider takes care of server security, installing or upgrading software, etc. It's slightly more expensive than managing everything yourself, but again, if you don't know what you're doing, this might be the better option.
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  • #5
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    yeah but everyones a newbie at one point so why not start now... im currently only really throwing some php and MySQL together and i know it needs to be secure but how terribly hard can that be? do you install software to stop hacking? run requent scans of the system?

    im just fed up with having to pay constant bills on webhosting that is really restrictive anyway.

  • #6
    $object->toCD-R(LP); vinyl-junkie's Avatar
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    Do you really want to find out the hard way just how resourceful hackers can be? I don't think this can be said enough: Make sure you know what you're doing before you start running your own server. Yes, everyone is a newbie at some point. Just make sure you're a knowledgeable newbie before you embark on this kind of an effort.
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  • #7
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    How much transfer is your site taking up right now? That might give you some idea on how big of an internet connection you are going to need.

    Plus as weazel said you are going to need a pretty decent computer to handle a fairly large website. And if you want any sort of fault tolerance its going to get even more expensive.

    i know it needs to be secure but how terribly hard can that be? do you install software to stop hacking? run requent scans of the system?
    Well a lot of security stuff is common sense but then again common sense isn't so common. Its not just some software you can install, it matters how you have your other software configured, and how you write the web software running on it.

    I'd say give it a shot running a server on your local network just for doing your own web development so you can kinda get a feel for running a web server and all before you go and stick it directly on the net.
    OracleGuy

  • #8
    Master Coder felgall's Avatar
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    Even with your own server you will have to pay for the bandwidth for all the file transfers that your visitors make in viewing your site.
    Stephen
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  • #9
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    I think the best advice is akin to aero's post:

    Don't do it seriously, do it experimentally.

    Understand that you're a complete newbie. Realize that the questions you've asked reveal the fact that you do not have what it takes to run a professional, net facing, secure server. Understand that you probably WILL get hacked at some point and you will get data read by unscrupulous people.

    Once you get it in your head that you won't be able to do it as well as a professional host, then you can start experimenting. If you want to run a windows server, you'll need a pretty fast machine to start. If you can run linux headless, you can do with a 233MHZ to start. If you don't have the money for windows server edition, but can't run linux headless, look into a user linux distro, like Ubuntu, and get server software, like apache, mysql, etc.

    Don't let your server accept connections from the public. Keep it to your local network, learn how to configure your web server, ftp server, firewall, remote access software (ssh, rsh, rdp, whatever you'll use). Get it working. That will take you a while.

    Come back when you're done.

    If you want to know whether you can fully replace a professional host, right now, the answer is a resounding "NO"

  • #10
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    I would suggest doing what vinyl-junkie suggested earlier and getting a managed dedicated server. Many webhosts start out this way until they build up a decent size customer base and learn how to completely manage the servers themselves. Then eventually they can set up their own NOC and move in their servers. They get someone else that knows what they are doing to manage the servers as far as security and maintaining/repairing things but it allows you to have complete control over your server. This way you can experiment and learn and if you screw something up the professionals can step in and fix the server for you.
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  • #11
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    hmm...

    thanks for all your advice... im only a student and i cant afford a dedecated server, i like the option of hosting your own server for your own websites and the option of being able to add new software and not care about hosting packages... i am aware that as you say i wont be able to do it but i still cant see how its not possible for me to run my own. There must be enough tutorials on the internet to be able to run a secure server. I know it wont be profeshional but tbh i currently only make websites for my local bands (about 9 of them) and im just runing out of space on my server. The worst i believe a hacker would be able to do to my server would be to hack my SQL Database and steal my shoutbox entries??

    In anyones honest oppinion is it at all possible to do this. Sureley if it could be done by some 40yrold 10 years ago then with todays technology i should be able to set up without a problem.

    Thanks for all your advice so far

  • #12
    $object->toCD-R(LP); vinyl-junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danielwarner
    i currently only make websites for my local bands (about 9 of them) and im just runing out of space on my server.
    Do you have a reseller account? If not, that's another possibility. If you're hosting 9 websites, you can easily afford a reseller account, plus you wouldn't have to charge that much to at least break even on your costs.
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  • #13
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    You seem to be focused on costs. What everybody has been trying to tell you is that it will likely end up costing you more money to try and set this up on your own unless you stick with all open source software and don't purchase a new computer and don't pay for an unlimited internet package with with a static IP and T1 line. And along with not buying licenses for nice GUI sofware such as cPanel and other web site account management software you will have to learn how to do things manaully. Obviously you will have to go with a LAMP (Linux, Apached, MySQL, PHP) setup otherwise you are going to shell out big bucks for a Microsoft set up. Setting up a LAMP server has a very large learning curve and now along with that you would need to learn how to setup and maintain security on that using either IPTables that comes with Linux or set up a hardware firewall between your internet connection and your server.
    Spookster
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  • #14
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    technology doesn't make things more secure, experience makes things more secure.

    You need to know how to secure a server, it's not a product.

    Yes you can do it. No you can't do it well.

    If you're hosting 9 bands sites, and you want them to be as responsive as your current host, NO, you cannot do that. If you want those sites to be accessible with 99% uptime NO you can't do that.

    If you host at your host, what happens when your power goes out? How often does your internet drop? Compare that to a professional host with back-up servers, redundant connections, and fat pipes. You simply CANNOT compare to that. No individual can, you must have money to pull that off, and it costs a lot, continually, because it's not a product, it's a process.

    Have fun running your own open-source server, but don't expect to host anything that people will thank you for. I run a server for development for my friends, but the public can't get to it. That's not only secure, it's also smart because I know I can't service customers with it.

  • #15
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    you wouldn't have to charge that much to at least break even
    I atchually make the band sites for free... its more a hobby than a job

    But i understand what your all saying, i knew from the beginning it wouldnt be as good as a profeshional host but i didnt know of all the seperate costs involved (which you have answered for me from my origional post) So thanks for all the advice i guess at most i might just go for a dedecated server package (if i can scrape the money together) - Or just make bands pay for there own hosting

    Thanks for all your advice - although i am kinda sad it wouldnt work as easily as i'd hoped


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