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Build your own DC
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Build your own DC

SPSP Member
edited March 2013 in General

The topic might be a little misleading, though what I am thinking about might still be considered a DC. What I want to do is pull a 40/50m fiber connection into my office, then host servers from there. There is some expand-ability, as the fiber line is expandable to 10g, and there is another separate provider that I could get a second fiber or EoC connection from to multihome the environment. The telco can provide the initial /23 or /24, and if the project took off we would buy IPs from ARIN and an AS #. My business partner and I are still debating whether we want to go down this path or not, and welcome any and all suggestions and comments from the community here.

Would probably do some VPS hosting, as well as some dedi's and shared hosting; along with providing a much needed small colo facility for our town (down the road, after upgrading power and adding generator and other amenities).



  • twaintwain Member


  • I think there are a lot of things to consider here. Have you had experience with a similar kind of project before?

  • Just buy a rack

  • One DDoS and your network is out. You need much more than 40/50m

  • SPSP Member

    I've not had experience with setting up a dc, no, but I have brought some large client offices online and that is a similar process. None of them are multihomed, but this setup would not be to start with.

  • AlexBarakovAlexBarakov Member, Patron Provider

    So basically, you will have 2-provider based network, going to your office, where you would host servers for rental and VPS?

    What about UPS
    What about fire precausions

  • SPSP Member

    The cost of a rack at the only DC here in town is about $6k/mo, they don't do anything like a quarter or half rack unfortunately.

  • SPSP Member
    edited March 2013

    This is exactly what I was looking for from this thread, it doesn't cost anything to talk it over.

    As far as UPS goes we would start out with some 2/4u APC units per server, and move up to a scalable 20k Symettra unit when it was appropriate.

    Have not considered fire protection yet.

    EDIT: Wanted to add in that we own about 30 servers (give or take), but they are not new by any stretch. That's why we are sketch about renting an affordable rack from LA (2 hours south)

  • FDC -> Cardboard case, roof cooling, no backup power, still worked.

    Go for it. If it fails, you will learn something valuable. If it works, well more $$ for you :).

  • Just send your servers there, 2 hours is close

    @Sperryman said: LA (2 hours south)

  • SPSP Member

    @seriesn said: Go for it. If it fails, you will learn something valuable.

    That is kind of where I am heading with it, but wanted to see what everyone thought about the idea. I realize that while I am smart, there will always be people smarter than me and that have more experience than I do.

  • What kind of budget are you working towards?

  • SPSP Member
    edited March 2013

    The single 50m connection is $1300/m. We have servers, a rack, UPS power for most servers, standalone AC unit, and firewall. We have $5k or so to purchase the few things we need (redundant AC unit, more UPS, spare hard drives, etc). Fortunately for us our building comes with utilities included, and they've already approved us getting a 100 amp 220v line.

    With our office rent, network connection, and software licensing, we would be looking at around $2,500/m before figuring in anything we forgot.

  • Maybe you can get some tips from this fella.

  • @icySrv said: Maybe you can get some tips from this fella.

    That kids just stacked some servers and linked some routers in a closet, can't be taken serious...

    What about the heat though?

  • NickMNickM Member

    I've seen my fair share of small office "datacenters", ranging from extremely terrible to datacenters that I would actually trust my own servers in. If you actually do things right - proper cooling, power (including a generator), redundant network feeds - I don't see too much of a problem with it. Your best bet would be targeting local businesses who need to have their server locally, but don't want it in their office, either because they can't get the connectivity they need or they don't have someone to manage it. I don't really see this kind of datacenter as being appropriate for, say, selling LEBs or hosting to customers across the country/world, but you can definitely carve out a niche for local business, providing not only the hosting itself, but also support.

  • SPSP Member
    edited March 2013

    As I suspect, this whole query comes from me wanting to run my own datacenter. I most assuredly don't want to jump in this and get my ass handed to me, but the other DC in town seems to be charging a lot for services.

    Colo Fee (36 months) - $275
    20a 110v - 481.40
    50m Drop - $812.50
    100m Transport - $276

    Total - $1,844.90

    Granted, this is for a REAL datacenter with centralized DC UPS system/CRAC/and a diesel generator; not to mention multiple connections heading both north and south. Probably it would be worth it, but they just don't offer any way to start smaller and work our way up. Taking on $2k/m bill with no income coming in is a scary proposition, but rich people didn't get rich by not taking chances.

    I think we will go back to the drawing board and try to figure out some other revenue streams before settling on one particular path forward.

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Host Rep
    edited March 2013

    Be prepared to have a lot of money in the bank for unexpected bills that pop-up. Here's a prime example of one client costing a BYODC tens of thousands of dollars ($10k that the DC was contractually obligated to pay):

  • You could try starting even smaller and maybe use a business cable line with static IP's to start.

    We run 100Mbps Cogent lines here for really cheap with Verizon backups.

  • SonicVPSSonicVPS Member
    edited March 2013

    New DCs sell out before they even finish building.

    I wouldn't sell publicly out to everyone - sell only locally to businesses in your area.

    Also, I'd consider selling your services with this: Windows Exchange servers, domain setups, private VPNs, Zimbra etc, charge set up times for clients based on projects etc. I think the going rate over in the US is like $150 per hour for business grade IT support.

    Stay away from residential and keep in mind businesses with <3 PCs can be painful, as they'll call and call, refuse to pay bills, then hassle you on the phone for every small issue that could easily be resolved with common sense. They're also always hesitant to replace hardware, even though they quite clearly need to.

  • JanevskiJanevski Member
    edited March 2013

    @Sperryman Start small, offer less percents SLA uptime, offer smaller prices and offers then grow.
    I would say go for it, but You must have all the know how and initial investment for resources - human resources, hardware, software, marketing etc. Think it through. Calculate Your losses, because Your investment might end up to be a loss, or if not then congratulations You have just opened a business! :)

    Let's get things cleared, i'm talking about building small data farm in non-compliant building, datacenter is another thing, and will come if the data farm turns out to be a success, plus with another big investment for it.
    For a real datacenter You need a lot of different systems engineers and a lot of engineering just to begin with, not counting the maintaining of the datacenter.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @Sperryman said: As I suspect, this whole query comes from me wanting to run my own datacenter. I most assuredly don't want to jump in this and get my ass handed to me, but the other DC in town seems to be charging a lot for services.

    What am I missing here?

    Here's an example picked at random, mainly because the vendor's prices are all on their web page.

    Joe's Data Center.

    • Quarter rack $215/month (full rack would be $330)
    • 100mbps unmetered on 100Mb port $100
    • 20 amps on UPS circuit $240
    • /26 (61 usable IPs) $40

    A long way from $2,000 a month.

    My advice: move out of California. Of course, I'd give you that advice no matter what the question was.

  • @raindog308 said: My advice: move out of California. Of course, I'd give you that advice no matter what the question was.

    What's wrong with California? I'm not really familiar with the state.

  • mnpeepmnpeep Member
    edited March 2013

    @Brandon said: What's wrong with California? I'm not really familiar with the state.

    Taxes and regulations. Things are pricey here.

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator

    @mnpeep said: Things are pricey here.

    • 9%+ income tax
    • 9%+ sales tax
    • 3% vehicle registration
    • sky-high property taxes
    • sky-high cost of property
    • Nutty state government that (a) interferes in every step of your life, (b) is bursting with new ideas, (c) is insanely in debt, and (d) adds a tax, fee, or tariff to every possible thing you do.
    • crime
    • pollution
    • traffic congestion
    • urban sprawl
    • repressive gun laws

    I lived in Los Angeles for 3 years and leaving it was one of the happiest days of my life. I've spent a lot of time in San Francisco and you could not pay me $500K a year to live there.

    Not that Oregon doesn't have it own share of problems (chief being nutty government) but at least I can afford to own a home here.

  • @raindog308 said: 9%+ income tax

    Higher, by a LOT.

    @raindog308 said: 9%+ sales tax

    8.625% in SJC AFAIK

    @raindog308 said: interferes in every step of your life

    @raindog308 said: is bursting with new ideas

    @raindog308 said: is insanely in debt

    @raindog308 said: tariff to every possible thing you do

    Even on eBay...

    @raindog308 said: repressive gun laws

    Most repressive in the nation.

    @raindog308 said: $500K a year to live there.

    $500k before or after the 60% tax bracket you will be in?

  • Just dont..

    You have no redundant power, no UPS, no redundant HVAC. It's more than just putting servers in a room and connecting them to a linksys and calling it a datacenter.

    You have fire codes to deal with, insurance you have to carry and the insurance company is going to be expecting certain things to be in order or they wont cover you in a disaster.

  • shovenoseshovenose Member, Host Rep

    I live in Fairfax which is fairly close to San Francisco. No complaints here!!

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