Low-cost dedicated FreeBSD server or non-jail VPS?

Preston Hagar prestonh at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 19:02:48 UTC 2007

On 2/10/07, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at toybox.placo.com> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jay Chandler" <chandler.lists at chapman.edu>
> To: "Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm at toybox.placo.com>
> Cc: "FreeBSD Questions" <freebsd-questions at freebsd.org>
> Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 9:57 AM
> Subject: Re: Low-cost dedicated FreeBSD server or non-jail VPS?
> >
> > Maybe that's an option for you, but I'm looking at spending a minimum of
> > another $60 every month to my ISP if I want those services.  I haven't
> > been sufficiently impressed to feel that they warrant that extra fee.
> >
> Maybe they haven't significantly impressed you because you bought the
> cheap service?
> Hell - $60 compared to a colo feel of $50?  (the cheapest I've seen
> someone post here)  In other words, you have a choice between
> actually having the physical box right there, vs having it 1000 miles
> away, and your in a -learning- situation?  And your going to cut off your
> nose to spite your face just because of some issue with your ISP?
> What are they currently doing to you to warrant that?
> Without knowing your connectivity and how good/reliable/bad it is it's
> difficult to make a judgement call.  But, I can say from experience that
> there isn't any -TECHNICAL- reason that cheaper DSL or cable
> connectivity can't be made as reliable as, say, a T1.
> There's not many places in the United
> States that you can't find multiple competing broadband providers.  It's
> a lot different overseas, but here in the US if you don't like your ISP
> there's
> usually another one around the corner.
> Ted

But the problem in the US is that the physical lines are owned by one
company that all other providers are at the mercy of.  There are federal
regulations in place to try to keep the line owners (Verizon, SBC, etc.)
from abusing their powers, but they are pretty weak.  I had this exact
situation bite a customer of mine not too long ago.  They hosted their
server out of their office on DSL with a static IP through Speakeasy (a
reseller).  Speakeasy informed them that the people that owned the lines
(Covad) had sold them to Verizon and that they would have to switch DSL
modems, but that the outage should be minimal.  I told them to plan for a
full day of outage (even though the rep told us 2-3 hours), so they did.
Well, when they switched over, something was wrong and the new modem would
not connect.  After several hours on the phone with Speakeasy, Speakeasy had
determined that it was a problem at the CO and that Verizon would have to
fix it.  We could not call Verizon, they would not speak to us and Speakeasy
only had the ability to submit trouble tickets and escalate them (common to
all third party providers in our area).  Although we screamed and shouted
and threatened lawsuits (the customer was a law firm), there was nothing
Speakeasy could do.  I was then informed that if we had a T1, regulations
would require a 24 hour response time, but since this was "only" Business
DSL without a SLA (service level agreement), that it could be a week or two
before they got someone to check it out at the CO.

Long story short, they were out for a week.  Finally it was fixed.  We
learned then and there that although they may call it Business class DSL and
although the company you write your check to every month may have a stellar
customer service record, if there is a problem in the last mile or at the
CO, then you are at the mercy of whatever major telco owns your lines, and
that if you do not have a T1 or higher, or at least DSL service with a SLA,
then you are treated no better that a residential customer in terms of
returning you back to service (could be 1-2 weeks).

I think the OP just wanted a box to tinker with (I would still recommend
johncomanies.com as an option), so uptime may not be a huge issue.  I just
thought I would share the lesson I learned that although they call it
Business DSL, give you a static IP and charge you 5x the price for the same
speeds, it doesn't always guarantee the same reliability that a T1 or colo
facility will have.


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