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Old Nov 30, 2005, 05:25 PM   #1
floyde
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Cheap alternative to web hosting companies?

Hi, a friend of mine asked me to build him a small Web App to manage and store his company's contacts' info on a database. It's a very simple App, but the catch is that there are some 30 people accross the country that need to access this program.
He currently rents a shared server to host his website, but this service doesn't allow fancy stuff like a MySQL database and other tools that would be necesary to host the Web App.
I told him that he might need to upgrade his service to a dedicated server, but I've been thinking that there might be some cheaper alternatives... For instance, he could buy a cheap server ($1300 approx.) and upgrade his current internet connection to include a fixed IP address. He can get a fixed IP for about $150 a month as opposed to $450 a month for the cheapest dedicated server. The way I see it, it'll be cheaper for him in the long run, plus the server can be adminstrated (is this a word?) locally and without the hassle and restraints of a rented service. My concern with this approach though, is that I don't know if this setup is good enough to serve the Web App to these 30 people. What do you guys think? Would these be enough? Or perhaps there are other alternatives? (Note that this is in Mexico) thanks.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 05:50 PM   #2
DavidLeblond
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30 people? My websites are (currently) running off of an old Pentium II Dell running Fedora. I don't use a static IP, so I use www.dyndns.org. Its worked for me so far.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 05:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
He currently rents a shared server to host his website, but this service doesn't allow fancy stuff like a MySQL database and other tools that would be necesary to host the Web App.
Who is the web host? MySQL is pretty standard now days. I doubt a dedicated server is necessary, just a good shared host (your current one obviously isn't up to standard). Myacen and TJR Networks are both good. Contact their support departments and ask them whether what you want to do is possible, but I see no reason why they would not be able to provide the necessary services for you.

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My concern with this approach though, is that I don't know if this setup is good enough to serve the Web App to these 30 people.
Running a server on a home broadband connection is a very bad idea. Connection speeds are slow (remember that you are looking at upstream speeds, not downstream) and you can't get the relilability datacenters provide. I don't know the exact details of what you are trying to do but as far as I can see a dedicated server would be an overkill and a waste of money.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 06:23 PM   #4
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Well now I'm a bit confused with the contrasting responses
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Originally Posted by theappleguy
Who is the web host?
It's Prodigy Mexico. It's kind of standard down here because they're part of a phone company that owns 90% of the telecommunications infrastructure in Mexico. But now that you mention it, I think they do offer MySQL for shared hosting, I guess my friend talked to the wrong sales rep. I think I'll talk to them myself just to be sure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by theappleguy
Running a server on a home broadband connection is a very bad idea. Connection speeds are slow (remember that you are looking at upstream speeds, not downstream) and you can't get the relilability datacenters provide
The users are only going to fill a few forms that will update the database on the server. They are not going to upload any large files, so basically the server will only serve (relatively) small html files. Do you think it would be that slow?

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Originally Posted by DavidLeblond
30 people? My websites are (currently) running off of an old Pentium II Dell running Fedora.
How fast is your connection?
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 06:32 PM   #5
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If the users are only going to fill in a few forms then maybe you could get away with a broadband connection (due to the small number of users and small HTML files) but if that is all they are doing I don't see why you would need a dedicated server. It is a very simple task and mosts shared hosts should be able to offer you services that meet your requirements for about $30 per year.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theappleguy
If the users are only going to fill in a few forms then maybe you could get away with a broadband connection (due to the small number of users and small HTML files) but if that is all they are doing I don't see why you would need a dedicated server. It is a very simple task and mosts shared hosts should be able to offer you services that meet your requirements for about $30 per year.
Right , I was under the impression that this hosting service only provided databases and server side scripting for dedicated server customers. However, I needed ASP .NET or PHP... for this service they only include support for regular ASP I guess its time to look for another hosting company.
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Old Nov 30, 2005, 07:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by theappleguy
Myacen and TJR Networks are both good.
You think they can be trusted with "sensitive" information (i.e. what is stored in the database)? They seem like a pretty good deal. Also, do you think I run into problems if I hire this service outside the US? thx
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 02:43 AM   #8
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There is always a small risk having your site on the same server as other sites if the information is super secret, but as far as the hosts go I'm pretty sure their servers are amongst the most secure in the shared hosting industry.

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Also, do you think I run into problems if I hire this service outside the US? thx
You shouldn't really have any issues. Both bill in US dollars, have been around long enough that you know they won't disappear with your money and site overnight and generally their users don't seem to have any major issues with them.
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 06:53 PM   #9
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Is it possible to use these type of services without a domain name (i.e. access by means of an IP address)?
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 06:55 PM   #10
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$450 a month for the cheapest dedicated server? Try more like $60 or $75.
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Old Dec 1, 2005, 07:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ITASOR
$450 a month for the cheapest dedicated server? Try more like $60 or $75.
Well I know that now hehe But my friend's current host charges that for their cheapest dedicated server. I'm trying to convince my friend to change his host, but he says he won't get "support" if he hires outside Mexico (as if he were getting any support now ).
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Old Dec 2, 2005, 03:37 PM   #12
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http://www.imhosted.com/

Good site.
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Old Dec 3, 2005, 06:46 PM   #13
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http://www.fatcow.com/

http://www.chihost.com/

http://www.powweb.com/

All good. All with lots of ASP/PHP/SQL options.
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