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Shared, Dedicated, Co-located Hosting Advice

     
6:12 am on Apr 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

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A client of mine is looking to serve up a big bunch of multi-media files from their site. Up to now, they've only used about 150MB of shared space, but offering multi media (uncompressed WAV and AVI files, because the software it hooks into requires those formats) will mean an immediate need for over 1GB -- with future growth to maybe 3 or 4 GB. Yet the site itself (without the MM files) will probably stay in the under 200MB area.

I'm looking for ideas and guidance -- I'm in new territory here, and the client obviously wants to keep costs down.

It seems to me that they must consider dedicated or co-located hosting. How can this be best handled?

Would either co-located or dedicated server require them to have a server admin in house? Is there a possibility for staying with shared space for the web site and somehow hosting just the MM files somewhere else?

10:21 am on Apr 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Assuming the server is configured fine I would say it wouldn't a full time admin, co-lo facilities will perform jobs for you (but they can charge a lot) - you would need access to someone savvy enough to look after the server remotely on occasion.
Have you thought about the potentially very high bandwidth costs from streaming and making available very large files.
10:36 am on Apr 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I've thought about bandwidth issues, but the client seems to be missing the picture, no matter what I say.

The economics of the situation just don't seem workable to me. I think they'd be better off burning some cd's and mailing them to every client they have for free.

They're trying to do an upgrade for the software these files plug into, so that compressed files will work. But that's proving to be a real pain.

12:59 am on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

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What in the world kind of software is trying to send out uncompressed avi and wav's over the net. That's gonna bomb.

THE BEST solution I've seen for streaming anything yet is Flash. It will compress to MP3 and there's even video encoders now. It doesn't require a plug in because most people already have Flash ( lets not get into the "I hate Flash discussion" ) .

It beats RealPlayer and it's crashy, porky, slow piece of crap software self and Windows Media Player is.... well Windows.

There an open source codec called Ogg Vorbis thats taking shape but I really don't know much about it yet.

I have complete confidence that you know what you're doing tedster :)....I just thought I would throw that at ya.

3:58 am on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

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BH, it's medical software and the media files are examples of symptoms. The software doesn't send the files. The files are downloaded to the client over the web and then fit into place as enhancements to the software they already own.

Today I was really getting frustrated by this. They only need a chunk of disk space, no big functionality. The files could be anywhere at all on the web and the HTML links to the files could on their shared space.

But every deal I can find quite naturally has all kinds features they wouldn't use, but would be paying for. They really just need a kind of warehouse.

4:16 am on Apr 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

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tedster - For a "warehouse" perhaps an agreement with an "online backup company" could be reached. A few years ago I read about companies offering online backup to your system, server, network or site. I've heard little about them since and never used one so I can't offer any recommendations.
4:01 am on May 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

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tedster, you might of just came across a perfect opportunity to start your own mass storage site. Simple to set up and manage! Sounds very tempting. I wonder how many companies out there are having the same storage crunch...