Grr, shame on me for getting cheap hosting again. For the most part, PHPWebHosting has been just fine - they give me SSH access to a shell, about 120MB of space, a few MySQL databases, and generally leave me alone for US$10 per month. But at this point, the leaving me alone bit isn't working out so well, since the server I'm on over there has had its main disk fill up regularly, thus bringing down all the sites hosted on it (including mine).

I'd joked a little while ago about getting myself an XServe and finding some affordable colocation. Now, though, I'm not laughing so much. I should probably just find another webhost, but it's tempting to have my own server.

In the past, I had a few friends at an ISP, so they let me stash a little linux server on their network for occasional favors. I miss that. Didn't cost me anything, and my impact on their network was negligible. Meanwhile, I had a stable, semi-reliable box on the net at which I could point a domain. Services could catch fire and other things could tank, and no one got hurt.

The problem now, though, is that shelling out for a server and colocation costs just to play around is a just a smidgen outside my budget. As I've pondered before, maybe I could actually host a money-making service on it with some of these hacks I'm percolating through.

On the other hand, a co-worker put the idea in my head that it might not be unreasonable to think that I could invite some tenants onto my server to share some of the cost. I figure I'd take the burden of buying & owning the server, but I'd like to spread the service cost out. I wouldn't want to make a profit, I'd just like to make a kind of nerd commune. It'd be nice if I could get the cost for everyone under US$10-15, though I imagine my cost would be higher given a server payment. If I could get mine below $40-50 a month, I think I'd be happy, though this seems like a pipe dream.

The devil being in the details, however, I don't really know how one would go about such a thing, considering service agreements and contracts and taxes and blah blah blah. I'm a financial moron, and I'm also certainly not into being a 24/7 available customer service rep, or to perform tech help. Basically, I'd like to run a server to host mad scientist experiments performed by a relatively small cadre of mad scientists who can mostly clean up after themselves. I'd like to run an IRC server, maybe a Jabber server, maybe a few random half-baked server ideas.

On the other other hand, is anyone out there doing this already and want a new tenant? :)


Archived Comments

  • I know where your coming from, i've been thinking about this myself, but have come up with the same conclusion, just a bit to hi. If you do end up doing this, you can count me in a tenant for sure. I'm already paying about $25 a month but would be willing to go more for the ability todo so much more. I can probably find at least one more tenant for you also.
  • I run my sites under a webmaster account on 500MB/Day Traffic (15GB/mon) - 400MB Disk Space $29.95 a month... The bandwidth allocations are generous and calculated monthly based on the daily average with the highest day thrown out. So when I mirrored the Lessig talk, I got something like 2.7 GB downloaded that day, but my daily average is only up to 200+MB. For August. Also something to think about is virtual servers: The ad running on has more than 80 comments. I'm not running any sites on this technology, but it is intriguing. " that allows us to segment mainframe class servers into multiple, independent servers - each one a completely autonomous system"
  • Take a look at; they don't suck as much as my last web host. Ask them about the 'mad scientist' thing as well; they seem interested in weird shit like that ;)
  • Hmm.. I run my website on phpwebhosting as well. The server my site is on seems to have enough space. Currently df is showing 4GB free. Perhaps, they could just move you and your site to another server.
  • gives you a 1U server w/ a T1 worth of bandwidth for less than a hundred bucks a month. I haven't tried it myself though.
  • I'm also tired of web hosters not up to par, not even able to install an apache module like Apache::Gallery Should you decide to make this project a reality, definately count me in as a tenant, too.