I’m starting to get myself mentally prepared for spending four months living in another country. It’s quite frightening! I have no idea how many of the comforts that are just common place to me here in the US will not be there in Korea. I will only be able to take two small suitcases with me, so I’m beginning to make lists of what I absolutely need during my stay. Also, I got to see a picture of one of the typical dorm rooms in Handong. All the rooms sleep four people.

Typical dorm at Handong -- Sleeps four!

Yes, this room sleeps four. And yes, that is a clothes line you see in the back. Apparently they don’t use dryers in Korea. Also I hear the mattresses are very slim and hard. Still, part of the reason why I want to go to Handong in the first place is to get out of my comfort zone, so I chalk this up as a win.

In other news, I’m living in a disaster area. No, really! Cedar Rapids, IA has been declared to be a federal disaster area. Lovely, isn’t it? The downtown is pretty much gone from flooding. Here’s some pictures for your enjoyment. Click a picture to see my commentary.

<lost the pictures due to technical issues, will try to put them back up at some point>

I’m thinking about switching my hosting services around. The host I have right now is *okay*, but not great. They no longer respond to anything but reset tickets. They never answer the phone and never reply to emails. Given that it’s a small company, I worry that they’ll go under any day now…

Anyways, I took a look at what kind of things I run on my server on a daily basis in order to compare alternatives. I’m paying $55/mo right now for a full dedicated on a gigabit link, 160 GB HDD, 2 TB bandwidth, P4 3.0 Ghz, 2 GB RAM. I use the server for the following:

  • Garrysmod server
  • Natural Selection server (probably not going to bother setting up another)
  • TeamSpeak (doesn’t see much use though)
  • Subversion repositories
  • LAMP
  • SSH server for secure proxies
  • I want to have an online backup

Alternative option #1 — Specialized hosting:

  • Go with DreamHost at $11/mo to take care of LAMP and SVN. Since it has SSH access, I assume it could do a SOCKS proxy, but I’d have to check on this. DreamHost, with 4 TB of traffic and 500 GB of storage, would make a good online backup.
  • I probably wouldn’t bother with a garrysmod server until I got back from Korea, but once I did I could go with a service like this one. Considering that they’re advertising ULX (my software!), I might even be able to get them to give me a discounted or free server. Assuming I couldn’t get a discount through them, it would be about $24/mo for 8 public slots.
  • The site above also has a somewhat good-looking teamspeak service, but otherwise I could go with this sort of service for $2.50/mo (5 slots, but that would probably be enough anyways).

So, ignoring setup fees (which you can usually talk them out of anyways) and the dumb discounts for contracts (Advertising $6/mo with a 10 year contract? Bad DreamHost!), this comes to a total of $37.50/mo. Which is still a whole lot better than what I’m paying now and I’d get better quality of service this way. Still, it’s a lot more inflexible.

Alternative option #2: VPS

  • Go with a VPS host like this one. This would host a TeamSpeak server, possibly a Natural Selection server, Subversion, LAMP, and SSH. $15/mo for ~300 MB RAM, 13 GB storage, and 500 GB bandwidth. No mention of CPU time though which is disconcerting.
  • The lack of storage above means I’d have to go with something like Amazing S3 for backups. I figure S3 would cost me about $5/mo.
  • I’ll use the $24/mo figure above for a Garrysmod server.

Ignoring setup fees, this comes to $44/mo. About $7/mo more than the first option, but gives me more power at the cost of having to manage everything myself. Plus the VPS kinda sucks to be honest. Touch choice!

4 thoughts on “Considerations”

  1. From the Dreamhost TOS:

    The customer agrees to make use of DreamHost Web Hosting servers primarily for the purpose of hosting a website, and associated email functions. Data uploaded must be primarily for this purpose; DreamHost Web Hosting servers are not intended as a data backup or archiving service. DreamHost Web Hosting reserves the right to negotiate additional charges with the Customer and/or the discontinuation of the backups/archives at their discretion.

  2. Doing some research it seems that DreamHost really doesn’t care if you use their service from backup. The TOS says they won’t cut you off right away for it anyways so no biggie.

    I looked into DreamHost some more, I can get their service in a prepaid year for $70.40 which is $5.87. I’d also get a free unique IP for this which is nice. I know someone using DreamHost and they have nothing but good things to say.

    Seeing as how $6/mo is cheap, I might then go with something like this plan… $6.62/mo for VPS with 64 MB RAM and 2.5 GB of space. It’s bare-bones but it would be enough for a teamspeak server and maybe xfce? Makes for an instant “online desktop”.

    With those I’d just need to get a GMod server which I’m betting I could get for free… which would make my total $12.49/mo. Otherwise it’s more like $36/mo.

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