I think you all probably already know that I've been looking at possible alternatives for hosting the ZUG site (i.e. different hosting providers, etc.). There are of course a few key factors to think about when looking, such as bandwidth, throughput, reliability, etc.
Many of the hosting providers/colo facilities that I've looked at offer great packages and a decent amount of bandwidth, but all of them have a cap on total monthly bandwidth, and if you go over that then you're billed for the overages. Also, most of these don't offer that great of throughput, and once again if we burst past the alloted amount provided, we'd be billed for the overages. It seems that every plan I looked at had overages (based on our current stats).
So I started looking at a dedicated T1 line for home. I called Speakeasy (with whom I already have an ADSL line) and spoke to them about prices. Basically a fractional T1 line (768 up) would be $400/month, and a full T1 is over $500/month.
Long story short (I know.. too late ), it seems that I'm a great candidate for SDSL (based on my proximity to the telco). So I ordered an SDSL line with 1.5mb down and 1.5mb up, and SDSL lines are guaranteed at 80% of the total speed which means we should get a constant minimum of 1.2mb up. That's not bad!
Because I called on the last day of the month (I think the sales rep needed to fill quotas), I got a few rebates. Basically I will get a credit of $2 for the install (instead of approx. $500 for various installation/hardware fees) and the line is only $300/month. Oh, and I have a 25 day trial period where I can cancel the line with no penalty to me (and I keep the equipment!).
Now, I'm already paying $100/month for my ADSL and another $100 (minimum) for the ZUG hosting, so it's actually only $100 more than I'm currently paying . And hopefully with the revenues from advertising, I might actually break even.
The SDSL line is being installed tomorrow, and I will be spending this weekend preparing my server at home (an actual 1U dell server, not a desktop PC or zaurus) for this. Also, the site would once again have a dedicated IP address (in case of DNS issues) and the server and dsl equipment would be on a battery backup unit.
What I'm proposing is that I move the ZUG to my server at home on the new SDSL line for this trial period to see if it will be fast enough, etc. Then at the end of the trial (probably 20 days into it or so) I'll ask everyone if we should stay with it.
The benefits of moving the site to this permanently is that we will have a great connection with a constant minimum of 1.2mb throughput, unlimited bandwidth, and no overages!
So, what do you say? Are you willing to try this?