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I am from Germany and looking for a dedicated server located in the US with a lot of storage: 750 - 1500 GB. CPU speed and amount of memory are secondary, the server will host large amounts of media files via http and ftp - the basic task is to help people exchange media files.

In Germany, there are some good offers, like "Root Server EQ6" at www.hetzner.de. For example, that company provides support of high quality, and their plans are very cost-effective. The plan mentioned above costs about $90 per month and provides two 1500 GB SATA-II HDDs (Software-RAID 1).

In the US, I found (amongst others) Go Daddy and rackspace. Go Daddy offers some "Storage Monster" plans that include 2 x 1,000 GB hard drives for about $180 per month - already twice as much as Hetzner above. However, I found some blog and forum entries that complain about the support provided by Go Daddy.

Rackspace seems to provide decent support, but they are very "upscale". Their dedicated servers are customizable and start at $419 - thus, about 4.5 times as much as Hetzner.

Can anybody recommend a solution / plan that is comparable to the one by Hetzner? Or are prices for dedicated servers in general much higher than in Germany?

Regards, Martin

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2 Answers

This kind of trade-off is basically why I struggle to see why so many businesses build their business model around dedicated server infrastructure.

Let's say that you really need a storage heavy server. Company A might offer a 1U server, with 2TB of onboard storage, for €200 a month.

CAPEX (1yr): 0

OPEX (1yr): 2400

On the other hand, Company C provide colocation, for a 1U server, in a carrier-neutral datacentre for only €70 a month, including transit.

CAPEX (1yr): ~1500. Depends on your budget, but based on the above example, what you don't spend on OPEX, you can spend on the hardware.

OPEX (1yr): 840

(These are made up numbers, but about the right ballpark, and currency is totally irrelevant, as prices are proportional to the local market)

Dedicated servers often offer little or no management support for the initial setup fee, they expect that you know what you're doing. If you want support, that's gonna cost you, and you also have to accept that they're unable to do any really specific application-layer debugging, because they don't know your system as well as you do, and do you really want to get them to know it when you're paying them 75 an hour?

It occurs to me that this is one of those triples things. (Storage, support, cost) Pick One.

You want to store lots of data? There's lots of data storage resellers.

You want fantastic server support? It'll cost you.

You want it to be cheap? Forget the specialisation, forget the support contracts, forget reliability and good quality hardware.

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Rackspace is really expensive off-the-shelf. If you want to go with them you absolutely have to negotiate lower prices with the sales department.

I don't know how important the quality of the bandwidth is to you, it is to me so I can only really give recommendations based on that. But I host with http://www.bbtn.us on their Bandcon network, which is awesome but also quite expensive ($5 per megabit). I'm pretty sure they also have a HE.net network for cheaper bandwidth, but I have no idea what the price is, you'd have to ask them.

Another host I used in the past is FDC Servers which is decent enough if you just need a whole lot of bandwidth at a cheap price, but be prepared for varying network speeds as they do oversell their network quite a bit.

Others would probably be able to suggest other hosts, lord knows there's not exactly a lack of them.

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