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I want to know what ISP is running sites like stackoverflow, basecamp, asana, etc. I guess not everyone is running on VPS as an in-house server can have much more horse power for the price than what is offered by VPS providers.

So once you have you in-house server:

  • Which ISP you go for to ask for ultra high speed connection for your next big site?
  • How much (by hand wavy guessing) will cost to have ISP like to run a stack exchange site?

NOTE: If this is not the place to ask these question, please point out where it is.

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closed as off-topic by John, pauska, ewwhite, Nathan C, Tom O'Connor Feb 6 '14 at 13:52

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If you pop into chat, I'll be able to answer way better than I could justify in an answer. –  Tom O'Connor Feb 6 '14 at 13:52

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Unless there's a need for data to be on-site, it most likely wouldn't be VPS OR in-house. If VPS services are not capable enough and it's not possible to get a connection to your office that's suitable for hosting your service (leased lines are available but not always the best solution) you can also rent servers or server space in existing data centres. If you rent a server they will lease you hardware to whatever spec is required and you would make use of their power and network infrastructure. Ditto for leasing rack space, although you'd provide the server hardware there.

What you should be looking for is dedicated hosting (leased server just for you in someone else's data centre), co-located (your own server is hosted in someone else's data centre), or rack space (a cage with power and networking for your equipment hosted in someone else's data centre).

Pricing is impossible to estimate - it depends on A) the speed of network connection you need, B) how much bandwidth you will use on that connection, C) power requirements, D) everything else (like backup, server warranties, server spec if leased and so on).

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That is why I put stackexchange and basecamp as an example. –  David Hofmann Feb 6 '14 at 13:23

StackExchange, as far as I know, own their own equipment, and host it in Peer1 datacentre in New York and another PEAK in Oregon. There's a big list of resources on this Meta.StackOverflow thread, with some excellent blog post links and as much data and serverporn as you can handle.

Typically, a datacentre would have multiple connections to the internet - just in case one fails, there's another one to take up the slack. You wouldn't go to an ISP unless you were intending to host the sites yourself, you'd go to a datacentre that already has the connections.

Cost...the only answer is "it depends".

As ServerFault isn't really meant for discussion, feel free to drop into the ServerFault chat room.

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Well done pointing out a totally big flaw in the question, bascially assuiming it is "in house server OR vps" and ignoring the whole universe of colocation, i.e. putting your own machines into a data center. –  TomTom Feb 6 '14 at 14:45

Generally, the "ISP" is whatever Tier 1 or Tier 2 Network provider is available in the particular datacenter the particular site in question houses their servers, and is preferred by the site in question. Truly massive sites (like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc.) will even have their own, private datacenters and (often) dark fiber that they own and use exclusively.

However, an example of a big site (and a company I know well, but won't name), houses the servers for their primary location in the Datacenter.BZ datacenter in Columbus, Ohio. There are several Tier 1/Tier 2 data providers who service that datacenter (have "last-mile connects" into the building), and the company in question prefers to use Verizon Business, so that's who they use as their "ISP."

How much it costs relies on so many variable factors are impossible to even do a hand way guess at (except to say A LOT), but the basic idea is that these companies don't rent a dedicated server or VPS, they rent a rack (or multiple racks) and stuff them with servers and networking gear, and do this at multiple Tier 3/Tier 4 datacenters. They then rent enough bandwidth to service those racks of gear, and power to run them, all of which is extremely pricy due to the high-availability and redundancy demands of these services in a Tier 3/Tier 4 datacenter.

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