I've read a half-dozen threads here about the pros and cons of hosting in-house, but our situation is a little different than most, so I figured I'd just open a new question.
In short, we're a small software company in the northeast U.S. (not Boston or N.Y., a bit in the hills), with an existing product line. For various reasons related to future development work, we need to have servers in-house one way or the other -- right now, we have a couple of 1U Suns (very nice X2100's that are holding up like rocks BTW) in a quarter-height rack.
We've been hosting our sites elsewhere for years, but now that we've got a pile of hardware in-house that won't be going anywhere, I'm thinking it might be worthwhile to just do all our public-facing hosting in house as well. My reasoning, in short:
- the hardware is essentially a sunk cost anyway
- we're already doing whatever admin work is necessary (though, in my experience, you need to pay through the nose for truly managed hosting, as opposed to just having access to a box, which seems to be what passes for 'managed' in the biz)
- our problems will be our own, or moreso compared to any hosting situation (i.e. I've experienced way more downtime because some fool kicked over a router or whatever at a hosting provider than I have due to random admin-level issues)
- we push a lot of large files around, and not having to wait for an upload to our hosted servers sounds very appealing
Obvious cons include:
- Power. We've got appropriate UPS, but no redundancy.
- Bandwidth. Right now we have 16d/2u through Comcast. If we move our main site over, we'll need to at least double that, which might require bonding 2+ cable lines.
- A/C. I don't think this a real issue -- I don't expect that we'll ever have more than 10 servers in here (if we get larger than that, then the economics of this decision change a lot).
Update: After vacilating some, we've decided to keep hosting offsite. Coincidentially, there was a power outage on our block today, which sorta tipped the scales psychologically (hardly a rigorous process, but wasting about 3 hours was enough for me to take the cue that the universe was trying to tell me something ;-).
Not sure what vendor we'll use going forward, but I appreciated the tip-off to the rackspace cloud as an alternative to ec2, etc.