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I need to support about 5-10 tb/month of data transfer for downloadable screencasts.

Since this a a free service, would you recommend me just using those 'unlimited bandwidth' 10/month hosters for this?

If I was to provide streaming video, what options do I have?

From a server performance standpoint, I am 'guessing' that just about any modern day server can handle the IO for this type of stuff correct? its just a matter of having the bandwidth correct?

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closed as not constructive by John Gardeniers, mdpc, chutz, HopelessN00b, voretaq7 Dec 21 '12 at 3:34

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5-10 tb in what timeframe? One day? One month? – EEAA Dec 17 '09 at 2:58
10tb/month roughly... – user2659 Dec 17 '09 at 3:03
hmmm... = 300GB/day = 12.5GB/hr = 200MB/sec... that seems like a lot. – Jason S Dec 17 '09 at 4:47
oops, 200MB/min, 3MB/sec... hmm. – Jason S Dec 17 '09 at 4:49
Still, that's 24Mb/sec ... or at least 50Mb/sec if you assume that it's not being used all the time. No matter how you slice it, you need $1000 or so per month. – Beep beep Dec 17 '09 at 4:53

11 Answers 11

10TB of quality bandwidth costs a whole lot more than $10/month. Feel free to give a cheapo hosting company a go, but don't be surprised if you get kicked off or throttled after a few days.

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Indeed. "Unlimited" never means "Unlimited". They usually have some sort of "Fair Play" policy that puts an upper limit on what "Unlimited" actually means. – Mark Henderson Dec 17 '09 at 3:04
Additionally, good luck finding a web server that actually HAS 10Tb of space for you to consume... Commercial or not... – Mark Henderson Dec 17 '09 at 3:04
I would expect that each of these screencasts would be downloaded a lot more than once, so the disk space requirements shouldn't be as massive, but yeah, it'll probably take up a lot of disk space which a $10/month cheapo mob won't be interested in providing. – womble Dec 17 '09 at 3:08
More than one, I'll wager. – womble Dec 17 '09 at 3:28
They don't show the terms for that offer on the site, you have to chat with their representatives to learn more. At 1/40th the cost of Amazon for the same service, I would check and double check on the terms and SLAs of that offer. – Sean Earp Dec 17 '09 at 4:12

10Tb = 10,485,760MB. Let's assume that you're going to do this over a period of a month, thats 341GB a day, 14GB an hour, 242MB a minute, or 4MB a second. This equates to a 32Mb connection, fully maxed, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Good luck getting that kind of service on a standard highly paid web host, let alone a $10/month host. They would kick you off after 24 hours I'm guessing, if they even had 32Mb of sustained bandwidth avaliable to a single site.

For that kind of traffic, I think you're best looking at a co-lo facility and your own 100Mb link. This is, of course, going to cost muchos dollar (lots of money), and might not be suitable for a free service.

-- Update --

Just saw the 2nd part of your question regarding streaming. We offer a streaming service for our clients, and they have a few hundred hours of lectures that they offer. We have about 100Gb of FLV files served by Flash Media Server. FMS is a reasonably cheap piece of software to license, it's easy to use, and there are plenty of free Flash-based players that will stream content from it immediately.

You can get Content Service Providers who will host and stream your videos for you. I believe you pay for disk space AND bandwith (as you would with a normal host), but it's fairly pricy. However it gives you a much more professional and redundant backbone.

We didn't bother, we just stuck it on a normal server running Server 2003 and stream it from there. It needs a lot of RAM and you probably won't get away with it on a shared host. You might get a VPS that you can configure yourself (FMS is avaliable for Windows and Linux hosts), which would also work fine.

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Amazon just added a streaming media service today (Amazon Cloudfront). For the first 10 TB of data, they charge $.17 per GB, and even provide a calculator to estimate your monthly costs. 10TB of data would cost you a mere $1740.82 a month. Are you sure you're looking at 10TB a month? As Farseeker's calculations show, that is a LOOOOT of data to be pushing over the wire for free.

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Actually, joyent plans come by default with 10tb of data transfer. The smallest plan is, if i remember correctly $45 per month. They are on a tier 1 backbone, and their excess data charges are pretty damn reasonable as well.

Only catch is they are opensolaris...but unix is unix really

I also found a VPS host in france called Gandi that offer probably better prices than Joyent mentioned above, and they have the bandwidth, with a choice of linux's. Looks like a pretty good bet to me.

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Gandi are pretty decent people too, at least for domain registrations. Haven't actually dealt with them myself, but have heard good things from smart people. – kaerast Jul 5 '10 at 14:25

Unlimited means they won't charge you extra money, but you're still capped at WELL below 10tb/month. You might be able to get away with pumping that through 10 free hosting services (setting up a single server to manage redirection), but never one. Consider that a single server would likely struggle a bit to provide the 100Mb+ bandwidth peaks, and then imagine sharing that server with 199 other websites (shared hosts will often bundle 200 to a server). Not going to happen.

Note that most of the "unlimited bandwidth" say "1.5Mb" or "10Mb" in fine print. You need 100Mb to handle peaks (since it's doubtful your 10TB would come through evenly., one of the least expensive dedicated providers (again, you NEED dedicated unless you want to manage 10-30 shared hosts), has a 10Tb deal on a 100Mb connection for $1000/mo. This is about as cheap as you'd be able to find.

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Regarding the pure download options plenty of answers have been given.

I'd like to add that you could lower your "pure" download requirements by also offering bittorrent tracking for your files. Not everybody will use it, but it might lower required bandwidth on your side significantly, so that you have more options on the "classic" download side.

Also, if your screencasts fit into their scheme (I'm not sure if they have content type limitations), libsyn offers plans based on the amount you can upload per month and has unlimited downloads.

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How do you imagine to stream a video using torrents?? – Andrejs Cainikovs Dec 17 '09 at 13:02
The question said "downloadable screencasts", so I didn't think about streaming... – Olaf Dec 17 '09 at 18:21

You should checkout Their "Cloud Servers" (Powered by come with 10tb of bandwidth, and start at $98/month, with free setup.

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those of you who mention prices around 1000$/month must be living in a different world. i'm using server pushing in average 4TB/month from dediserv - it used to be collocated at netdirekt in frankfurt / gemran, right now it's at leaseweb near amsterdam / netherlands. i consider dediserv a 'cheap' provider - no premium services, average sla. but they are reasonably priced - for 150E/month you get unlimited bandwidth and as a bonus hp proliant with 1TB of space with ILo management.

connectivity provided by leasweb is really good - server pushes most of the traffic to asia and central/eastern europe, no complains from end-users.

to conclude - i'm sure you can find something cheaper than dedicated server that will let you push the podcasts.

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Check out GoDaddy unlimited plan. They are offering unlimited space and transfer and gives SSL certificate for free, 15$/mo. I don't have such a big traffic needs than you, but had no problems so far. Just give a try.

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one solution is use p2p architecture (with master sites) and deploy 10-20 cheap hosting servers. Consider making client software that also p2p capable then u can reduce master servers capacity. As ur service is free u can use user's bandwidth on permission in kind return of what you give out.

see also

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Get 4 VPS, each with a around 10mbps port & unlimited transfer (or something similar). This should cost you around $25 per month.

Check some options out:

2TB/month at $7

5Mbps unmetered or 1.6TB on 100Mbps, $5 per month

1TB per month at $5

2TB per month at $6

10mbps unmetered at $4.5

There are many other options but I have given you some that I find reliable.

Note 1) Note that I am not sure how consistent the performance will be if you really end up using the full quota. But, I think multiple VPS is your best bet if you want anywhere near few TBs of data transfer per month at cheap cost.

Note 2) Read terms of service whether what you plan to do is allowed on their VPS

Note 3) If its your first time with the provider, go with a monthly plan

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to lowendbox or any of the providers :D

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protected by splattne Jan 20 '11 at 7:15

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