Servers - performance contra price

 
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:07 am    Post subject: Servers - performance contra price Reply with quote

I'm not sure whether the somewhat rigid no-advertising rule on this Forum allows the discussion of servers and their reliability in comparison with the price.

If it doesn't, just remove this post. If not, here is the situation:

We have had some major problems with the performance of our own server on two separate occasions, and it's really not satisfactory. On the plus side, the server is fast and comparatively cheap. On the minus side, they don't seem to keep the backups they are supposed to, the technical support is next to non-existent when needed, and they don't respond to e-mails.

So in the long run we'll have to look for somewhere else to host our Mud. The usual problem is that we are non-commercial and no-donations, and consequently there isn't much money to go about. Another problem is that 4D is a very old and very large Mud, something like a white elephant. (1gb space for 3 ports plus website, uses about 300meg memory in total).

We've started to look for a new host and come up with a very long list from Google, most of which are totally unknown to me. And as for the two most common servers, Wolfpaw and Kyndig - well, to tell the truth, the recent public and rather unprofessional quarrel between them on TMC made me very reluctant to approach any of them.

So I guess my question is; Could some of you give me some input about servers you are familiar with (reliability, speed, support, prices etc.)?

(I'm pretty sure this could be interpreted as advertising by some, but since reliable servers are important to all of us, it would be a pity if the rule would prevent us from discussing it).
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Zephen



Joined: 15 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used both Dale (Wolfpaw) and Kyndig seperately in the past, and I've got to say both were really pretty professional. Personal quarrels are personal quarrels, and remember they're in competition for a very tight market so it's no surprise that they might speak a little harshly to eachother on a forum.

I know Wolfpaw has an automated backup system where your system is backed up every night and you can restore from backup with a specific command, No need for admin involvement at all. I don't recall about Kyndig. I also know that both are relatively flexible about price, and I recall Kyndig mentioning hosting a few worthy MUDs free of cost. It couldn't hurt to email either of them and see if they'd be willing to cut you a deal.

You could also try one of the variety of people out there offering use of their servers, but you might just run into the same problem as you've got here. There's also betterbox.net and genesismuds which a few MUDs I've frequented are on, but I know nothing really about the two (betterbox has been around forever though).

I'm not sure how many other than wolfpaw would have backup services, but then again it's also the mud admin's responsibility to back up too, just incase things like this happen. Good luck with your search.
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Lundgren



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in case, first a disclaimer: Not intended as a commersial for LT. My only connection with them is that I am a happy customer.

Depending on the technical skills on the 4D team, but it could be worth to check out the special offers over at http://www.layeredtech.com

They offer self managed dedicated servers. The support is limited to to make sure the hardware and net connection is working. And if you send an emal to them, they flip the switch to reboot the machine. $10 extra each month and you get a 10GB FTP area to store away back-ups on.

Only running a forum on my server over there, and despite being of the 150.000+ posts, 2400+ registered users kind, I don't have much traffic so I can't say that I have provoked the hardware much. But I have had my server there for 2 years and are happy with them.

Cheers
Magnus
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Zephen



Joined: 15 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judging by the prices on the front page, and on the servers page I'd say LT is far beyond the scope of most Hobbyist MUDs. The cheapest I saw was $70/month and no mention of CPU or RAM usage.
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Lundgren



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zephen wrote:
Judging by the prices on the front page, and on the servers page I'd say LT is far beyond the scope of most Hobbyist MUDs. The cheapest I saw was $70/month and no mention of CPU or RAM usage.
Would you say that 4D is in the same scope as most Hobbyist MUDs in that regard? Wink

CPU and RAM usage? 100% of what's in the machine. Checking the current special offers, cheapest is $60 for an AMP XP2400 with 80GB disc, 512MB RAM and 1500GB transfer/month. Or $65 for a Celeron 2.0+

The drawback is that there need to be someone on the team who really knows how to manage a server, and is trustworthy enough to have full access to it. on the other hand, that person can tailor the OS to do exacly what the MUD needs, and massage it when needed.

Cheers
/Magnus
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess you very much get what you pay for.
And since we cannot afford to pay much, we've decided to stay with our current server for the time being, but not rely on them for backups that obviously don't work anyhow. We've always kept our own safety backups, so we're just going to intensify that from now on.

The main problem was that they didn't admit directly from the start that there was a problem with their backup - had they done that, it would have saved us and our players 2 weeks of unnecessary grief, waiting for them to react to our repeated e-mails.

On a more principal level, I think that server companies having a very direct connection to large Mud lists is a bad concept, since it opens for bias and unfair listing. As the most obvious example, on both TMC and MudMagic, the muds hosted by the server that runs the webpage show up first on a separate list on all searches. To me that gives unfair competition advantages, that don't really have a place in a list of games, which should really be free from commercial skewing.
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Samson



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 4
Location: United Socialist States of America

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something you might consider as a middle ground between a fully dedicated machine and the typical shared mudhost is something along the lines of vpsland.com. You don't get the full resources of an entire machine, but your VPS is pretty much yours to command and the price is usually not a great deal higher than most upper level mudhosting packages elsewhere.
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