Author Topic: How hard is it to run a server at your house?  (Read 7933 times)

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Offline yada

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How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« on: May 17, 2017, 01:10:21 am »
I'm trying to buy and sell domain names and found you can get the value up by listing them with google. The web sites are going to be real simple, just a few pictures and some text saying its for sale. I'm trying to make money on volume so it doesn't make sense to pay a monthly fee on every site as I have a lot. The server is going to be at a friends house some distance away who is trust worthy and knows more then me about computers. But I don't even know where to begin. Do you need a special server machine or will a regular PC work? I'm willing to invest some money into this to do it right.
 

Offline hamster_nz

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2017, 01:43:00 am »
IMO, Compared to a PC, servers are all around bandwidth and capacity. We use dual socket systems (20 cores each), with 512GB RAM in our server farm at work, with 80Gb/s bandwidth to the storage and network. They also use a lot of power - about 500W each, 24 hrs a day.

However, for what you are proposing, all you really need is something that can serve static pages quickly enough for your upstream link (maybe 100Mb/s if you are on Fibre), which is not very taxing.

Given that you are not hosting active content you don't need a 'real server', even a Raspberry Pi  running Apache would be fine. They will also use far less power than a PC.

If you do this, then I would suggest you get two - one for testing updates, and the other actively serving pages to the outside world - if one breaks you can then use the testing unit while you fix it.

Maybe also get a small UPS for your router and server(s) as well. With a Raspberry Pi even a desktop model will work fine.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 03:00:23 am by hamster_nz »
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Offline rs20

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2017, 01:52:20 am »
A few dramatic suggestions there from hamster, but just to be clear if you want a server that'll serve dozens of hits per minute with 99% uptime, then a completely plain Raspberry Pi running Apache will work fine. Run apache server, set up your domains to point at your IP, open port 80 on the router. This is how my website rs20.mine.nu is running (free domain! :P).

If you want higher uptime, more bandwidth, and higher reliability for zero money, that AFAICT any number of hosting services have free products. For example, I host my static content on Firebase for $0.
 

Offline kaevee

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2017, 02:55:32 am »
Consider hosting your servers on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon offers lots of services free for first 12 months.

https://aws.amazon.com/free/

You can create two tiny servers good enough to serve static pages. Further, they even offer a free tier database service if you wish to run a tiny online store.

Probably AWS free tier is lot better than running your own server which entails to keeping it online 24x7, providing stable power, Internet connection and much more.

Edit: Truncated the URL

Venkat
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2017, 03:11:27 am »
What you are describing is not hard at all.

But to do it PROPERLY and SECURELY without compromising the rest of your network is something best left to someone who has a decent amount of server/networking knowledge.
 
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Offline sokoloff

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2017, 03:17:13 am »
Second AWS, but I'd use S3 web hosting instead of running servers.

Stupid easy and insanely cheap (for low utilization site such as you describe).
Also probably fits in the free tier for the first 12 months. After that, I'd expect literally pennies per month.

Docs: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/WebsiteHosting.html
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 05:28:52 am »
Let me replay what I think you want to do to make sure I understand it right:
You want to buy domain names, all of them will just have a for sale sign for that domain name. Your plan is to resell the name and make a profit.

So, here is an overview (hope it will help you how where to start):

Part 1, the name

First is the domain name registry.  If the name you want is an available name, you buy the names from a domain registrar.  Most domain registrar also offers name services and hosting services.

Once you got the name, you can now specify where (what IP) that name goes to.  So, you use your domain registrar's DNS service to enter an IP that you own/control into their name server.  You can have ALL your domains pointing to the same IP (same server).

You can run your own DNS server too, but that is beyond the scope of this overview.

For example:
Since I own domain ricklaw.us, I can have many servers with that single domain name.  A server I choose to name "secret" can go in my domain as secret.ricklaw.us.  I can have another server electronics.ricklaw.us.  Each server needs an entry in my DNS – which is actually me creating an entry in my registrar's DNS server for the name(s) I own.  The names secret.ricklaw.us just points to a server by IP.  It doesn't mean it is a particular type of server.  It could be a mail server, an FTP server, whatever.

Note of course common nomenclature.  For example, www for world wide web server) and mx for mail exchange server, so on.

So, with your name in the "global phone book" (ie: DNS servers), a user from the outside can get to your server using that "phone book".  He (the application) asks the DNS of the world and eventually the request gets to your registrar's DNS server which will return the IP you entered for that server. 
 
Part 2, the server

Now the user have an IP, it knows how to get to your machine, it could be a web server or whatever type of server.  In your case, you have a simple web page server.

There are plenty of web server hosting services out there.  Your domain registrar probably have web server hosting service also.  You need only one server.  All the domains you own can point to that one server.  (ie: all the entries in the DNS have the same)

You can make up that simple html "for sale" page, or use whatever tool your registrar's server has and make something fancy.  Google hosts webpage also, but in the way they configure it (or used to configure it), you will probably need to replicate the page(s) into each domain name google hosts.  I have not used Google web host for a while, so I am not sure how they are like now.

Different companies have different mix of services, here are two you need to look into.  They may call it something else but typically:
Server hosting - host your hardware in their shop, or rent you a machine/virtual-machine.
Web hosting - you don't have your own machine, but you have your own website on a machine that may house web servers for other clients.

I personally use dnsexit.com as my registrar/host.  They also have server and web hosting.  Since your flag is Canada, I think godaddy.com is a Canadian firm (not sure, just think so).  They will host your domain name and have server hosting as well - or at least they used to.    As I said earlier, there are many registrar/hosting firms out there.  Search the web for one that will give you the best deal.


Part 3, the machine at home

You can use an old XP machine and it can serve simple pages.  But you will have reliability problem.  For consistent service, you will also need a fixed IP.  You can get by with "dynamic IP".  Typical consumer internet connection have "dynamic IP" which means it may change by itself at intervals selected by your ISP.

Some DNS services are dynamic.  The one I use dnsexit.com has dynamic DNS capability.  I run something that keep detecting my IP and connect to them to update when it changes - which means there is an exposure.  How frequent do I run my IP update, what if the customer happen to look between ISP's IP change and my IP update application actually updating.

Then there is power outage, etc.  You said you want to do it right, so I suggest best is having a professional hosting service host it.


This is a quick overview, I hope it helps.

Rick
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 05:37:57 am by Rick Law »
 
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Offline james_s

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 05:32:37 am »
Aren't there enough domain name squatter leeches out there already? Unless I misunderstand what you're trying to do.
 
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Offline yada

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 06:06:26 am »
I like th raspberry pi idea because its cheap, and you can just copy SD card and make clones in minutes when you screw something up. This will be at a friends house who will either have fois of comcastic. If we start making money at this Ill get faster internet. This is all about a thin bottom line. A rpi and the bare minimum is all we need. This idea is 90% me spending hours on the internet doing google SEO stuff and him spending minutes with the hard ware and dozens of minutes with the soft ware. Once set up ill only call him to send him a check or do something technical. An RPI has cheap shipping too!
 

Offline Codebird

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 06:10:49 am »
Home internet connections are not entirely reliable, and usually horribly assymetric. You're better off renting a VM from the cheapest host you can find - you can get them starting at about £10 a month, very low cost.
 

Offline rs20

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2017, 06:28:04 am »
It's interesting that you're celebrating how "cheap" your RPi solution is, when there are a whole host of free options that have been outlined above.
 

Offline yada

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2017, 06:59:02 am »
It's interesting that you're celebrating how "cheap" your RPi solution is, when there are a whole host of free options that have been outlined above.
I want to learn the hardware end. Its been a goal of mine since I was a kid. Its novel to me to think that the internet is something you can touch and unplug. Half of what I do is for the learning experience. 
 
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Offline kaevee

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 07:08:02 am »
It's interesting that you're celebrating how "cheap" your RPi solution is, when there are a whole host of free options that have been outlined above.
I want to learn the hardware end. Its been a goal of mine since I was a kid. Its novel to me to think that the internet is something you can touch and unplug. Half of what I do is for the learning experience.
It is always great to learn hands on. People accessing your site(s) may or may not appreciate your zeal to run servers on our own. You are the best judge.

Venkat
 
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 08:10:57 am »
It's not hard, but the problem is that most ISPs don't allow public facing web servers or any servers that offer services.  That pisses me off, it's an old arcaic rule that should not exist anymore.  Also most don't provide static IP blocks.  yeah dynudns and no-ip etc but if you want to run a "real" server you probably want to run your own DNS too not to mention have firewall rules on other servers that may require to add that server's IP.  So a static IP is important for anything serious.

That said, I run a few servers at home for my personal stuff and do have a public facing game server.  My public facing web stuff is on a dedicated server at OVH though.  The up side of a local "on prem" server is the vast control you have.  Vlans, various network configs etc.  Some stuff like that is just hard and/or risky to do remotely.  That and it's more secure as you can make certain things only accessible from the inside.


 




I need to cleanup the wiring one day.

My DC cabling is kinda bad too, I plan to redo it at some point.  My current power system is a 12v inverter-charger but I'd like to upgrade to a 48v dual conversion setup, possibly with solar.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 08:14:05 am by Red Squirrel »
 

Offline dimkasta

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2017, 08:28:47 am »
Just get a baby plan from hostgator and put them there. You will sleep better at night.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2017, 08:37:43 am »
I agree with the others: Running your own server will end in dissaster. Hackers, slow internet, crashes will keep you awake at night. If your core business is selling web pages then rent a server at a reliable firm. I'd stay away from hosting providers which are cheap or free if your business depends on it. You will want assurances for availability (SLA).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2017, 09:04:22 am »
It's not hard, but the problem is that most ISPs don't allow public facing web servers or any servers that offer services.  That pisses me off, it's an old arcaic rule that should not exist anymore. 

I didn't know it existed ever! In Australia, your home Internet connection is basically yours to do as you please. You can run all the services you like. Most decent ISPs will also give you a static IP by default at little to no extra cost (for example, my ISP, dynamic IP isn't even an option as far as I know).
 

Online tooki

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 10:11:18 am »
I'm trying to buy and sell domain names and found you can get the value up by listing them with google. The web sites are going to be real simple, just a few pictures and some text saying its for sale. I'm trying to make money on volume so it doesn't make sense to pay a monthly fee on every site as I have a lot. The server is going to be at a friends house some distance away who is trust worthy and knows more then me about computers. But I don't even know where to begin. Do you need a special server machine or will a regular PC work? I'm willing to invest some money into this to do it right.
I think this is one of those "if you have to ask, you shouldn't do it" kind of questions. As others have said, it's not hard to do, but it's hard to do right. And generally speaking, it's not worth the effort to do it yourself. A hosting provider will do it better for less. (In particular, keeping a server protected from intrusion is not trivial; one mistake and the next thing you know, it's being used to host pirated movies and kiddie porn without your knowledge, or as part of a botnet performing DDOS attacks.)
 

Offline Jeroen3

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2017, 11:27:24 am »
That said, I run a few servers at home for my personal stuff and do have a public facing game server.
I count 60 hard drive slots.... I only have 2, in a Synology DS214. And it's not called HAL9000.

It may be very well against the Terms of Service of your internet contract to run any commercial activities on the home line.
Enforcement of this is generally when you enter the top 1% of data hoarders.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 11:29:43 am by Jeroen3 »
 

Offline jmelson

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2017, 08:10:16 pm »
Ordinary PCs are fine, as the bandwidth allowed for typical residential internet services are pretty limited.  You need a business-grade internet service.  One thing to look for is the upload speed.  For instance, my business-grade cable modem gives 100 mbits/second download, but only 4 mbits/second upload.  This is barely tolerable, and I'm waiting for the cable company to upgrade.

You want to run a Linux server with Apache, or have a REALLY good IT person set it up to be secure.  There are guys constantly trying to compromise your server.  I used to get over 1000 attacks a day until I put in denyhosts, which cuts off all access from IP addresses that are trying to break in.  Haven't had any successful breakin in over a decade.

Jon
 

Offline eugenenine

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2017, 08:37:05 pm »
Some ISP's its against the terms of service unless you pay extra for their business class.  Other than that its not hard.

This is my Raspberry Pi rack hosting my own stuff at home

 

Offline jmelson

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2017, 09:01:19 pm »
I agree with the others: Running your own server will end in dissaster. Hackers, slow internet, crashes will keep you awake at night. If your core business is selling web pages then rent a server at a reliable firm. I'd stay away from hosting providers which are cheap or free if your business depends on it. You will want assurances for availability (SLA).
Well, I've been doing it for at l;east 15 years.  Yes, in the beginning, I got hacked a couple times.  But, now, it has been well over a decade since the last successful hack.  The guys who run the spambots probe for vulnerable sites, they have apparently put me on their "don't bother" list, they figured out I have a more than 2 week horizon for re-enabling blocked IP addresses, and they figure they will never get in.

Running my own server is all due to inertia.  When I started, there was no extra fee for static IP and permission to run servers, and the web hosting outfits were few and expensive.  Now, it is pretty insane to do this.  Crashes?  Other than power failures, I think I have had one actual crash in a decade.  The cable modem and Charter's cable plant has more downtime that that.

Jon
 

Offline dimkasta

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2017, 09:45:37 pm »
Well, I've been doing it for at l;east 15 years.  Yes, in the beginning, I got hacked a couple times.  But, now, it has been well over a decade since the last successful hack.  The guys who run the spambots probe for vulnerable sites, they have apparently put me on their "don't bother" list, they figured out I have a more than 2 week horizon for re-enabling blocked IP addresses, and they figure they will never get in.

I get probes from 4-5 different IPs daily on each of my sites. Most from eastern Europe or Asia

Blocking is too convenient for them. They then can skip your server and move to other ones fast
I find it funnier to throttle them and let them probe and test passwords for username admin, test and the domain :)
They are wasting time and the internet is a bit safer while they are spinning their wheels :)

Block comes eventually, but it is pretty much meaningless. Others appear fast.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2017, 09:49:28 pm »
That said, I run a few servers at home for my personal stuff and do have a public facing game server.
I count 60 hard drive slots.... I only have 2, in a Synology DS214. And it's not called HAL9000.

It may be very well against the Terms of Service of your internet contract to run any commercial activities on the home line.
Enforcement of this is generally when you enter the top 1% of data hoarders.

Haha yeah lot of slots, about 19TB between the 3 raid arrays in the 24 bay chassis.  The other slots in other machines arn't used for anything.  The two SAN enclosures at the bottom I also don't use, when I originally got them I thought I could put my own drives in them but can't.  At about 200w per shelf it's not worth running with the small drives that are in there.

Hal9000 is the home automation server, figured it was a fitting name.  8)
 

Offline yada

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Re: How hard is it to run a server at your house?
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2017, 09:49:59 pm »
It's not hard, but the problem is that most ISPs don't allow public facing web servers or any servers that offer services.  That pisses me off, it's an old arcaic rule that should not exist anymore.  Also most don't provide static IP blocks.  yeah dynudns and no-ip etc but if you want to run a "real" server you probably want to run your own DNS too not to mention have firewall rules on other servers that may require to add that server's IP.  So a static IP is important for anything serious.

That said, I run a few servers at home for my personal stuff and do have a public facing game server.  My public facing web stuff is on a dedicated server at OVH though.  The up side of a local "on prem" server is the vast control you have.  Vlans, various network configs etc.  Some stuff like that is just hard and/or risky to do remotely.  That and it's more secure as you can make certain things only accessible from the inside.


 




I need to cleanup the wiring one day.

My DC cabling is kinda bad too, I plan to redo it at some point.  My current power system is a 12v inverter-charger but I'd like to upgrade to a 48v dual conversion setup, possibly with solar.

How much did that set up cost and whats your monthly internet bill/plan?
 


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