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Re: who offers cheap (personal) 1U colo?

  • From: Bohdan Tashchuk
  • Date: Sun Mar 14 05:44:00 2004

> $50/month at 40U rentable is $2000/rack/month if it's full.
> after paying for 60A of power and 50Mbits/sec of transit
> and whatever the rack rents for, the provider's gross margin
> will be between 25% and 50%, out of which they have to pay
> salaries. as a standalone business this makes no sense, but
> at scale or as part of another business, $50/month @1U is
> just about right.

I've only seen a few comments on the business aspect of this, so I'd like to throw my two cents in.

Given: at least certain Linux distributions are free to copy
Given: the various BSD distributions are all free to copy
Given: vmware workstation is a relatively low-cost product
Given: Linux and BSD run in virtual machines on Vmware on Linux

Question: Why can't a provider sell virtual PC colocation, instead of physical PC colocation?

So instead of 40 physical machines per rack, why can't it be 80 or 160 or even more virtual machines, running on 40 physical Linux boxes? I think the economics could shift significantly under those circumstances.

For personal colo the virtual CPU would probably be idle at least 99% of the time. My home servers usually are. Which means that when hosting 4 typical virtual machines a real CPU would still be mostly idling. Also a small IDE drive now is about 120 GB. Divide that by 4 and each colo still has 30 GB of disk space, more than enough for most needs.

The hardware cost per "machine" certainly goes down, and other than the vmware licenses the OS software is "free", either BSD licensed free or GPL licensed "free". Either is good enough for this purpose.

Is some hosting company already doing this?

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