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

  • From: Paul Vixie
  • Date: Sun Mar 14 13:16:05 2004

(Three replies here.)

-------- (Bohdan Tashchuk) writes:

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

Some do.  However, without a server that can be impounded and then sold
on E-Bay, there's no reason to think that the provider will have less
abuse volume from such customers than they would have from SMTP AUTH
customers or DSL customers or what-have-you.  "Show me the sheet-metal."
I've seen vmware, freebsd jails, linux lvm's.  Unless the provider asks
for a USD$1000 deposit against bad behaviour, refundable with interest
after the first year... I don't expect the address space to have a good
enough reputation that *I* would want to be in that neighborhood.

-------- (Jim Popovitch) writes:

> Here to:, and for less than $50 per
> month.   I have had nothing but excellent experience with them.

InterLand has essentially got no abuse desk.  My complaints to them about
their customers mostly go unanswered.  Blackholing them here has been my
only recourse.  Maybe you'd want to live in that kind of neighborhood, but
not I.  (Tell me an address block and I'll show you my lartomatic records.)

-------- (Jeff McAdams) writes:

> I'm sorry, Paul, but the "$50/month 1U colo business" that you keep
> going on about is, at best, a niche market.  It is not, and will not be,
> a substitute for DSL/Cable.

I'm not presenting it as a substitute for DSL/Cable.  I'm sure that many
thousands of BSD-aware or Linux-aware power users will continue to love
the price-performance ratio of DSL/Cable a lot more than they loved their
modems.  However, I'm calling a spade a spade -- DSL/Cable is usually just
a replacement for a modem, and you'd better plan on having "someplace real"
on the other side of that "modem" to have as your full time "living space".

> At best, it will be in addition to DSL/Cable, which means an extra
> expense for customers, which means that it will never be more than a
> niche.

I think we're in a same-planet-different-worlds scenario here.  Because less
than 1% of the internet population is capable of administering their own 1U
(or virtual machine or whatever) running BSD or Linux, this whole thing is
already a niche, irrespective of costs.  (I'd've thought that was obvious.)

> Other's have said, and they are absolutely right, that there is no real
> technical difference between a DSL line with a static IP, and a colo box.

And others were wrong, when they said that.  See George Herbert's excellent
"Message-Id: <>" for a fine rebuttal.

> There are ISPs out there that are providing clueful DSL service,
> including allowing servers on it, with aggressive abuse response, at
> competitive price points.  It can be, and is being, done.  Its rare, yes,
> but it can be found.

In a minority of markets, that's true, and I hope that more such appear.

> So, the argument that we need to all start selling "$50/month 1U colo
> boxes" because responsible DSL service can't be done is bogus.

One power user acting alone can sign up for a $50/month 1U personal colo.
Only a well backed company can solve the "no decent DSL in Sacramento"
problem.  (And such a company would most likely be sucked into the "race
to the bottom" by price-competition, so it's a risk at best unless you're
first in a market that's unattractive to larger players.)

> > it would be marketing suicide to offer a different dsl-dhcp ip address
> > to people willing to pay enough to budget for an abuse desk.
> You're wrong here.  It can be done, and it can be done profitably.

Looks like you didn't read what you quoted.  I know it can be done profitably
but I also know that offering two price-levels of DSL, one with an abuse desk
capable of calling you and telling you your XP box has been rooted and talking
you through Windows Update; the other with a tailgate warranty -- this would
be "marketing suicide" since the irresponsibility of the latter would become
intolerable if it were thusly highlighted.
Paul Vixie

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