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Race to the bottom (was Re: who offers cheap (personal) 1U colo?)

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Sun Mar 14 22:31:17 2004

On Sun, 14 Mar 2004, Paul Vixie wrote:
> 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.

The residual value of sheet-metal continues to drop :-) Its not
unusual for the cost of disposing of the equipment to be more than the
unpaid bills.  People who buy cheap, personal colo seem to be equally
cheap when it comes to equipment they put in the colo.  That assumes
the equipment doesn't have other UCC liens on it already.  Dell Leasing
or Sun Leasing don't care if you use their equipment for abuse.  They
still expect their money or the equipment back.

Many colo providers could tell you stories about problem customers that
vanish without a trace.  The "collateral value" of the equipment isn't

> One power user acting alone can sign up for a $50/month 1U personal colo.

But first, a well backed company builds the colo, buys the upstream
bandwidth, obtain independent ARIN addresses and highly paid support
folks to support a single power user paying $50/month.

Yep, a race to the bottom exists in the colo space too.

> 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.)

I assume you are aware that DSL transport is available without Internet
access.  Ghetto colo providers could terminate DSL transport on their
network.  Then you would have an IP address of the Ghetto colo provider.
You can also terminate DSL transport on your company network. Heck you
don't even need to send IP across DSL, you can use it for IPX, Appletak,
DECNET, or many other packet protocols.

It doesn't sound like colo or a replacement for your cable modem or DSL
line would actually meet all your requirements. What you seem to be
asking for is how can an individual obtain independent IP address space
which various block lists won't block for $50/month.  And once you find
such a thing, how to prevent "bad people" from taking advantage for your

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