Google Answers Logo
View Question
 
Q: Estimated Costs for web portal serving clients and merchants... ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Question  
Subject: Estimated Costs for web portal serving clients and merchants...
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: kbaboss-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 25 Jan 2006 13:59 PST
Expires: 24 Feb 2006 13:59 PST
Question ID: 437605
I am planning on constructing a web portal serving clients and
merchants. The front-end will be an open customer portal for browsing
and viewing, which will redirect to individual merchant?s .coms, which
are designed, maintained and hosted by our company but carry their own
.com. So basically there are two components 1.) customer service
front-end and 2.) sub-site server that hosts various .coms on the same
IP address, with URL-recognition used to differentiate the clients. My
questions are:

How many sub-sites can I reasonably expect to put on a server without
affecting performance noticably?

The sub-sites are expected to be low traffic, <10 hits/ea per day

Cost is the magic factor here, so if more expensive hardware brings
down recurring costs, that?s OK
Based on customer traffic to the main portal, will I need more than
one server to handle that?
Mostly anonymous browsers being shortly redirected to sub-site servers
Only heavy users are merchants
What is the number of merchants at which I might need to consider
multiple servers for this
What can I expect dedicated rack hosting to cost?
Per-server, low, medium, high spec
Up-front costs: lease or buy servers
Bandwidth costs: please rough estimate
 
 
I know these are tough numbers to project, but even if you have to
qualify it as a huge ?ballpark? number, SOME numbers are better than
none. Not looking for a guarantee or a definitive answer, just a
starting point.

Clarification of Question by kbaboss-ga on 26 Jan 2006 16:16 PST
Looks confusing without the bullet points:

I am planning on constructing a web portal serving clients and
merchants. The front-end will be an open customer portal for browsing
and viewing, which will redirect to individual merchant?s .coms, which
are designed, maintained and hosted by our company but carry their own
.com. So basically there are two components 1.) customer service
front-end and 2.) sub-site server that hosts various .coms on the same
IP address, with URL-recognition used to differentiate the clients. My
questions are:

1)  How many sub-sites can I reasonably expect to put on a server without
     affecting performance noticably?

       a. The sub-sites are expected to be low traffic, <10 hits/ea per day
       b.  Cost is the magic factor here, so if more expensive hardware brings
            down recurring costs, that?s OK
            
2)     Based on customer traffic to the main portal, will I need more than
        one server to handle that?

       a.  Mostly anonymous browsers being shortly redirected to sub-site servers
       b.   Only heavy users are merchants
       c.  What is the number of merchants at which I might need to consider
            multiple servers for this?

3)    What can I expect dedicated rack hosting to cost?
      
       a. Per-server, low, medium, high spec
       b. Up-front costs: lease or buy servers
       c. Bandwidth costs: please rough estimate
 
I know these are tough numbers to project, but even if you have to
qualify it as a huge ?ballpark? number, SOME numbers are better than
none. Not looking for a guarantee or a definitive answer, just a
starting point.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 26 Jan 2006 18:37 PST
Hello -

Any budgetary constraints?

jbf777
Researcher

Clarification of Question by kbaboss-ga on 26 Jan 2006 20:00 PST
recurring costs are bad... upfront captial outlay is OK...
Answer  
Subject: Re: Estimated Costs for web portal serving clients and merchants...
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 27 Jan 2006 14:16 PST
 
Hwllo -

I've outlined some estimated costs for you below for the two possible
avenues you can take -- acquiring/maintaining equipment yourself, or
contracting with a managed hosting solutions provider.


Self-hosted solutions
???????????????????????????????????

1)  How many sub-sites can I reasonably expect to put on a server without
    affecting performance noticably?  Based on customer traffic to the main 		
    portal, will I need more than one server to handle that?  What is the 
    number of merchants at which I might need to consider multiple servers for 
    this?

On a 2.8 Ghz dual-core Intel processor, with a couple gigabytes of
RAM, three 73GIG SCSI drives on a RAID 5 setup, you can reasonably
expect to host between 100-150 merchants, easily handling <10 hits/ea
per day(1).  Consider another server when you need to service more
merchants than this.

 
2)  What can I expect dedicated rack hosting to cost?  
      
Dell Computer considers the above specs as their "low end" spec at
around $4000.  Add $1000 for a medium spec to include tape backup,
twice the RAM, etc.  Hewlett Packard is about thousand dollars more. 
Add another $1000 for 4-hour on-site hardware response, back-up
software, etc.  Robust database software such as SQL will run you
another $4K-$5K per processor (in this case, you'd have just one
initially).

You can possibly begin with a much less expensive setup by buying used
servers for under $1000 (even newer, less-power ones can be cheaper),
older versions or off-brand database software, and in general taking a
minimalist approach, as you can always expand later on as your needs
grow.

To determine leasability of these systems, several factors, including
personal information such as your credit rating, in addition to total
purchase price, and how many years you take the lease, will affect the
cost.  If you're not leasing to own, it probably makes more sense to
go with a hosting solutions provider (see below).

With regards to bandwidth, it's entirely possible to have a site with
850 domains and use half of a T1, total for a month (1.5Mbps, which is
hardly anything).  Verizon charges about $1500 for 10Mb per month
(about 7 T1's worth).  A broadband cable connection to your business,
at around 2 to 4Mb per month, costs about $300 from Verizon, which may
be sufficient to start off with (contact Nevin at 614-481-5435 for
more information on Verizon's offerings).


Managed hosted solutions
???????????????????????????????????
"Managed hosting" solutions providers -- or providers who host and
manage a server for you -- offer a very attractive, highly economical
alternative solution to hosting servers yourself.  I spoke to a firm
in New York called "Turnkey Internet", who's exclusive business is
hosting.  You could take the capital you were looking to spend on
servers and bandwidth for maintaining equipment yourself, and simply
pay a low fee of between $150-$300/month for a dedicated server at a
dedicated location.  The recurring cost is very minimal: over two
_years_ you could look to spend between $2000-$4000.  At $150/month,
Turnkey, as an example, provides you a 2.4 GHz system with 80 GB HD
space, 1/2 GB of ram, 250 GB of monthly data transfer, and includes
Linux with Apache web server, MySQL database, integrated mail server,
secure administration panel, and much more.  The equipment is owned by
the company, but leased to you by the month, and includes bandwidth,
power, service/support, security, firewall, etc.  Alternatively, you
could purchase your own server, and have it administrated by them. 
This kind of service will expand with you as your needs grow, and you
avoid the initial investment and ongoing recurring fees of owning and
managing the equipment/software at your location.

See http://www.turnkeyinternet.net/webhosting/dedicated.php

Other providers available here:
http://www.thewhir.com/find/web-hosts/dir/managed.cfm
Keep in mind, advertised prices might not include everything you need,
such as, for example, SQL leasing.


Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thank you,

jbf777
Researcher



Search strategy/sources:

Dell
????????????????????
Buy Online or Call 1-800-757-8434 x7958263 (Dan Dwier)
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/tower?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Gateway
????????????????????
800-846-2036x55474 (Brent)

HP
????????????????????
800-888-0262

Request for Answer Clarification by kbaboss-ga on 27 Jan 2006 17:16 PST
I want to go with a hosting provider like turnkey, and I need solid
servers ? 3 of these to start ? to for hosting, one for sql
o        Dual xeon 2.8+
o        2GB minimum RAM
o        RAID 5 scsi array?.3x 36gb 7200RPM + drives
         I hear ev1servers.net is a good solution, can you research
them and get me the dirt and prices on them?
         Can I get windows hosting through them too, and is the cost comparable?

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 27 Jan 2006 19:29 PST
I'd be glad to, but it appears evlservers.net is defunct... the
website appears to be a placeholder page for other links.  Any other
company?

jbf777

Request for Answer Clarification by kbaboss-ga on 28 Jan 2006 08:04 PST
Oh...  Can you give me some suggestions for some excellent comanies
that would be able to provide excellent service for me and give me a
cost breakdown requested above for that company?

Request for Answer Clarification by kbaboss-ga on 28 Jan 2006 08:55 PST
WAIT!!!  you mistook the "1" for and "L"...  Please review this site:
 
http://ev1servers.net/

Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 28 Jan 2006 18:32 PST
Sorry about that. :)  EV1Servers runs about $1500 for 3 servers (as
confirmed by a representative I spoke with today) which includes MySQL
(Microsoft SQL would be an additional $249 {standard edition} or $64
{workgroup} more).  However, they say they are not technically a
managed hosting soluton: although they provide 24 hour technical
support, this is only for hardware and network issues and does not
include software support.  Windows hosting is available for a small
additional charge.  They look to be within the same general ballpark
as Turnkey's prices.

Submit a request for custom quote here: http://ev1servers.net/hosting/custom.asp


For other alternatives, I located a site called "HostReview" which
ranks the top 10 hosts in different categories -- the most relevant in
this case would be "Best Managed Hosting Service" and "Best Dedicated
Service Package."  "Winners are judged on pricing, up-time, money back
guarantees, plan features and flexibility, technical support, security
features and users' reviews. Monthly results are prepared and
displayed on [their] pages in the 1st of the following month."  See
the following links to see the lists.

For January 06, the top managed hosting services are here:
http://www.hostreview.com/webhostaward/top10managedhosting.html

The top dedicated hosting services are here:
http://www.hostreview.com/webhostaward/top10dedicatedserver.html

jbf777

Request for Answer Clarification by kbaboss-ga on 30 Jan 2006 10:53 PST
hmmm...

Can get you some unbiased end-user information and rough numbers on 1
or 2 of the ones you think are best, or a more reliable source of
information that doesn?t appear to be $$ driven. We?re looking for
information that can?t be bought by advertising money.
 
In my experience, the best players in any market do very little
advertising/marketing and have a rock solid reputation with the
consumer.

Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 30 Jan 2006 14:54 PST
Hello -

Please see this site:

http://www.findmyhost.com/db/search_results.asp?Page=7&keyword=&SearchCategory=2

Bear in mind, there's no way of making sure review information isn't
biased or skewed.  Even if you were to read "consumer reviews" -- how
many of those consumers are truly "consumers" and not people with
"special incentives" to make the review?

While I'd love to assist further, the topic of web site reviews would
actually be outside the scope of this original question, so I wouldn't
be able to delve any deeper into this on this question (per our
policies).  However, feel free to post another question on Google
Answers and one of our researchers might be able to assist you.

Thanks,

jbf777
Comments  
Subject: Re: Estimated Costs for web portal serving clients and merchants...
From: harryhotdog-ga on 26 Jan 2006 17:11 PST
 
I have recently asked similar questions of my own ASP (Application
Service Provider) who informed me that I can have unlimited domains
(with unlimited subdomains) without any bandwidth restrictions -
which, considering that this particular ASP has the biggest MS Windows
Server 2003 Farm in the world (they also have Linux), is promising.

They also have a marvellous API (Application Programming Interface) so
that you can build your own front end (in ASP, ASP.net, PHP, Perl,
etc), which caters to your Portal needs.

Cost start at around 50 pounds Sterling a month, the ASP is
Fasthosts.co.uk, look for the 'Reseller Package' on their website.

If you manually configured (via an online interface), for example, a
million subdomains each with 5GB of hosting, it wouldn't cost you an
extra penny - and there wouldn't be any increaded bandwidth overhead.
But if you automate the configuration of the same (using the API), the
cost starts at around 5 pounds Sterling for the same 5GB webhost, per
annum.

They call it a Reseller Package because most of their target market
use it as a Virtual ISP, but it is equally an ASP if you use the
account as the backend to your portal (as I already do).

There's also an astonishing upgrade path, SQL databases, Domains Name
Registration, load balancing, and so on ... all at the click of a
button.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at answers-support@google.com with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  


Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy