How to set up a SMALL cloud-storage facility?

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starhawk

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OK, folks... this one's a bit special, even fer me ;)

Lotsa reading on the background info here: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1646416

Basic summary: got a crapton of pretty old stuff here, mostly P3/AthXP and old (P4/P-M) laptops with a few gems. Got holy crap buckets of HDDs and a few networking bits, and the idea to actually do something with all of it that might get me a little money. Namely... "Mommy, I wanna cloud storage business for Christmas!" (Disclaimer: I'm gonna be 26 next June... I got my horrid sense of humor from my father.)

That said, I'm a little in over my head. I've got SOME end-user Linux experience, but precious little "I made this work" Linux experience, and I've ZERO knowledge of Unix/BSD. My favorite bash command involves a baseball bat :p To make things better, you know that "Don't know nothin' 'bout..." song? That's me with networking. Bugger.

RIght now, here's what I'm thinking...

Internet in
>to PfSense box (a Dell Inspiron 8100 if I can get the #@!!ing thing to boot from CD...)
>>to SuperStack II hub OR hawking switch (depending on whether or not I can get the brick for the switch...)
>>>to custom-build P3 and/or AthXP boxes with lotsa HDDs.

That's as far as I've gotten, and I don't really yet know much about this. I've tons of parts (literally, I've got at least as much mass as my stepmother's 2k3 Altima... that there's a big mint green lump o' car, mind you...) but I'm short on useful cabling and I'll need some power conditioning equipment (namely the stuff that likes to come with an APC logo on it...) but other than that, all I have is time and determination.

I'm quite sure ya'll are wondering why I'm doing this, with all this old crap that could make a perfectly good pile in the local dump's eWaste bins? Why not save myself the trouble and sell it all or give it away or throw it away?

Because it gives me hope. I'm poor, and I don't like it. If I have a way to haul my fat @$$ out of barely scraping by (that's during a good month, mind you) then I'm going to use it. I'm not (often) lazy. I don't like this. I want a better future, and this is how I want to get there. For me, it's a potential ticket out of this hole, and damn straight I'm giving it a chance. I just need a little help getting there.
 

ChRoNo16

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Step 1, get rid of/destroy that hub, its going to cause more issues then anything, find a cheap switch. that will make things a lot easier for your project.
 

starhawk

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What, the Super Stack II? Well, I've got a Hawking switch, but I don't have its power brick...

EDIT: what's wrong with the SS II? Should work just fine, it's the only rackmount item in my entire house... that said, since I know a LITTLE soldering, could I rig up an AT PSU to supply the hawking switch? It needs 3.3v, 4a, and I know DAMN well I've got a barrel jack to fit it, somewhere... and a pair of AT boxes I could easily rip apart...
 
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adi

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Negative nancy mode:

don't. You don't have the expertise. You don't have the internet pipe. You don't have the hardware. You don't have the power. You don't have the A/C (including humidity). You don't have the facilities.

You are going up against services that have all of that, and they also offer their lowest teir for free/very cheap. Starting out free is your only chance at getting a userbase. If anything goes wrong during the first few months (outage - internet or power, data loss, fire, theft, etc), it is a write off.

You say you have a couple (couple being less than 3) of TB between two drawers of completely random and unknown drives. Most people on this forum have 5TB+ at home, and might pay $5/mo to a big name for 50TB of backed up online storage in a professionally run datacenter.

Here is a great story of someone wanting to start out small and grow a business they had no expertise in. They got in over their head, made promises, and tried to limp along getting ripped to bits for a few months as they tried to recover.

4+ years ago you might have had a chance to get out the door if you had a great marketing plan with professionally programmed applications that made it easy for users to automatically back their data up. Now, I'd say you need at least $150k startup to get through your first year.
 

starhawk

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I have the hardware. I sorta have the A/C... not sure about humidity. I can get the internet pipe, and if I don't try, I'll never get the expertise in the first place.

I can at least try, and I owe my future that much.

EDIT: I owe it to myself as well.

EDIT2: damn this old inspiron... tried every cd drive I've got that'll fit in it, and it won't boot from cd-rw... all out of cd-r's... anybody ever heard of a dell cd-rom drive not accepting -rw cd's even when burned at 4x?? grrrrrrrrr aaaaaaaargh.
 

madrebel

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you dont have the hardware, you can't get the pipe.

a cable modem even with the highest tier of service doesn't cut it.

if you want to learn you can do that but you're a long ways away from having an offering anyone would actually pay for.

here are some things to research.

ZFS (either solaris of BSD based)
Gluster
Xen Cloud Platform

Those will teach you what you want to learn as they're actually used by big name cloud providers.
 

Cerulean

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I've got some SuperStack III switches (24 and 48-porters) and routers, and I think some fiber stuffs. Where do you live? Maybe you can come pick it all up and take it away from me. I've got a very big handful.
 

starhawk

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I'm in Siler City, NC -- 27344... and I don't drive (25 and never learned)... if you've got a truck and a phone I'll tell ya how to get here, but that's about all I can do.
 

starhawk

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Keep in mind, folks, that I'm mostly thinking of selling at most 10gb "slots" (if you will) to local folks who want them. I'm not trying to go big-time here, I'm not that stupid. I just want to get a little money...
 

adi

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Connection:
Home ISP plans do not allow services to be hosted. Looking in my area, a 12/2 business plan starts at $60/mo. You don't want your streaming/downloading to interfere with your business, so that is $60/mo on top of your current connection. 12Mbps is about 1.4MB/s, split across any customers that might be uploading to your service. If they have 2Mbps upload, that means you can support up to 6 concurrent users uploading to you. If anyone needs to download their data from you, the most people can download their data is about 200k/second, split among all users. For those same 6 users hitting you at the same time, they will have a download speed of 33k.

In addition a static IP from the place I looked at is $15/mo extra, so that is $75/mo for a service that will max out at 6 concurrent users.

Hardware:
You have 2 drawers of hard drives, one drawer is sub 10GB, one is >10GB. sub 10GB drives will either be SCSI or IDE. IDE is limited to 4 drives from your motherboard, meaning you will max out at 40GB raw storage per case, if your cases have the required 4x 3.5" drive space. Most computers of that era will only have 2x 3.5" internal bays, especially from a business surplus cache.

SCSI drives are limited to 14 drives per channel (at least for 80 and above). Again you will be limited by internal drive storage, plus most SCSI cables will be around $10 each for 2 drive connectors, up to $75 each for 4 or more connectors. You can get SCSI hotswap cages, but the cost will add up fast for them, depending on how many drives in your drawer are SCSI.

So you might be able to eek out 40GB per server, but most likely 20GB. If you want to have people use you instead of something like Mozy, that means you need to provide 50GB for under $6/mo. That is 2-3 servers dedicated for each user if you decide to use the under 10GB drawer. This also does not account for any redundancy or backup you will need to have if you decide to take money from people.

I have no idea what might be in the 10GB and above drawer, but based on the timeframe of socket 370, I'm assuming most will be under 80GB. Not really much at all compared to modern 3,000GB drives.

Summary:
So for the first 6 users we are at $75/mo for internet, and 12-18 servers running 24/7. Add on power usage, and cooling those 12 machines, making sure that each machine has a NIC, and making sure that your hub/switch isn't becoming a bottleneck. Add on getting the right cables for network and hard drives, enclosures for drives or additional cases for mounting drives.

Software:
Cheapest option would probably some sort of FTP frontend. It means that users have to manually upload each file they want backed up, no automation, and no bandwidth savings of copying only changed blocks.


Basically what I'm saying is that if you are trying to make money off of this, you won't. If you want to learn, set it up for free for some friends. Make sure they know that if a computer dies, their data on that computer dies. When they complain how horrible it is to use, you don't really piss off an angry mob and you can with them back with the cost of a 12 pack.

Beyond that, you can't use 11 year old hardware and have any expectation to succeed in remote storage market, especially with zero admin/software/programming/network experience.

Edit after reading previous post: Fine, do it local for free. Morally I cannot see how anyone would charge for what you are planning. You won't get customers if you don't set up a payment processing system, plus you have to get your business license, etc. Unless by local you mean people will stop by and give you cash, then you won't have to worry about payments, but you still have to (should) get business license and start keeping records of income/expenses for when the IRS finds out about you charging people for a service.

And again, Mozy has 50GB for $6/mo. How badly do you want to charge people for 10GB slices on 11 year old hardware?
 

RocketTech

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We'll give permission as long as you keep us posted on the magnificent failure. Personally, I have my doubts for this whole project if you can't boot a computer from CD.
 

madrebel

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Keep in mind, folks, that I'm mostly thinking of selling at most 10gb "slots" (if you will) to local folks who want them. I'm not trying to go big-time here, I'm not that stupid. I just want to get a little money...

why would anyone pay for 10gb when people give away 50gb for free that is connected to multi gigabit bandwidth?

i like your enthusiasm but you're not thinking this through.
 

starhawk

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I know I have at least two 200gb drives, and IIRC at least two 120gb drives. All drives are PATA/IDE (except for two, which are SCSI Ultra 320 and I'm going to ignore them b/c I've never used SCSI before and they're only 36gb each. Feckit, not messing with that kinda crap.) Not using the sub10gb drawer at all for this, I don't trust anything that old for more than dicking around...

I was thinking of three or four machines, each with several drives partitioned for 1gb each, then a machine with 5gb partitions and a fifth or sixth with 10gb partitions. I can use 80gb drives in the 1gb-size boxes, 120s in the 5gb box, and the 200s in the 10gb box.

I can DEFINITELY do backups on the software side; I know there's software out there for that and I can probably save up enough to buy it (if I don't just have everything run Linux somehow, with the exception of the PfSense box). I also know that I have five PCI->IDE cards -- so make that seven drives a box (gotta have a CD drive for data recovery and all that...), not four, on all but one box (all boxes if I do only 5). One of the five cards actually has three connectors, but it's out the back bracket. Not sure how threading it back in through a hole would affect cooling...

I only have two real friends, other than ya'll folks... and neither I nor my two friends drink.
 

madrebel

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even worse, you don't drink. you have nothing to deael with the pain and suffering that awaits you lol :).
 

starhawk

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My vice is art. I draw. And I'm damn persistent. I'll get this @!**ing dell booted eventually...

...and if I can't it's going to the dump. Besides, I've never seen a laptop this damn stubborn -- I've plenty of systems that boot from CD just fine. If this one wants to be a pisser it goes out the door. I've got at least 15 more that can fill its shoes... most of 'em better systems. I just picked this one cuz I happen to have a brick for it...

...and I am thinking. I'm just thinking differently. I want to advertise to my local town. If they are nice to me, then MAYBE someday I'll have enough money to compete with the big guns. For now, I can get enough business off of the local chatlist and word of mouth from the shop that's giving me this stuff...

BTW, I had a cousin named Barb (until Alzheimers fried her brain :( ) who started her own ISP in Southern Pines NC. It's called ConnectNC and it's a lot larger than her basement could ever be. Her vision? Back in the early 90s she realized that there were a lot of folks who were not being served by Compuserv and AOL here in rural NC. She set out to fix that, back when literally almost everyone was on AOL, Prodigy, etc.... and although she's no longer around to see it, they are a mighty big "local business" doing a lot of stuff all over this area.

If I can get even 1% of that size...
 

infect0

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Not to be a jerk but in this one area its going to be really difficult to compete unless you sucker some people in. Not to mention its irresponsible since you do not have the experience.

S3 $0.140 per GB for the fist 1/TB. How are you going to beat that.
 

RocketTech

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Who is not being served in the online storage market? What unfilled need do you plan on addressing? Can you compete with $1.40 a month to store 10GB? That's the price to store 10GB on Amazon's S3. I applaud your enthusiasm while abhoring your lack of research or even basic knowledge.
 

starhawk

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Ya'll are still thinking too big.

I'M NOT TRYING TO COMPETE WITH THE BIG ONES. I'm wanting to be small potatoes here. Nothing more.

Damned Inspiron has a f*cked bios according to the syslinux boot in my parted magic CD. I think the battery is bad inside, since it's been giving me "bad system time" errors every time I unplug it. Going to the dump... right now I'm going to go see if I have any others that take the same charger (doubt it... but worth a look). If not... I've got a gateway laptop that I can use, but it won't boot from CD, I'll have to use a different system to boot the hard drive for it, and then swap that drive into it. Oh joy.

EDIT: I'm also hedging on using the "local business" card -- some folks really are willing to pay a premium to support such entities. How else would this one-horse town be able to support two computer shops, especially in a Best Buy world?
 

madrebel

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and you're still not listening. people give away for free more than the 10GB you're wanting to offer.

backblaze sells unlimited] storage for $5 a month. you don't think you're competing but you are unless your entire area are a bunch of yokels that don't realize there are a ton of options to choose from that are all much higher quality than anything you can possibly do in your basement.

nobody is saying you shouldnt learn if you want ot learn but you can't sell services based on your hardware and bandwidth.
 

guile

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LOL......

This is the most hillarious thread ever.

Hardforum members, please support my cause to make this the most laughable thread of 2011!
 

RocketTech

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The marketplace determines your competition, not you holding your hands over your ears. I live, work, and own a business in a small town. I earn that business by being competitive- mostly by offering top-tier solutions with personal support. Instead of wasting time and resources on junk-heap computers, I leverage web-based services to deliver custom services to my customers.
If you have aspirations beyond a failed storage service, I recommend you sober-up and re-think what you want to be known for in your small town.
 

starhawk

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@Nocturnal: not funny, thx. I'm quite serious.

As for the rest of you... I'm willing to take the risk. If I fail, I fail. But at least I've tried, and that's better than I can claim now.

...and if I can't do this with what I've got, then what I've got isn't worth enough to sell to get better stuff. So it's a dead end all round. I don't feel like accepting that kind of crap today ;)

EDIT: BTW, if I was trolling I'd be like "O HAI GAIZ WUTZ GOIN ON HEAR I KIN HAZ CLOUD STORAGE PLZ THX". I'm not doing that, so no, I'm not trolling.
 
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starhawk

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Fixed the Inspiron... after tearing a *very* similar latitude with SEVERE missing-screw problems down to the board... I find out that there IS no bios batt on these crapheaps... wow that's sad.

I was lucky enough to be able to use a BIOS flash floppy to make the damn thing work. Booting parted magic as I type...
 

starhawk

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OK... been thinking about this. I hear the reliability concerns, even if I don't quite get it yet.

I've been thinking that the sheer mass of the (actually well sorted) pile here would make such less of an issue since I could easily drop in a spare (eg) motherboard and/or proc and have the affected box back up in something like 15-20min. I also am assuming that most of the boxes will not need this for some time -- after all, the highest-maintenance items in any given system are usually the drives IIRC, and I would test each drive before using it... I can test AND partition each drive easily with parted magic. My concern at this point is primarily getting the missing hardware, figuring out a pricing schedule, and doing the actual setup.

That said, if there really is a significant reliability issue here that I'm not getting yet (even though I've already set aside everything with even ONE bulging cap as well as too antique to be useful) then I'll gladly hear it as well as constructive suggestions on how to either work around it or fix it.

If there's really no point in using the P3 stuff because it will all die in a month (or so) then tell me, but also tell me if the AthXP stuff or the (arriving soon) P4 stuff is going to be problematic as well. That said, if you're willing to buy from or trade with me to get me better stuff, I'm more than all ears. Don't just say "sell it", tell me what it's worth to YOU.

One other thing... ya'll are right that I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. I did my first ever BIOS flash on that Inspiron and I chalk it up to sheer luck that there were enough functioning brain cells in that thing to do it right. I don't know Unix, I know a little Linux (mostly end user stuff)... but if I don't try this stuff out I'm never going to learn in the first place, ya know? Especially since I learn by doing.

OK, maybe I can start out by offering my father a few 10gig slots for his stuff -- he's got a historical project he's working on (it has to do with lighthouses), and he has something like 30gig of photos and documents in his little collection right now. I don't think my friend Ryan needs any storage like this though, and my other friend Crystal needs a website (I don't do that kinda dev work, it's way not my thing) more than she needs a place to back up her files. But I'm going to want more than that and fairly quickly. I'm hoping that I can use "word of mouth" type stuff to advertise and not really need to spend much money on it, but I don't know that much about that part yet.

I know that I don't want to be THAT big, but I want to be more than I am now... what can ya'll suggest other than giving up outright?
 

mwarps

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Throw away the trash, go buy some pencils and draw something.

Thanks for the troll. I needed a good facepalm before work.
 

marty9876

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I recommend you try having sex with Crystal, or Ryan for that matter, as I feel that would be the best use of your available resources.
 

Garby

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OK... been thinking about this. I hear the reliability concerns, even if I don't quite get it yet.

I've been thinking that the sheer mass of the (actually well sorted) pile here would make such less of an issue since I could easily drop in a spare (eg) motherboard and/or proc and have the affected box back up in something like 15-20min. I also am assuming that most of the boxes will not need this for some time -- after all, the highest-maintenance items in any given system are usually the drives IIRC, and I would test each drive before using it... I can test AND partition each drive easily with parted magic. My concern at this point is primarily getting the missing hardware, figuring out a pricing schedule, and doing the actual setup.

That said, if there really is a significant reliability issue here that I'm not getting yet (even though I've already set aside everything with even ONE bulging cap as well as too antique to be useful) then I'll gladly hear it as well as constructive suggestions on how to either work around it or fix it.

If there's really no point in using the P3 stuff because it will all die in a month (or so) then tell me, but also tell me if the AthXP stuff or the (arriving soon) P4 stuff is going to be problematic as well. That said, if you're willing to buy from or trade with me to get me better stuff, I'm more than all ears. Don't just say "sell it", tell me what it's worth to YOU.

One other thing... ya'll are right that I'm not quite sure what I'm doing. I did my first ever BIOS flash on that Inspiron and I chalk it up to sheer luck that there were enough functioning brain cells in that thing to do it right. I don't know Unix, I know a little Linux (mostly end user stuff)... but if I don't try this stuff out I'm never going to learn in the first place, ya know? Especially since I learn by doing.

OK, maybe I can start out by offering my father a few 10gig slots for his stuff -- he's got a historical project he's working on (it has to do with lighthouses), and he has something like 30gig of photos and documents in his little collection right now. I don't think my friend Ryan needs any storage like this though, and my other friend Crystal needs a website (I don't do that kinda dev work, it's way not my thing) more than she needs a place to back up her files. But I'm going to want more than that and fairly quickly. I'm hoping that I can use "word of mouth" type stuff to advertise and not really need to spend much money on it, but I don't know that much about that part yet.

I know that I don't want to be THAT big, but I want to be more than I am now... what can ya'll suggest other than giving up outright?
What you really are not understanding is that you are like a kid trying to sell "lemonade" sludge water when Coca-Cola is giving away free lemonade that actually has quality control and guarantees behind it for free, and so is Pepsi and 17 other multinational and regional vendors. Only, this would be cute from a kid - coming from someone your age this is really absolutely pathetic.

I think you should start much, much smaller. I'd suggest moving out of your parent's house but that's not gonna happen. Maybe just try making some friends. Go to community college or something. Volunteer someplace. Branch out. It seems like you are trying to hang your hat on this and it is just straight up absolutely not going to happen.

I mean seriously, you're 25 and don't even know how to drive?

PS - not like fixing this would get this off the ground, or anything, but no shit you shouldn't be advertising cloud storage on 10 year old hardware.

edit:
Her vision? Back in the early 90s she realized that there were a lot of folks who were not being served by Compuserv and AOL here in rural NC. She set out to fix that, back when literally almost everyone was on AOL, Prodigy, etc.... and although she's no longer around to see it, they are a mighty big "local business" doing a lot of stuff all over this area.

If I can get even 1% of that size...
The early 90s were a dramatically different point in time for the computer industry. The industry was tiny in comparison and you could get tons of business just by existing in the field. That isn't even KIND OF the case anymore.
 

PointandClick

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You'd be better off reselling people somebody else's service for an extra 10 cents. Of course then you'd probably be in violation of their terms, but it's still almost better than the liability hole you're digging yourself.

Hell sign people up for gmail and write a small program that sends their data up to their account so they don't know where its going.

Or better yet use all the stuff to learn on.. set up a nas for yourself. Then go get a paper route. :eek:
 

C7J0yc3

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Let me tell you the story of a 17 year old kid, working by day as a systems administrator for a local web hosting company, and deciding that he has $8,000 saved up, why not build a gaming hosting company to make extra money?

In my parents basement I brought in twin dedicated 20amp lines on their own meter. Verizon Business FiOS (100 symetrical) with a 50/35 comcast backup. I bought all used switches, servers, storage, routers, firewalls etc and just renewed their support contracts because because it was much cheaper then trying to buy brand new. I bought a generator that would be able to power all of my gear for 4 hours, and had enough fuel on site to keep it going for 12. I offered servers on multiple tears from fully managed game servers including installing popular mods all the way down to roll your own, we just give you a box. I used ESX to virtualize everything and had full failover and redundancy. Basically it would take a bomb hitting my house to take down my servers....or so I thought.

After 3 months of "how hard can it be" I figured out exactly how hard it is. Between trying to juggle a normal job with customer support requests, keeping my own hardware running, and keeping keeping it cool (1 10,000 BTU AC / Dehumidifier wasn't enough to keep these suckers cool at some points during the summer months I tried it in). Not to mention my initial $8,000 investment wasn't enough and I needed to take out an additional loan. I found that I was just barely making any profit, and unless I was going to have this be my fulltime job (and also move my servers to a CoLo) there was no way I was going to be able to sustain this and shut it down.

What did I learn? There is a reason people don't do this "on the side in their basement." You can't make any money at it (if you are doing it right), it consumes a whole crapload of your time (and even more if you are doing it wrong) and at the end of the day you have nothing to show for it other then a full inbox of customer support messages. I also know that you want to do this as a local thing because people want to support local business blah blah blah. But the thing of it is no one cares in the day of the internet. I can understand supporting Pete's Lawn Care instead of Scott's because you want to support a local company. However for online services (esp online storage) where I couldn't care less who I am supporting so long as it has the uptime I need, works the way I want it to, has good security, and a good DR plan.
 

C7J0yc3

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You'd be better off reselling people somebody else's service for an extra 10 cents. Of course then you'd probably be in violation of their terms, but it's still almost better than the liability hole you're digging yourself.

Mozy allows resellers, its actually really easy to become one too.
 

Berg0

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184054d1317224708-funny-strange-random-pics-not-sure-if-serious.jpg
 

-Jess-

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starhawk:
Now, you sincerely think this is a really good idea. You can make some cash with the stuff you have and everything will be all dandy.

NO. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE OKAY.


Think about it this way:
Old, slow, can-die-at-any-time IT equipment + Residential ISP connection + Client data = BAD.

And seriously? Four 10GB IDE drives are actually a viable option for you? Your operating costs alone will put you out of business before the first month with just efficiency. Come on man, use your brain.


Most people get into a small business if they have the education/tools/resources/client base - you have <1 of these. Find better use of your hardware, like personal development. "Scrape by", learn and get a good job.
 

SpeedyVV

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You people are on drugs...

Cloud.... whats in it? I dont know, i cant see inside it... get it...

Listen, forget the gear... you wanna make money, do something you love, market it well, and make people want it, then they will pay. Worked for Apple.
 

jojo69

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Successful troll is successful. Don't feed the trolls guys!

Starhawk is no troll. A little crazy? perhaps. Stubborn to a fault? certainly. But he is not trolling us.

Only thing bumming me out is all this network talk means he isn't studying blender.
 

Red Squirrel

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The problem is residential internet service usually sucks. Even if you can get 100mbps in your area, the upload is probably like 1mbps. But if you can get 100/100 or more, then go for it. The rest is a cake walk, somewhat. Start with that equipment, and then start replacing with better stuff as you make more money.

Running electrical, AC, making security walls/systems is all stuff that will cost you, once. No big deal, get it done as required. Look in the network pics thread, some of us have racks in our basements. :p You'll need a few of those. Get some ideas, etc. Baby steps.

As for the software side of things you could either use something that exists, but has licensing attached to it (a real pain in the ass) or roll something yourself using Linux. I'd personally roll something myself. It may take a year or more to actually get it ready, but once it's solid, you never have to worry about paying anything for it because it's yours. So your main cost will be internet and electricity, and the occasional one time cost of upgrading stuff.

Oh and an alarm system that also monitors fire and flood is a good idea.
 

starhawk

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Jojo69, I thank you for standing by me at least. I'll get to the blender stuff again soon :D

The rest of ya'll... I know what I have. I know it's not top-of-the-line, I know it's nowhere near it. I know from bitter experience that it's going to fail eventually. EVERYTHING fails eventually.

@C7 J0yc3 -- what if (a) I've got all the time left in my life and (b) I don't mind this being a full time job? Also, where I'm sitting, an extra $100 a month is that much more food in my belly. I said I was poor, ya'll!

@ -Jess- -- I'm definitely not stupid enough to try to put my MiFi through this sort of torture. I will be investing in a better internet connection as part of this process. We've been looking for an excuse to kick VZW outta here for a long time anyways. Also: I do believe I've made it clear that the sub10gig drawer is not going to be used for this, and that I have the potential to put seven HDDs and an optical drive in each of five computers, due to PCI IDE controller cards.

@ Red Squirrel -- you're thinking more like I am. I like that :D I don't have the money for a rack, though, and I've only got a single piece of rackmount equipment anyways (the Super Stack II -- and I'm not entirely sure that those brackets are meant to be there...) I was going to use a metal shelving unit that I have on knicknack duty right now (it's one of those shiny wire-rack type ones...) for the hubs/switches... I'll figure out how to get the boxes off the carpet later.

As for the basement idea... I'd love to use it, it's 55deg F all year long. It's also extraordinarily damp all year long, unless it's raining outside, in which case there's a good bit of water in there... not a good place for computer equipment methinks. I am NOT that bloody stupid to put my stuff down there. No. Not happening.

Software end... not sure what I'd use as the OS for the storage boxes (probably some sorta Linux). The Inspiron has PfSense on it (is IPCop better here?) finally... pity I don't have the right equip set up yet to test its ethernet card... grrrrr. I was thinking that the HDDs would all be hard-partitioned, and I'd just assign permissions -- someone wants a slot, they get a login. They don't pay their bill, then I can change the password. Simple.

Regarding the alarm system... floods are not gonna happen where I live. Even during hurricane season, the worst that happens is that the flashing around the chimney leaks, and that's in a different part of the upstairs. That said, I do have a couple o' smoke alarms I've been meaning to install anyways (oh the joys of 60+yr old houses...) so I can put one of 'em up for this, no prob.
 

starhawk

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Oh, and I just called my friend. He sez he'll be by with the P4 stuff later today.
 
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