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Suggestions For Music Hosting? 225

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the why-apple-icloud-of-course dept.
First time accepted submitter achbed writes "In conjunction with a friend of mine, I'm operating a small(ish) site that contains a large quantity of music (mp3/ogg) that we pay streaming licenses for. The site currently has about 35GB of files, and pulls down an average of about 3TB a month of bandwidth — and we're just getting started. We've been unable to find any hosting packages out there that are not of the 'unlimited' variety (meaning they can kick us at any time because we're using too much) that are not costing an insane amount of money. Our current 'main page' host charges about $0.50/GB/mo, which for this much data equates to $500 a month per TB. As we are expecting growth, this is quickly going to become a major problem, as were doing this out of our own pockets (that are not that deep). Does anyone have good leads on businesses that provide significant bandwidth (5-10TB/month) for inexpensive money? Or are we going to have to accept a price in the thousands per month to run this kind of site, with 'going viral' providing a significant risk to our pockets?" $500 for what works out to under 5Mbps (95th pecentile mojo) seems a bit steep. These guys want to enter the 20+Mbps realm; I've done some high bandwidth hosting before, but it seems like you enter a different world when you need more than 10Mbps.
achbed continues: "We've looked into some of the major CDNs as well. Either they do not 'support streaming' (CloudFlare), or cost thousands for what we're needing."
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Suggestions For Music Hosting?

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  • Co-Locate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:13PM (#39180685)

    Invest in your own servers (about US$ 5-8K) and then you'll find a world of options opening up to you as you look for colocation companies. We're on EGI Hosting which costs around $700 a month for an 95%tile 100Mbps ( on a 1Gbps connect ) pipe.

    • Re:Co-Locate (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:22PM (#39181275) Homepage

      Totally agree, once you get into this type of scale, you want to buy your own servers and colo them.

      For a random example (not an endorsement, I've never used them before), Pair [pair.com] has 10U of space with 5 mbit bandwidth for only $400/month. Throw in a 2U server (~$3,000) with 12x 2T 7200 RPM drives (12x ~$150) in RAID 6 for 20T of usable space. Double the drive cost if you want "enterprise" drives. Shop around and I'm sure you can get better deals, these are just ballpark figures. I have no idea what kind of IOPS you need out of your storage, but it's easy (and much cheaper) to adjust your hardware to suit your needs when you own it.

      The only situation where I wouldn't recommend managing your own servers is if you simply don't have the relevant domain knowledge AND you have the money to waste on managed hosting (ie, time is more valuable than money).

      • Oops, totally misread your summary, I thought you had several terabytes of storage needed rather than 35G. Anyways, the rest still applies, but you can buy a cheaper server with less drives.

      • by shri (17709)
        I'd posted the original recommendation and wanted to add to this.

        Most of the smaller Colos like EGI (to be specific since that is where we are) have pretty competent techs and you can get them to do the setup and emergency maintenance. Reboots and casual stuff is free from what I gather - again not that important for us as we ended up with DRAC cards. We paid them a bit for VPN and other initial config... .all worth it.

        There are contractors on WHT ( web hosting talk forums ) who will provide you with ch

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produktmatrix/rootserver-produktmatrix-ex

      EQ6

      Intel® Xeon® E3-1245 Quadcore
      incl. Hyper-Threading Technology
      RAM16 GB DDR3 RAM ECC
      Hard disks2 x 3 TB SATA 6 Gb/s HDD
      7200 rpm (Software-RAID 1)
      Enterprise classNIC1 GBit OnBoard
      connected at 100 MBit
      Backup Space100 GB
      TrafficUnlimited*

      Euro 69 per month...

      • by justforgetme (1814588) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @01:33AM (#39182337) Homepage

        TrafficUnlimited*

        That star doesn't seem too trustworthy...

        • From the site:

          *There are no charges for overage. We will permanently restrict the connection speed to 10 MBit/s if more than 10,000 GB/month are used (the basis for calculation is for outgoing traffic only. Incoming and internal traffic is not calculated). 100 MBit/s speed can be optionally restored by committing to pay 6,90 € (incl. VAT) per additional TB used.

          Looks alright to me. Better than most dedi packages I've come across.

    • by idobi (820896)
      I'll second EGI Hosting. We use them to run our radio station, and they're affordable and reliable.
    • by Skal Tura (595728)

      and all a competitor needs to do is sustain for you 37hrs @ 1Gbps to cause you to likely bankrupt :)

    • by wmbetts (1306001)

      If he really wants to know how to do this he can get a hold of me. Last I checked HE would sell a 100/meg line for $1 a meg totaling a whole $100. Depending on his infrastructure the whole thing could cost less than $300 a month after a server purchase. There's also data centers in LA that will work out deals with smaller clients to pay monthly on servers till they own them out right.

  • 5-10TB/month? (Score:3, Informative)

    by skdffff (140618) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:17PM (#39180739)

    There are enough hostings like Singlehop that provide 10-15TB/mo per server for a few hundred dollars.

  • by blahbooboo (839709) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:17PM (#39180741)

    So Slashdot can go hammer your servers! :) Kidding..

    Seriously, don't let us know, you will be in for $$$$

    • by achbed (97139) <sd@NOSPam.achbed.org> on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @02:44AM (#39182587) Homepage Journal

      I had considered dropping the site name, but the site would probably be offline within the hour. :)

      Thanks everyone for the responses - looks like for the price we're talking about, going to a Colo is the better solution.

      • by Lennie (16154)

        I would consider dedicated hosting instead of colo, if you find the right provider they will take care of any hardware issues (like having the right spare parts) and let you worry about all the other stuff.

        I noticed someone below mentioned SingleHop, there are more/others have a look around to find the right pricepoint. Also try to find out where your users are and buy close to them (less latency is a good thing). So don't buy from Europe if all your users are in US, that sort of thing.

  • Budget (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How much are you willing to spend per month? In Montreal, it is possible to have a 10Mbps unlimited fiber for about $1300 per month. You simply need to rent a space in a data center afterward.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      But I'm getting 10 times that for less than 1/10 of that, and that includes the hosting space.

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        You can actually get 100 megabit for $1300 in Montreal very easily (or cheaper), but you're talking about getting 100 megabit for $130, or $1.3 per megabit. That's possible, but at that commit size, that's bargain basement bandwidth.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      My office has a business connection, fibre, 20 Mbps (up and down), fixed IP, unlimited data (at least no limits that I know of!) for about USD 50 a month. OK it's not a co-lo location, just an industrial building, and no service uptime guarantee, but have yet to have an outage. The last one was a few years ago when the power in the building went down a day (on a Sunday) for maintenance - and that was announced a week or two in advance.

      And if worried about the downtime get a second line from another company

  • EC2? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:21PM (#39180767)

    How about Amazon EC2? $0.12 per GB, once you hit 10TB it drops to $0.09 per GB. (this doesn't include server and storage costs)

    • by Etylowy (1283284)

      half price: http://www.maxcdn.com/pricing/ [maxcdn.com]

  • VPSes (Score:4, Informative)

    by vostok4 (882885) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:28PM (#39180839)

    I recommend going down the VPS route.

    There are reputable, stable companies out there that won't flake out, ie. BuyVM (http://buyvm.net).

    For 25$ a month, you get 70GB disk space, 4TB bandwidth, its on a gigE link (I just pulled at 379.2mbit/s from cachefly), and I suffered an hour of downtime when they were physically moving datacenters a few months back, other than that, none at all.

    I run a lot of little hosting projects all on VPSes, and I think my aggregate bandwidth usage is around 9TB a month, and I never really run into issues (I've actually gotten two 2TB+/mo boxes from different companies and tested how much bandwidth I can use, never got complains).

    You can also research alternatives on lowendbox.com. You won't find cheap tier 1 bandwidth, but you will easily find cheap bandwidth.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      $25 for 4TB per month is pretty incredibly oversold. Quality bandwidth that is not.

      While there are people who will rip you off with bandwidth prices that are way out of proportion to what it costs them, the general maxim of "you get what you pay for" applies here. Linode and Amazon both charge roughly the same, in the neighbourhood of $0.10 per gig; that's what you should expect to pay for quality bandwidth at a quality host.

      Looking at the bandwidth pricing of the facility that buyvm hosts at, they've got a

    • by achbed (97139)

      We are using a VPS for our main pages. What we're looking for is additional separate storage and bandwidth for the music files themselves. Keep the heavy bandwidth off my main box, and everyone is happier :D

  • by enjar (249223) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:35PM (#39180907) Homepage

    Expenses:
    - Streaming music license fees
    - Bandwidth
    - Server
    - Time

    Income:
    - Nada

    Plan:
    - Buy more bandwidth to serve more music.

    Right now it looks like "expensive hobby". Which can be cool. But if you are expecting this to put dinner on the table, figure it out now.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:50PM (#39181041)
      You forgot to add lawyers in the Expenses column.

      I know they say they own the rights -- but that will not stop the RIAA from trying to lawyer them off the net. Doesn't matter that they are above board and within their rights -- these mere details never stopped Big Music from fucking people over. Or, at least, trying to. And them trying to, will still cost a lot of lawyerage.
      • by enjar (249223)

        A very good point. My wife started her own small business and there are a number of expenses that start cropping up that you never expected. We haven't hit the lawyering yet, but she has spent money to join professional organizations, have a logo designed, website fees, business cards, we had to pay the town for a permit, she set up a checking account and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

        We also decided to pay for a CPA, which has turned out to be awesome. The taxes are filed correctly, including

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          well she definitely figured out the spending money part of running a business.

      • Someone please mod this up.

        If I were the submitter then hosting and server costs would be the least of my worries (although he can find MUCH better prices on bandwidth). It won't be long before the RIAA goes after people who stream free music and just record the audio stream directly from their sound card input.

    • Income:
      - Nada

      I'm sure they have a Google Adwords account and a PayPal tip jar. No problemo. ;)
      Wait... that's so 2002 isn't it? Has to be a Kickstarter page now.

  • I'd go with one of their dedicated server options: http://order.1and1.com/ServerPremiumXL?__lf=Static&linkOrigin=ServerPremiumL&linkId=ctn.more.ServerPremiumL [1and1.com] Won't post my referral link, I just think they rock.
  • Hub.org has plans that have 10 GB of storage and 1 TB of bandwidth for $30/month, and 20GB/5TB for $60, and they offer discounts if you pay a bunch of months up front (might start at quarterly, I do annual). You'd have to pay a bit extra for more storage, but they're pretty reasonable. For higher reliability you might have to pay for multiple instances or something, but it's still pretty reasonable. They've been doing a lot of upgrades lately-- ping them and see if they'll meet your needs.

  • I use an iWeb dedicated server... $99 per month, 10TB bandwidth / 100Mbit connection, on a dual core server with 320GB hard drive and 4gb ram. That would probably work great for starters.

  • by Rinisari (521266) on Monday February 27, 2012 @09:56PM (#39181097) Homepage Journal

    It kinda sounds like you're getting to the point at which you need to monetize, if you can legally do so.

  • by Glendale2x (210533) <{slashdot} {at} {ninjamonkey.us}> on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:00PM (#39181121) Homepage

    It doesn't sound like you're looking for the right thing. You probably don't want "hosting", but rather a VPS, dedicated server, or a colocation.

    Or are we going to have to accept a price in the thousands per month to run this kind of site, with 'going viral' providing a significant risk to our pockets?"

    Then get out of the mindset of paying per GB and get a 100 meg commit instead. Maybe even a 50 meg commit will serve you well depending on your needs, but either way it's a fixed pipe with a fixed bill that you don't ever have to worry about additional bandwidth charges on.

    • Yes, this. The colo provider I work with has never mentioned the utilization since we pay for a 100-meg service. I seem to recall the bill for 6U being about $800.

  • by mattbee (17533) <matthew@bytemark.co.uk> on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:24PM (#39181293) Homepage

    Call up Cogent Communications [cogentco.com]. Ask them where the nearest carrier-neutral data centre is where they could give you a 100Mb transit connection and some simple IPv4 service (some small amount of PA space and a gateway), and how much it would cost you to use it all. That's roughly 25TB traffic, and about the smallest sensible amount of "wholesale" bandwidth you can purchase. Cogent are going to be quite cheap, and you'll be able to use the whole pipe. I'd imagine it'd be in the order of $500-1000 per month, so around 2-4c per gigabyte?

    Then call that data centre and ask how for much they could co-locate a cheap 2U box (or if they have a customer who would rent you a small amount of rack space). Ask how much a cable run to Cogent would be.

    Add it all up, and that's about as cheap as you can get it, at least starting from scratch. Even if you don't do this yet, you'll know how much other hosting companies are marking up what they sell. For comparison call Level3 for some "quality" bandwidth (you might need to ask for a reseller if you "only" want 100Mb). Or see how you feel about the costs of a second connection, BGP, ARIN membership and all that madness. You'll soon be your own ISP :-)

    • Came in here to say this. My current datacenter charges exactly what the poster said ($100/mbps 95th percentile (but slightly cheaper in bulk) or 50 cents per GB, whichever plan I choose). So I did research for some ISPs that I could connect to. I came across Cogent, which is *incredibly* cheap. They quoted me something like $350/month for a 50mbps pipe (unmetered). Unfortunately I'd have to move to a new datacenter to use them, but they do seem to have a fiber presence in a lot of major city datacenters. I

      • by afabbro (33948)
        Cogent has a horrible reputation. 90% of the complaints about poor networks on WebHostingTalk.com are about Cogent.
        • I've had Cogent as a primary provider at 3 physically distinct POPs for over 6 years. We're pushing 40Gbps through them aggregate (10Gbps at each POP except one, which we're running at 20Gbps). The only times I've had problems with them are when Level3 or someone else depeers with them; we simply fail over to Hurricane Electric for a bit until everything rights itself.

          You can't get something for dirt cheap and then bitch about the quality. Thats fucktard behavior right there.

        • by soundguy (415780)
          Nonsense. I've been using Cogent continuously since 2005, first at ThePlanet and then in a Seattle Colo. It's cheap and it typically has lower latency than most other Tier 1 providers. Planned maintenance happens exactly on schedule and is usually done faster than their estimate. By some metrics (miles of fiber I think) it's the largest network in the world. As the other poster pointed out, the only problems that ever severely affected users is when they were in a transit disputes with Sprint and Level 3, a
      • I'm getting Cogent bandwidth at around $0.80/Mb, but we're running upwards of 10Gb/s through them (Chicago POP). YMMV.

  • by dbialac (320955) on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:26PM (#39181305)

    Verio offers unlimited bandwidth on their VPS servers. For the disk space you need today, it's $82/m. For 65GB of disk space it's $140/m. Either of those options beat what you're spending now, and you can set up a shared file system to group together the VPS servers to form a larger disk. You can get to them by
      going to www.verio.net.

  • http://www.ektoplazm.com/ [ektoplazm.com] The site and downloads are never slow and they have tons of music hosted on there.

  • My company would serve that for under $400 per month [gogrid.com], and bandwidth isn't even our core focus. You can do much, much better than your current arrangement.

  • Some suggestions (Score:5, Informative)

    by schmiddy (599730) on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:45PM (#39181457) Homepage Journal

    I recently did some research into a related topic -- I was looking for hosts for a decent sized (200 GB+) database with generous bandwidth, on a shoestring budget (under $50/month, for the 2-3 machines I need).

    First, choose your provider wisely. Your choice of provider may seem like it doesn't matter except for the pricing, but as your post about "unlimited" providers hints, it can and will become very important very quickly once the shit hits the fan (i.e. provider thinks you are using too much disk I/O, or too much bandwidth, or too much space, or whatever -- and promptly kicks you off).

    Second, Slashdot actually isn't the best place to ask this question. Hang out in webhostingtalk for a while (e.g. this thread [webhostingtalk.com]).

    Finally, my recommendation for hosting provider: honelive. Take a look at their offerings, and particularly their specials. I jumped on the dedicated Intel Atom dual core, with 250GB storage, when it was $39/month a few months back. Today they are offering a dedicated Core i7 Quad Core with 24 GB RAM, 1TB disk, 5TB bandwidth, for $100/month. Yes you read that right -- these are dedicated machines, and these guys are for real. I sleep easier at night knowing I'm not going to wake up to an email of "we disabled your server because your VPS was using too much I/O and loading down our horribly oversold machines". It's my machine, I run what I want. I know VPSs are all the rage now, cloud computing yadda yadda yadda. And sure, they're great for hosting your personal photo gallery or blog. But take it from me, once you start burning through TBs of monthly bandwidth, and the disk I/O of a 200 GB database, they start looking flimsy real fast, and hosting providers get anxious to see you and your piddly monthly payment gone.

    BTW I'm just a happy honelive customer, I have no affiliation with them, no referral codes in this post, etc. I've been burned by a lot of shady VPS providers. Don't get me wrong, there are some great providers (Linode) out there, but you will have to shell out the $$ for them, and I haven't found ANY reputable VPS provider providing the bang for the buck and stability I'm getting with honelive.

    Also, I do pay for 2 or 3 other VPSs affiliated with my site, but the needs for these are comparatively tiny, so I suggest just hanging out on lowendbox and grabbing one of the deals there, if you need a few small VPSs with decent bandwidth. You can easily find several providers who will give you a few TB of bandwidth per month for around $5/month. I've used 5ite for such purposes, though I can only give them a lukewarm recommendation. I have a $2/month VPS from Securedragon right now for a similar purpose, and it works well enough (for a 100% expendable machine).

  • by KingRobot (703860) on Monday February 27, 2012 @10:51PM (#39181501) Homepage
    I've used these guys for about a year now with very good success: http://www.securedservers.com/index.php [securedservers.com]
  • http://www.softlayer.com/ [softlayer.com] - their base dedicated servers for $159/month come with 3000GB/month of bandwidth, exactly what you need. They've been around forever and a ton of other VPS people basically just resell their stuff anyway.

  • And what is your business model? If $500 a month is too much, maybe you aren't charging enough for the service?
    • PS: I realize that didn't really answer the question, sorry. VPS or colocation or running your own server are going to be the better options.
  • their customer service is a little bit unusual, but i've had great success with

    http://hostchopper.com/ [hostchopper.com]

  • I'm sure you've considered the peripheral issues such as failover and security. Depending on your service, these can easily exceed the cost of your primary HW/SW implementation. Then there is SysOps vs DevOps, which costs can be another order of magnitude. Cloud tools and services can save a lot of money if you can manage them well and kill you if you can't. If you co-locate, consider the cost savings of local verses remote travel. It can pay to visit the people who run your hardware.
  • by jcarr (20735) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @02:20AM (#39182501) Homepage

    This is a shameless self promotion!

    DigitalOcean.com offers free bandwidth.

    You could just spin up a Droplet (virtual server) on http://digitalocean.com/ [digitalocean.com] and not have any worries about the banwidth transfer as we provide free bandwidth.

    The reason we're able to offer this is we don't allow adult content or users to run their own CDN but you're in the clear on both accounts.

    Depending on the number of cores and RAM you need this would run you probably $100-150/mo.

    Thanks!
    (Jeff -- Chief Architect)

  • by MarkRose (820682)

    I've been using iweb.com for many years. They have an extremely reliable network and their servers come with a generous amount of bandwidth. They almost always have servers under $100 that include 10TB of transfer. Make sure they give you a 100 Mbps port though as a 10 Mbps port will top out at about 3TB/month (talk to sales and you can get that for free if it's not included). Anyway, it works out to less than $0.01/GB, which I don't see many other companies offering. I burned through 6TB on my box in Janua

  • If you're going to administer the system yourself checkout Serverloft. For $139 a month you can get 5TB transfer and a decent Xeon server.

    http://www.serverloft.com/dedizierte-server/server-details.php?products=6 [serverloft.com]

  • Careful here... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Max Night (1221500) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @10:12AM (#39184535)
    Lots of folks are recommending that you go with your own server. As someone who has gone that route before, I can tell you that unless you want to become a server admin, and deal with all security and updates, intrusion and hacking attempts, etc, you're way better off finding a place where you can get a dedicated server - and they'll do the maintenance, security and upgrades. Had my own server - and when it got hacked, it got hacked badly. My fault, because though I'm web savvy, server maintenance & security is it's own art, which I never should have attempted. (FWIW, and I do NOT work for them, I'm doing this now with Host Duplex. http://hostduplex.com/ [hostduplex.com] They have been extraordinarily helpful, communicative and stable.) Hope this helps. M.
  • Have you looked at the amazon or other clouds? S3 hosts data at something like 10 cents per GB per month, with pretty minimal bandwidth costs. You pay for what you use. OP seems to be worries about "going viral" and getting a huge hosting bill but seems to forget that if he truly goes viral, he ought to have a ton of revenue coming in to offset those costs.
  • Happy customer of Swiftway here : http://www.swiftway.net/ [swiftway.net]

    They have datacenters in US, Holland and maybe Poland (not sure about the last). Currently paying about 110$ for a dedicated server with unmetered 100 mbps port and using about 6 TB a month of that (didn't choose it for bandwidth needs but rather for location and value of hardware for money)

    They also have streaming services and CDN that's relatively cheap so that may help you stream the music reliably to people.

    I'd also like to recommend Voxel.net

  • by Terrasque (796014) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @02:39PM (#39187589) Homepage Journal

    Are you streaming music? What type of streaming do you use? Icecast? Have you asked if some of your users would like to host some relays? There are also certain pages out there that offers relaying, in exchange for some branding (or in some cases, ads on the relay page)

    And what kind of hardware do you need? Software? Are you looking for a full server, or just streaming relay?

    Have you looked at VPS'es? Some offer pretty good deals on bandwidth (although you should contact them first and check if its okay to actually use the deals.. ). One example : http://www.alvotech.de/vserver/ [alvotech.de] - when it comes to bandwidth they say:

    The available bandwidth per vServer is 1,000Mbps. Once traffic has reached 1,000 GB the bandwidth is limited to 10Mbps until the end of the month. Upon request, the traffic limit can be replaced with a fee of 6.90 EUR per 1,000 GB additional traffic.

    And yes, a VPS is perfectly fine for serving net radio to a few hundred users, if you got some external relays for the bandwidth hogging.

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