Before I start: The servers will be up as long as it is physically possible regardless of whether or not there is any help with the bills. I made a promise when I started hosting these servers to provide as much uptime as possible.
Most of you know me, some of you don't. My name is Jason, better known around here as Themicles. I felt it has been long past time to explain what I do here, why I do it and answer some questions some of you have had on the costs of running the servers. I finally have the information I need to calculate the electricity usage, which has been the main limiting factor preventing me from estimating the costs in the past.
What I do here:
I'll start with what I don't do. I do not develop any part of the modules, and do not DM here. I am even largely hands off on the running of these forums even though I host the website on my web-hosting account.
What I do around here is physically host the game servers (Hala and Ysgard) on my local network. I will have technical information on the servers in a section down below. I make sure these servers stay running, troubleshoot problems that arise with login issues, server crashes, and other technical issues related to keeping things running and you guys playing. I harass my ISP when there are persistent or extended connection issues preventing you guys from playing. And when things completely break and need replacement, I shop for the best balance of reliability versus cost. (I always lean more towards reliability, I prefer running servers over cheaper costs.)
To this end, a few years ago I shopped around for a smartphone that could allow me to manage this whole network remotely if needed. I settled on a Droid X and still use it today. I am able to log into Remote Desktop, VNC, and even make an SSH connection to the database server's shell. This means that as long as at least one of the two internet connections here are up, I can get in and attempt to fix things no matter where I am. The team here has an e-mail address that texts my phone directly, and by having that my phone number as well. I also run Trillian on my phone and every messenger I have an account with is logged in at all times. I really do want to know immediately any time the servers are not accessible.
On the website hosting side of things; I did choose and lock us into the current forum software we have. I've looked at updating to phpBB3 for you guys and found that we'd completely lose the front page as it is if we did, as well as some administrative functionality in the background. That said, I am currently working on code for another website that would allow me to rebuild the front page as we have it now. The administrative side is really only used by me, so the extra tools there don't matter much for you guys. I'll see what I can do in the near future. If I can get you guys on phpBB3, it'll open up a lot of easier options for your admins here to do new things instead of needing to know HTML/PHP and login to the FTP (which the option is there for them).
Why do I do it?
To put it quite simply, I like helping people. I do this because as long as I am the one doing it, I know that I will make my best efforts to keep you guys running as long as you want. I offered to host your servers so that you'd never have to worry about whether or not the host will log in as a DM and screw with your players, or suddenly drop you leaving you to wonder where to move to. I like knowing that by doing this, the players here can have fun and do something they enjoy. And to some extent I do this because I can. A way for me to apply knowledge that I have about computers and networking where it might be wasted in today's job climate.
Conclusion: (Server Specs and Cost Breakdown below)
When I first started back when CoPaP was at its busiest, managing the websites, the communities, the hakpaks, and the servers was a full time job with overtime that I did not get paid for. It is more of a part time job these days, that I still do not charge for. I only get "paid" if someone chooses to send me money specifically for me. If someone donates for the servers/bills, I do not use that money personally unless later told to.
- Poseidon (Hala and Ysgard):
- 2U Rackmount Chassis
- ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM Motherboard
- Intel Pentium G630 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Crucial 2GB (2x 1GB) DDR3 1333 Dual Channel Memory
- Western Digital RE4 250GB Enterprise Hard Drive
- Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 380W Power Supply
- 2U Rackmount Chassis
- ASUS P5KPL-VM Motherboard
- Intel Pentium E2160 1.8GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Kingston 2GB (2x 1GB) DDR2 800 Dual Channel Memory
- Seagate Barracuda 250GB Hard Drive
- Antec ErathWatts EA380 380W Power Supply
- (Miscellaneous legacy hard drives for various file storage purposes)
- APC BackUPS RS 1500 VA Uninterruptable Power Supply
- Star Case 19" Wide, 30" Deep, 24RU Rack Kit
These bills are paid monthly.
- Average Monthly Electical Cost (Eostre, Phoenix, Poseidon): ~$30.90
Monthly DSL Bill: $43.00
Web hosting bill is paid yearly.
- Ysgard.org: $2.4875