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Thread: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

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    Default Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    Hey guys, maybe some of you can give me some good ideas to follow on this subject. Our town recently got Fiber internet with up to 10 Gbps lines going to the main connection building. Even individual houses will be able to receive up to 1 Gbps service. The owner is interested in setting up internet services to try and make profits off of. The good new is, he wants somebody to sell service and manage the servers that he invests in which is why I'm in the picture.

    I've been looking into this a little bit, but have to split my time into other things so I figured I'd ask here. What would be the best way to start turning a profit while taking advantage of this massive amount of bandwidth we have? My interest went straight to building gaming servers because I would enjoy that and I'm quite familiar with a Windows server environment. The thing is, I need to help the owner get a return on investment so I would like to start off easier, then work my way up into more profitable sectors. I've personally set up some game servers before which wasn't too difficult. Is this a decent place to start?

    There's web hosting, storage selling and any number of other things that sound a bit shady. Prefer not to risk breaking any laws in this. Our bandwidth will be really cheap so any services that charge per Gig of bandwidth would probably be pretty good as well. Let me know.
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    first thing that comes to mind is purchasing used server hardware, upgrading it, and selling game server hosting
    but you already mentioned that

    i'm personally obsessed with lunix firewall filtered security as it reduces the bandwidth used by almost 75%
    im only just now getting serious about it, but have 18 cores pursuing the goal
    and not a single windows machine in the house

    any way you could tap that nich market?
    startpage email is the only one that is working the void left by the U.S.Gov. murdering lavabit, thats an idea? tons of legal parameters there, but if you do not store the data, then your not liable?? grey aria

    bit coin mining??? so many possibilities

    steam has started selling lunix game boxes, but the MMO options are remarkably pathetic
    litteraly the ONLY game worth playing atm in linux atm is "ark:survival" in my not so humble opinion
    large oportunity there, but very very nitch, and a customer base that works mostly in free software, not a lot of profit that i can see atm

    proxy service?
    H.M.A. is an example that the U.S.Gov. will constantly be ALL up in your mix reading, and demanding all your data, so if you do not have any, use a zero storage tunnel you will save a ton of grief
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    joshjaks (09-09-2016)

  4. #3
    Gu3
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    In my mind at least, it's hard to monetize servers.

    You hit one of the obvious ones. Online Game Server Hosting. Minecraft (springs to mind), but I know there are a boatload of others. However, this is a highly competetive market...profit margins would seem to be low.

    Web Hosting? Meh. You're competing against the likes of Go-Daddy, Google Domains, etc, however high speed hosting for local businesses to offload mail, web, etc, might be a reasonable market.

    Virtual Machines might be another reasonable money maker. I lease a VPS (virtual private server) to experiment with various things, and I think it costs me like $10 or 12/month.

    Using some sort of virtual machine architecture would allow you to offer customized images for different purposes (e-commerce, mail, generic web sites, customer software, DNS, Proxy Services, Gaming Servers, etc).

    Personally, I'd dig into Gaming Servers and Virtual Private Servers, possibly also offering light weight leased server space (server hosting).

    Good Luck...what little I've read about this sort of thing makes me want to run screaming the other direction when such an "opportunity" arises...<grin>. But, I'm a hobbyist...so that's normal.

    Scott

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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    I think you guys have convinced me to start with game hosting first. Not only is it something I'd enjoy more, but I've had nominal experience hosting Terraria and Ark from a test server in our hospital. It would be a better place to start since I at least have SOME background in actually setting this up. Minecraft seems to be a good game to start with.
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    pleas keep us updated on any services offered
    also build & service logs would tickle my fancy
    set installed ubuntu server on a machine,,totaly not what i was expecting, i'll be utubing this for a while to orientate myself
    any input is always appreciated
    learning is good .....understanding is better .....pleas teach with wisdom............................................ ..............calemus

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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    I use Ubuntu Server 16.04 on my Media Server, and I think 14.04 on my VPS. In what way wasn't it what you expected Calemus? (guessing the console only interface?)

    S.

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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    yeah,,i have had experiances with GUI's that let me have a vast abundance of speed, and control more than just a comand line interface
    there is no way that can give me the volume of insight or control i want at the speed i need

    i suppose what i need would be like pfsence, or zeroshell firewalls have the gui remote option
    something like that

    sadly all i see is the gnome interface,,not cool
    it takes a MASSIVE volume of sys resources compared to a remote web control

    edit: youtube tutorial
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbrEkD69gGM
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    There's a program called WebMin that gives you the web interface, sadly not the sort of web interface you're seeking though. Having said that, I just read an article in one of the linux mags about products like Webmin. Let me see if I can find it.

    Scott

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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    So how much hardware do you think I need to start a Minecraft server? Want to start fairly cheap to see if I can actually make something off of it. Also, should I virtualize and run a server from each virtual, or just use one desktop and run multiple instances?
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  12. #10
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    And therein lies the rub.

    Minecraft is a bit memory hungry, especially if the server turns out to be popular. As I recall a minimum amount per server is 1GB, and 2+GB is recommended. A dedicated core would be good too.

    Yes, absolutely virtualize. From a pure security perspective this is a good idea. Minecraft servers are magnets for DDOS attacks and hacks. Being able to simply "wipe/restore from image" a virtual server is MUCH better than having to rebuild from bare metal. Further, to give Minecraft Server admins some ability to reboot, run mods, etc, a virtual machine is a godsend...sorta "here you go, from this point on, it's your problem".

    My boy and I looked into it a long time ago, and if you can pick up a Multi-Core Xeon with a boatload of RAM, you can run a number of Minecraft servers with no problems.

    S.

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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    You've pretty much answered everything I need to know, I think. lol How many CPU threads do you think each virtual would need. I noticed one thread maxing out on my Meditech virtuals so I ended up adding 2 threads after that. Would 2 be enough for minecraft? RAM wise, I would try and start with one test server, watch loads as numbers increased, and go from there.
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    Quote Originally Posted by joshjaks View Post
    You've pretty much answered everything I need to know, I think. lol How many CPU threads do you think each virtual would need. I noticed one thread maxing out on my Meditech virtuals so I ended up adding 2 threads after that. Would 2 be enough for minecraft? RAM wise, I would try and start with one test server, watch loads as numbers increased, and go from there.
    I think when I was playing around with the idea, we determined 1 Core 2 Threads would be sufficient. A lot of Minecraft servers hosting companies list their virtual machine specs in their pricing. You might try there.

    Here also is a good place to start: Server/Requirements ? Official Minecraft Wiki

    Good Luck!

    S.

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  16. #13
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    Default Re: Building Servers to offer Internet Services

    Quote Originally Posted by calemus View Post
    yeah,,i have had experiances with GUI's that let me have a vast abundance of speed, and control more than just a comand line interface
    there is no way that can give me the volume of insight or control i want at the speed i need

    i suppose what i need would be like pfsence, or zeroshell firewalls have the gui remote option
    something like that

    sadly all i see is the gnome interface,,not cool
    it takes a MASSIVE volume of sys resources compared to a remote web control

    edit: youtube tutorial
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbrEkD69gGM
    Calemus,

    I _know_ I read an article that discussed Web Based interfaces for server management, but I haven't been able to find it.

    So.

    Webmin is probably the most common one: Webmin

    Upsides: Proven, well supported.
    Downsides: Interface is a little dated, and can be a bit counter-intuitive. Probably a lot too many options.

    Cockpit
    Cockpit Project

    Upsides: Seems to be in active development. Looks nice.
    Downsides: Looks to be less about ease of use than about giving you lots of info fast.

    Agenti
    Ajenti Server Admin Panel

    Upsides. Very popular on Alternative To, (gets lots of votes)

    Downside: Looks to be orphaned. No commits to Git in 7 months.

    ISP Config
    ISPConfig Hosting Control Panel
    Upsides: Looks pretty slick. Might be easier to use than others.
    Downsides: Dunno

    Zentyal, etc.
    Personally, I think short of installing something like FreeNAS (which as I recall has a fantastic UI), you might want to look into Zentyal. It essentially is a shell that runs on Ubuntu Server, but conveniently comes as it's own distro. If you dig around on their site: Zentyal, Exchange email on Linux you can read a lot about the distro. Depending on what you are using your server for, Zentyal or FreeNAS, or Amahi (https://www.amahi.org/), or even ClearOS (https://www.clearos.com/clearfoundat...os-7-community) might be better options than Ubuntu Server.

    Finally, you could install Ubuntu Mate, then install vnc or a similar service and manage it just like your desktop. Mate is pretty lightweight, and is commonly used on low spec hardware. VNC is a bit slow, but it might work for you.

    Scott

  17. The following user thanks Gu3 For this above post:

    calemus (14-09-2016)

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