there's been a few threads going on about a new server. the technical threads in the developer area started discussing financial issues and the financial threads in the senate area started discussing technical issues, so we thought we'd take stock and formally combine the discussion here in the senate area
what's the problem
gca is now getting quite large and outgrown the server which has been running at i!'s cost. gca therefore needs a new server.
what are the technical options
1. shared virtual host. the most frequently suggested option is a dreamhost/smartyhost sharted virtual host for $50/month, $50/year or whatever. thanks, but these are underpowered for gca, which is database and computationally intensive.
2. large dedicated host. a dedicated host large enough to run the site would cost about $4,000 per annum. note that this would only get gca to the current performance level as the current host is roughly this size.
3. medium dedicated host. a small host could run apache (the webserver) and php (the scripting language) and connect to the existing i! server which would still run postgres (the database) this would cost about $2,500-$3,000 per annum. it would get gca to a higher performance level (ie faster). the machine would be managed by i!. developers would get shell access to the new server. unfortunately developers would not get root access to the new server because it would be accessing i!'s server for database and hence open up security risks for the i! server should the gca server be compromised.
indicates a 2.1GHz quad core processor, 250GB drive and 4 GB RAM (note they have a special on to double RAM at the moment http://www.theplanet.com/dedicated-serv ... -specials/
just found http://forums.theplanet.com/index.php?s ... ntry597633
which has a 2.8GHz machine for only $125/month. it only has 2GB RAM but maybe that can be upgraded for $50/month
4. mrtrax contacted his ISP and got an offer to locate a machine in an ISP for $100-$150/month = $1,800 per annum. to use this, we'd need to get an actual server. c@w, craigrat and i! have sourced old servers but we are worried about (a) whether they are powerful enough and (b) what happens if they break (there is a reason that old servers get replaced...) we could get a managed server which we haven't priced but would cost. let's assume it's another $150/month, so that's a total of $3,600 per annum.
what are the financial options
1. ads. are unlikely to generate the thousands of dollars per annum that is required. (think about it: somewhere a company would have to want to pay $3,000 per annum to show ads on gca. so assuming that the company would spend 3% of revenue on advertising, that means that members would be _incrementally_ spending over $90,000 as a result of the ads. that doesn't seem to add up to us.
2. donations. the funding poll at http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopi ... 826#105865
got pledges of $2,130 pa. let's assume shrinkage to $1,000 pa. that's not enough to support any of the technical options above.
3. donations + sales. it's possible that gca could get another say $1,000 pa from sales of t-shirts or whatever. there's a start with bumper stickers
4. donations + sales + key donors. i! is keen enough to get our server resources back to offer a key donation of say $1,000 to start things up. maybe there are a few other people who can donate $500 or so to get it over the line.
1. let's just do _something_. (we've been discussing this for years)
2. technically we prefer the medium dedicated host option. it gives gca 1.5 servers for the cost of 1.
3. let's start collecting some money - it's going to be spent on some new hosting arrangement so we might as well start collecting now. does the tassie treasurer's kind offer of being treasurer still stand?
4. once the funds raised gets to, say, $1,000, i! would order the server and configure it. i! would be taking the financial risk if the remainder of the pledges don't come through. if they didn't come through after a year, i! would need to wind back its support
5. all money would be traceable/auditable by a third party: tassie geocaching treasurer. all new server usage would be traceable/auditable by gca developers using ps, htop, looking at logs, etc
this is just our proposal, we welcome all others!