Aug 072005
 

What do you do when a colo service shuts its doors and you need a cheap and feasible solution?

I had been using iStop.com for many years when they recently shut their doors. I looked around for other cheap colos and found nothing local. Why local you might ask? I want my colo to be local so I can replace the HDD if it fails . I want it to be local so I can fix the computer when it needs to be fixed. It’s all very well and great that colos in the San Jose area are providing dirt cheap deals. But if I have to fly there to fix it, that’s not very cheap.

Through some people I know through the local Linux User group (OCLUG), I got a spot on a shared machine hosted at Travel Net. The machine is split up into different virtual machines. It runs Debian. I’m sharing one vserver (a virtual server) with some guys I know. We use it mainly for secondary mail servers, and I have some obscure website that reside there.

Setting up the box was rather interesting. I was completely unfamiliar with Debian. I’ve learned a bit more about apt-get. An interesting side-track is the way FreeBSD packages Postfix when compared to how the Debian package looks. Learning where the binaries are now located, changing pathnames in configuration files, and getting things working was challenging.

So far, no complaints. I’d still prefer to be running an unshared FreeBSD box at a local colo, but what we have now is a good choice, given the cost of colocation.

Talk of a community-based colocation service has been going around Ottawa lately. What we need to do is find a cheap location we can rent/use.

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