The Do’s and Don’ts

As mentioned previously on Web-Empire hosting websites from a server in your bedroom or office is not the done thing and here is the promised post explaining why broadband is actually designed to be bad for hosting!

At the time broadband came about, ISPs (internet service providers) sold leased lines to people – these were always on flat-rate connectivity at rates of 64kbps (thousands of bits per second) for £1000 a month or 1024kbps for many £1000’s a month for hosting or heavy usage, and dialup at a penny or two a minute (56kbps, and still comparatively slow due to having a high latency).

They were worried that replacing dialup with a few-tens-of-pounds-a-month service that gave you 1024kps would mean they’d lose their many-thousands-a-month leased line customers

So, they focussed on making ADSL a good replacement for dialup and avoiding giving it leased-line quality

So ADSL is asymmetric, meaning it is faster one way than it is the other – 1024kbps from the world to you, but 256kbps from you to the world; one quarter the speed.

This means that it is great for people browsing the Web; sending out 200 byte requests for web pages and then getting back 100kilobyte web pages means that you need much more incoming than outgoing speed, but then if you host web sites, you can only send them out at the lower speed.

And they focussed on quantity rather than quality: ADSL gets bandwidth out of copper phone lines never designed for it, by working in a way that means the actual bandwidth you get varies depending on line conditions like the weather and so on (rain water in cracked phone cable can increase connectivity if the line was made during the 1960’s when there was a national copper shortage!)

And they made use of the fact that web browsing is bursty by getting 1024kbps of connectivity to the Internet and then using it to service ten 1024kbps ADSL connections, since everyone wouldn’t be using it at once most of the time

Whereas people doing hosting want guaranteed bandwidth and reliability, and they send more data out than they receive.

All of this means that hosting really should be done from dedicated servers in data centres or somewhere with a leased line, preferably with generators for back up power in case of a power cut and other such fail safes.

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