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Managing multiple IPs on one connection

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I'm doing some research because I want to start a business leasing servers and I have a question about how to manage multiple IP addresses. I assume that when you get multiple IP addresses through your ISP they are available to you through one physical connection. My question is how do you go about distributing those IP addresses to different physical machines? I'll be using Windows, and my guess is that I would just have to manually configure a static IP address and use the addresses that were give to me by my ISP, and have my multiple machine connected through the modem via a switch. Is my assumption correct?

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I strongly doubt you'll have a modem in that setup. Not much point in running dedicated servers on them.

Other than that, yes. There's a switch into which you connect your machines. And each machine has its own IP.

Unlike NAT networks, where each machine has 10.0.x.x or 192.168.x.x, your machines will have direct IPs configured.

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Someone might draw the conclusion that you don't actually know enough to start that business when you need to ask that question. Before you put down real money, please ask yourself whether that's money that you're prepared to lose.

Also, ask yourself: what do I offer that's better than offerings from ServerBeach or GameServers or The Planet? The margin in that business is really thin, and competition is mainly on service. Those companies have large data centers, high up-time, and a dedicated staff that they can share out across thousands of customers.

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This is planned to be an extension of an existing business marketed to existing customers, our current customers are happy paying what well tell them it costs. Cost of failure would be low too, we'd only be out the cost of the dedicated line, any hardware used could be reused by the business. We're not looking to get that big, less than a dozen machines with 3-4 VPSs per machine. Basically the service would entail us providing the hardware, connectivity, and guaranteeing uptime and redundancy, we're not providing support for the applications they use. We do quite a bit of work with VPSs on local networks where any networking is already in place, this is an area that we feel we need to brush up on. The goal is to consolidate some of our VPS services so that we can manage them easier without having to go on site if there is a problem.

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The goal is to consolidate some of our VPS services so that we can manage them easier without having to go on site if there is a problem.


I see. Well, if you have enough power and cooling in a room somewhere, and can get fiber installed at a reasonable price, it might work out for you. Another option would be to get bulk pricing on managed or self-managed hardware at some data center, and resell that -- but then you don't have the boxes in-house, as you say.

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Thanks for the insight, we've done some work with some larger companies that are close by we're looking to possibly sub-lease their bandwidth and a room for a dirt cheap price, another added bonus.

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Of course, connecting to the internet is easy.

How will you manage customer's upgrade requests.
What kind of reliability are you aiming for? Without a solid plan and 24/7 support team you can't provide even 95%.
What about backups?
Replacement hardware?
Security patches?
Malware protection (do you want your network to become bot network?)
What kind of traffic are you looking for? 1 gig a day/machine? 5? 50?
How will you enforce quotas?
Have you considered the price of server software?
What about imaging and full or partial system restores?
Do you have a backup line in case main one fails?
How will you administer those machines?

and the list goes on and on....


There's a huge difference between running a corporate intranet server, a home server or providing something for friends, and hosting a commercial solution. You may believe that you are on good terms with them. Wait until one of your HDs dies, and they lose 2 days of data.

Typical reliable systems require two of everything and two of everything in the stock. Starting with network connection, over every switch, router, computer component, backup system, power supply, UPS, emergency generator, fire extinguishers, possibly grounding, security doors, security locks on machines and racks, authorization systems for administrators, NDAs, and if one of your customers is in any way related to government possible security audits, background checks, .....

As always, it depends on the scale and the content served. But hosting doesn't even remotely mean "getting an IP and plugging a machine on the network."

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Wait until one of your HDs dies, and they lose 2 days of data.


Heck, I put RAID 1 into the machines I give my kids. I would assume nobody does anything less for a production machine these days, where they basically throw gigabytes after you just to get rid of them as soon as you walk into a store :-)

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Of course, connecting to the internet is easy.



Quote:
How will you manage customer's upgrade requests.


If you're referring to hardware that won't be a problem, transitions are quick. When it comes to software they're on their own, as stated previously.

Quote:
What kind of reliability are you aiming for? Without a solid plan and 24/7 support team you can't provide even 95%.


Uptime in the high 90's, UPSs for all the machines, and a backup generator that can automatically switch on is relatively cheap.

Quote:
What about backups?


The backup system we have for our current in house machines is pretty good I think. Backups are made daily to a NAS box, and we have drives for every day of the week, those not in use are kept in the house safe, and once a week they are swapped out for another set kept in a safety deposit box. So at any given time there are two weeks worth of restoration points, the most current kept on site, and the previous weeks at the bank.

Quote:
Replacement hardware?


Not an issue, it's a computer store.

Quote:
Security patches?


As stated before we only provide operating system support, anything outside of that is the responsibility of the customer.

Quote:
Malware protection (do you want your network to become bot network?)


Most of the VPSs run single applications, and are behind firewalls. This isn't some computer at a public library, no pr0n browsing going on here.

Quote:
What kind of traffic are you looking for? 1 gig a day/machine? 5? 50?
How will you enforce quotas?


We haven't done any estimates on the bandwidth usage yet, I'm not sure about enforcing a quote, this is another thing I have to look in to. If we need additional bandwidth we will have to bring in more lines and charge accordingly.

Quote:
Have you considered the price of server software?


Yes.

Quote:
What about imaging and full or partial system restores?


Dependant on the customers needs, we currently make images of the customers installation after it has been deployed, most of the installation information remains static, the only thing that changes is data. The initial image is kept in the customers backup along with the recent restore points for their data, no sense in backing up the entire thing if your OS and software accounts for 90% of used space.

Quote:
Do you have a backup line in case main one fails?


We would likely have multiple lines as well as additional IP addresses handy so a failure could be handled quickly, although if one fails its likely you will lose multiple lines, if not all.

Quote:
How will you administer those machines?


We will be administering hardware and operating system only. Third party software administration will be up to the customer.

Quote:
There's a huge difference between running a corporate intranet server, a home server or providing something for friends, and hosting a commercial solution. You may believe that you are on good terms with them. Wait until one of your HDs dies, and they lose 2 days of data.


As stated before this isn't a huge data center. Hard drive comment addressed previously.

Quote:
Typical reliable systems require two of everything and two of everything in the stock. Starting with network connection, over every switch, router, computer component, backup system, power supply, UPS, emergency generator, fire extinguishers, possibly grounding, security doors, security locks on machines and racks, authorization systems for administrators, NDAs, and if one of your customers is in any way related to government possible security audits, background checks, .....


Addressed above.

Quote:
As always, it depends on the scale and the content served. But hosting doesn't even remotely mean "getting an IP and plugging a machine on the network."


Please don't put words in to my mouth, or take what I say out of context, that is not what I said. Me never having to manage multiple IPs from an ISP before does not make me a moron.

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