Focusing on homelab & self-hosting

As you may or may not know, I run a hosting business – NodeSpace Hosting. I’ve been running it since 2010, but I’m not new to hosting. I had been running hosts since 2006. You can find a detailed history on the NodeSpace about page. Throughout the years, I have always tried to focus on competitng with a certain aligator, a sleepy host, one that loves the color blue, one who isn’t your daddy, as well as some other general hosts. But I think it’s time to change.

Currently, dedicated servers are out selling cPanel hosting. That’s actually a bit of a surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting that even though it’s exactly what I was hoping for. I like dealing with dedicated servers. I’m hoping to eventually get enough to have my own data center because I like working in data centers. As fun as it is to be working from home, I prefer to be on the data center floor!

So the other day it occured to me – no one is really focusing on the homelabbers and self-hosters. Granted, this is a difficult market. After all, these are technical people who almost prefer to have their servers in their house. I’m no exception 🙂 I’ve even blogged about what hardware to run at home. But as much as I like having servers in my home, I have ultimately moved them back to the data center. Why? Heat, noise, and power. In that order.

One thing I have always struggled with was heat control. Last summer, I actually bought a portable AC unit for my office where my servers were. That’s because my office ran significantly hotter. And that leads me to the noise. Enterprise servers are noisy. That’s because they need to move air fast through a large amount of space. Also, unlike normal computers, servers utilize static pressure fans. These fans have only one goal: move air fast no matter what. Your standard laptop or desktop more than likely has an airflow fan which just wants to move air. Because these fans aren’t fighting resistance, they’re quiet. And this leads into my last point: power. Servers use a lot of it. Older gear can idle around 100 watts and newer gear will operate a low load at 100 watts. Higher loads can peak upwards of 200+ watts. Residential electricity is priced, typically, on a few methods – peak demand and non-peak demand. Meaning, during the summer months in the daylight hours, your electric rate will be much higher than night time in December. Also, electricity == heat. Heat == fans speeding up. Fans speeding up == noise.

Not to mention, I see YouTubers talking about opening up ports to your home network. No! Stop! Do not do this! It’s a huge security risk! I also come across discussion topics where people want to self-host email. Email + residential (and even some small business) ISPs is no bueno! That’s if it even works. More than likely, it will not. Also, residential bandwidth sucks. If you’re hosting your website from home but a car takes out a pole with your ISP’s fiber on it, it might be hours to days before it’s fixed. Meanwhile, data centers are critical facilities. There are multiple ISPs on-site. There’s diverse fiber paths. So if a car was to take out a pole with fiber on it near the data center, the good news is there’s an alternate route. And the ISP with the damaged fiber will usually be there within the hour (assuming it’s safe) to repair the fiber.

This is why I’m going to be working on marketing towards homelabbers and self-hosters. And even small businesses who may want to have their own private cloud. Check out the Proxmox Private Cloud offering at NodeSpace. We’re going to have more homelab & self-host friendly pricing soon. Personally, I’d love to hear your feedback on it. So I invite you to join the NodeSpace Community and let me know your thoughts!

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