Computing is Cheap

Over a decade ago I used to run a Linux server (Redhat at first and later Gentoo) that did some routing, stored files and hosted my website and a squid proxy. The Internet link was a terrible upload capped cable connection with a dynamic domain name service to update the host name when the IP address changed.

The server was a bit of a beast with 4 hard drives in it so I imagine it would have used some electricity. Using the current electricity rates (0.19c per kwh * 24hrs * 31 days * 0.250kw) I estimate running the server would cost around $35. And that does not factor in the cost of the connection.

This long weekend I got myself a Virtual Private Server for around $7 a month (with the current good AUS exchange rate).

Here is the comparison:

  • The upload connection is 2mbps rather than 128kbps.
  • The disk space is a modest 5GB rather than 160GB.
  • Software these days seems to be pretty memory intensive and needed tweaking to run on 128MB efficiently; on the older server I think I had 512MB.
  • The CPU is 2.4GHz compared to a 350MHz but I am sharing it with other virtual machines.

Computing power is cheap and virtualisation is making it cheaper.