Running your apps on your own server – This site is running on my own server

I have two software projects and a bunch of websites and databases running on the internet. They cost me around $1000 /mo. in terms of server cost to run, and I was sick of the slow performance and high costs of the computers running in the cloud.

I have been inspired by the Jeff Atwoods blogs posts (particularly this and this) for a long time. When he first blogged about running your own server, is much cheaper in the long run and then his recent blog post on running mini-pc server, and how the performance of the mini-pc was much better than the cloud computing which costs more than $5700 to run over the period of 3 years. Just to be clear nothing beats the flexibility of cloud computing, you can spin up a server in a matter of seconds and it is great for testing out ideas and running your application for some time, which I have been doing, but if you want to run something for a long term you are better off running your own server.

And I have been reading a lot about the cheap 1U server and few years old Xeon CPUs coming to the used market and selling ludicrously cheap, so I finally decided that I will buy a used server and host all my applications myself.

Hosting the server in your home is not a particularly great idea, as data centres are getting quite inexpensive it is best to put the server in the data center, so I decided to put mine in the Nuday networks datacenter. They also offer an IPMI connection to my server over the VPN which is an amazing service that would allow you to restart/boot/manage the server remotely, and it is quite cheap at just $59 CAD /mo. (they took a $99 one-time setup fee as well)

So, I was looking for used servers and I found a great one, a Supermicro 1U server with dual Xeon 6 core CPUs. A total of 12 cores and 24 threads and 64 GB of RAM.  I installed the VMware Hyper-v on it and created virtual machines that I require. 

I will be writing more about how I configured the server and setup the firewall and everything.

My server is currently running 6 VMs:

  1. MongoDB server
  2. MariaDB server
  3. Nginx server
  4. Dead Simple Chat Server
  5. Dead Simple Screen Sharing Server
  6. Firewall

There is an internal network through all the VMs are connected to each other sort of a VPC that we can have in AWS and the Firewall provides a VPN, so I can connect via VPN and manage the services.

This site is currently running on the Nginx Server along with few other sites, and the performance is really compared as compared to other hosting options.

So far I am very happy with my setup and it costs a fraction to run as compared to the services running in Google Cloud and AWS and is approximately 10 times more powerful.

If you want services to running for a long time then I think hosting your own servers is the best way to go.

That’s it! Feel free to comment if you have any questions or suggestions.