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For those looking for a mastodon server, a couple of friends of mine and I are running one for $10/month/user collected through an opencollective account. Consider finding a server with a business model to keep-up server costs. Then, you aren't the product.

I was just looking up prices for hosting a Mastodon server on masto.host (from $6/month) and I saw that they're so flooded with new customers they've had to close new registrations while they catch up. Now I'm wondering what it would take to set up a similar hosting service as a #PlatformCooperative based in Aotearoa, with onshore hosting options.

@jduckles

#Aotearoa #NZ

@strypey @jduckles I know that Catalyst are providing cloudisland.nz infra, so you might be able to get some indications from Aurynn.

@dznz
Ae, CatalystCloud are hosting the nzoss.nz services too. Aurynn and @lightweight are definitely two people whose brains I'd be picking if I tried to pursue such a project.

@jduckles

@strypey @dznz @lightweight I’m not using Catalyst for this, tbh their cloud prices are incredibly expensive. I’m running a mastodon instance mostly with US friends. So we use a low cost VPS in Seattle US $350/year for 29GB ram, 6 vCPUs and 800GB disk. I’m sad I can’t find something even 2x that price here in Aotearoa tbh.

@jduckles

Yeah, they say the scale isn't enough for that sorta pricing here. That's a pretty sharp price, though, must say! My latest Mastodon is on a 8GB RAM/4 VCPU/200G Nvme, instance @ 240 euros/yr. CatalystCloud tracks MS Azure and Amazon AWS rates - all their stuff is fully reserved (no shared resource pools), so premium, but also far more than most people/orgs need. I've spoken to them in the past about a lower-spec tier, but they're not focused on that market. Too bad.
@strypey @dznz

@jduckles I'd definitely say there's a big opportunity for a low-priced hosting provider in Aotearoa NZ. I wrote this ages ago - still unanswered: davelane.nz/wanted-someone-mee (the NZOSS did try an initiative, even with biz model documentation, but couldn't get buy-in). @strypey @dznz

@lightweight @jduckles @strypey so I'm definitely not an expert on datacentres and the like, but I remember being on SiteHost, and knowing the owners, and how their stuff was more expensive even though they were frugal because they weren't cutting corners with shared hosting that their competitors were. And with the internationals coming in next year it'll get harder to compete on $.

@dznz yup. Unlike the local cloud providers, the incoming multinationals can employ a 'Bunnings'/'Walmart'/'Amazon' model of loss leadership to kill off the indigenous competition (subsidised by more mature, markets paying them monopoly rents) and lock foolish bizzes and gov'ts into future monopoly rents. @jduckles @strypey

@lightweight
> couldn't get buy-in

No bites at all? Not even a nibble?

@jduckles @dznz

@strypey @jduckles @dznz No, not really, unfortunately. Probably need to discuss it with you sometime.

@lightweight @strypey @dznz Having just built a 20TB NAS to chuck in the basement, I wonder what could be pulled off as a high availability architecture running across a few people's basements attached to UFB 😂. Going old school ftw. It would take me right back to the place I worked in 1995 that hosted Buick's first website from a Sun pizza box attached to a T1 line.

@jduckles @strypey @dznz I like the idea of people hosting backup systems for one another, for geographic diversity... The cost of running a couple hard disks attached to a small net connected device with remote backups being made over flat rate fibre is pretty negligible...

@lightweight @jduckles @strypey I kind of like where this is going. A kind of mesh net of resilient compute. CockroachDB across a bunch of home racks and raspberry pi mini clusters.

@lightweight @strypey @dznz TrueNAS would enable this. Have to check the deets but I think it could handle making the sync encrypted too. I’m kinda blown away with how much TrueNAS makes just work, and on top of ZFS to boot. It’s worth installing in a container just to poke at its interface. In bare metal it will run VMs and/or containers on the NAS as well.

@lightweight @strypey @dznz There are somewhat confusingly two versions of TrueNAS CORE (based on FreeBSD) and SCALE (based on Debian). I have been using SCALE.

@jduckles @strypey @dznz I used restic for remote backups, so they're all encrypted anyway...

@strypey My day job is at Catalyst Cloud, happy to chat about options.

@puck
I think the biggest barrier to setting up a fediverse hosting co-op would be that it would take a while to get the first few customers, serve them well, and get the word of mouth that can bring in more customers. Enough to make it pay the full overheads and compensate everyone fairly, for the time they put in to set to the system and keep it working. If Catalyst were willing to heavily discount hosting during that bootstrapping period, I suspect it would be more likely to succeed.

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Mastodon

This is the monogram.org Mastadon server. monogram.org started in 1999 as a community of likeminded people interested in open discourse about technology, arts, culture, and a better world. The domain monogram.org is inspired by Robert Rauschenberg's Combine Monogram. We got inspired, around 1994, by Monogram through the documentary series "The Shock of the New" where Robert Hughes discusses pop art and its influences on modern culture. The community around monogram.org has continued a sort of Flex Seminar through online forums and other activities over the years.