Time for a Bigger Machine!

SUCCESS! We were able to quickly raise $3,400 — far exceeding our goal of $2,500. Additional funds raised will be used to pay for additional months, for improved network/software/hardware security, and for a backup plan. Long-term, we plan on hosting our site with more than one provider for the ultimate in backup plans. The more you donate, the more infrastructure we will implement.
We are working to raise $2,500 to pay for a bigger machine for a year. Having fast pages is important to attracting people and we have had a few slowdowns recently and even a few blog database errors when our machine became overloaded. Due to increasing public awareness, we also have a need to be able to handle large spikes in traffic. We already have higher traffic than the Foresight Nanotech Institute, The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, the National Space Society, the Mprize, the World Transhumanist Association, and many other organizations.
We currently receive free hosting from rubyredlabs.com and kurzweilAI.net, but we are outgrowing them and need to get our own machine.
Our rubyredlabs.com server has become a bit busy lately due to the growth in our traffic plus more general activity on this server. Our KurzweilAI.net space has always been a bit busy because it is a shared server with many domains, so we don’t host our main pages on it. Instead we use this shared server for backups, file transfers, and less important domains. When we get our own machine, we will keep the KurzweilAI.net space for redundancy and continue to use it as we are now. (Note that the KurzweilAI.net space is not the same fast space that runs the main KurzweilAI.net domain.)
We plan to stay with the same provider as rubyredlabs.com but to move to our own machine. (This should simplify the transition.) The current provider is theplanet.com. We plan on getting: Intel Xeon 3210 Quad Core Kentsfield Processor, 250GB HDD, 4GB RAM, 2000GB bandwidth, 10 IPs, 100mbps uplink – $199 monthly / $25 setup.
We welcome any feedback. We are currently on a system equal to: Celeron 2.0, 80GB HDD, 1GB RAM, 750GB bandwidth, 5 IPs, 10mbps uplink – $89 monthly / $0 setup but we have to share this system’s resources.
We just finished completing an upgrade so both our blog pages and regular web pages are cached, enabling us to handle a lot of traffic but it doesn’t help much if the server has activity on it besides ours which is not cached… We also upgraded our spam filter so it runs about one thousand times as fast which was rather helpful.
Our traffic is around 150GB but obviously if it surged it would be easier to pay for more bandwidth than to get a new machine on the spot. Also our current machine is running FreeBSD — we plan on getting Red Hat 5 on the new machine since we have a choice.
If we raise much more than $2,500, we plan on using it for improved network/software/hardware security and for a backup plan. We are open to using a different provider/hardware configuration/software configuration than the one we have selected and welcome your input.
Send suggestions to [email protected] with the subject “Lifeboat Bigger Machine”.

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