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What do you get when you pay for your hosting?

I was recently asked by a customer who needed more disk space for his hosting package why it cost so much compared to the price of hard drives.  He only needed a few GB more.

In the reply I gave him some details that I hoped would explain that it’s not just hard disk space he’s paying for, some of which is below.

His was a natural reaction, and of course I don’t think any of us really consider the cost of supplying the services or goods we use – when I buy my capuccino I rarely consider the cost of supplying it, but I have winced at the price some places charge.

So to everyone out there, when you pay for your hosting or additional services you may wonder at the price but bear in mind that:

  • We have to buy enterprise grade hard drives
  • We have to buy enterprise class servers
  • We have to run a datacentre and lease space in other datacentres with hundreds of servers
  • We have to power the equipment within it 24/7
  • We have to cool it all
  • We have to buy and maintain backup power UPS, generators, fire suppression equipment.
  • We have to buy lots and lots of bandwidth and maintain a large and complex resilient, secure and enterprise class network
  • We have to buy, license maintain and upgrade software
  • We have to employ staff to support our customers and maintain all of the above
  • We have to employ associated supporting services etc.
  • We have to pay taxes, insurance, building rents and rates
  • We are business and so after all the above, we have to try and make a profit

The internet and computer services are seen as something that should be almost free, but it’s often lost on people that what they pay for actually supplies an an awful lot of support and infrastructure.

Our is an industry that competes heavily on price, and we’re not the cheapest, but at the same time whether it’s us or any other ISP you do get a lot for your money.  It’s certainly not as simple as buying a hard drive.

As I said, it’s quite understandable not consider the price of delivering what you get as we all do it, but the above might just explain some of the price you pay.

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