website transfer limit

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Reanimated, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. Reanimated

    Original Member

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    How many gigabyte is realistically required for an indie? Im thinking of purchasing some webspace soon, and Im not sure how much data I should expect to transfer. How much does your hosting allow you, and have you had any times where you needed more? I think I read some place where your given a set amount, but if you go beyond it, people can still access your site, but you pay per gig trasnferred. That sounds quite reasonable, but Im quite naive when it comes to the world of web hosting, so any ideas? :)
    Thanks
     
  2. andyb

    Original Member

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    You'll need to work out what size your downloads are, then multiply that by a reasonable amount of downloads per month, plus customers viewing your web pages. In the first months I'd get a fairly standard deal of around 20Gb/month and get some stats on what you're using, what it's rising by per day, etc. From there you can always change things upwards, or downwards if you need to. Why pay extra for lots of bandwidth at the start if you're not going to use it?
     
  3. Andy

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    ... but be warned about submission to Download.com or similar traffic boosters. When ever you will do a submission there and exists the probability that your game would be highlighted there somehow you will get 15GB traffic in short two-three days. At least that was so with two our games. The problem that these downloads exist only very short time, so you don't need such a big traffic after that...
     
  4. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Well - D just released, and arguably, I'm just starting, but so far, in the last 24hr period, I transered 2.5 gb of 5mb demos. If it even continued at half of that, my old 25gb host would not be enough. They also had a clause about the bandwidth for downloads vs. regular pages. I'd probably be shut down way before I reached 25gb. Be vary wary of the clauses in the usage agreement.
     
  5. MattInglot

    Moderator Original Member

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    It depends so much on your demo size. CustomBar gets a decent amount of downloads but since it weighs in at 1.63MB the bandwidth it uses is tiny (less than 10GB a month)

    It can be difficult to predict how much bandwidth you'll need and it's very easy to underestimate or overestimate. I'll plug Lizardsoft hosting services here and mention that we allow customers to set how much over their bandwidth they are willing to go over (and pay extra for) before having account suspended. This allows for download spikes while still protecting you from a surge of traffic that you can't afford. Should you go over your bandwidth you can upgrade your account to be better prepared the next month.

    Looking at the amount of copies most people (at least the ones that have posted their sales figures) here sell in a month, and a typical conversion rate of 1%, I think it's pretty safe to say that you can expect to get less than 10 000 downloads in a month with a typical indie game product. The amount of downloads you get will also be partially dependent on the size of the download. Several cut-off points have been mentioned on these forums where the amount of downloads of a file decreases significantly after certain file sizes. If your game has some element that traditionally results in larger downloads, such as having a current events theme (Olympics, Bush, etc) or seedy elements like drugs and nudity you might want to take that into account too.
     
  6. lexaloffle

    Indie Author

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    Get a fixed bandwidth account (ipowerweb is 40 Gigs for $8 a month) and if it looks like you might be pushing it for a given month, switch your demo files to a service such as fileburst ($1/Gig).

    If you can burn through 40 Gigs, you'll be so happy with the number of players you have that you won't care about extra hosting costs :)
     
    #6 lexaloffle, Aug 21, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2004
  7. robleong

    Indie Author

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    Or just go with PowWeb which gives a massive 5Gb/day download - probably more than enough for most people (unless you're Andy!), which works out to be about $6.70 per month for a 12 month contract.
     
  8. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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  9. Reanimated

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    Thanks for the help. I guess,for now, Ill stick with my free hosting until I get a rough estimate for how big my demo and full game will be. Im in no hurry so Ill just look around at the webhost forums.
    Thanks again :)
     
  10. Kai Backman

    Original Member Indie Author IGF Finalist

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    If your host provides 20GB of bandwidth (and no bursting) you will modify your behaviour to fit into these bounds. You avoid Download.com, as you might get on their front page and be unable to serve the load. Knowing how much work it is, you resist switching after successfull marketing makes traffic grow. This is bad for business.

    Look at the flip side of the coin, estimate the amount of games you aim to sell and calculate your bandwidth requirements from there. And then give yourself a good margin. Your website is your primary sales channel, and probably your main customer support channel. If you sell your game for $19.95 a reasonable dedicated server with 1000GB of burstable bandwidth is about 3 sales a month. If your demo is 10MB and your conversion is 0,5% you have capacity to grow to 500 sales on that single box. Doesn't that sound like a good challenge? :)
     
  11. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    Very good points from Kai.

    Altough for new people - don't go overboard. You can spend hundreds of $$$ just for monthly web traffic and "waiting for business to grow". If you have business goal of X sales per month then put your site on some host which is reliable (HomeTownHosting.com for example is a very supportive host with decent prices and good servers) and when you need extra bandwidth - or your own server - you simply pay more when you need more. You can increase your sales before you upgrade your web hosting needs.
     
    #11 Indiepath, Aug 24, 2004
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2004
  12. robleong

    Indie Author

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    Now that download.com will soon be hosting all the files themselves, perhaps soon you needn't need to worry about sudden bursts of traffic from them anymore...
     
  13. Teq

    Teq
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    We pay $99 (USD) for 1000GB of bandwidth a month on our dedicated server from ev1servers.net, pretty reliable, but you'll most likely need a little Linux knowledge, have hosted a game customisation site for a while which was once featured in a major UK magazine, did about 300GB of bandwidth that month. If you need more bandwidth than that several dedicated server rental companies offer unlimited 30MBit/s connections for about 3 times what we pay. :)
     
  14. James C. Smith

    Moderator Original Member

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    All our web pages, database and credit card processing is handled by a dedicated server which doesn’t use much bandwidth.

    All game downloads and images are severed by our “distribution serverâ€￾ with is actually a shared web cluster at a different hosting company. We use more than 2,000 GBytes per month. (16,000 GBits) One thing to watch out for is hosting companies why can’t really handle peek bandwidth usage. A $500 per month T1 line (1.5 Mbit per second) can serve up nearly 500 GBytes of information in a month if it was at constant capacity all the time. But real traffic patters have a lot more ups and downs. If you need to transfer 500 GBytes per month you need more like 3 T1 lines to be able to handle all the bursting. When you get into high volume hosting, many hosting companies want charge you based on peek burst speed. In other words, they change you for the size of pipe you need rather than how mush you push through the pipe. The companies who charge solely based on bits transferred (and not peek transfer rate) may not be able to handle ay real bursting.

    Many of our affiliates host their own files but many rely on us for the hosting. This isn’t a typical “Indie Developerâ€￾ scenario but it still may be useful information.
     
  15. Andy

    Original Member

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    @James:

    I was always wondering how the companies like yours survive with that bandwidth issues. :)

    Yes, almost the same number of visitors, but number of the games! I was just afraid if that multiplies the traffic by the number of the games.

    Anyway, we are still far away (hopefully ;) ) from our current 1200 GB...
     

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