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Bandwidth... A webmaster's worst nightmare... and that isn't any different for us.
We thought we had the perfect deal, unlimited bandwidth, a great connection etc, I told the ISP (whose name shall be left out as I'm still awaiting my partial refund) several times that my dedicated server was gonna be used only and solely as a download / file server, but it was no problem... So we mirrored the files for our 3 sites, DiabloIIFiles.com, SoFFiles.com and EliteForceFiles.com to that server and put the links up for public.
We started burning about 1 MB / second on average, that's 8 Mbits / second, which is really not a lot. However it was way to much for them and they unplugged the server.
We agreed that we would software wise cap the server to 2 Mbits, which is about 250 kb/sec which is REALLY REALLY NOT A LOT but hey, I didn't wanna loose my only somewhat working mirror.
After several days of problems, today we officially agreed to cancel this server and I get a partial refund, so they say. It's hard to sue 'em cuz ISP's cover themselfs in with Abusive or responsible use policies which makes their Unlimited Bandwidth Contracts pretty much invalid. If any of our fans is a lawyer or knows the law really well and would like to talk to me about this, contact me at [email protected]
Anyways, there's no time to sue the isp, it's time to search for new mirrors, which is what I've been doing for the past couple of days because I knew this day was coming. Jolt has a mirror up for the SoFFiles.com but they are experiencing some troubles themselfs and the newest files of the past 3 weeks are not on their server, but they should resolve it this week, let's hope so!
All sites have a decent mirror donated by South African Gamezone, www.gamezone.co.za However it auto-mirrors once every 24 hours so it doesn't have the latest files either. Besides, we could even loose them cuz they're gonna be handling all the bandwidth right now and I'm sure they won't be to happy with that!
We've approached nguk.net but they unfortunately had to decline at this moment.
There's good news though, we got contacted by the fine folks from fragland.net and they are interested in mirroring atleast our SoFFiles.com archive. When their techie returns from holiday this week we'll discuss several things and see what we can do!
For anyone that is interested in mirroring and who has plenty of bandwidth, I have a 40 Gig hard drive laying around not being used, but I might send it to fragland, but if anyone has some really good bandwidth, preferably in the USA, then please let me know!
Finally, what we're doing to ease our bandwidth usage in the future. Well in our new system (when this site relaunches, which is being delayed now cuz I'm spending a lot of time dealing with all the mirror issues), every file will have a list of third party urls (if applicable), or links to other sites their download locations. Those links can be used if our mirrors are slow / full or simply if the file is not on any of our primary mirrors (rings a bell :D)
We have another really great formula which is much more likely to bring in mirrors / money But this takes months to develop. Therefore if any experienced php / mysql would like to help out, please ring my bell ([email protected]
Well that's it for now, tomorrow I'll try to contact as much ISP's as I can worldwide to see if they're interested in mirroring our archives. Personally, I'm really hoping NGI.it is interesed, if anybody has any contacts there, ring my bell! ([email protected]
Well this is for me the end of a very very very bad day.
I'm really sorry to all of you but times are tough these days in this market, especially when it's all about downloads, like I said earlier, a webmaster's worst nightmare (or most expensive part of his site).
For now, please bare with us, your support and sympathy is appreciated and for any who'd like to help out (mirror-wise, php/mysql-wise, kind-words-wise :D), please do, if I ever win the lottery you won't be forgotton :D :)
For now, take care and please don't contact the Content Managers about the downloads, just read this and try the developer link if available for alternative download locations (for new files). For files older than 24 hours use the Gamezone mirror if it's fast enough for you
Jos "Pro-Filer" Jongejan
JJ Entertainment Networks BV