Which is cheaper: Running a server from home, or renting a VPS (Virtual Private Server)? We’re trying to pinch pennies where we can, and my son Derrick suggested upgrading an extra PC we have and running his Minecraft server at home. Would it save enough money to be worth it? I didn’t know the answer. The first task is to find out the cost of every little thing.
In one corner, we have the VPS at MyHosting.com. The VPS is an eight processor (its a VPS so its not counted quite the same as an 8 core processor) with 3GB ram and 20GB hard drive space. This is sufficient for the Minecraft server that my son Derrick runs. It costs $27.15 per month.
In the other corner, we have a Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2 GHz dual core processor) with a 160GB SATA hard drive, and 3GB ram. To upgrade it from the 1GB to 3GB will cost $25. The next thing I had to figure out- how much will it cost to run?
I did some research, and came up with the following:
1) A system such as this one takes roughly 150w of power to run, at the most.
2) My local utility charges 6.6 cents per kilowatt/hr.
So, take those, and what do you get? Math.
|Watts x Hours Used
—————————- x Cost per kilowatt-hour = Total Cost
|(Borrowed from http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/computers.html)
So, plug in the numbers. There are 730 hours in the average month. Take 730 times 150 watts, divide by 1000 and you get 109.5 killowatt hours used, and at 6.6 cents per kw/hr that’s 722.7 cents, or $7.23/mo.
VPS: $27.15/mo or $325/yr
Home: $7.23/mo or $86.76/yr
Extrapolate that into a year, and that’s $238/yr saved! For that money, I can afford to replace the power supply or hard drive in the home server if it dies. Its a LOT cheaper.
Things not taken into account: If our home power or internet goes down, so does our server. Also, home IP numbers are prone to change now and then. For the simple gaming server, we can deal with that for $238/yr savings. On the other hand, my business website can’t afford to go down, and so a simple VPS with 512mb ram is plenty to run that. Those generally cost about $6/mo and are well worth the price.
Overall it is VERY cost effective for us to run the home server. Do some of the math and see- it just might be best for you too!
Not too long after this article first appeared, we had a change of plans! We moved to a new home that only has 1.5mbps DSL, and its not very fast… So what did we do? Check out this post, it goes into more detail.