Hi all.

With the success of the last week it looks like this place will be around for a while longer. To that end, I’ve created a Ko-fi profile where you can contribute to covering the ongoing costs associated with running Aussie.Zone, if you feel inclined.

There is no pressure to do this right now. Some have asked, and for me if the costs are covered its one less thing to think about. I’m ok covering the current costs associated with the site. However there will come a point I’ll need to ask for contributions or shut the site down.

Read on if you’re interested in my thoughts on where additional costs will arise for the operation of the site, otherwise… have a nice day :)

Immediate

Current costs for running Aussie.Zone are:

Medium term

Based on what I’ve seen so far, I expect the next pain point on the server will be needing either more CPU, or storage for the database. CPU usage is driven by local instance user count, storage more so by volume of posts across the wider fediverse.

Either of these is addressed by the current OVH VPS - “Comfort”. RAM and storage can be upgraded independently for different prices.

Longer term…

Domain renewal with Porkbun ~$35 AUD ($24 USD)
Database storage… is going to be the killer of instances. OVH VPSs can be scaled up to 640GB for $160 AUD per month. But at that price we’re into dedicated server territory.

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Ledger

This will detail cashflows associated with aussie.zone. Initial costs including domain registration (ends June 8 2024) and 1st month hosting (ends July 8th 2023) paid by me.

June 15 2023: $0 starting figure
June 15 2023: +$150 in donations 🎉
June 17 2023: -$8 enabled OVH VPS backups, pro-rata fee
June 23 2023: +$70 in donations (~$210 balance) 🎉

  • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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    1 year ago

    THANK YOU

    to everyone that has contributed! We’re covered for the next few months at the current costs :)

  • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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    1 year ago

    Small update

    Again, a big thank you to everyone that has donated, so far I’ve received ~$140 AUD, which is incredible!

    With this support I’ve enabled OVH’s automated backup service for $11pm. Bringing total expenditure to $42 AUD per month. Should something catastrophic happen on the server, this provides a full restore mechanism.

    At the current burn rate of $42 per month, on hand funds covers all hosting costs until early September.

    I’ll be sure to post here with any updates and remain as transparent as possible.

  • Old Man Fire
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    1 year ago

    so what’s the full specs of the machine? would building one of them and then running it at home from an NBN connection be viable, or would it lag to hell more than lemmy’s world about 12 hours ago?

    btw when it’s time for money, i’ll put one hand up and the other into my pocket. this is the sort of thing that i would be happy to fund.

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      1 year ago

      Current VPS specs:

      An NBN connection likely has the bandwidth, but latency to object storage will be higher and cause delays with image loads. Also increased downtime due to power, NBN outages, kids pulling power cables etc. But yes, technically possible.

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      1 year ago

      Can someone that donated on the 15th please confirm they received an email from me on the 16th?

  • FunkyClown
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    1 year ago

    Just out of interest, how big is the current db in GB? If it’s only text I would assume it would take a long time to get to 100+GB.

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      1 year ago

      Total DB size is currently ~3GB. However it doesn’t grow linearly. It grows, then shrinks occasionally with maintenance tasks. But yes, I’d expect we’ve got a lot of growth left with the scaling I’ve noted above.

      • phoenixdigita1
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        1 year ago

        Thanks for the detals on how the underlying infrastructure works.

        That’s pretty small DB size for now. I’ll be interested to see how it grows with time. Can you post monthly/quarterly updates on these sort of stats to satisfy my nerdery :)

        One big space saver would be keeping md5 hashes of all images uploaded in posts. Does the lemmy codebase accomodate for the same image being uploaded twice and just keep one copy? That would be a HUGE space saver for repeatedly posted meme images. (Edit: I just asked ChatGPT and it claims this feature doesn’t exist yet)

        Edit: Follow up question. If I subscribed on aussie.zone to a community called highresspacepics (fictional) on another instance does that mean your instance pulls down all the images from said community or do those images remain on the original instance?

        • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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          1 year ago

          Images aren’t stored in the DB, they’re stored on the filesystem. In our case that is a cached object store with Wasabi. For us, image storage volume isn’t a huge concern. It is growing, but the space on the server itself is manageable.

          Subscribing to a remote community on Aussie.Zone results in posts, comments, votes etc being synced and stored in the DB. Images remain on the home instance. This is where I see Lemmy hitting scaling issues… as instance servers may be hugged to death if they host a post/comment that goes viral.

          edit: and yeah, happy to post nerdy stuff. Will do so sporadically.

  • boomhauer
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    1 year ago

    Thanks for putting this together - good to know what’s involved. Happy to throw some money your way!

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      7 months ago

      Yep still good, I’ve just been too busy/lazy to post an update recently.

  • Alfreido 🇦🇺
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    1 year ago

    Not sure if OVH has this but I know with Vultr, DO and some other providers, you could pay for Block Storage that you can mount to your VPS instance, and is significantly cheaper than upgrading the VPS instance itself. Might be worth considering for the DB growth if the CPU doesn’t become a bottleneck.

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      1 year ago

      Yep, OVH have that as an option:

      But the included storage can be upgraded (to a limit) within each “family” of VPS that OVH offer. On the current “Essential” VPS family we can double to 160GB of storage for $14pm. Higher families can be upgraded to larger storage volumes.


      When 160GB is not enough, I suspect we’ll be needing to upgrade to the “Comfort” level for CPU/RAM anyway. At which point we can upgrade storage up to 640GB.

      Having said all that, before making any major change to the cost base I’ll be sure to post here for discussion and suggestions 🙂

      • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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        1 year ago

        On the topic of storage, we’re sitting at ~25% used currently. The rate of growth seems to have settled down after the initial rapid growth:

        The daily drop in utilisation at 4am is purging of older cached images. They’re re-pulled from Wasabi as required.

  • Lemmington Bunnie
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    1 year ago

    Donated - thanks for starting this instance, and giving shelter to us reddifugees!

  • palarith
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    1 year ago

    How much does coffee charge in fees?

    Would a paypal friend/family be better?

    Is the coffee link in US$?

    • Lodion 🇦🇺OPMA
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      1 year ago

      Ko-fi themselves have no fees. PayPal I’m not entirely sure, fees vary from donation to donation. For a $5 donation I see between $4.70 and $4.30.

      I did look at things like open collective, but they don’t seem to be very active in Australia… And use PayPal anyway.

      edit: Ko-fi is in AUD now, it did default to USD but I changed it when I realised.