How much does VoidTree cost to run?
$65.00 per month
Where does the money go?
Most of the expense is for dedicated Linux cloud hosting. A small amount covers the cost of a smaller, low-performance Linux machine that provides web, email and other services. The web page you are looking at right now is served up from the second Linux machine.
The most expensive resource in cloud services is RAM. Minecraft soaks up lots and lots of RAM, so much so that once you price out how much RAM you need, everything else like bandwidth and unlimited simultaneous player connections is pretty much included.
Wait. Did your costs just more than double?
We tried running VoidTree on the cheap using managed Minecraft hosting. It was not a nurturing experience. Managed hosting is geared towards people who have limited technical knowledge. You get a web interface that presents only a few of all possible choices. Trying to manage VoidTree that way felt a lot like having to take apart a car engine with a plastic screwdriver. Faced with out-of-memory crashes, we could either keep increasing the amount of RAM we paid for to stay ahead of the problem, or fix it once and for all by moving somewhere we could have the right tools for the job.
VoidTree is now cheerfully hosted by Linode, which is the gold standard in this business. People are already making happy noises on Discord as they take the new toys out for a spin.
Working through this real-world example of performance tuning and tradeoff has been a valuable learning experience, and I’m glad it’s over.
Given the increase in our costs, any plans for additional servers–such as a creative server–are on indefinite hold.