Ever wonder what it takes to run a
large web site like ForwardLook.net?
The Forward Look Network
officially launched on March 7th, 1998 on GeoCities. As
the amount of information quickly compiled, we were forced to
move to our own server -- a humble 4x86 133 Mhz homebuilt system
with only 64Mb of RAM and 4 small hard disks. Internet
connectivity was provided for free by my previous employer.
We got "serious" in late 1998 by
moving everything to what is now the development server -- a
dual CPU machine that could handle the load of the
rapidly-expanding web site.
After getting laid off in April,
2003, we were forced to find a new home for the server.
Unfortunately, I could not get a fast enough DSL connection at
my home. MANY, MANY, thanks to Ben Pultanovich
who graciously provided an entire room of his home to be our
"NOC" (network operations center) for the entire year
of 2004. Ben completely rewired
the room to handle the load of the servers and their respective
equipment, and handles a lot of emergency on-site work for us as
needed. Thanks again, Ben -- without your help, none of
this would still be possible.
Unfortunately, our ISP (TeleRama)
started experiencing issues with our connection in September,
2004, and the connection was down almost 50% of the time. When
they were still unable to resolve the situation by December, the
decision was made to relocate the server to an area with a more
reliable connection -- my girlfriend's parents' basement, where
we now run a Britsys/Covad 1500/768Kbs DSL connection. On
December 29, 2004 we went live from the new location.
It all adds up to over $4000
worth of equipment, most of which has been paid for by
contributions from generous members,
and through sales from our
Site Store. Our
monthly operating expenses are partially paid for through our
eBay links on the main page. Please use them when you can!