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Re: Idea: setting up a company [formerly 'ethical hosting' [formerly mai

From: pelzflorian (Florian Pelz)
Subject: Re: Idea: setting up a company [formerly 'ethical hosting' [formerly mailman service (free for FOSS projects)]]
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 20:19:06 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/45.8.0

On 04/20/2017 02:18 PM, Pjotr Prins wrote:
>> Yeah, that was exactly my impression when I've started looking into
>> what I'm doing, although not with the very same motivation or goal.
>> Like I told you offlist, we could use the mumble server
>> to shape the idea(s) and solve questions like funding etc.
> Sure. What I'll do first is write my ideas up in a BLOG and we open
> for discussion. There is no rush, I am taking the long view.
> Pj.

Let me ask: What is the vision for the future, not just for this
business?  What is sustainable in the long run?

What I would like to see is more on-site self hosting to make a more
peer to peer rather than federated network.  Virtual private servers
allow for more load balancing between different customers, but self
hosting seems better for at least some people or companies, because:
· There is no vendor lock-in.
· It is probably (?) cheaper in the long run to own and not rent the
hardware (and the software, kind of, if it is libre).
· There is no interference from others, e.g. when updates are delayed by
others or when other customers on the same node suffer a DoS attack.
· Self hosting could be more secure because it is more minimal and less
trust in a single third party is required.

With our current non-GNU IPv4 internet, such on-site self hosting would
for most people need dynamic DNS like  I have no experience
with how well that works, especially when it comes to the half-hearted
e-mail spam protection using reverse DNS queries and SPF, but I believe
one could make it work.

The hardware I’d want for this is RYF-certified and modular like an
EOMA68 microdesktop [1] (well, this EOMA68 implementation will
_presumably_ be certified once it is released) instead of some Pi
computer.  I have hope that such devices will not only be more libre but
also cheaper in the long run because of their modularity.

One should be able to plug in a computer display and administer Guix and
the services from a nice, explorable GUI desktop without using a console
terminal.  (Such administration could also be offered via Web or VNC,
but for self hosting, why not make it as comfortable and simple as a

As for making money from self hosting, I suppose one could make a
business selling servers, setting them up, customizing them and offering
customer support.  This should eventually be offered by many independent
professionals, I believe.

Of course, we don’t live in a nice and GNU future yet.  This may not be
the right business case for today.  Also maybe it will not by itself
become a full time job?



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