VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

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Edge100x
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VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Edge100x » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:59 pm

We've switched up our Virtual Dedicated Server / VDS prices in order to lower the per-core cost by about 20%, and we've included 50% more bandwidth in every package for free!

We have also switched to having a separate Windows cost. We've long resisted this change, but mounting Microsoft licensing costs have made it necessary to break that fee out separately and charge it to only those clients who need Windows. The good news for Windows clients is that the overall price of most packages is still lower than it was yesterday, even with the separate Windows fee -- because it is a flat amount that is the same regardless of how many cores are purchased.

Existing clients can update to the latest pricing through our order page, at their option. As always, old pricing and options are grandfathered in for as long as a customer doesn't submit a change, so customers have the option of sticking with their current package or updating to the new model.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by stickz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:16 pm

That's amazing, Linux users no longer have to pay for the cost of Windows licensing!

My only complaint is adding 1GB of ram on a single core costs half the VDS price. Have you considered putting in a 512MB option?

Edit: As a customer, why would I spend $12, when $16 will buy double the hard-drive space and core count?

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by It'sRandinator » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:05 pm

Edge100x wrote:The good news for Windows clients is that the overall price of most packages is still lower than it was yesterday, even with the separate Windows fee -- because it is a flat amount that is the same regardless of how many cores are purchased.
It's $7 USD higher than the previous price of $39.99. Have you looked into setting the windows option at $10 USD, it's what most providers are doing. And possibly allow windows for free on managed options.

Games that have linux support, Ark, Arma 3 etc.. NFO only provides the window files of these games. Maybe allow the linux files on managed, instead of forcing customers onto Windows. It would be nice for those managed users.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by stickz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:26 pm

It'sRandinator wrote: Games that have linux support, Ark, Arma 3 etc.. NFO only provides the window files of these games. Maybe allow the linux files on managed, instead of forcing customers onto Windows. It would be nice for those managed users.
Yeah, I totally agree with that. If they're going to charge extra for Windows, everything possible should supported Linux. Nuclear Dawn and Natural Selection 2 are other games, which will also get shot by the price increase, for people wanting to host on VDS.

It's not just that, but it's also the idea of saying "no" to customers is bad for business. If a game is supported on a particular platform, the answer should always be "yes, you can host it here". In the long-run, they will likely end up purchasing more resources.

Personally, i'm still waiting to host Nuclear Dawn on Managed Linux in Chicago. It hasn't been supported since release years ago!

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by kraze » Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:34 pm

It'sRandinator wrote:
Edge100x wrote:The good news for Windows clients is that the overall price of most packages is still lower than it was yesterday, even with the separate Windows fee -- because it is a flat amount that is the same regardless of how many cores are purchased.
It's $7 USD higher than the previous price of $39.99. Have you looked into setting the windows option at $10 USD, it's what most providers are doing. And possibly allow windows for free on managed options.

Games that have linux support, Ark, Arma 3 etc.. NFO only provides the window files of these games. Maybe allow the linux files on managed, instead of forcing customers onto Windows. It would be nice for those managed users.
stickz wrote: Yeah, I totally agree with that. If they're going to charge extra for Windows, everything possible should supported Linux. Nuclear Dawn and Natural Selection 2 are other games, which will also get shot by the price increase, for people wanting to host on VDS.

It's not just that, but it's also the idea of saying "no" to customers is bad for business. If a game is supported on a particular platform, the answer should always be "yes, you can host it here". In the long-run, they will likely end up purchasing more resources.

Personally, i'm still waiting to host Nuclear Dawn on Managed Linux in Chicago. It hasn't been supported since release years ago!
We may alter the price in the future, but currently the fee is there is offset the cost of Windows licensing, which has spiked in recent years. There is no profit margin here. We know this change can be upsetting to some, but we're hoping the decrease in base cost, extra bandwidth, and soon fully SSD backed VDS's helps make up for this new fee. As per always, your price is grandfathered in for as long as keep your package in the same configuration. If you're a current customer and do not want this new fee, you do not have to have it.

Offering additional games on Linux is definitely a tough one, as in our experience developers have rarely maintained their Linux releases well. Windows is the dominant platform across most games and it always gets the most TLC, this means in a lot of cases Windows performs better and sees more bug fixes and/or optimizations over Linux. Though, I don't see any reason why some of the more popular releases such as ARK and Rust shouldn't see the possibility of Linux hosting. Games like NS2 and Nuclear Dawn are very unpopular and older which makes it much harder to justify since there is almost no player base
@Kraze^NFo> Juski has a very valid point
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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Edge100x » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:46 pm

It'sRandinator wrote:It's $7 USD higher than the previous price of $39.99.
For small configurations, the nature of a flat fee is that the price will be higher, yes.

This just mirrors how Microsoft handles it. If they had proportional rates, we'd use those.

If you're a current customer, you can choose not to make the change, and continue paying the old rate, indefinitely. Our price grandfathering system is generous.
Have you looked into setting the windows option at $10 USD, it's what most providers are doing. And possibly allow windows for free on managed options.
$15 is a common price point for the Windows license because that is what Microsoft charges for individual licenses (at minimum). Microsoft does not discount the cost for buying multiple months or for any other reason, whereas we have steep discounts for multiple-month rentals (including a 10% discount for renting 3 months at once and a 15% discount for renting 12 months at once), so we're already subsidizing it here in many cases.

The new pricing model acknowledges that, with the cost of Microsoft licenses going up, it becomes less fair for some customers (the ones buying larger servers, or Linux) to subsidize those who buy small Windows services, and it simply (mostly) removes that unfairness.

I recognize that it is not pleasant to have any rate go up, whether it is a single component of the service or the overall service cost. We have slashed per-core server rates to the bone to soften this blow as much as we can, and for most customers, it compensates for the new license fee.

In any case, this price is a starting point. We'll continue to monitor our costs and customer demand, and we may raise or lower it over the next few months based on what we see. If a large number of people demand a lower price point on the Windows license and want us to partially subsidize it again with a higher per-core cost, we may have to do that.
Games that have linux support, Ark, Arma 3 etc.. NFO only provides the window files of these games. Maybe allow the linux files on managed, instead of forcing customers onto Windows. It would be nice for those managed users.
Most games do not support running servers on Linux. Among those that do, Linux support is often poor -- frequently, it is not well-tested and it is buggy. We will take a look at potentially supporting other games on Linux through our managed system. Unmanaged customers can always run whatever they'd like, of course.

If a customer is currently running Ark or ArmA3, they'll generally see a decrease in cost under our new pricing system. Both of these games require lots of memory, and larger packages have gone down in price enough to compensate for the cost of the Windows license.
..Nuclear Dawn and Natural Selection 2...
We have a single Nuclear Dawn server on our network (our own test server) and don't plan to add more support for this game in the short term. NS2 is also not a popular game, but we can look into that.
It's not just that, but it's also the idea of saying "no" to customers is bad for business...
We don't like to say "no", but when the cost of implementing something means that we'd have to charge more for it, and that would prevent people from buying it, it does not make sense to take the time to do it. We also have a large amount of other work besides adding support for older and unusual games, and we have to prioritize what will help customers the most, and do that work first.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by stickz » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:51 pm

Edge100x wrote:
It's not just that, but it's also the idea of saying "no" to customers is bad for business...
We don't like to say "no", but when the cost of implementing something means that we'd have to charge more for it, and that would prevent people from buying it, it does not make sense to take the time to do it.
Could a game-server template at-least be created on on Linux Managed, that allows the installation of custom servers? The problem with managed is it monopolizes control over the machine, if something's not implemented, it cannot be run along side other servers.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Edge100x » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:48 pm

stickz wrote:Could a game-server template at-least be created on on Linux Managed, that allows the installation of custom servers?
I'm not sure exactly what you're thinking with this, but no, the nature of having managed servers is that each game needs its own support added. We have general tools that work for all servers, but our system needs to know things like how to query the server, what ports it runs on, where its configuration files are, what the name of the executable is, how to repair/refresh its files, how to handle game updates, how much CPU and memory it is expected to use, and so on. These are set by hand.

Adding support for a game also means that we need to actually support it. That means staff (real people who work here) need to understand how the game works and what can go wrong with it, so that they can help customers who ask questions. Many games (Garrysmod, CS:GO, and Rust, for instance) run differently on Linux and we need to understand the quirks.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by $atanic $pirit » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:49 am

I'm not a fan of current situation of NFO, but this is a step in the right direction. In my 5 years here at NFO, I have never ran anything windows based. It made no sense for Linux only users to compensate for the cost.
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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Ticketry » Sat Jul 23, 2016 4:50 pm

I'd like to add my opinion / feelings to the mix here, I myself have been with NFO for afew years now and I'm one of the people who tends to alter my VDS quite often adding things and/or taking things away, I am not proud to see how this was implemented overnight without any sort of a heads up or posts via twitter / facebook or giving current customers a window of time, I understand small businesses have to make "changes" to keep their business above water but I think this was a major move overnight especially those who run servers via Windows OS's, I woke up yesterday and had considered adding a small amount of SSD till I started playing around with numbers and can't see the justification anymore due to the fact my price will go up drastically. Anyways my billing cycle begins at the beginning of each month and I'm considering cancelling my VDS all together and looking for another company which is something I'm not opposed to, I'd like to keep my fingers and toes crossed that this will not be for the long term but hey it's hard to please everyone.

Best wishes,

-Ticketry

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by It'sRandinator » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:54 pm

Brings me back to another option I mentioned, perhaps NFO can offer windows on managed without any extra fee or raising the base price slightly to cover it. I mean if support for linux servers won't become available anytime soon why charge for a windows license if all they would be hosting is game servers on managed. If programs need windows, just host an unmanaged vps with a fee.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Edge100x » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:36 pm

Ticketry, we've always handled price adjustments by just making them, and making announcements on both the site and social media at roughly the same time, as we did here. This is not a drastic change in terms of rising costs for any single customer and does not negatively affect the majority of customers (it's positive for everyone in terms of the bandwidth amount, positive for most in terms of the pricing, and only slightly negative for others in terms of the price). If you feel that you have a strong case for an exception to the new pricing, contact us and talk to us about it.

It'sRandinator, Windows licensing costs are the same to us whether the service is managed or not. Managed customers don't have to pay extra for us managing the service for them, and we don't plan to switch to charging extra for managed setups in the short term (or even long term). Managed servers start at 4 cores minimum, and a significant percentage of customers have 6+ core servers, so this change does not hurt most managed customers (who also have the option of staying with their grandfathered plan). Managed customers can continue to choose Linux if they wish, knowing that fewer games can be run on Linux. We will continue to run our own standalone game server services on Windows.

We appreciate the feedback from everyone. It makes sense that some (those who run Windows on smaller servers and now have to pay slightly more) would dislike this change, while others (those who use Linux, have larger servers, or use a significant amount of bandwidth) would like the new order page. The key for us, and the reason that we added the separate Microsoft fee, is that Microsoft licensing costs are spiraling out of control, with a lot of wasted money going to Microsoft that should stay in customers' pockets instead. We did not make the decision lightly and put a significant amount of thought into it. There was seven years of precedent in the form of subsidized Windows licensing, and it's something that customers are used to having here. It was one of our service differentiators, in fact -- something that nobody else did.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by It'sRandinator » Sat Jul 23, 2016 11:05 pm

Ticketry wrote:I'd like to add my opinion / feelings to the mix here, I myself have been with NFO for afew years now and I'm one of the people who tends to alter my VDS quite often adding things and/or taking things away, I am not proud to see how this was implemented overnight without any sort of a heads up or posts via twitter / facebook or giving current customers a window of time, I understand small businesses have to make "changes" to keep their business above water but I think this was a major move overnight especially those who run servers via Windows OS's, I woke up yesterday and had considered adding a small amount of SSD till I started playing around with numbers and can't see the justification anymore due to the fact my price will go up drastically. Anyways my billing cycle begins at the beginning of each month and I'm considering cancelling my VDS all together and looking for another company which is something I'm not opposed to, I'd like to keep my fingers and toes crossed that this will not be for the long term but hey it's hard to please everyone.

Best wishes,

-Ticketry
I have to say that NFO has the best pricing per specs for vds/vps and dedi servers. I have not seen any host come close to price to spec ratio as NFO with a great network, and I've been around the block having spent many years on WebhostingTalk. Out of all the GSPs out there I've only seen three selling vps' in NA/EU with low specs, crappy network and high pricing. I mean let's face it, 99% of GSPs don't run their own network/peering connections/own hardware, they rent.

As for General purpose hosts (not webhosting/domain companies that sell a vps or dedi, may god forgive the person who purchases something other than a webhosting plan from them). They're specs to price ratio again seems very steep compared to NFO who's pricing is 10/10 for vps.

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by squirrelof09 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:08 am

Typo for single core option?

Order page says:

Single core
Access to one HT CPU core (Intel Sandy Bridge or better)
1024 MB of RAM
100 GB of RAID-protected storage
8000 GB of bandwidth transfer

Confirmation page says:
* Changed monthly transfer amount from 4000 to 6000

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Re: VDSes get more bandwidth at lower prices

Post by Edge100x » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:40 am

squirrelof09, that was a typo (the new packages were all supposed to be 6 TB per core, which was 50% more than the old amount of 4 TB per core). I should be fixed now.

It'sRandinator, thank you, and unfortunately one reason for the Windows costs to us being so high is that we underload our machines :(. It ends up costing hosts more if they don't cram as many Windows customers onto each machine as they can.

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