Its been 4 months since this last update and an update on our costs and setup was long overdue. Over the past few weeks I have moved a lot of our servers to the cloud, both to reduce the time needed by me to maintain them but more importantly to cut on costs for the community. This was made possible by the introduction of a new cloud environment at our current hoster.
As a lot of you have undoubtedly noticed, the past few months have been hard on us money wise. We are not getting nearly as much donations now as we had earlier this year. Because of this we decided we needed a way to see where the community wanted us to invest. What servers to keep and what servers to drop. To do this we decided to split the costs we have over different donation goals. By splitting up the goals it is easier to see where the community wants us to invest. We can then use this as a guideline when making decisions, not only on a server level but also on a community level. So lets break down the current costs and their goals.
The original plan was to use the goals to determine what servers you wanted to keep alive. However it failed to account for the extra costs introduced in the terms of paypal fees. I will keep the separate goals in place for transparency reasons, however the overall monthly goal will be used to determine if we need to shed ourselves of costly servers.
What do we have:
A lot in this section has changed, one of the major changes was the migration to a cloud setup. This means I can now separate the costs for FK and myself as I no longer share hardware between the two.
So lets do a breakdown of what we have at this moment. We currently own 2 dedicated servers, these are:
- ARMA #1 - €55,-/month (The main arma server)
- ARMA #2 - €55,-/month (he test/second arma server)
The ARMA engine still does not like to be run on virtual hardware, and there for these servers will most likely remain for a while. All our other servers are now cloud servers and they are priced as follows:
- Web server #1 - €6,-/month (The main website)
- Web server #2 - €6,-/month (Test site and gitlab runner, used for compiling missions/templates)
- Teamspeak - €6,-/month (TS3 server and music bot)
These prices have dropped significantly from our previous costs. Observant people will have noticed there is 2 things missing from this list, the minecraft and mail servers. The reason for that is that I have moved them to specialized hosters as they where costing me to much time to maintain and configure.
- Mail server - €5,-/month
- Minecraft server - €23,-/month
As you can see the minecraft server has gone up in price significantly. However in return we get more choices in ready to go mod packs as well as an easier to setup server. This will hopefully translate into a faster rotation of mod packs to keep the interest higher.
Originally we were using an old license for our website. Support on this license had expired and therefore renewal was needed. In total this currently adds another €10,-/month for the website. We also pay for the admin panel for our ArmA servers, this costs €25,-/year. Breaking down to €2,08/month, for sanity reasons I rounded this down to €2,- in the goal.
I know a lot of people have asked for other ways to donate, sadly Paypal is the only viable gateway we can use. This is mostly due to the fact that other gateways do not payout transactions until a certain threshold has been reached.
Rainy day fund:
After the last update we got a few large donations, this means that we once again have extra funds. I will bring this up with the CM's to see if we will reinstate the "Rainy day fund" or if we will find some other use for it that benefits the community. To keep our finances as transparent as possible the CM's have access to a spreadsheet with all our payments and income. I will also be looking at ways to give them a real time view into server costs and other expenses.
Overall our monthly expense went up by 3 euro's. A minimal increase considering the fact that the minecraft server doubled in cost and we added a musicbot for TS. This overview also does not list the temporary cards against humanity server we host while the original version suffers from some technical issues.