2020 New Dues Structure Proposal

Please see the membership dues proposal in our reports page.

I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the proposal. I’m wondering if it might make sense to go with a flat rate for virtual private servers and have that price pegged to something like Linode or Digital Ocean pricing. That would give folks an incentive to have their private servers at MFMT as well as recognize that pricing on things like that is totally static. Another factor that comes to mind is how publicizing that we have a VPS option would increase adoption…and wondering if our infrastructure is robust enough to accommodate an increase in demands for that service. Finally, I wonder if adding a backup option to the VPS service could also make it easier for users while also increasing revenue.

Regardless, I support the proposal as is and appreciate it.

@kenmontenegro I agree we should look at the concept of what it would take to provide a focused fixed price vps service, with disk usage based on tiers. I have a couple of linodes that I use, and the key thing for me is the root access and control that gives me vs. the MFMT pre-set software conventional web hosting I get now. (Eg. setting up a Matrix server to experiment with, something the staff haven’t time or inclination to do, but we should be looking at.) Don’t know how many more folks would want to take advantage of it, since it implies having considerably more tech and server admin knowledge to be useful. But - it is probable that if there are a few members who would be interested we would benefit as an organization by getting them more involved and engaged with us.
At the dues proposal meeting today, @Alfredo pressed the point that we shouldn’t be looking at this in a commercial transactional way, which comparison pricing certainly could be seen as encouraging, rather as a coop ownership responsibility. It’s in that latter sense that I think the fixed-price VPS option could be attractive, encouraging it as support for members who have more expertise becoming more easily engaged and encouraged to contribute that expertise to MFMT, if and as we create space in the organization for them to do that.

Here’s a link to the notes and a recording

Hi, sorry I’ve just been able to chime in on this. @kenmontenegro it is not clear to me what you mean by a ‘flat rate’ for private virtual servers. Commercial providers like Linode and Digital Ocean have a monthly pricing table for their vps options that scales with the amount of resources provisioned to the vm. The table for virtual machines in the new dues structure proposal follows a similar pattern. I don’t think we can match the same rates as these providers. We just don’t have the same conditions however we also provide a level of support to members hosting their vps with us that is typically outside the scope of what those companies will do. We will check in on any vps members give us access to and often we help them with upgrades and debugging services if it is something we have experience with. For most of our members who are already hosting a vps with us the proposed dues stable is very close to what they are already contributing. @davebritton all members who have a virtual machine with us do have root access to their servers. We don’t offer root access on our shared hosting servers for reasons of privacy and security. We haven’t widely promoted the availability of private virtual machines because we aren’t ready to handle a huge surge in demand just yet. We still run our own bare metal infrastructure and it tends to grow in chunks at a time that aren’t as immediately scalable as these large cloud providers. We are beginning to look at ways of decentralizing our infrastructure and using a mix of private physical infrastructure for private data and rented cloud infrastructure for less critical pieces but I think we will be moving slowly and carefully with this. I agree that infrastructure for backups would be a useful service for members and it is something we are already doing for a handful of members in an even less publicized way the than the vps. I also think we should work to formalize this and expand it.