Free Markets, Free People

QandO at the Crossroads

We’ve been having a big problem at QandO.  The podcast, apparently, has gotten popular.  Under our old hosting plan, we had 400GB of bandwidth.  Last month, our bandwidth began to skyrocket, almost entirely due to podcast downloads.  That has continued this month, too. The excess bandwidth charges for exceeding the monthly bandwidth allowance are $4 per GB.


Essentially, we’ve gone from an average of about 8GB in bandwidth per day to 50GB per day.

This is complicated by the fact that the old version of QandO was created way back in 2004 using ASP.NET 1.1. It works great. Sadly, it’s no longer supported by Microsoft. Last month, when it became clear we were going to blow through our bandwidth allowance, I did two things:

First, I removed the Stitcher podcast player from all the Podcasting posts, to avoid drive-by downloads from the post page. Second, I worked with the web host and was able to upgrade to the last existing ASP.Net 1.1 Premier plan, with a 600GB bandwidth limit, to avoid the bandwidth charges. That costs me $37/mo. As it turned out, bandwidth for the last week of July fell back to normal, so we only went through 415GB, which would’ve been a $60 excess bandwidth charge for the month.

So, increasing the bandwidth limit to 600GB should be a fix, right? Well, this month, we have already burned through 275.15GB in 10 days. At this rate, we will blow through the monthly bandwidth limit around Aug 22.

So, if you are looking for a podcast that’s more than a week old, you won’t find it. I’ve deleted all the older ones. Obviously, that isn’t an optimal solution.

The real solution is to move QandO over to a modern Cloud Hosting environment, which has unlimited bandwidth, 10GB of file storage, and only costs $18 per month. But, the newer hosting plans do not support ASP.NET 1.1. Essentially, that means that everything we’ve written prior to 2009 would, for a while, at least, disappear.  I have the old legacy content in a big, honkin’ file, but it would take some time to restore the old content to a static HTML page. Ultimately, transferring that would be a lot of work.

In any event, while I’m happy the podcast is becoming more popular, it’s causing some problems with trying to reconcile a large chunk of legacy content with modern hosting solutions.

This is complicated by the fact that Jon Henke still owns the domain, so any changes to the server would require him to make the change at GoDaddy. Depending on how long that would take, moving to a new host could mean that QandO will go down for some period of time.

So,all of this is information for you to understand why the Podcast has no archives, and warning that QandO may have to go dark for a day or so if we change to a new hosting plan.

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20 Responses to QandO at the Crossroads

  • However you resolve the issues, please just PROMISE me that the blog won’t disappear forever!  I read your site everyday, and I think you offer insightful analyses to current issues and events.

  • I doSince the podcast is so topical, I don’t see the value of maintaining too many older episodes. I find the weekly podcast incredibly valuable, and would. subscribe if needed to keep it going.

  • Shhh…  Best not give Erp the news.  He’ll slit his limp wrists out of despair.

    • Meh. That narcissist has long since retreated into a fantasy world where he is invincible, a fact he even brags about every time he shows up to let his tired old arguments get curb-stomped by the Q&O staff, a team with more reach and influence than that loser will ever have.

    • Doubtful. His spork is as dull as he is.

      • If not for the fact that I had a mouthful of good Scotch, that was a fer-sure spit-take…

  • My first thought was to ask “are these bandwidth usages real ?”
    This doesn’t mean I question your hosting ISP, but rather it would be very convenient for “the dark forces” to run people off the net by running up their bandwidth charges.

    • My thoughts.  I thought I brought it up, but then thought, I would be giving people an idea.  So I don’t know if I didn’t hit post or it got deleted.  The first burst is almost exactly 7 days if you allow for differing timezone causing slight irregularities on the ends.  

      I also wondered if Stitcher could be unintentionally responsible.  Especially if Stitcher doesn’t host, but links.

      • About Stitcher possibly being responsible: I commented a couple of weeks ago about have trouble using QandO with Chrome. The main page was partially loading and then going into some sort of process that prevented rendering the rest of the page. (For some reason, IE did not have the same problem.) The problem began almost to the day when the graph shows the bandwidth shooting through the roof.
        I thought it was some kind of add-on in Chrome, but disabling them didn’t help. As soon as Dale changed to remove the widget for playing within the QandO page, the problem disappeared.
        I don’t know what was happening, but the lock-up I saw could very well have been chewing up some bandwidth. It’s possible that the widget was doing that for others too, but the problems were not so obvious for their configuration.

    • It’s more likely that the podcast got picked up by a bunch of people on iTunes or the like, and now all the podcasts are being automatically downloaded (including partial and/or failed downloads).

  • So, Bruce takes a hiatus and ratings go up.

  • I went down to the crossroads,
    Tried to flag a ride.
    I went down to the crossroads,
    Tried to flag a ride.
    Nobody seemed to know me,
    Everybody passed me by.

  • The White House is coming here for Erb’s foreign policy insight.
    Shows, doesn’t it?

  • I can’t get Stitcher to work more than 10 minutes before it jumps back to the start of the program, after five times, I gave up.