The last company I worked for before leaving Japan was kind enough to host my server together with their own servers. There, I had a reliable, very fast connection with a fixed global IP. A good friend, who still works there, made sure nothing went wrong and things were running very smoothly (thank you Rey and everyone else who helped). Due to cost cuts however, they’ve had to scale back on IP addresses and bandwidth which means I’ve lost the hosting.
After my futile search for another place with good bandwidth to host my mail and sites, I decided to put it on my DSL connection at the office here. It’s roughly a hundred times slower the one I had in Japan and we have frequent power and/or network outages, but it’s the best I can do right now. You may already have noticed the slow response time from the site.
Don’t get me wrong. I would be willing to pay for commercial hosting and you can get that anywhere in the world for a reasonable price (I was happily using pair.com for a while), but in my line of work, having full control of such things as the operating system and email service can be cruicial. Hosting a server with full control is usually many times more costly than simply hosting a site and your email on a shared virtual server.
The current server is an old (though very reliable) IBM Netfinity, running my favorite Linux distribution and Mail Transfer Agent. It is configured pretty much exactly the way I want it with virtual domains for both web and email. It also means the others at the office can now read their mail directly through IMAP instead of forwarding it somewhere else first.
It looks like things will stay like this for the meantime, but if anyone with a good connection outside Pakistan is interested, I’d be willing to provide support and services in exchange for keeping a machine running there.