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November 2022 Donations & Finances


Cipher
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  • Homecoming Team

Hello everyone!

 

As always with these posts, I’d like to drop a quick reminder that there are more ways to support Homecoming than just through donations. For a general overview of the different ways you can help Homecoming, check out this thread.

 

About upcoming changes to our monthly operating costs:

Unfortunately, OVH is increasing prices across most of their products and services. Because of this, starting December 1st, our infrastructure costs will increase by $523.55 (~%13) per month. While it may take some time, we are currently looking into ways we can scale down and consolidate some of our services to bring costs back down. We’ll share more as soon as we’ve had time to review everything and put a plan together.

 


Last Month: October 2022

 

Last month we accepted $4,969.83 in donations, $28.98 over our target for the month. As always, any funds remaining at the end of each month are put towards our operating expenses for the following month or additional expenses for the current month.

 

Here is the breakdown of our expenses for October:

  • $4,031.87 for our hardware infrastructure from OVH
  • $459.00 for our GlobalSign CSC
    • This charge was canceled by GlobalSign until we can complete the verification process. More information below
  • $300.00 for our annual DocuSign renewal
  • $137.76 for two 1-year domain renewals from NameCheap
    • These were up for renewal in November but worked out better to pay early this month
    • Included in November's goal as they were not originally in the goal for October
  • $120.50 for our Google G-Suite services
  • $25.00 for our Air instance from Paperspace
  • $19.25 for the AWS EC2 instance serving our email
  • $15.00 for a 1-year domain renewal from IONOS
  • $9.73 for security / administration software (redacted in screenshot)

 

image.png.88a435902d37e0ad6e0a1c6ac31a4434.png


This Month: November 2022

 

The verification process to obtain a new code signing certificate is taking more time than we had hoped, and GlobalSign has canceled the $459 charge to our account until we are able to complete the process. Additionally, part of the verification process for the CSC requires us to request a certificate from the state of Delaware which will cost an additional $100 ($50 to Delaware DoC and $50 to our Registered Agent to expedite the request). This fee will be included in this month’s target, and the $459 will be held until we are able to complete their verification process in early November.

 

More information about what a code signing certificate is can be found here.

 

The donation target for November 2022 is $4,430.30. Here is a breakdown of how the funds are allocated:

  • $4,031.87 for our hardware infrastructure from OVH
  • $137.76 for two 1-year domain renewals
    • Paid in October, but was originally scheduled for November and will be included this month
  • $121.57 for our Google G-Suite services
  • $100.00 for our certificate of good standing filing
  • $25.00 for our Air instance from Paperspace
  • $19.25 for the AWS EC2 instance serving our email
  • $9.73 for security / administration software

 

Our donation system will be open as of the time of this post with a donation target of $4,430.30 and will automatically close once that target is met.

 

- The Homecoming Team

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Cipher

Homecoming Team

 

If you need help, please submit a support request here or use /petition in-game.

 

Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master!

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9 minutes ago, Glacier Peak said:

Also, with the increased server costs, does this mean talks of server consolidation in the near future?

 

I shall eagerly await the conclusion of the teams discussion on the war ahead. 

 

Per Number Six about a month ago here and here, only the Reunion shard in Europe is an extra expenditure.  The other four shards in North America all share the same hardware, so merging any of the four in Canada would not save any expenses.

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1 hour ago, Astralock said:

 

Per Number Six about a month ago here and here, only the Reunion shard in Europe is an extra expenditure.  The other four shards in North America all share the same hardware, so merging any of the four in Canada would not save any expenses.

 

Adding onto this, Cipher has a post somewhere around here detailing the server infrastructure and costs... we have something like 1 machine for the NA shards, and 15 more for things like the auction house, AE maps, mail server, account server, dev shards, redundancy/backups, etc. So when he mentions consolidation, he's probably talking about some of those.

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I had some issues tonight, and I didn't manage to get this done earlier...

Thankfully, all went well in the end, and I managed to contribute once again.

 

See you guys in-game.

 

P.S.

I'm in LOVE with how the Zombie Mastermind works now. I have no eyes for another character so far.... 😁

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Donations are still open almost a full day after starting.  So, for those that typically don't make it when it closes within hours, here is your opportunity!

Edited by Abraxus
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What was no more, is REBORN!

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2 hours ago, Asacledhae said:

Took some time this month, but I blame Halloween.

Too many people are occupied, apparently.

 

Either way, a HUGE thanks to everyone who contributed! 

Have a nice day, guys!

i would agree -  after a short visit of winter weather it was a warm weekend and great to be outdoors

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"She who lives by the cybernetic monstrosity powered by living coral, all too often dies by the cybernetic monstrosity powered by living coral."  -Doc Buzzsaw


 

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20 hours ago, Asacledhae said:

Took some time this month, but I blame Halloween.

Too many people are occupied, apparently.

 

Either way, a HUGE thanks to everyone who contributed! 

Have a nice day, guys!

Yes, I was Halloweening Friday and Saturday and recovering Sunday. I am not surprised it took longer for that reason.

What I *AM* surprised about is despite the really rough economic times we're all going through, this community still has money left over for donations. Good job for all those who donated.  🥰

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  • Homecoming Team
On 10/29/2022 at 4:12 PM, EmperorSteele said:

 

Adding onto this, Cipher has a post somewhere around here detailing the server infrastructure and costs... we have something like 1 machine for the NA shards, and 15 more for things like the auction house, AE maps, mail server, account server, dev shards, redundancy/backups, etc. So when he mentions consolidation, he's probably talking about some of those.

 

While I'm not quite as cool as Cipher, these may help answer your questions:

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/19636-june-2020-donations-finances/?do=findComment&comment=220949

 

https://forums.homecomingservers.com/topic/29090-mapserver-host-hardware-changes/

 

While there are many, many machines (VMs), we have ten physical hosts in NA right now:

- Citadel (our bastion/security host) [OVH Advance-1]

- Three SQL Server hosts (two production, one warm spare/backup target/management) [OVH Advance-3]

- Three VM hosts (these host almost everything that's not a mapserver - the shard hosts, beta, prerelease, forums, development, build services, NA CDN, etc) [OVH Advance-4]

- Three Mapserver Hosts [OVH SCALE-3]

 

And three physical hosts in the EU:

- Reunion (also hosts the EU CDN) [OVH Advance-1]

- A SQL Server host for Reunion (also a remote backup target) [OVH STOR-2]

- One Mapserver Host [OVH Advance-5]

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  • 4 weeks later

Based on Telephone's outline, it looks like the added costs are going to physical hosts, NOT virtual hosts.  This is a good thing, in that OVH isn't getting greedy about hosting instances, and just needs to charge more for physical storage, RAM, processors, and network interfaces.  

 

Also based on the server outline... it'll be really tricky to consolidate those, this is one lean operation.  As was pointed out, Reunion is the outlier, and probably has more resources for that one server instance than the others... but it's a geographic necessity and can't be trimmed down either.   I don't think paring the SQL hosts down would be wise, you need redundancy to keep data secure and up-to-date, and dropping one would open up a lot of risk (that's not even addressing the other elephant in the room, which is processing data transactions from thousands of clients in real time without a hitch.)  I don't know the backup protocol they're using (backups vs snapshots/transaction logging) but since they're using the SQL in Europe as a backup target, I'm assuming transaction logs because transmitting full DB backups across an undersea link in a timely manner... expensive af.  So THAT is likely as efficient as it's going to get, also.

 

I have been able to donate a few times here and there, but will definitely try to get to the window more often.  Even with 'retirement' putting a cramp on my budget (amazing what motivation to save you get when "what you have" has to last not a month, or six months, but possibly another 40 years), I can easily throw more money at the HC folks.  Thanks to you, and kudos for running this game as well as you do in the budget you've set.

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AE ARC's (So Far!)

--------------------

15252 Child of the Tsoo - [SFMA] Ninjas, sorcerers, and human trafficking (Origin Story - Stick Figure/Storm Lotus)

50769 Hunt of the Eclipse - [SFMA] Finding something that was lost to Arachnos for nearly 20 years (Origin Story - Daisy Chain)

53149 Spells as a Service - [SFMA] When a young hacker makes a connection between magic and mathematics and encodes it into a computer program, chaos breaks loose!

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