Why Are Asia Servers Expensive?


#1

This came up to my mind today. For example, India. Even though everything there is seemingly cheap, servers are not. Why?


#2

What is expensive? Renting servers or buying server hardware?


#3

renting


#4

I’m thinking there’s a few factors here:

  • The market over there may not be as saturated as in the EU/US
  • Bandwidth seems to cost more over there
  • It may be more expensive to open and run a datacenter in a country like India

PS: I’ve only ever felt these price spikes on cloud providers such as AWS/Azure. While if you take your usual suspects DO/Vultr/Linode they don’t seem to price Asian servers differently.


#5

I’d like to know if any of the ones (sorry for derrailing the topic a bit ) Andrei mentioned ( DO, Linode, Vultr or even ovh ) has even considered to provide their services in any latam ( latin american ) region .
Sao Paulo is ““Cheap”” well compared to Argentina ( 1gig costs 10k usd ).


#6

I can tell you from experience that finding a reliable provider in Sao Paulo is a big PITA. Other than the well established providers AWS/Azure/Google, I couldn’t find much of anything else there. And the prices for those mentioned providers are quite high. It’d surely be nice to see DO/Linode/Vultr/OVH establish a footprint there, but I tend to think that the demand isn’t quite high enough for them to do so.


#7

What us ( latins end up doing:relieved:) is host whatever we have mostly in the US.
I’ve had ( quite a few) quite a lot of provides and none was in latam.
Have you got any in latam @imok?


#8

Never. Expensive, also I don’t trust them XD


#9

Exact feeling ( of our providers).
Most woukd have our country name ( argentina) but either colo or rent some boxes with say liquid web and put rail gun to the rescue.
Of the affordable ones they provide not more than 5 mbits up.


#10

I’m a bit late to this but I’m also no longer in the server hosting market. I think I can give some insight to this question.

Base server hosting has three major costs: Power, Bandwidth, and Space.

In Asia, the big “network hubs” are Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Those are the places you’ll find the cheapest “Asia-based” servers/networks because of availability and infrastructure build-out. Other locations are better for the local clientels, but are not so great for “international” or “continent” use. Lets start with the first major cost. Bandwidth.

Having a server in Asia is useless without the bandwidth, and bandwidth in Asia is expensive. Due to political lines, country borders, etc, you have to think of the countries in Asia as if they’re all just independent Islands. On the network infrastructure side, this means that building out over-land fiber solutions is not as readily available as an acceptable solution. So you’re limited to using submarine cables for large quantities of “cheapest” bandwidth available (Public map available here: https://www.submarinecablemap.com/). Submarine cables are much more expensive to use and link up to and maintain, and it’s harder to expand the bandwidth capacity compared to land-based solutions where you can just dig another trench or something.

A perfect example of this is South Korea. Due to their “friendly” neighbors to the north, South Korea’s internet is mostly through the submarine cable uplinks in Incheon/Seoul and Busan. So per mbit commit your base cost is pretty high, but we also have a limited capacity on the cable. So those who pay more, have more “dedicated” or “premium” access. A budget user is not going to be given priority on this end.

So now that you know what big bandwidth providers are available and where they’re all meeting, you find out that Singapore or Hong Kong for example are the best places for you to build out your infrastructure. Well the problem is that those areas are basically city-states. Space is at a premium. A per-square-footage of space is much more expensive in these land-limited locations than the US or Europe, and most network exchanges/uplink locations are based around urban/densely populated locations. It’s a no brainer your rent bill is going to be high.

Specific locations in Asia are very power-limited. Due to limited space, the base cost of generating power is also super expensive. Asia is also emerging as a very power-hungry location and even certain countries and major cities in Asia (Seoul, Kyoto, etc.) are experiencing power shortages due to climate change and infrastructure capacity. So even if you have the bandwidth and the space, your monthly power bill is going to be high and your power commits are going to be smaller compared to the equivalent amount you can get in the US and Europe.

All these problems compounds to a higher base-cost of operation in Asia compared to US or Europe. This is why bandwidth commits are so small in Asia unless you have the money to pay for more. Per U value is higher than usual “international” market rate. Power is also expensive. Most of these locations that can support our needs are mega-cities, so salary and cost of operations are on-par with any first-world/developed nation.

It’s just not worth it jumping through all these hoops just to get “cheapest” Asian server title. There are so many small details and things to consider that it’s hard to compare US and Europe’s operating prices and Asia.

Also India has a big big infrastructure problem so… Yeah.


#11

That post was pure awesomeness. Thank you for giving us some insight.


#12

I’ve used gcorelabs.com there for a bit, but it does go down from time to time. Seems like the most reliable low-end host in the area though, with host1plus being overpriced and vpsfa(s)t… well, lets not mention them at all.

Edit: this was supposed to be a reply to andrei. Still getting used to this new forum software