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Sebastiaan Deckers for Commons Host

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Little Lamb Mk I

This little CDN edge server is open hardware, runs a completely FOSS stack, and is very affordable. These attributes make it a key enabler for many deploying CDN Points-of-Presence (PoPs). Especially in areas without traditional datacentres. The goal is to get closer, in terms of latency, to the entire global population than any other CDN.

Little Lamb Mk I

The Mk I hardware consists of a HardKernel Odroid HC1 with a 250 GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD. Its power-efficient 8-core ARM CPU serves well over 800 Mbps in benchmarks. Since the 6 Gbps SATA drive is bottlenecked by the 1 Gbps network interface, I am looking at optimising for cost by using a cheaper SSD that maintains similar IOPS.

The Mk I model is now available for sale. Automated deployment and dashboard integration is coming soon.

Pricing is currently calculated as follows:

  1. Bill of Materials (BOM)
  2. +10% source shipping & handling (S&H)
  3. +7% GST (gahmen)
  4. +33% setup fee

So, by building your own server you could save 25%. To put that into perspective, a rule of thumb for hardware startups is to charge 200% markup to stay profitable. So, clearly, at a fraction of the usual margin, I am not starting a hardware business. Commons Host is a network business. By keeping the hardware margin low, and the software free as in gratis, more servers will be deployed. Metcalfe's Law predicts that the value of the network should increase exponentially.

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