At some point I will need hosting for Freeciv ( http://www.freeciv.org/
The best configuration would probably involve decent amount of swap space since most planets (servers) would probably spend most of their time swapped out, idle (not idle loop; select statement waiting for connection on assigned port).
I need to determine how much per world such hosting would cost, in order to put together a business plan whereby they will be able to pay their hosting. (A how to get the bitcoins from the players plan.)
Normally public Freeciv servers tend to have about twelve servers running, allowing random players to specify a size of world and number of players; and when players leave for certain period of time the server dies and a replacement is spawned.
What I want to do though is have much fewer such "random, player-specified worlds" and a potentially much larger population of permanent worlds each of which only certain players can play on using username+password login built into the server code. (This involves a tiny mySQL database that has the username+password pairs and maybe a few fields optionally useable for player ranking/scoring system.)
The few "random" worlds would be the free loss-leader, since a normal Freeciv game ends when you wipe out all other players on the planet or get a spaceship to a nearby world (classically known as Alpha Centauri). The lure would be that now you have won a world, would you like to join the Galactic Milieu...
Best would probably be to try out running two servers, one with a "size 4" world (4000 tiles map) and one with a "size 29" world (29000 tiles map) so you can check what resources the smallest and biggest world each use, and maybe a middle-size (10 to 13 or so) world as an idea of a maybe-average world, in order to figure out what kind of pricing would be appropriate...
What O/S do you use? Freeciv is in many Linux distributions and probably in BSD variants too, although in production use I would probably have to use a custom server because standard one shows all players the IP addresses of all players, which could have legal complications in addition to just basically being a bit of an invasion of privacy.
I would also need some method of remotely running the shell scripts that do the movement of starships from one savegame to another to move them and the units aboard them from planet to planet. It must be a method that allows feedback of what the script says like no such planet no such nation no such starship insufficient warp jump range and so on. This would be needed to work-around the lack of ability to run an IRC bot, as currently I use IRC to tell those scripts what ships to move from where to where. (Basically they just use sed grep awk etc to remove units from one savegame and insert them into another.)
Eventually in order to support large numbers of worlds it will probably be necessary to make a front end were pkayers identify themselves and specify which one of ther possibly many worlds to actually fire up a server for to play on at a given time, thus limiting max number of servers actually running to the numbe of players playing at that moment. (And usually probably less as hopefully a lot of time at least two players will be working on the same world at the same time.)