Date of writing: 29th April 2010
From sometime around the middle of 2006 through the middle of about 2008 ish I was running "The Org flight server."
This included reverse engineering the flight server protocol that Vatsim and IVAO were using, creating our own server deamon, upgrading and patching, and most importantly, making sure it was running on Monday mornings (I'm in Australia.) so that people could fly!
A lot of people gave me some very very generous donations over the life span of the flight server, a few times I had to hold it to ransom which was not so fun, but the community responded well and chipped in some funding to keep it going. To those generous people that Donated I say Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. You're donations to freeware projects mean more than you probably think. Their value is far more than monetary.
Anyway, eventually I just lost interest, the old client protocols that X-IvAp and VATSIM use are pretty limiting. Debugging the server was difficult, most issues would only crop up under peak loads.
For a long time we had a long standing memory leak bug and I would simply restart the flight server process every two or three weeks.
I did get to develop a good understanding and appreciation for what the whole community would like from a multiplay experience though. It varies from "I'm a geek, I can make it work, just get me flying with my friend." all the way through to "I don't want to have to do anything except install the plugin and connect".
With a large and diverse model library available for X-Plane, many custom sceneries, custom airports, the emergence of payware and aircraft plugins, and especially custom-animated OBJ8 fueselage shells, this is all getting rather "fun".
I've toyed with the idea of making a new client/server to solve a lot of the problems, only recently have I really created the tech to put together the solution I really want. ;)