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Old 02-10-2000, 05:12 PM   #1
Jon Yeager
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Question Large Scale Web Hosting (Dedicated Servers?)


I'm writing on behalf of a website (don't ask which, I can't say) that got caught off-guard by its own success. It receives about 7,000 unique visitors per day (210,000/month), and flirting with 1,000,000 monthly page views. The bandwidth is between 1 - 2.5 gigs per day (30-60 gigs per month) or what is mostly, believe it or not, a text-based site (no movies or downloads).

We can't even get a good read on our stats anymore because the log file alone exceeds the 50 meg limit imposed by our hosting service in less than 3 days. And that limit is for our entire site! And analyzing those logs takes more time than our rotation allows anyways, giving us blank stat pages most of the time.

Little snags like these (not to mention a slow-loading site) are at the root of our desire to look for alternate solutions.

Does anyone know if a dedicated server is the way to go? They're pretty expensive, so I was hoping there might be another way. Anyone have any solutions and/or companies to recommend? What about co-location? What's the difference between co-location and just sharing space on any $20/month generic plan?


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Old 02-10-2000, 05:37 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your success!

You are quite right a $20 generic plan would not cut-it for huge volumes. However hopefully you are now making enough money with advertising to afford a decent host.

The $20/month plans are virtual servers mean you share space and bandwidth with other people on the same server. THis is fine for smaller sites, but if your site is CPU, bandwidth or disk intensive it is inadequate for your needs.

A dedicated server means one which is used by you and you only.

A co-located server usually means a dedicated server which is your (belonging to you and possibly set up by you) computer at the web hosting company. If it's not the case you normally would simply lease the host's computer. The advantage [as compared to leasing a server] is you probably have full (or more) control over the setup, system configuration, installed software etc. The disadvantage is you may not know how to do this, the cost may be higher, and the level of tech support etc. for a non-standardized configuration may be more.

As your site is getting such a lot of traffic, it is likely to also have some adverse effects on other people sharing space on the same server. If you have not already received an e-mail or letter from your web host...then expect to get one soon. They will probably tell you to upgrade to their dedicated service.

However it is best to shop around. Provided a dedicated server facility is different from providing a virtual server facility.

At this point, with so little knowledge of your site, it would not be honest of me to recommend a specific web hosting company. I will also admit some biases in that I non-exclusively resell Virtualis' virtual and dedicated servers (my page about them is http://www.wildcomputer.com/webhost/index.htm).

I will shortly be adding a very large, and searchable web hosts directory at one of my other sites so will post the URL when it's up - but as this is still some days away, may be too late to help you. Another hosts directory is http://www.hostindex.com/

In summary, I would strongly recommend you start researching hosting options now.


[This message has been edited by WildComputer (edited 02-10-2000).]
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Old 02-10-2000, 07:25 PM   #3
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In a parallel thread ( http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/F...ML/000136.html ), Edwin mentioned that he had uses Digital Nation for his dedicated services...

Edwin, how do you like dn? Did you have to install stuff like mysql and php3 yourself? Or do you even use those?

Did you consider getting a RaQ?


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[This message has been edited by Arn (edited 02-10-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Arn (edited 02-10-2000).]
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Old 02-11-2000, 04:29 AM   #4
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Basically, DN does NOTHING for you unless you specify and pay for it (though if you get stuff set up for you at the beginning at the same time as signing up for the server, it's a few hundred $ at most)

Their basic package does not include MYSQL or PHP3 but then I don't use either at the moment; they have installed MYSQL on another server I have there for future use.

My sales contact usually answers mails within 48 hours at the most, and forwards queries to the relevant people as needed. But you should not choose DN if you figure on needing lots of software set up and configured and are unable to do it yourself, but unwilling to pay for expert help.

I considered a RAQ but after talking with the sales staff at DN and another company I was considering both concluded that I would be better off with Linux - especially since that way I can run the Ad Juggler banner ad software I use.

Once again, delighted to recommend DN to anyone. I am busy upgrading to an even bigger server (dual PIII 600Mhz, 512MB RAM, 9GB SCSI, 20 IP addresses) which will come to $950 a month - but should, fingers crossed, cover my traffic needs for the next year at least - though if it doesn't I'll be doing so well I no doubt won't care!


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Old 02-13-2000, 03:53 PM   #5
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Jon, I was recently in a very similar situation as you, operating a site that was simply getting too popular for the Virtual server environment. After looking at the various dedicated server companies out there, I cut the list down to DigitalNation and Rackspace.com. At the end, I went with the later (Rackspace), for a variety of reasons:

1) Rackspace sets up your dedicated server within 24 hours. I phoned DigitalNation, and it takes them a week to do the same.

2) Rackspace offers free initial support. At DN, they charge you a rediculous $250/hours, if I'm not mistaken.

3) The servers at Rackspace.com (at least Linux) come preinstalled with the essentials, such as FTP, email, SSI, web admin, stats program etc. It's almost like a virtual server, except you get the power of a dedicated. At DN, I hear even FTP has to be setup by the customer.

It's only been a week since I've moved into Rackspace, so I can't say for sure whether it's the right choice. So far, however, I'm loving it. If you like, you can check out our site at http://wsabstract.com . Good luck.

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Old 02-13-2000, 08:19 PM   #6
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Many of my sites are hosted on my dedicated server at Virtualis. For most, the "sweet spot" is a memory upgraded Deda 2. I'm running some real memory grabbing process consuming scripts without so much as a hick up and much faster execution than a virtual shared site.

In general, I am a happy camper and for the last 80 days (uptime reads 72 days http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif and things have been really great. They will install anything you want and support is free.

Unfortunetly, this is a "young" company with typical growing pains and support folks who sometimes give things a quick pass. Recently, they switched internal databases which caused grief with many, backlogs, and other yucky stuff. I'm confident this is behind them and dollar for dollar they are a good deal and they do try very very hard to correct errors and growing pains.


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Old 02-14-2000, 01:02 AM   #7
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Hi all,

My site www.pics4fun.com gets now around 8,000 - 10,000 unique visitors daily.
Around 3,000,000 page views monthly.
I'm using some CGI basically to count clicks and to send postcards.
50,000 pics are viewed daily resulting in a bandwidth of around 3-4 gigs daily.
My site is hosted on a shared SUN ENTERPRISE server and I've never had any single problem (I cross my fingers). Maybe it is not the fastest connection available but it is quite good in my opinion.
And I get all of this for FREE.

www.pics4fun.com : a huge collection of funny pictures, cartoons and comics.
www.watchmail.com : the new FREE web based e-mail (It is fast, reliable and you get 6 Megs of space)
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Old 02-14-2000, 02:58 PM   #8

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Hi this is weird since my name is George as well, but George C. what are the specs for the server you choose ?

And gallery how did you get your server for free ?

I am no way in the league of the big boys here, hell all 4 of my domain sites total only 210,000 pageviews/month http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/frown.gif

I am really getting a plan together for the eventual move to a dedicated server on DigitalNation or Rackspace or Interland cause I have other site projects I want to get hosted and I currently use 2 web hosts on virtual servers, Interland and Simplenet and then have 2 sites hosted for free with limited features.

I anticipate alot more traffic and it seems someone else has too - I finally got a CPM based ad company to accept all my web sites and they normally don't accept sites with less than 1 million pageviews/month !!!

So I am happy http://www.very-cool-stuff.com/ubb/smile.gif

Btw, anyone can give me pointers on how to write a good site description or what the ad rep said, hmmm... am ad copy I think it was.... so put in their listing of ad network sites for advertisers to go through....

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