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  1. #1

    VPS with incremental upgrades

    So, I needed a VPS for a new project and having had good experiences with Verio in the past I ordered one of their new Linux VPS products a few days ago.

    During setup I noticed some troubling "pauses"; like 5-10 second delays responding to simple shell commands like "ls".

    When I got my application (Perl and MySQL) up and running, I was seeing 5-10 second page loads on very simple transactions. Yikes! I walked away in disgust for a few hours and when I came back I was seeing much more reasonable (less than a second) response times for the same transactions. Over the next couple of days I continued to observe highly variable performance.

    Bottom line: performance is unacceptable maybe 30 percent of the time. I have spoken with Verio 3 times so far. Two of those calls were reasonable and one was a waste of time. However, nothing has been resolved yet and I'm rapidly loosing confidence in this working out.

    So I'm looking for an alternative. My basic needs are *NIX, with Apache, Perl, MySQL plus a few other tools for which I absolutely want full root access.

    In looking through this forum I saw some nice comments about ioflood.com and I'm very excited about the incremental upgrades they offer -- specifically, the ability to add increments of CPU, RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc. at very reasonable prices. I think this is a terrific concept for a startup when it's hard to predict exactly how rapidly one needs will grow.

    However, they appear to be a fairly small and young company. I'm aware that comes with pro's as well as con's but I think this may be a problem for my partners on this project. I think they want a larger and more established supplier.

    I'm looking for quality but would like to keep down my *initial* costs down to somewhere in the $30/mo ballpark. I don't have a problem paying a little more as traffic increases and I'm planning on moving to a dedicated server sometime in our second year of operation.

    Any suggestions or general comments very welcome.

  2. #2
    Incremental upgrade of CPU, RAM, storage, bandwidth and etc is one of the advantages of VPS hosting. You may upgrade and downgrade to your needs at anytime.
    Perhaps give us your specification here for other member to comments. The faster way you can do is visit to offer section in WHT.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    I would imagine most VPS porivders would be willing to provide incremental upgrades as required.

    For $30/month, you can get quite a bit out of a VPS, providing spec would give us a clearer picture of who might suit you best.

    Regards

  4. #4
    It depends on what you mean by "incremental".

    Most VPS hosts operate on a package basis - package 1 is 128MB RAM and 10GB of disk, package 2 is 256MB RAM and 15GB of disk, etc. (just made those up). You can then move from package 1 to package 2 very easily. Indeed, this is one of the greatest strengths. One of my favorite hosts goes all the way from 256MB of RAM to 8192MB of RAM, and I'm aware of at least one that starts smaller and goes bigger.

    However, the upgrades are all package-to-package. It's not an open set of dials where you can flip RAM up, disk down, bandwidth up, CPU down, etc.

    The reason (to my knowledge) is that providers carve up their boxes with the intent of selling certain quantities of packages. If you come along and use something nonstandard, it risks leaving resources stranded on the box.

    IOFlood does have quite a nice set of configurable options.

    You might want to state here was kind of RAM/disk/BW you are looking to get for that $30/month.

    If you want a well-established company with a sterling reputation, look at KnownHost. If you want someone who might give you more bang for your buck but is a smaller/younger operation, check out the advice in my sig.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Do you have any specific location in mind? For $30 a month you can get a fairly good VPS.

    By the looks off it, your old VPS Node was heavy overloaded, they had poor hardware / slow drives, or both.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by raindog308 View Post
    It depends on what you mean by "incremental".

    Most VPS hosts operate on a package basis - package 1 is 128MB RAM and 10GB of disk, package 2 is 256MB RAM and 15GB of disk, etc. (just made those up). You can then move from package 1 to package 2 very easily. Indeed, this is one of the greatest strengths. One of my favorite hosts goes all the way from 256MB of RAM to 8192MB of RAM, and I'm aware of at least one that starts smaller and goes bigger.

    However, the upgrades are all package-to-package. It's not an open set of dials where you can flip RAM up, disk down, bandwidth up, CPU down, etc.

    The reason (to my knowledge) is that providers carve up their boxes with the intent of selling certain quantities of packages. If you come along and use something nonstandard, it risks leaving resources stranded on the box.
    We started out doing things that way as well, but found that no matter what packages we set up, none of them were ideal for any specific customer and we had to quote them something custom every time anyway. Doing it a-la carte saves us a lot of time with presales work, as well as makes our different hosting options less confusing to customers. Why bother having 20 different packages when they're all just variations of ram, bandwidth, disk space, cpu, backups, and software licenses?

    I think in general it makes more sense to allow people to decide a-la-carte. Sure, a server may have 2000gb of space, and only room for 15 customers, so if all 15 only want 50gb of space, on paper, you're wasting more than half the space. On the other hand, if you charge extra for more spaced based on what that space would normally cost you, and nobody buys it, then you have a really solid indication that the next server you build doesn't need as much disk space, so it helps you decide what kind of servers would be best to build.

    Also, say maybe 2 of those 15 customers was willing to pay for more space, and the other 13 couldn't care one way or the other, and weren't willing to pay more for a package with more space. In this case, it also makes more sense to do things a-la carte, first of all because it saves certain resources for users who actually want and need them, and secondly, it helps you charge based on the value the customer is seeing from the service, rather than forcing everyone to take and pay for resources they don't need.
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  7. #7
    Thanks for the comments so far. Let me try and define my needs more specifically. Right now, I have a application with one user (me!). Obviously, we plan to grow that user base and need something that will grow with us.

    Basic requirements:
    * Some Linux flavor. I don't have strong feelings on the distro.
    * Prefer to have the kernel managed. I'll self manage the rest.
    * Must have root access
    * Apache (maybe some extra mods like fcgid)
    * Perl 5 plus a number of mods
    * MySQL
    * RAM: I'd like to have 1GB to play with initially, expandable to 3.
    * Storage: 100GB
    * Bandwidth: Almost 0 right now, looking for at least 1, preferably 2TB/mo.
    * Backups: nice to have, not essential.
    * Control Panel: SSH is fine ;-)
    * Mail: outgoing only. I have other solutions to that and will just point my MX there.
    * Need fast/reliable primary/secondary DNS
    * Support: want good but not much of it, especially after the first few days. Kernel, network, adding/removing services etc. No applications, programming, or web design help required!

    The big bugaboo in my mind is CPU. "Fair share" is nice but a bit fuzzy. And I couldn't really tell you how many cycles I need right now. However, I do want reasonably consistent performance and I'm willing to pay incrementally as needs grow provided I can establish a baseline and plan from there. I like the idea of buying specific fractions of a core or some other tangible unit of performance. Kudos to ioflood.com for the way they've approached that issue -- it's all very specific!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by malch View Post
    The big bugaboo in my mind is CPU. "Fair share" is nice but a bit fuzzy. And I couldn't really tell you how many cycles I need right now. However, I do want reasonably consistent performance and I'm willing to pay incrementally as needs grow provided I can establish a baseline and plan from there.
    I find that fair share is definitely shared, but not very fair. It's usually more like a buffet: usually there's enough for everyone, but there's nothing to stop one person from ruining it for everyone at any time without warning. This is particularly why I prefer Xen over OpenVZ, because you have more granular control over the cpu use that an individual VPS has, to make sure that even if one person uses more than they should, and maxes out their allotment, there is some finite limit other than "all the cpu on the server". OpenVZ does have bean counters and stuff like that to preference some VPS's over others, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

    This helps keep performance consistent in two ways. The obvious way is, that you know that one other bad user on the system won't reduce your performance.

    The less obvious benefit is that you know where you stand in terms of what you're able to use. If you've got a 1 core maximum on a server that's not oversold, and you max out that core, you know you need more cpu. If you have "fair share" on a VPS, potentially you could have access to all the cpu resources on that server at some times of day, and access to very little at other times, which makes it impossible to plan for your usage level.

    If you need 4 cores dedicated and "fair share" gives those to you 75% of the time, then you'll have no idea you're using way way more than a $20 vps plan should be giving you. Even worse, the other 25% of the time, the performance will be terrible, even though you're using the same amount of cpu you always use, leaving you with no indication of if the performance problem is because you're using too much, or because the node is oversold. I've seen this many times, where there was just no way to figure out if an openvz vps customer should optimize their script to reduce usage, ask to be moved to a different vps node, upgrade to a dedicated server, or jump ship to a different vps host. As long as everything is working fine it's great, but if anything goes wrong, what do you do?

    This is more of a Xen vs OpenVZ thing, but it also applies to a lesser extent to Xen when it is configured to give everyone full access to all cores.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    The less obvious benefit is that you know where you stand in terms of what you're able to use. If you've got a 1 core maximum on a server that's not oversold, and you max out that core, you know you need more cpu. If you have "fair share" on a VPS, potentially you could have access to all the cpu resources on that server at some times of day, and access to very little at other times, which makes it impossible to plan for your usage level.
    Yep, you guys "get it". You expressed my concerns much better than I did ;-)

    I sincerely hope this enlightened approach will prove very, very successful for you.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by malch View Post
    Yep, you guys "get it". You expressed my concerns much better than I did ;-)

    I sincerely hope this enlightened approach will prove very, very successful for you.
    Thanks, the kind words are much appreciated
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    ...
    This is more of a Xen vs OpenVZ thing, but it also applies to a lesser extent to Xen when it is configured to give everyone full access to all cores...
    Openvz does have cpulimits as well as cpu priority, the issue is many providers don't implement it for some reason cpulimits.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by funkywizard View Post
    This is more of a Xen vs OpenVZ thing, but it also applies to a lesser extent to Xen when it is configured to give everyone full access to all cores.
    This is not targetted at you specifically funkywizard or implying you do any overselling. All reviews we have seen have pointed to you running a clean Xen shop.

    But as far as OpenVZ vs Xen, this is more of a provider issue rather than a case of bad technology.

    Because Xen cores are virtual, it is just as easy to oversell Xen CPU resources as it is in OpenVZ.

    It's up to the provider to partition CPU usage according to the load requirements of the server and to not oversell.

    OpenVZ is great technology, it's the unscrupulous providers that oversell the heck out of it which has given it a bad rep.
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by KiloServe View Post
    Because Xen cores are virtual, it is just as easy to oversell Xen CPU resources as it is in OpenVZ.
    Is the same true for KVM?
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  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by raindog308 View Post
    Is the same true for KVM?
    I think KVM handles things very similar to Xen, but is also better at over committing as well. The CPU itself is much more virtualized in KVM

    Code:
    $ cat /proc/cpuinfo
    processor       : 0
    vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
    cpu family      : 6
    model           : 6
    model name      : QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.9.1
    stepping        : 3
    cpu MHz         : 2920.180
    With the use of virtio you also get away from some of the quirks you see with Xen HVM
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