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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    63

    Do I need VPS or can I go cheaper?

    I'm currently on a ~$30/month VPS but I feel like I am ultimately under-utilizing the server for a single webiste.

    What I need are:
    - At least 1GB storage
    - MySQL database
    - PHP 5
    - GD / preferably imagemagick for image processing
    - Would be NICE to have memcache (how is file cache performance with servers running SSDs?)
    - At least 1TB bandwidth

    I can't think of anything else I NEED out of this...?

    I feel like I am overpaying for $30/month for what I am actually using?

    Also for reference, this sitee gets < 500 visits/day, but spikes once a week to 3000+

  2. #2
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    Dec 2010
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    Hello, you can get cheaper, I've used CrocWeb in the past and was very happy with their service and support. They also match your needs and for approx $5 a month.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    North and South America
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    How spiky is your traffic? You say that you get 3000 visitors once a week is that all at once? Is your site resource intensive? Lots of graphics? How long is the average visit? While it sounds fairly mid range usage, I would comment that 1TB is more usage than many hosts will allow, especially if it is very high usage during peak times. For instance crocweb has only reseller plans that have that much bandwidth. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think realistically a $5 plan will fit. Sure there are plenty of hosts that do offer good fits but before recommending jumping ship to a place that might not fit I'd do more analysis. Certainly be upfront with a new host and give them details so they can confirm your usage is OK.

    Personally, while I don't know if VPS is a good fit (all of that extra management), I would like to understand more about the site prior to recommending. During your busiest period how many processes are running? If you have WHM/cPanel I can tell you how to get the info if you don't know.

    I would not want you to make a change and then not be happy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    LocalHost
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    You can get cheaper deal. Try Linode and Digitalocean. CrocWeb is also great, but I guess they have server only in Canada.


    If you want to try dirt cheap but reliable, try RamNode.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    382

    Lightbulb Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlyn2004 View Post
    I'm currently on a ~$30/month VPS but I feel like I am ultimately under-utilizing the server for a single webiste.

    What I need are:
    - At least 1GB storage
    - MySQL database
    - PHP 5
    - GD / preferably imagemagick for image processing
    - Would be NICE to have memcache (how is file cache performance with servers running SSDs?)
    - At least 1TB bandwidth

    I can't think of anything else I NEED out of this...?

    I feel like I am overpaying for $30/month for what I am actually using?

    Also for reference, this sitee gets < 500 visits/day, but spikes once a week to 3000+
    I would recommend to go for a lower plan for VPS itself. I believe that would cost less than half of what you are paying now. Just browse through the web hosts available.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    63
    Quote Originally Posted by ravi_9793 View Post
    You can get cheaper deal. Try Linode and Digitalocean. CrocWeb is also great, but I guess they have server only in Canada.


    If you want to try dirt cheap but reliable, try RamNode.
    That is actually a plus... Canadian company with canadian visitors

  7. #7

    Re: Do I need VPS or can I go cheaper?

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Middletown, USA
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    2,071
    absolutely you can find but it seems that current service is managed VPS.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by ServerSub View Post
    absolutely you can find but it seems that current service is managed VPS.
    Yes I am on a cPanel setup - but I'm trying to figure out if I need it. It's been a while since I really dealt day-to-day with servers, and even then it wasn't my strong suit. But I am looking for simple things, and I guess there are things like Webmin and others I'm not aware of if I still want some GUI...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Middletown, USA
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    2,071
    you can also try DirectAdmin.cheaper rather cPanel and very simple and easy to use.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Data center
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    539
    Are you using cPanel on your VPS?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Miami, Florida
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    19,185
    Quote Originally Posted by NEQ3 - Sam View Post
    Are you using cPanel on your VPS?
    The OP did mention a few posts up that he/she does have cPanel. I am personally AGAINST removing cPanel unless the OPis very comfortable with server management. The license fee is well worth it for most. It is also more of a headache to switch to a less expensive control panel as it involves downtime and a learning curve.

    I see no reason that a site like this cannot be ran on shared hosting with the exception of memcache. GD or Imagemagick are standard on shared hosting and 1 GB of space is not a big deal for shared hosting.

    The only question I have for the OP is what sort of site are they running. The only reason I would give to keep it on a VPS is if it is SQL intensive.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    4,694
    Quote Originally Posted by NEQ3 - Sam View Post
    Are you using cPanel on your VPS?
    Here's the answer to that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlyn2004 View Post
    Yes I am on a cPanel setup - but I'm trying to figure out if I need it.
    To the OP: Your two issues will be

    (i) memcache. You'd be lucky to find a shared hosting provider who offered memcache, and if they did you should probe how they manage it before you trust it - basically, memcached containers can't really be shared.

    (ii) your bandwidth. Do you really need 1 TB? That's a lot for shared hosting, as others have said. Depending on what is causing that, it may be you could offload some of that onto a CDN and bring yourself into line with shared packages, or negotiate a larger bandwidth component by contacting a shared provider and discussing it with them.
    James

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    63
    Without going into specifics, I could describe the business as parellel to a real estate agent/listing:
    - List of upcoming open houses
    - Each open house has a bunch (in this example, many dozens) of photos for each listing

    Truthfully, that's the bulk of it. I could get away with memcache, but for example it'd be nice to grab the list of photo objects (id, path, wid, height, order, etc.) instead of querying the databse constantly. I'm not the biggest fan of file-based caching.

    Need the GD/imagemagick to create different resized versions of photos

    Looking at their history, it actually looks like their peak month in the past year was about 300. It has fluctuated 100-300. I would be hesitant to cut it "too close" since, for example... grabbing a plan with 400 and exceeding it would be bad!

    CDN is definitely another component. Is cloudflare the only real cheap/affordable option there though? I'm not sure how I feel about offloading the DNS to some third party that I wouldn't be paying any money to...

  15. #15
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    Oct 2010
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    4,694
    To pick up a couple of the things you mention here:

    1. Memcache. How about finding a host that uses Varnish or Nginx as a caching proxy in front of the main web server. That will cache the most recently requested, static, HTTP resources in memory. Your photos would be cached. That's more secure than using memcache in a shared environment. Not every size of every photo would be in cache the whole time, it's true, but that's no different from memcache - again, you can't expect a shared host to run a memcached instance that is large enough for you to cache your entire image collection. What's more, a Varnish-type cache would be transparent to you, so you wouldn't have to code it (contrast memcache) So I can think of no downsides compared to memcache, but many upsides.

    2. CDN - for my personal sites I use Amazon CloudFront. I use a separate subdomain (like cdn.example.com) for the static resources I want served from the CDN, and Amazon tell you how to use CNAME records to point that domain to their CDN. Their servers then grab the actual files from your backend (which can be www. if you want).
    James

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    63
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesOakley View Post
    1. Memcache. How about finding a host that uses Varnish or Nginx as a caching proxy in front of the main web server. That will cache the most recently requested, static, HTTP resources in memory. Your photos would be cached. That's more secure than using memcache in a shared environment. Not every size of every photo would be in cache the whole time, it's true, but that's no different from memcache - again, you can't expect a shared host to run a memcached instance that is large enough for you to cache your entire image collection. What's more, a Varnish-type cache would be transparent to you, so you wouldn't have to code it (contrast memcache) So I can think of no downsides compared to memcache, but many upsides.
    Didn't even occur to me that hosts offer varnish... Know who offers it? Could cache the pages themselves, which would save a ton of DB queries no? Not just static assets...

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesOakley View Post
    2. CDN - for my personal sites I use Amazon CloudFront. I use a separate subdomain (like cdn.example.com) for the static resources I want served from the CDN, and Amazon tell you how to use CNAME records to point that domain to their CDN. Their servers then grab the actual files from your backend (which can be www. if you want).
    I like the idea of CDN but wonder/feel there are probably not big enough to even both with the overhead (yes, I know it is fairly straightforward). But I've only used high-volume CDN. It looks like CloudFront is 0.12/GB - which means I would estimate overhead cost of just pennies/month for 100mb/month. Does that sound right to you?

    Edit: Surely CloudFront pricing isn't just bandwidth? What about storage? i.e. if I cache an image file "forever", won't cloudfront's bucket of my assets just grow infinitely?
    Last edited by Kaitlyn2004; 11-03-2013 at 05:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Oct 2010
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    4,694
    CloudFront is just priced on (a) bandwidth (MB transferred) and (b) numbers of requests. If you wanted to store your master files on an S3 instance, you'd have to pay for that, but you can point CloudFront to a backend on your main hosting account and then they don't charge for cache-storage.

    So, yes, your price estimate is correct for 100 MB / month. You have some control as to which zones of the world your CDN files will be served from - if you don't have many Asian clients, you can let them get your files from US or European POP, and that makes the caching a bit cheaper still.
    James

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  18. #18
    I would suggest downgrading if youre on a budget since youre only using 1gb of diskspace, a shared would suffice
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  19. #19
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    Dec 2001
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    Does your site generate revenue? If it does you might want to think about staying on the VPS, especially if the service is good? If it's burning a hole in your pocket then you could try and move to shared hosting but you might run into issues with that once a week traffic spike. $30/mo for a stable VPS with cPanel is a very good deal.
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Reading, UK
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    1TB is quite a bit of bandwidth for a small site. At ~25k visits a month it's 40GB per visit. How much are you actually using and how much is for planned future growth.

    If you are growing, how fast? While you might be able to downsize today to save a few pounds you might have to upgrade in a few months so that any gain is lost.

    If you are happy with the current provider and the cost is in the right area I don't think I'd be looking to change.
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by NexDog View Post
    Does your site generate revenue? If it does you might want to think about staying on the VPS, especially if the service is good? If it's burning a hole in your pocket then you could try and move to shared hosting but you might run into issues with that once a week traffic spike. $30/mo for a stable VPS with cPanel is a very good deal.
    Excellent advice/questions; I'd like to know the same from OP...

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    63
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesOakley View Post
    CloudFront is just priced on (a) bandwidth (MB transferred) and (b) numbers of requests. If you wanted to store your master files on an S3 instance, you'd have to pay for that, but you can point CloudFront to a backend on your main hosting account and then they don't charge for cache-storage.

    So, yes, your price estimate is correct for 100 MB / month. You have some control as to which zones of the world your CDN files will be served from - if you don't have many Asian clients, you can let them get your files from US or European POP, and that makes the caching a bit cheaper still.
    CloudFront has no monthly fee or minimum commitment, correct? Was looking at cdnplanet.com and it seems MOST have monthly fees?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    4,694
    Correct. On a smaller site I use them on, the bill sometimes comes to under $0.10, and when I log in the payment has been taken from a provider called "AWS Low Payment Waived" or some such - so some months they charge zero (if it would have been cost ineffective for them to bill a card for that amount)!
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