I'm trying to figure out how to pin down pricing for semi-dedicated accounts.... some people need them for perfomance or Hi-bandwidth.
The actual pricing part I've got figured out... but that's based on no. of clients per server. Big question is how many domains allowed per client... semi-dedi accounts tend to be huge in size (5Gb, 10GB range) but I can't have hundreds of domains running amok on the server.
I could allow only 1 domain and price per extra domain...but that also looks kind of stupid...since they are already paying $60-$90/mo
But if I allow say 100 domains in 10 Gb, we are looking at very likely use of the account as a large Reseller account.... and then with just 5 clients per server its going to be 500 domains on the server... BUT that DEFEATS the original purpose of perfomance and less crowding.
So, I've been hitting myself against a wall on this one and it would be great if someone chipped in with advice.
Just make sure you make it clear that they're not allowed to resell or sub-lease the space in their TOS if you're really worried about it.
The truth is that the number of clients per server has little to do with the performance. Assuming you have more bandwidth than your customers could possibly use, it's the overall CPU usage that will affect the speed of sites. One site with a lot of scripts, database usage, etc. could use more CPU usage than 1,000 other sites that are based on static HTML documents.
Just keep your eye on the CPU utilization - if it starts averaging more than 50%, set up a new server and start putting customers there. At the prices you can get new servers for these days, if the customer is paying $60 - $90 a month you'll recoup that cost quick. You can always shuffle customers around from server to server and they would never even know - use dedicated IP addresses (one IP per "customer", not per website) and just move that IP to a new server if you need to.
Hmm, interesting idea with IP-per-customer... but it would be a lot of manual management. Plus when IP's are moved between servers, even after network service restart... somehow the ARPing doesn't broadcast well at times...and renders the IP non-routable for sometime.
Eventually, IP does route after sometime...but it means downtime. Secondly, allocation of individual IP's to machines is a sure management hell... right now we just mark IP blocks....then each IP will have to tracked individually.
The client-per-server part you are right...but when selling semi-dedi accounts the marketing feel-good thing kicks in bigtime. If someone's going to pay $60 he's going to ask for 2 clear answers...
1] How many clients per server.
2] How many sites per server.
Telling a potential customer "it depends upon load" is a sure way to drop the sale It works for Shared/Reseller (and we ALSO do the same) ...but will drop sales for perfomance-oriented accounts.