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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Overselling explained, good article

    I ran into this page explaining overselling in detail, it's a good read for anyone around here:

    http://www.whreviews.com/overselling-hosting.htm
    bigwrench

  2. #2
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    I agree, most of Dan's content is well written and had thought put into it.
    David
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  3. #3
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    thanks for the link, nice read.
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  4. #4
    That was expremely interested. Im going to send it to my friend who is looking to buy hosting.

  5. #5
    I only half-heartedly agree. I am one of those guys that think overselling is on par with lying, and is an entirely unethical and deceitful business practice.

    The person who wrote that article claims that in order to keep prices down, providers must oversell. This is completely false in my opinion. The amount of competition as well as the willingness to oversell drove prices down to $1/mo or in some cases $1/yr. It is by no means a necessity.

    There are some honest businesses that don't oversell at $1/mo and I applaud them, but there are web hosts who do oversell, and even at that cost.

    For some reason, it has become more expensive to register a domain than to acquire web hosting.

    The problem that I see is that the web hosting industry is that, in many cases, the price to get into the business may cost at most the same as that of a premium web hosting account. There are many reseller accounts that you can acquire for at least $15/mo, slap together a website, and all of a sudden you're in business.

    This tends to drive the momentum of the web hosting business where owners are seemingly playing this desperate numbers game. How low can I go just to acquire that customer? You figure at $1/mo, you can reel in 15 guys and you will break even. Everything after that is pure profit.

    Stronger ethical business practices would do this industry some good.
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  6. #6
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    aixagent,

    Aiming for lower pricing isn't necessarily unethical - but I also agree that theres a point where it is going too far.

    I think companies need to compete on support, service quality, speed, etc. rather than pricing.
    David
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  7. #7
    Originally posted by HP-David
    aixagent,

    Aiming for lower pricing isn't necessarily unethical - but I also agree that theres a point where it is going too far.

    I think companies need to compete on support, service quality, speed, etc. rather than pricing.
    I'm saying it's unethical to promise on what you might not be able to deliver. Just like car mechanics shouldn't take more cars when their garage is booked and full. Hotel clerks turn away customers when all of their rooms are occupied. In the same sense, as honest web hosting owners, we shouldn't sell bandwidth that we have already sold to someone else.
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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by aixagent
    I'm saying it's unethical to promise on what you might not be able to deliver. Just like car mechanics shouldn't take more cars when their garage is booked and full. Hotel clerks turn away customers when all of their rooms are occupied. In the same sense, as honest web hosting owners, we shouldn't sell bandwidth that we have already sold to someone else.
    I couldn't agree with you more. There is a ton of profit to be made without overselling diskspace and bandwidth.

    That article also talked about overselling resources. Well if you don't oversell diskspace and bandwidth in the first place, you are less likely to oversell the CPU because you will be hosting less sites per server.
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  9. #9
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    Thank you everyone for the nice words and all other opinions.

    we shouldn't sell bandwidth that we have already sold to someone else.
    If only things were that simple... What do you do about server resources? How about support? How do you make sure you don't oversell them?

    In fact they are oversold, so it's not the overselling that's bad. It's the excessive overselling that can cause problems.

    Well if you don't oversell diskspace and bandwidth in the first place, you are less likely to oversell the CPU because you will be hosting less sites per server.
    One can get a relatively weak server these days, with 2TB of monthly data transfer, but no one in his right mind should sell 2TB of total data transfer unless the server can cope with it. Underselling data transfer comes into play, in order to optimise the amount of server resources overselling.

  10. #10
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    I only half-heartedly agree. I am one of those guys that think overselling is on par with lying, and is an entirely unethical and deceitful business practice.
    Read the article correctly and you will probably change your mind. Overselling is all over the place in your day to day activities, it's not a web hosting related issue and it is most of the time almost impossible to avoid overselling in some businesses.

    Do you think that the electricity company that powers your home assume you will use all the available electricity all the time? They don't. If every client they have started using all their electricity power at the same time they wouldn't have enough for everyone, but what are the chances to see that happening? Overselling in web hosting is the same thing as overselling electricity, phone lines, cell phone lines or Internet Access. You need to plan and have enough capacity to answer you clients needs, but you do not necesarily need to assume everyone will use all the available ressources at the same time.

    If your electricity company would have to produce enough electricity in order for each house to use its maximum capacity at the same time, you probably wouldn't be able to pay the bill at the end of the month.


    The person who wrote that article claims that in order to keep prices down, providers must oversell. This is completely false in my opinion. The amount of competition as well as the willingness to oversell drove prices down to $1/mo or in some cases $1/yr. It is by no means a necessity.
    I think the person who wrote the article wants to say that in order to keep prices accessible for individuals and smbs there is no other choice than to oversell. Same thing for electricity, same thing for telephone lines, or cell phones. It does not mean that selling web hosting for 1$ a year is a good business model or that a company doing it will be able to provide quality services. It only means that in order to provide good rates & specs for your services you need to oversell.

    Overselling does not mean to lack resources for your users. You can oversell but always make sure there are plenty or resources available for everyone that needs it. That's where the 1$/year host will probably fail compared to the other host that oversells but takes care that they users get everything that they are supposed to get.

    In fact they are oversold, so it's not the overselling that's bad. It's the excessive overselling that can cause problems.
    Exacly!

    That's my opinion

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  11. #11
    Greetings:

    The article is extremely well written.

    Thank you for pointing out the article to the community.
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  12. #12
    Originally posted by atchoooo
    Read the article correctly and you will probably change your mind. Overselling is all over the place in your day to day activities, it's not a web hosting related issue and it is most of the time almost impossible to avoid overselling in some businesses.

    Do you think that the electricity company that powers your home assume you will use all the available electricity all the time? They don't. If every client they have started using all their electricity power at the same time they wouldn't have enough for everyone, but what are the chances to see that happening? Overselling in web hosting is the same thing as overselling electricity, phone lines, cell phone lines or Internet Access. You need to plan and have enough capacity to answer you clients needs, but you do not necesarily need to assume everyone will use all the available ressources at the same time.

    If your electricity company would have to produce enough electricity in order for each house to use its maximum capacity at the same time, you probably wouldn't be able to pay the bill at the end of the month.


    I think the person who wrote the article wants to say that in order to keep prices accessible for individuals and smbs there is no other choice than to oversell. Same thing for electricity, same thing for telephone lines, or cell phones. It does not mean that selling web hosting for 1$ a year is a good business model or that a company doing it will be able to provide quality services. It only means that in order to provide good rates & specs for your services you need to oversell.

    Overselling does not mean to lack resources for your users. You can oversell but always make sure there are plenty or resources available for everyone that needs it. That's where the 1$/year host will probably fail compared to the other host that oversells but takes care that they users get everything that they are supposed to get.

    Exacly!

    That's my opinion

    Regards,
    I don't quite follow the analogy. The electricity company doesn't give you an allotment of electricity that you have pre-paid for. You pay for what you use. The phone and cellular companies give you a reasonable amount of resources knowing that MANY people will end up using more than what they have paid for each month. Do you really think the voting on American Idol really counts when you call using your landline? Those phone systems can only take a finite number of calls and if you tried, you are more than likely to get a busy signal. It was schemed that way so that users would text message their votes instead. And they would do so many many times. Again, you pay for what you use.

    In this industry, when you go over, you usually go over by a lot (I remember reading a post on here the other day by someone who racked up a $3000 bill for posting a popular video). That's quite scary. Am I saying it is unreasonable? Well, I'll leave that up to the readers. But comparing this business model to that of the electricity/communication companies are not comparing the same things.

    Many web hosting companies rely on the fact that users won't use their resources. The phone companies/communication companies want you to. The phone companies/communication companies are capable of dealing with you when you use up a lot of resources.

    In this industry, companies tell you that you can have 80gb of bandwidth for $5 per month, but in their TOS they say you are only allowed to use 2.66gb of bandwidth per day. Well what is the point? You are NOT LIKELY going to use that much bandwidth per day unless you are streaming audio/video, in which case you wouldn't want to have a cap anyway. Maybe it's not lying because they tell you so in their TOS, but it's probably the same people who rely on the fact that people don't read the TOS are also the ones that ridiculously oversell.

    So it is sort of deceitful to reel a customer in on the premise that they will have 80gb of bandwidth, just not the way they'd like to have it. Just to clarify, I do distinguish between responsible overselling and irresponsible overselling. Irresponsible overselling = 100 gb bandwidth/50 gb disk space = $5.
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  13. #13
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    I don't quite follow the analogy. The electricity company doesn't give you an allotment of electricity that you have pre-paid for. You pay for what you use. [...] Well, I'll leave that up to the readers. But comparing this business model to that of the electricity/communication companies are not comparing the same things.
    Ok the electricity company analogy is not the best, but I think it is overselling even if they will bill you extra for the usage. Overselling has nothing to do with the price you pay or the fact that you are being billed for something or not. Overselling is selling over your actual capacity if every customer would start using all of their resources at the same time.

    I think it's an error to link overselling with cheap hosting. One has nothing to do with the other. Yes, cheap hosting providers will oversell, but expensive hosting providers will probably oversell too !

    Let's say you have a 80GB hard drive and you sell 200 x 1GB accounts at 100$/month each. At that price you can buy a new hard drive for each customers each month .. but if your 200 customers only use 60GB you do not have to do it and you can still provide the service on a single 80GB hard drive, you are overselling even if you bill each customer at 100$/month !

    Cell phone companies often offer packages with unlimited usage after 6pm or 1000 minutes night and weekends, etc. They do it because they know the usage is higher during the day, etc. Microcell here in Canada launched a "City" package in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal some months ago with unlimited local (city) usage. Rogers bought Microcell and discontinued the package because they did not want to compete their own products, but it's the perfect exemple to see that the 2 businesses (cellphones and webhosting) have a lot in common when it comes to overselling.

    Customer want the assurance that they will get the same bill each month whether they use all the resources that they get or not. The only way for providers to answer this request is overselling.

    Many web hosting companies rely on the fact that users won't use their resources. The phone companies/communication companies want you to. The phone companies/communication companies are capable of dealing with you when you use up a lot of resources.
    I think web hosting companies should also be able to deal with you when you use up a lot of resources and I do not think that the fact you oversell means you won't be able to deal with a user that uses a lot of resources. Ok, you can assume that not everyone will use all of the traffic they are allowed to use but you also need to assume that others will and be able to provide the service to those who will.

    You should always plan to have enough resources available to answer the needs of your users even if you oversell. If I decide to oversell, I will define a limit and state something like "We always keep disk usage below 60%" or procedures like that that will assume that the users have what they are paying for.

    In this industry, companies tell you that you can have 80gb of bandwidth for $5 per month, but in their TOS they say you are only allowed to use 2.66gb of bandwidth per day. Well what is the point? You are NOT LIKELY going to use that much bandwidth per day unless you are streaming audio/video, in which case you wouldn't want to have a cap anyway. Maybe it's not lying because they tell you so in their TOS, but it's probably the same people who rely on the fact that people don't read the TOS are also the ones that ridiculously oversell.
    I think that's another issue .. that's trying to foul the customer and I think it has nothing to do with overselling.
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by aixagent
    I don't quite follow the analogy. The electricity company doesn't give you an allotment of electricity that you have pre-paid for. You pay for what you use.
    Not True, in the summer, for example in the Hamptons, (Long Island, NY) where I live.. we are told, (in fact have "test runs" like "fire drills") to cut down on electric use. We "overuse" the electricity available by LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) We are not provided with the amount of energy expected to consume

    So sorry, but Electric Companies were the perfect example.

  15. #15
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    Not True, in the summer, for example in the Hamptons, (Long Island, NY) where I live.. we are told, (in fact have "test runs" like "fire drills") to cut down on electric use. We "overuse" the electricity available by LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) We are not provided with the amount of energy expected to consume
    That's the point I was trying to make ...
    Last edited by atchoooo; 07-05-2005 at 05:16 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Hottweelz
    Not True, in the summer, for example in the Hamptons, (Long Island, NY) where I live.. we are told, (in fact have "test runs" like "fire drills") to cut down on electric use. We "overuse" the electricity available by LIPA (Long Island Power Authority) We are not provided with the amount of energy expected to consume

    So sorry, but Electric Companies were the perfect example.

    You're missing the point.
    The Electric company doesn't charge you in advance and promise X amount of resources for what you pay.

    You use the resources and you pay based on your usage. It is impossible to oversell if you are paying on a usage basis.

  17. #17
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    The electricity company also sells you the "idea" that you get a X Volts connection to the electricity network and that you can use up to X Volts of electricity. They will bill you for the usage, but you are supposed to be able to use X Volts. That's where you can talk about overselling if the electricity company does not have enough power to provide everyone with X Volts if everyone needs it at the same time.
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  18. #18
    Originally posted by atchoooo
    Ok the electricity company analogy is not the best, but I think it is overselling even if they will bill you extra for the usage. Overselling has nothing to do with the price you pay or the fact that you are being billed for something or not. Overselling is selling over your actual capacity if every customer would start using all of their resources at the same time.

    I think it's an error to link overselling with cheap hosting. One has nothing to do with the other. Yes, cheap hosting providers will oversell, but expensive hosting providers will probably oversell too !

    Let's say you have a 80GB hard drive and you sell 200 x 1GB accounts at 100$/month each. At that price you can buy a new hard drive for each customers each month .. but if your 200 customers only use 60GB you do not have to do it and you can still provide the service on a single 80GB hard drive, you are overselling even if you bill each customer at 100$/month !

    Cell phone companies often offer packages with unlimited usage after 6pm or 1000 minutes night and weekends, etc. They do it because they know the usage is higher during the day, etc. Microcell here in Canada launched a "City" package in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal some months ago with unlimited local (city) usage. Rogers bought Microcell and discontinued the package because they did not want to compete their own products, but it's the perfect exemple to see that the 2 businesses (cellphones and webhosting) have a lot in common when it comes to overselling.

    Customer want the assurance that they will get the same bill each month whether they use all the resources that they get or not. The only way for providers to answer this request is overselling.

    I think web hosting companies should also be able to deal with you when you use up a lot of resources and I do not think that the fact you oversell means you won't be able to deal with a user that uses a lot of resources. Ok, you can assume that not everyone will use all of the traffic they are allowed to use but you also need to assume that others will and be able to provide the service to those who will.

    You should always plan to have enough resources available to answer the needs of your users even if you oversell. If I decide to oversell, I will define a limit and state something like "We always keep disk usage below 60%" or procedures like that that will assume that the users have what they are paying for.

    I think that's another issue .. that's trying to foul the customer and I think it has nothing to do with overselling.
    The point is, infinite resources do not exist. We all know that. We know electricity companies have problems when people tend to use too much during the summer. What do we have an infinite resource of on Earth? Certainly not oxygen, lumber, or oil. Nor hard disk space or bandwidth.

    Yes, many industries oversell, and some are better at it than others. The point is, in most cases, the customer should be able to, on reason, get the services that they PREPAID for. We're not talking about Pay per usage.

    The fact that you have already paid for something means you bought it. It's yours. Not mine and someone else's too. You're basically saying that if someone pays $ for 50 gb per month, and doesn't use it all, it's okay to give that 50 gb to someone else and let them use it instead. Just because it's not tangible or something that we can't see, it doesn't mean you're not entitled to it.
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  19. #19
    Originally posted by atchoooo
    The electricity company also sells you the "idea" that you get a X Volts connection to the electricity network and that you can use up to X Volts of electricity. They will bill you for the usage, but you are supposed to be able to use X Volts. That's where you can talk about overselling if the electricity company does not have enough power to provide everyone with X Volts if everyone needs it at the same time.
    You are severely mistaken. Electricity companies charge you per usage. If they have no resources left, you can't use it and therefore you can't be charged for it.

    In web hosting, you pay up front and are allotted disk space and bandwidth. These are two different things. There is no overselling for the electricity company. They have limited resources but they don't promise you that they will have enough electricity to service you.
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  20. #20
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    The customer should always get what he prepaid or paid for that is sure. So if you pay for 50GB per month, you should always be able to get the 50GB when you will need it. That is 100% sure. It should never be the customer's problem if the provider oversells or not, the customer should never notice anything and should be able to use its allowed resources when he will feel like it.
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  21. #21
    Originally posted by atchoooo
    The customer should always get what he prepaid or paid for that is sure. So if you pay for 50GB per month, you should always be able to get the 50GB when you will need it. That is 100% sure. It should never be the customer's problem if the provider oversells or not, the customer should never notice anything and should be able to use its allowed resources when he will feel like it.
    That's the exact mentality of an overseller. "They'll never notice so it's okay." That's like saying, "It's okay to cheat until you get caught," or "If I shoplift and nobody catches me then I am off the hook."
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  22. #22
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    Quote from Hydro Québec's Web Site :
    In the summer months, overall demand is low and so the system can more easily handle increases. However, the opposite is true in winter. Since demand is very high then, Hydro-Québec must use peak equipment or buy electricity from neighboring systems. That is why our rates vary according to system availability.
    If that is not overselling, what is it ??? Overconnecting ??? They oversell above their capacity ! But they manage to provide the service the people are paying for by adding more capacity or buying somewhere else to give the service that the customer expects.

    I understand your point, that you pay for what you use so they do not oversell, but when you are connected you assume and the contract says that you can use it. If there's a blackout you will not say "ah it's ok, I do not pay for any electricity usage now" you expect it to work and you expect to be able to use the power that you are connected to. The electricity company also sells a power limit and tells you that you are able to use that much power when you want (you will be billed for it but you are supposed to be able to use it).

    Anyway, it's not important to agree on that one if we agree that overselling is not a bad thing by itself if it's organized and planned.

    Regards,
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  23. #23
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    That's the exact mentality of an overseller. "They'll never notice so it's okay." That's like saying, "It's okay to cheat until you get caught," or "If I shoplift and nobody catches me then I am off the hook."
    Overselling has nothing to do with cheating as long as the customer can get what he paid for. Are all "All you can eat" restaurants steeling you because they assume not everyone will eat 10 platers full of food? Are you cheated by the cellphone company that gives you unlimited night and weekends usage? As long as everyone gets what he paid for, what was advertised and what he expects I think there is no problem with that.
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  24. #24
    Originally posted by atchoooo
    Quote from Hydro Québec's Web Site :


    If that is not overselling, what is it ??? Overconnecting ??? They oversell above their capacity ! But they manage to provide the service the people are paying for by adding more capacity or buying somewhere else to give the service that the customer expects.

    I understand your point, that you pay for what you use so they do not oversell, but when you are connected you assume and the contract says that you can use it. If there's a blackout you will not say "ah it's ok, I do not pay for any electricity usage now" you expect it to work and you expect to be able to use the power that you are connected to. The electricity company also sells a power limit and tells you that you are able to use that much power when you want (you will be billed for it but you are supposed to be able to use it).

    Anyway, it's not important to agree on that one if we agree that overselling is not a bad thing by itself if it's organized and planned.

    Regards,
    I don't mean to argue but I find it to be an unethical business practice. You realize Enron and the entire California energy fiasco from several years ago is a direct result of an energy company manipulating the market and creating an energy shortage in order to raise prices right? How can anyone agree that any good can result from it?

    Secondly, electricity is a vital resource. Homes need electricity and as more people move into an area, more power plants/grids have to be constructed to service these people, or more electricity has to be purchased from a lesser saturated area. You might even say that in some cases, electricity companies have to take on new customers even if their resources don't allow it. Simply because homes need electricity. So again, electricity companies aren't the best example. I don't know what a good example of overselling is.

    All I know is that in this business, it's not necessary but people do it anyway. I don't agree that it's right.
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  25. #25
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    Although it is very wrong alot of hosting companys turn to it as they want most posible profit for as little expence

  26. #26
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    All I know is that in this business, it's not necessary but people do it anyway. I don't agree that it's right.
    I think a lot of people exagerate .. but in this business and a lot of others I think it's necessary.

    Let's take us (iWeb) for example. We do not sell cheap hosting, our cheapest shared hosting plan includes 1GB of disk space. We host about 15 000 web sites. If I we do not want to oversell disk space, we would have to buy a data warehouse server of a minimum of 15 000GB ... 15T ! No, we do not have a 15 Terabytes data warehouse, we have about 1T or 2T and everyone is happy, customers that need it use 1GB and others use only 1MB. Should we buy a 15T data warehouse, have 14T free and probably have to raise web hosting packages prices ??? Isnt't it better to invest on hiring more staff members or upgrading the network than buying a data warehouse of 15T that will have 14T free? Or should we only offer 10MB with the web hosting accounts and penalize the customers that could get 1GB for the same price ???

    I think overselling is necessary. But it's really important to do it the good way !
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  27. #27
    Greetings Martin:

    What would happen if 25% of your customer base used the entire 1 GB they are entitled to use?

    What if that number jumped to 50%?

    Thank you.
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  28. #28
    Originally posted by dynamicnet
    Greetings Martin:

    What would happen if 25% of your customer base used the entire 1 GB they are entitled to use?

    What if that number jumped to 50%?

    Thank you.
    Agreed, that's the problem with playing the numbers game. He really wants to sell 1 GB of disk space even though he admits that he can't really afford to. He knows he can attract more customers who can be enticed by it, by offering Google-caliber disk space to each person, even though the resources do not exist to supply 1 GB of disk space to each person. Is each person getting 1 GB? No. It's (his total disk space) / (15,000 web sites) is how much they are really getting per site. That's probably far less than the (15,000 web sites * 1 GB) that is promised. That 1 GB might be there if the person needs it, but that's just based on the idea that someone else doesn't need 1 GB. That's deception in my eyes.

    If in some hypothetical world where overselling did not exist, web hosts would not be selling 1 GB disk space in the first place because the resources just aren't there to allow it.
    Last edited by aixagent; 07-05-2005 at 08:16 PM.
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  29. #29
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    What would happen if 25% of your customer base used the entire 1 GB they are entitled to use?
    We would add storage arrays to provide the required storage. We always add storage when usage reaches about 75% of the available storage.

    What if that number jumped to 50%?
    Maybe we would rethink the packages or pricing and evaluate if our packages are still profitable or not and adjust our offers according to our conclusions to make sure we can deliver what we offer and that the packages we offer are profitable for the company.

    Regards,
    :: Martin Leclair
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  30. #30
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    This seems to come up every few months.

    Overselling, if done responsibly, and properly managed, is an effective tool for hosting companies to maximize their profit. We have been doing this for over 9 years, and have never, not even once, stopped an account holder from using the disk space and/or bandwidth they pre-purchased. But, over the years, we have developed an algorithm that says the average user uses x% of disk space, and y% of bandwidth, so based on these averages, we can oversell by z% and still have room leftover for peak demand.

    The responsible part comes into play by actively monitoring and managing each server, moving accounts before a problem arises, or adding hard drive space to account for increased usage. Done right, the customers get what they paid for, and the host doesn't have 10% full machines sitting around never being fully utilized.

    You can call me and others crooks, cheats, liars, etc... but you would be wrong. There are a lot of good hosts out there that never limit their clients' ability to use what they paid for, and still oversell responsibly.

    IMNSHO, not maximizing your profit and utilizing your resources fully is the crime, as your employees and business suffer in the long run, or at least do not reach their full potential.

    - John C.

  31. #31
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    Good comment John
    :: Martin Leclair
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  32. #32

    Angry

    Originally posted by JohnCrowley
    This seems to come up every few months.

    Overselling, if done responsibly, and properly managed, is an effective tool for hosting companies to maximize their profit. We have been doing this for over 9 years, and have never, not even once, stopped an account holder from using the disk space and/or bandwidth they pre-purchased. But, over the years, we have developed an algorithm that says the average user uses x% of disk space, and y% of bandwidth, so based on these averages, we can oversell by z% and still have room leftover for peak demand.

    The responsible part comes into play by actively monitoring and managing each server, moving accounts before a problem arises, or adding hard drive space to account for increased usage. Done right, the customers get what they paid for, and the host doesn't have 10% full machines sitting around never being fully utilized.

    You can call me and others crooks, cheats, liars, etc... but you would be wrong. There are a lot of good hosts out there that never limit their clients' ability to use what they paid for, and still oversell responsibly.

    IMNSHO, not maximizing your profit and utilizing your resources fully is the crime, as your employees and business suffer in the long run, or at least do not reach their full potential.

    - John C.
    I certainly agree that overselling, if done responsible, is a good thing that you can do for your company. The key word is responsible. The fact that overselling exists tends to create businesses who do it and do it irresponsibly. It tends to detract from people who run honest businesses. I've heard countless times from people that they expect 15 gb of disk space minimum, but the more the better. That is some serious overselling and it's completely illegitimate. I wouldn't want to host a user like that, but the fact that these irresponsible hosts exist tend to raise the expectations of clients who come to expect more out of responsible web hosts (even those who only oversell a little bit).
    Small Business Web Hosting with DOT45
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  33. #33
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    Aug 2003
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    I wouldn't want to host a user like that, but the fact that these irresponsible hosts exist tend to raise the expectations of clients who come to expect more out of responsible web hosts
    You are totally right ! That's one of the challenges of our business !
    :: Martin Leclair
    :: Linkedin Profile

  34. #34

    Thumbs up

    Originally posted by atchoooo
    You are totally right ! That's one of the challenges of our business !
    BTW, I hope it doesn't come off as me trying to give your host a bad name. I think this is a great discussion and if you are hosting 15,000 websites, without any major and consistent complaints, you have to be doing something right.
    Small Business Web Hosting with DOT45
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  35. #35
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    No, the discussion is fine and you respected our different opinions, that's perfect for me
    :: Martin Leclair
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  36. #36
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    Aug 2002
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    I think the article was very educating. It will educate people who are buying a website for the first time.
    I hope those who oversell have a back up server which they could set up and use if the customer happen to use exactly what they are offer.

  37. #37
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by aixagent
    I'm saying it's unethical to promise on what you might not be able to deliver. Just like car mechanics shouldn't take more cars when their garage is booked and full. Hotel clerks turn away customers when all of their rooms are occupied. In the same sense, as honest web hosting owners, we shouldn't sell bandwidth that we have already sold to someone else.
    Bandwidth is one of those things not limited as per say. Your argument would be more precise if you replaced bandwith with disk space, imo. Disk space is a fixed comodity, much like the number of hotel rooms etc, whereas bandwidth is like how much water they use, when they rent out the hotel room.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  38. #38
    Great article by Dan! Everything on WHReviews website is filled with honesty.


    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    Bandwidth is one of those things not limited as per say.
    Do you mean to say there is unlimited bandwidth?

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Australia
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    *

    Originally posted by WN-Ali
    Great article by Dan! Everything on WHReviews website is filled with honesty.

    I agree!
    Do you mean to say there is unlimited bandwidth?
    Not quite, but there's more flexiblity in overselling bandwidth, than overselling disk space.

    But JohnCrowley summed things up very nicely, and there's not too much more than can added to that.
    AussieHost.com Aussie Bob, host since 2001
    Host Multiple Domains on Fast Australian Servers!!

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    9,675
    Originally posted by JohnCrowley
    This seems to come up every few months.

    Overselling, if done responsibly, and properly managed, is an effective tool for hosting companies to maximize their profit. We have been doing this for over 9 years, and have never, not even once, stopped an account holder from using the disk space and/or bandwidth they pre-purchased. But, over the years, we have developed an algorithm that says the average user uses x% of disk space, and y% of bandwidth, so based on these averages, we can oversell by z% and still have room leftover for peak demand.

    The responsible part comes into play by actively monitoring and managing each server, moving accounts before a problem arises, or adding hard drive space to account for increased usage. Done right, the customers get what they paid for, and the host doesn't have 10% full machines sitting around never being fully utilized.

    You can call me and others crooks, cheats, liars, etc... but you would be wrong. There are a lot of good hosts out there that never limit their clients' ability to use what they paid for, and still oversell responsibly.

    IMNSHO, not maximizing your profit and utilizing your resources fully is the crime, as your employees and business suffer in the long run, or at least do not reach their full potential.

    - John C.
    Once again John, you beat me to it.

    The general opinion here is that overselling is bad because if all the customers on the server suddenly used all of their resources, they wouldn't be able to. This is simply not true, if done responsibly.

    In our case, we know exactly how much we can oversell without running into shortages. If, in the astronomically unlikely event that every single customer suddenly used all of their resources....we'd simply add more hard drive space and buy more bandwidth and the customers wouldn't suffer a bit.

    Overselling doesn't mean we can't ever get more resources, it just means that we know not everyone is going to use all of their resources so we don't have it sit there wasted and unused.

    --Tina
    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs!
    www.AEIandYou.com - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

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