View Poll Results: Irresponsible overselling on $10 account - what is the limit?

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  • 20 GB/month

    27 47.37%
  • 50 GB/month

    15 26.32%
  • 120 GB/month

    9 15.79%
  • 300 GB/month

    6 10.53%
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  1. #1
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    * Overselling - how much is OK?

    There has been an ongoing discussion about overselling in the web hosting industry. It seems to me that most every host nowadays is overselling bandwidth (ie. monthly data transfer).

    So, my question is NOT "How much bandwidth, on a ten dollar a month account, constitutes overselling", but rather:

    "How much bandwidth, on a ten dollar a month account, do YOU consider irresponsible and unsustainable overselling; which would make you think twice about doing business with that host?"
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  2. #2
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    I don't believe that your question can be answered, as each host is in a different circumstance as to their available bandwidth, number of customers allowed per server, customer usage patterns, etc. It's a lot more complicated than you're making it.

  3. #3
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    Anything over 100GB is just plain dumb, I'd even say anything over 50GB.
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  4. #4
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    I Agree with Ariel74, it has many variables. For example, if you have a server with 4 HD for a total of 1,000GB then it may be easier to give a lot of storage to the customers but limit bandwith than a company having server with only 60GB HD.

    Also there are hosting companies that have different markets, for example if your market are small businesses that all they need is a small HTML web site, you can oversell way more than if you offer to a company that is selling products to download etc.

    So it really depends of the type of customers and the resources the host has available.
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  5. #5
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    Hmm, thats my humble opinion,

    If you have in toal 100 gb bandwith / month that is sold, and your bandwith budget is 100 gb, you can consider overselling by looking at the actual usage of bandwith. For example, if all your package only use 60 gb / month of bandwith, you have 40gb not use per month that you could consider selling (overselling)

    The same thing apply to HD space. Now when you reach your 10% limit in actual usage, it is time to buy more bandwith or a new HD.

    You must also think about ressource usage.

    Someone more experienced, please correct me if Im wrong.

  6. #6
    Hard to say. I would recommend: if you oversell, make sure you always keep an eye on your resources. If you do not do the math correctly, it can ruin your business.

    Always make sure that overselling will NOT limit you, meaning... always oversell in a way that you can cover. Play safe, at least.

  7. #7
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    Most Hosts design their plans so they don't have to oversell so why take a possible risk?

    As OCAaron said if you choose to you should monitor it very carefully.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWH-Jon
    Most Hosts design their plans so they don't have to oversell so why take a possible risk?
    I'm not sure about that... I actually think many hosts oversell and some do it on a very responsible way, that means constantly monitoring, ready to add new servers and/or not over do it.

    Most responssible hosts know by statistics out of 100 people that sign up how many actually use all the resources allocated, so based on that they make their plans.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbpro
    I'm not sure about that... I actually think many hosts oversell and some do it on a very responsible way, that means constantly monitoring, ready to add new servers and/or not over do it.

    Most responssible hosts know by statistics out of 100 people that sign up how many actually use all the resources allocated, so based on that they make their plans.
    Pretty much all my sites I host don't use the bandwidth and space provided so I would have to agree.

    Long as you have the right plans (nothing crazy) and the time to monitor your server/s I would imagine you would be ok with overselling.

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  10. #10
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    "How much bandwidth, on a ten dollar a month account, do YOU consider irresponsible and unsustainable overselling; which would make you think twice about doing business with that host?"
    Nadabrahma, it would really depend on the expenses per server and other rates that a host is faced with. Keep in mind overselling is not only dictated by use but also by expense/profit margins. You can find one host not overselling by much at all at one price point and then another at the same price point and same specifications that is overselling by quite a bit (as the first host may say get more bandwidth with their server(s) ).

    The market is quite diverse today in what one host offers and what another will, you unfortunately can't accurately set a limit on what is overselling, as every host is going to be getting different rates and such. Overselling is more over a case by case basis between hosts, and ultimately is their choice on what they decide is a risk or is going to be sustainable.

    In general as a best practice (obviously IMO) bandwidth overselling specifically should not really be determined only by price either. Keep in mind CPU, on any dynamic content website, the more bandwidth chances are the more cpu usage and memory usage as well. Overselling is more so something I would hope many of us can agree is a double edged sword.

    Supply and demand, clients want peace of mind but where does peace of mind end and insane pricing begin? I think I'll leave you all with that sentiment for the moment. Reality has to set in sometime, in a business model it really becomes the choice of the provider. Obviously in a customer driven market overselling works both ways, it can make or break a host as well as make or break their clients also should the provider of made a bad choice in their overselling level.

    Nadabrahma, thank you for bringing up this topic that's constantly debated, hopefully some good will become of this poll

  11. #11
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    "Overselling" is entirely misunderstood here.

    Every business oversells, overstocks, overeverythings. Why? Because people never use what they pay for, and the other way around works too: you always need to buy more (stock) than people will purchase.

    The actual issue is overloading.

    Say company X has a 10mbit unmetered line and they sell 500Gb/mo packages. You'd think that 6 is the sensible limit but meh, nobody will use the limit so you can probably fit 10 - 30 accounts on there. Infact, you can fit as many as is possible given the outgoing bandwidth limits.

    It's the hosts which keep adding accounts onto busy servers which give the industry a bad name, not just the low prices.

    Low pricing is just stupid and the host (unless they're very big, ie Dreamhost) will soon take a dive in quality and/or go bust. It's not *quite* an overselling issue - it's an issue of selling over your financial/hardware limitations. Subtle, picky difference

    I'd say a sensible plan is to reckon that shared hosting customers will, on average, use 30% - 40% of their bandwidth, and then add a little bit for burst capacity. Those estimates are probably conservative; the only rule is to watch for when a server is getting overloaded and then buy a new one.

    If you don't have the funds - then you're underselling your services and should increase prices. That means you have to keep adding accounts to one server, which means you're going over the limits. Which I suppose you could describe as overselling - and the lower price points with the higher bandwidths are, more often than not, going to need to take this route to make any money

    I'd say 120Gb is a good limit for $10/mo, but I could adjust our plans to 300Gb and not feel any impact, because people simply don't get near their limits anyway (well, most don't). The problem is that then people wouldn't buy the more expensive options, so you get back to the issue of making no money.

    So final answer....120Gb, but I'd feel safer with 50Gb unless the host was established and well known.

  12. #12
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    Just my $0.02, but I have a policy of not overselling. While in the end, there are unused resources (disk space and bandwidth), I'd rather have it like that than 5 clients on one server actually use all the resources alloted to them, and all of a sudden I'm between a rock and a hard spot aquiring more resources for that server. It's just a personal preference... which became a company policy.
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  13. #13
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    Thank you all for your very interesting feedback as of now....!
    It seems that most posters are hosts themselves, and this makes for a professional angle on the subject.
    Every business oversells, overstocks, overeverythings. Why? Because people never use what they pay for, and the other way around works too: you always need to buy more (stock) than people will purchase.
    -- Exactly my point. I am sort of taking for granted that hosts in general sell more resources than they really can deliver; the question is how much of that is sensible. And of course it depends on how much resources your customers are *really* using, on average.
    What is really funny is that according to the results as of this writing, most poll responses have opted for the lowest alternative: 20GB/month! Most hosts, from what I've seen, offer way more than that for $10/month, typically around 50 --- so then most hosts would be doing *irresponsible* overselling!
    Well, the poll goes on and we'll see what the final verdict will be.
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  14. #14

  15. #15
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    Vidahost - good discussion of the issues.

    The whole thread makes a change from the frequent unreasoning rants against overselling.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadabrahma
    What is really funny is that according to the results as of this writing, most poll responses have opted for the lowest alternative: 20GB/month! Most hosts, from what I've seen, offer way more than that for $10/month, typically around 50 --- so then most hosts would be doing *irresponsible* overselling!
    Well, the poll goes on and we'll see what the final verdict will be.
    I think that goes back to the above answers about what resources the host has available to them and what they pay for those resources. Just my .02
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  17. #17
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    I say, if you over sell sell, be prepared to pay overages just incase some one uses it all.

  18. #18
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    Well, I am still surprised over the trend I see in the votes: most still seem to think that *irresponsible* overselling starts at 20 GB/month for a $10 account!

    Yet I am aware of several well-reputed hosting companies that offer around 50-100 GB/month bandwidth on budget accounts, at around $10/month. This "overselling" does not seem to turn the customers away at all, quite on the contrary, the hosts seem to be very successful attracting customers by offering lots of bandwidth.

    In conclusion: it seems the poll votes - so far - are not at all representative of how it looks in the real world. Maybe some voters have misunderstood the question?
    I am NOT asking "how much is overselling"; but "how much do YOU feel is *irresponsible* overselling".

    I wonder if those who vote are different people than those who comment on the subject... the comments seem rather sensible to me.
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  19. #19

  20. #20
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    Interesting opinions. Well, it seems like this poll mainly has caught the interest of web hosters - and that may be the reason for the very conservative poll response trend...
    I guess then that maybe the hosters do preach one thing and practice something else....
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  21. #21
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    There's a lot of vagueness here. A lot of hosts are not capped to a certain amount of bandwidth - therefore it's going to be the host that eats the overage costs with whoever they're getting it from - and if that's the case, the host should be able to gamble all they like with overselling (they're paying for it ).

    If usage is capped - it's all relative. I think the important question is if the servers are monitored and managed in a fashion to where it's gauranteed no one's performance ever suffers. If every day a machine never exceeds 1mbps outbound - I don't think it makes sense to subscribe to more than 10 extra mbps, no matter how many accounts are on the box. Just being sure there's enough to definately handle a spike. But, if / when usage grows, the host should be more than prepared to take the appropriate action swiftly enough to assure service isn't ever effected. Being too stingy with overhead puts this at a greater risk, but again, all of this is relative.
    Last edited by qwidjib0; 11-23-2005 at 06:08 PM.
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  22. #22
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    There is no such thing as "overselling."

    I'm referring to serious hosts of course, not someone with an $80 a month server in a big cold room a thousand miles away from them. For anyone who knows what they're doing, "overselling" is a myth. Is your bank "irresponsible" because they don't have everyone's money in the vault at all times? Yawn.

    You know, I went away for a long time, and now that I'm back I'd like you to come up with some snappy new topics. The dual superstars of web hosting talk - the evil Dr. Overselling, and the hero, Johnny Outsourcing - have been done to death. And almost all of you are wrong about both.

    So come on. You can do better than this. Give me something with some spirit, some gamble, some juice!

    To start off with something easy, I challenge you to come up with a verb other than "sucks" to describe the hosts you are leaving. Break out the thesaurus, exercise yer brain, Jane.
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  23. #23

  24. #24
    If you're selling $10/mo shared hosting accounts, I think you are going to average somewhere between 2gigs and 5gigs bandwidth usage per month. Generally, the more expensive the account, the closer they're going to come to using those resources.

    I think overselling is perfectly acceptable, but you should certainly be prepared for the case where you run out of disk space or have to pay for extra bandwidth.

    datapimp makes another good point... this topic has been done to death here, and the answer is always 'it depends on your target and your other specific circumstances...'

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by datapimp.com
    There is no such thing as "overselling."

    For anyone who knows what they're doing, "overselling" is a myth. Is your bank "irresponsible" because they don't have everyone's money in the vault at all times? Yawn.
    Oh, so sorry I am boring and advanced being like you.

    Actually, your comparison with the bank is a very good one; this is exactly the point I am trying to make:
    there's a difference between the "overselling" everyone is on about, meaning the host wouldn't be able to deliver if every customer used ALL their allocated resources... and on the other hand; an "overselling" that hands out bandwidth as if they had unlimited amounts.
    I am not a banker, but I believe I've heard that banks also have limitations on how much they can "over-lend"; and if they exceed that it is a bad thing... But in the web hosting world, it appears that "anything goes".
    Take a look at this for instance:
    ...............................................................................................
    Netfirms now offers up to 40GB (Gigabytes) of disk space and 1.5TB (Terabytes) of data transfer on hosting plans ranging from $4.95 - $14.95 per month! At these prices no other hosting company even comes close.
    .................................................................................................

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadabrahma
    Oh, so sorry I am boring...
    No need to apologize, I'm used to it.

    But in the web hosting world, it appears that "anything goes".
    Take a look at this for instance:
    ...............................................................................................
    Netfirms now offers up to 40GB (Gigabytes) of disk space and 1.5TB (Terabytes) of data transfer on hosting plans ranging from $4.95 - $14.95 per month! At these prices no other hosting company even comes close.
    .................................................................................................
    netfirms appears to have a substantial user base, so I assume they have the muscle to back up their offers. It's all about the averages.
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  27. #27
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    surely you don't consider this "true research"
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  28. #28
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    It seems most responders have misunderstood the original question. No, this is not "research" - it is a POLL!
    And the intention of a poll is, as far as I know, to measure *attitudes*....

    As an example, I can give my own, totally un-scientific, gut-level, responses to various bandwidth offers with a 10-dollar plan:

    20GB/month --- ah, not a whole lot but it sure covers my needs for some time

    50GB/month --- they offer plenty, that is just fine with me

    120GB/month --- hmmm, that is way more than I'll ever need, begins to feel like they're overdoing it

    300GB/month --- these guys are nuts! I don't think I want to do business with them

    That sums up my own responses. Note: totally UN-scientific!
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  29. #29
    From my experience, it is never a good idea to oversell.

  30. #30
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    Why?

    Every sucessful company does it and it's a wonderful thing as long as it's controlled properly.
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  31. #31
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    I have a large $20/$40 limit holdem poker game to go to, so I'll be brief.

    Overselling, when controlled and monitored, is the most effective way to maximize profit. As long as each client gets to use what you sold them at any time, then everyone wins. We've been doing this since 1996, so we know a few things about the industry.

    Where extreme overselling hurts the industry is:
    - The de-valuation of physical resources to an almost "free" scenario, where clients really think a terabyte of transfers and their entire 40 GB hard drive can be hosted for $7 a month, with 24/7 support, redundancy, and full backups.
    - The "bad taste" of hosting that many clients experience when trying the $2 for the world type of hosting that does not pan out.
    - The expectation that each of their 100 POP boxes should be allowed 2 GB each, because Google offers it.

    The reality is not all clients will use all their space and transfers at once. There are predictions that can be made, and therefore, you can leverage more for less. A little experience and monitoring and analyzing that data monitored is all it takes. If a hosting company is in business to make money, then using a form of "overselling" helps them offers more for less, and to get enough profit to actually provide the service they state they can on their website. If it goes too far, then both the host and client suffer.

    I'll leave the pricing debate out of this, as I am on the side of high priced shared hosting combined with effective overselling to maximize the potential of each and every client.

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  32. #32
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    What you need to bear in mind is the difference between 'overselling' and 'diversity'.

    Overselling to me is when you are selling plans with more resources than you can actually deliver economically. I.e. you sell 1Gb space and 50gb transfer plans for $10 a year. The kind of people buying this plan are likely to be people that expect to use a fair proportion of it, maybe 10% of the resources on average. That means that each user is really using maybe 200mb space and 10gb transfer. Now, on a cheap server costing $150 a month you need to sell 180 accounts just to cut even on server cost, but this means realistically being able to PROVIDE 18Gb of storage and 900gb of transfer monthly. Remember, this is just to CUT EVEN on paying for the server. You haven't even considered other costs. Here in the UK the minimum wage of an over 21 is £5.05 so around $10 an hour. Even a part-time host spending 15 hours a week to run the business will incur another $600 a month costs in wages. Add a bit of other overheads (such as a bit of advertising etc) and you are looking at costs of maybe $850-$1000 a month that you need to cover. This realistically means 1200 clients to cover your annual costs! You thus need to be able to provide 120gb storage and 6000gb transfer to NOT be overselling. This still generates NO NET profit back into the business. Remember this is NOT providing the quotas you actually advertise just the average use.

    Diversity factors, on the other hand, are used in all kinds of industry to work out a realistic mean of usage of customers, to base charges on, whilst allowing for peak usage of some customers. In this way you would look at the likely numbers of customers against the real-world likely average usage and resources you have to deliver. In our example above you have 1Gb space and 50Gb transfer and expect a general average of 10% usage. Taking exactly the same server and business model as above we work on 10% diversity and the same plan quotas to arrive at a realistic price for the service. We allow for the server to hold a realistic amount of 300 clients and we want to generate an additional 50% profit into the business after ALL costs. Therefore we need to generate $18000 a year from that server. 18000/300 = $60 per year per client (for a FULL server). This is the MINIMUM you need to charge for that plan to achieve the business aims, and remember this is a PART-TIME business! IN reality you would need to charge more to account for am unfilled server, to allow you to run that business while growing it.

    The figures are plucked form the air, but you see the general point. The problem with the hosting industry is that it has been hugely de-valued by the hobby-hosts who sell themselves as a serious business. They aren't. Taking a server and making $100 a month on top is NOT a business, it's a pocket money generating hobby. Too many people think that hosting is easy money and that the only costs are costs of a Reseller account or a Server. The majority of people NEVER count their own time as it is 'something I enjoy doing' or 'I don't need to take any money while I build the business'. If someone is at school, then that $100 a month might be fine as they 'grow' their 'business' but at the prices they charge, the business will NEVER be viable to pay them a proper wage. Whether it is a part-time hobby-host or not, if you are serious about running the business to generate a proper income then you have to charge proper prices from day one.

    Providing a hosting service is a LOT MORE than just getting a server or reseller account. This is the lowest of your costs. The main one will always be labour in almost any business. Those people that don't realise this only de-value the whole industry and create a perception in clients that hosting is cheap and doesn't cost much to provide the service. Hence when they don't get the service from the first example above, and have to then pay maybe 10x as much ($100 a year) to realistically get what they are expecting, they feel that the industry is a rip-off. Why is there some hosts offering it for $10 a year while others want $100 or more? The general reason is that the latter CAN provide the service that the client is expecting, since they have a sustainable business model.

    Applying diversity to your business means you can realistically price services whilst allowing that small amount of clients to peak their usage to the full quota amounts. Without diversity prices would have to account for the maximum usage every time, which is simply not how things work. You could do this, but prices would be 10 x higher that they need to be in the real-world. Without diversity you would get the income you need (assuming you can get the clients at those prices) but be drastically underusing the resources available.

    You don't get this problem in other industries. You can't set up a car showroom on peanuts and sell the same cars for 1/10th the price of the main dealer down the road. You also wouldn't be able to walk away when it all goes wrong. The customers would be onto their lawyers/solicitors, track you down and have you in court.

    Basically, overselling = bad, diversity = good.
    Last edited by mjb-is; 11-27-2005 at 05:58 AM.
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    Generally agree with the last 2 posters, but for that model to work customers who usually use alot of resources are unprofitable & cannot be sustained on that plan. The average only stays where you want provided you make sure that you don't fill with heavy users.

  34. #34
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    It depends on if you work it out correctly. Using diversity, the thing you need to look at is ADMD - After Diversity Maximum Demand. This allows a minority of users to use the full quotas being advertised, which is balanced by the majority using a small amount.

    It's difficult to explain exactly if you've never had experience of the maths, but basically it's along the lines of 10% of users use 90% of their plan resources, while 90% of users use 10%. The maximum demand after diversity would then be more like 18% of the total resources, instead of 100% if you didn't apply any diversity. Obviously the figures have to be adjusted to account for the type of market, clients and sites you are aiming at.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjb-is
    It depends on if you work it out correctly.
    That is precisely the point. Profitability depends on the usage graph being as predicted (or better).

    The usual pattern with these plans is that there are sets of customers who use too many resources and will need to be moved on to a different plan.

    How much this will happen will depend on your market and pricing. If you bias your prices to allow a lot of heavy users, then a lot of customers (potentially light users) will be put off.

    A problem for a lot of "oversellers" has been that retained customers have gradually increased their resource usage & this has changed their usage graph. Often dealt with by decrased quality or by more active booting.

  36. #36
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    The problem with the hosting industry is that it has been hugely de-valued by the hobby-hosts who sell themselves as a serious business.
    Oh, if only that would be the case... I see major players, hosts that have been around for years, playing the numbers game. It only humorous to believe that the costs in the hosting industry are now 1/10 what they were two years ago.

    That's not true even for the space and bandwidth, and is certainly not true for the labor costs. Yet we see more and more hosts that are selling their packages for 1/10th of what they were asking two years ago (and they were considered cheap hosts back then too). Actually I'm not saying it correctly: the prices are the same, but they now offer 10 times the space and data transfer. IMO it becomes more and more an abuse of the "server resources abuse" policy, where the "unprofitable" customers are fastly dumped, and from a marketing POV, just a way around using the word "unlimited".

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    Cool

    There was another thread going on "how to make a profit hosting?" that got out of hand and was justly closed. But it ties into the discussion here about what constitutes overselling.
    There are a lot of intelligent posts here about how the "overselling model" can be made to work and the resulting profitability.
    Of course the overly simple math is: lots of clients using few resources on low cost servers and requiring minimal support = maximum profits. But as has been well pointed out that is a dynamic equation and can change over time and sometimes rapidly.
    We have all seen the "My host was great for $2 for a while but now they are slow & crash all the time and support doesn't answer for days, what's the problem?" type posts way too many times to count.
    I've stated my views on the subject in other threads over time so there's no need to repeat myself but what hurts the industry in general is people like in the other thread. Seemed legitimate to start but turned out the person knew nothing about hosting (so how could they offer support?) and was advised by several well-meaning people to start with a reseller account which isn't bad in itself, but it soon became obvious the person looked at some reseller accounts and "saw stars & $$" and thought they could get a cheap reseller account with a lot of resources (obviously oversold) and then "max it out" in effect overselling their own plans and make big bucks. (Very simplified version and I think it turned out the original questioner was a teenager looking for X-Box money anyway )

    That's where the "overselling philosophy" can quickly fall apart all to easily. Some of the posters in this thread have obviously done the math, watch their resources, and are financially ready if they require more to sustain their business model (the averages get skewed and the overselling catches up with the ability to deliver, so more resources must be added fast or "standing by")
    However (especially in today's world of common & cheap VPS) you get the "host B" with the cheap VPS, obviously oversold by their "host A". "B" then offers their own "oversold" reseller accounts, which are bought by "host C" who then "oversells" those supposedly available resources. In those all to common scenarios it's like dominoes...when the first one falls the entire "business model" collapses quickly and all that can be hoped is that you aren't the one with the web site that was at the end of that overselling chain (a customer of "C".)
    Of course there is no way to be sure, but I would be willing to bet that the majority of the "I thought I had a good host but..." type threads we see so often are really the result of such a chain collapsing with "hosts" who are unable to stop the "meltdown" because they don't have the resources and were never prepared for what could happen (and never heard of Murphy's Law).

    Personally I have enough other problems in life everyday and am not nearly as young as many here, so for me the old-time philosophy of "under-promise and over-deliver" makes for far fewer worries than trying to constantly juggle accounts & resources to sustain a "good" overselling model and make the relatively few extra $$ in the short-term.
    I don't see the poll as being skewed or in some way "wrong" but this thread (which has been surprisingly good & well mannered) has shown why different people see different numbers as being a sign of overselling based on their experiences & point of view and how they choose to run their businesses.
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  38. #38
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    More very good posts in this thread.

    Agree completely with DDT's view of oversold being based on oversold (& so on ad infinitum). Very hard to be risk free since paying a lot is no guarantee that the money you pay is spent on resources for you. I try to manage the risk by retaining control, having a number of baskets so that I can easily switch my eggs, trying to avoid the very downstream end of the market, and spending an amount of money that is proportionate to the level of resources that I need for a particular project and the level and type of risk I can afford to take.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjb-is
    The figures are plucked form the air, but you see the general point.
    I was going to suggest that your figures were "plucked" from elsewhere, but you see the general point.

    The problem with the hosting industry is that it has been hugely de-valued by the hobby-hosts who sell themselves as a serious business.
    I don't believe that's the case at all. The industry hasn't been devalued, but prices for raw material have dropped exponentially. What you would have paid for a 2gb drive ten years ago will buy you more than 200 times as much storage today. Wholesale bandwidth prices have had similar, if less dramatic, drops. As host amass larger user bases and alter the technology they use to provide service, the price to provide service goes down.

    Computers, cable televison, automobiles, every conceivable piece of consumer electronics - all have increased dramatically in what they offer you, while not appreciating in price (in fact many have decreased). Are they "devalued"?
    datapimp - You only get one soul, ya dig?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by datapimp.com
    I don't believe that's the case at all. The industry hasn't been devalued, but prices for raw material have dropped exponentially.
    I don't think that is what was meant, or, at least, that is not the way I took it. I think he was saying that hobby hosts don't charge a reasonable sum for their time (& may even subsidise the servers etc because they use them for other things & their 'customers' just help cover their costs.) and that has led to unrealistic pricing, rather than lower prices because of the reduced cost of equipment etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by datapimp.com
    Computers, cable televison, automobiles, every conceivable piece of consumer electronics - all have increased dramatically in what they offer you, while not appreciating in price (in fact many have decreased). Are they "devalued"?
    This situation is not the same because all the manufacturers are businesses trying to make a profit & prices are down because manufacturing costs are down.

    I do think that the large number of 'amateur' hosts - kiddie hosts, hobby hosts, scammers etc do devalue the industry & increase the risk for customers because they have made it very hard for anyone to know what fair value is. You have to spend hours (no, days and weeks) trawling sites like this to get an idea of the major factors in chosing a host, fair pricing and what different hosts have to offer. And because it is a 'virtual' industry many of the kiddie & hobby hosts have reasonable looking websites etc so that it hard for someone who does not investigat thoroughly to know what sort of 'company' they are buying from.

    I've always had some difficulty in knowing precisely how much value is offered by resellers. It mostly seems to offer the opportunity for another tier of overselling & I have wondered what the record is for the longest chain of resellers (ie a reseller buying from a reseller plan by a reseller who bought from a reseller plan & so on).

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