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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    40

    How many CPU seconds do you get with your host?

    One thing I don't understand is why CPU seconds aren't talked about more often.

    I follow the Dreamhost threads on this forum a bit because I am a DH customer myself, and one of the things I worry about is getting flagged for overuse of CPU because I run a fairly popular site.

    Most of the DH threads concern overselling, and the fact that DH will suspend your account even if you don't go over their limits because you are consuming too many CPU seconds. I believe that in any non-dedicated hosting plan, you're going to be yanked at some point if you use excessive CPU seconds because you will be impacting the other users on your server.

    One potential problem I see with talking about CPU seconds is that there is a big difference between using 3000 CPU seconds in an hour versus 3000 CPU seconds in a day.

    So I have a few questions:

    1. Is there some way to describe a cap and have it still be meaningful? My initial thought would be something like no more than X CPU seconds per day, and not more than Y% of total server resources at any given time.

    2. why don't plans talk about CPU seconds more? Is it because it's a much harder concept to grasp than transfer and disk space? Web hosts almost always give you caps on tranfer and disk space. Why don't they give a cap for CPU seconds? I don't think I've ever seen a host give a cap for CPU seconds.

    3. how many CPU seconds per hour or per day is your host ok with you using? Do you have any ability to track that figure yourself, or is it something you only learn about once your host desides you use too many?

    4. how many CPU seconds should you expect to be able to use if you are paying a standard amount for hosting (between $5-$15/month say)?


    Thanks for any responses, and if you run a web hosting company, I'd love to hear your thoughts too.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    East Coast // NYC
    Posts
    1,693
    This widely varies from host to host. But from our perspective its how many consecutive CPU seconds you use. Its ok to use 2 or 3 seconds here and there, but using 30 seconds at once (only 1 time during the day) affects others. We actually have an automated system that controls how much CPU a site can take before action is taken.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    EU - east side
    Posts
    21,913
    AFAIK DH themselves don't use CPU minutes as a guiding limit anymore either.

    2. why don't plans talk about CPU seconds more? Is it because it's a much harder concept to grasp than transfer and disk space?
    The lack of a popular standard regarding CPU usage might be one impediment. Should we consider the CPU seconds as a standard, we easily come against this: it's one thing to have 100 minutes on a Celeron, and another on a Dual Xeon. Comparing packages on different servers might become complicated.

    Then there's the marketing side of things. I get the feeling many hosts prefer things as they are, as letting the customer know about a CPU usage limitation would not be to their advantage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,102
    The one problem with using CPU usage, in terms of minutes, as a guideline is that a onetime spike can be just that - onetime. Punishing a customer for having a popular Website does not seem right to me, and that is one reason I don't agree with automated monitoring systems that actually take action. I don't feel there is anything wrong with a system that notifies the host of the overusage (so that a company rep can contact the client and move he or she to a better-equipped hosting plan).
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    874
    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalWebDan
    The one problem with using CPU usage, in terms of minutes, as a guideline is that a onetime spike can be just that - onetime. Punishing a customer for having a popular Website does not seem right to me, and that is one reason I don't agree with automated monitoring systems that actually take action. I don't feel there is anything wrong with a system that notifies the host of the overusage (so that a company rep can contact the client and move he or she to a better-equipped hosting plan).
    I second that. well said
    GS RichCopy 360 Enterprise - Voted #1 for data migration and replication in terms of performance and features. Replicate data across between servers in the same network, WAS, or even across the internet

  6. #6
    I think a company has a duty to inform their clients before taking action, if the activity is not malacious or against company AUP/TOS.

    There is so many factors that go into how much a site effects CPU usage that to create a standard would be impossible.

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