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  1. #1

    Web Host posting false benchmarks - hostcritiq - simplehelix

    So i came across this article the other day:

    http://www.hostcritiq.com/2008/01/04...y-december-07/
    also
    http://www.hostcritiq.com/2008/01/11/speed-wars/

    I found it quite interesting that simplehelix beat medialayer considering their reputation for outperforming all other hosts. So I decided to do a bit of research and noticed that both simplehelix/hostcritiq are hosted right next to each other:

    traceroute www.hostcritiq.com
    traceroute to www.hostcritiq.com (64.69.46.188), 30 hops max, 46 byte packets
    2 v13.dsr1.lga6.us.voxel.net (208.122.5.45) 0.570 ms 0.276 ms *
    3 0.te6-3.tsr1.lga3.us.voxel.net (208.122.5.229) 0.580 ms 0.274 ms 1.265 ms
    4 tsic-1.lga3.us.voxel.net (213.248.95.45) 0.284 ms 0.271 ms *
    5 nyk-bb1-pos7-2-0.telia.net (213.248.82.13) 0.659 ms 0.301 ms 0.285 ms
    6 las-bb1-link.telia.net (80.91.254.17) 79.062 ms 79.039 ms 78.984 ms
    7 vl341ge1-7.cr01.lax02.mzima.net (213.248.94.34) 75.966 ms 76.676 ms 76.182 ms
    8 xe2-1.cr01.lax02.mzima.net (216.193.255.185) 76.456 ms 80.821 ms 76.078 ms
    9 ge0-calpop.cust.lax02.mzima.net (72.37.172.90) 141.125 ms 92.617 ms 107.474 ms

    # traceroute www.simplehelix.com
    traceroute to www.simplehelix.com (64.69.44.249), 30 hops max, 46 byte packets
    2 v13.dsr1.lga6.us.voxel.net (208.122.5.45) 5.382 ms 12.353 ms 18.321 ms
    3 * 0.te6-3.tsr1.lga3.us.voxel.net (208.122.5.229) 0.948 ms 1.429 ms
    4 tsic-1.lga3.us.voxel.net (213.248.95.45) 0.514 ms 0.475 ms 0.753 ms
    5 * nyk-bb1-link.telia.net (213.248.83.225) 2.001 ms nyk-bb1-link.telia.net (80.91.250.162) 0.694 ms
    6 las-bb1-link.telia.net (80.91.254.17) 79.015 ms 79.475 ms 79.064 ms
    7 vl341ge1-7.cr01.lax02.mzima.net (213.248.94.34) 81.059 ms 83.871 ms 76.591 ms
    8 xe2-1.cr01.lax02.mzima.net (216.193.255.185) 85.158 ms 88.276 ms 76.417 ms
    9 ge0-calpop.cust.lax02.mzima.net (72.37.172.90) 76.066 ms 75.796 ms 76.048 ms

    But that isn't enough proof so I started doing a google and noticed that the person Jae Lae went under the psydunom lkbryant and jv0704:

    Here is a jv0704 claiming hostcritiq:
    http://www.spicypage.com/search.cfm?...rofile_id=7309
    and here is lkbryant showing that he is actually jv0704
    http://www.directadmin.com/forum/arc...p/t-19678.html

    Notice this page:
    http://phpa-bender.phparch.com/discu...1f0419ae2c2e/\
    His name is Jae, do a search on simplhelix.com and:
    Admin Name........... Jae Lee
    Admin Address........ 432 s. gramercy dr.
    Admin Address........
    Admin Address........ Los Angeles
    Admin Address........ 90019
    Admin Address........ CA
    Admin Address........ UNITED STATES
    Admin Email.......... simpletechmedia@yahoo.com
    Admin Phone.......... +1.3237332598

    Even better:
    http://www.cost.com/forum/index.php?...=profile;u=212
    Look at the email, simplehelix@gmail.com

    More proof:
    http://www.digg.com/tech_news/Hostin...r_vs_Dreamhost
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?p=4883458

    Anyway, I just wanted to give warning so that no one trusted hostcritiq or simplehelix.
    Last edited by RossH; 01-12-2008 at 03:46 AM.
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  2. #2
    Just a further post for a little bit more proof:

    whois magentohost.com
    Registrant:
    JVMedia
    933 s. gramercy dr
    Los Angeles, California 90019
    United States

    Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
    Domain Name: MAGENTOHOST.COM
    Created on: 18-Aug-07
    Expires on: 18-Aug-08
    Last Updated on: 09-Nov-07

    Administrative Contact:
    Lee, Jae jv0704@hotmail.com
    JVMedia
    933 s. gramercy dr
    Los Angeles, California 90019
    United States
    (818) 242-2500 Fax --

    Technical Contact:
    Lee, Jae jv0704@hotmail.com
    JVMedia
    933 s. gramercy dr
    Los Angeles, California 90019
    United States
    (818) 242-2500 Fax --

    Domain servers in listed order:
    NS43.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
    NS44.DOMAINCONTROL.COM
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  3. #3
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    And they've got their own "response" to this already:

    http://www.hostcritiq.com/2008/01/12...is-hostcritiq/

    What I'm really interested in knowing is how these benchmarks are being performed. If it's their own server where they're "hosting" these ab (Apache Benchmark) tests, then clearly their own server is going to be much less latent in responding to requests. For servers far away, latency is going to be a huge factor.

    It is clear that there is some kind of agenda behind these benchmarks, given that Jae Lee posted here recommending simplehelix for Magento hosting (in a thread that was discussing PHP 5 hosting) - this was the user's (jv0704) first post and it appears it has been removed by the mods.
    Last edited by layer0; 01-12-2008 at 11:39 AM.
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  4. #4
    Hello,

    Nice to meet you all. =)

    I just have one complaint.

    Could you guys please know the facts before saying something?

    If you guys didn't know(such as how many servers the test been run on, where the test is being performed, etc..), all you had to do was ask before posting something like this?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hostcritiq View Post
    Hello,

    Nice to meet you all. =)

    I just have one complaint.

    Could you guys please know the facts before saying something?

    If you guys didn't know(such as how many servers the test been run on, where the test is being performed, etc..), all you had to do was ask before posting something like this?
    It doesn't matter. It's near impossible for this to be accurate, due to the nature of the test. Past even that point, do you honestly expect someone to believe your results, given that you're using them to portray your own company as superior, and originally did this under disguise?

    Perhaps you could answer why you had disguised HostCritiq as an independent party originally? Or, maybe you could answer why you signed up as jv0704 and promoted your own company?

    It may do you good to read the rules:

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/rules.php

    By the way, you've already broken the rules by signing up for a second account.
    Last edited by layer0; 01-12-2008 at 04:41 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Well, at least he didn't make a blog post benchmarking the honesty of hosts. My guess is that simple helix wouldn't have faired too well in that test
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  7. #7
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    Jae Lee/hostcritiq,

    One thing you conveniently didn't notice is that in your latest benchmark your own instance of Magento is showing 92 failed requests while the benchmark against the instance hosted by us is showing 0 failed requests.

    Perhaps there's greater issues than speed you should be worrying about?

    Attached screenshots.

    Basically, yes, your tests are inaccurate. End of.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails medialayer-completed-requests.gif   simplehelix-failed-requests.gif  
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  8. #8
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    Sorry what is this again and who actually reads such blogs ? Who has the time ?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energizer Bunny View Post
    Sorry what is this again and who actually reads such blogs ? Who has the time ?
    Perhaps if it associated your company with negative implication (based on invalid tests) you'd be worried about it as well.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Jae Lee/hostcritiq,

    One thing you conveniently didn't notice is that in your latest benchmark your own instance of Magento is showing 92 failed requests while the benchmark against the instance hosted by us is showing 0 failed requests.

    Perhaps there's greater issues than speed you should be worrying about?

    Attached screenshots.

    Basically, yes, your tests are inaccurate. End of.
    Auch..

    Layer0 i wouldn't worry to much about this everyone knows that you run a good operation, and like everyone have their good and bad times, but how you handle it is what makes the difference.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    Auch..

    Layer0 i wouldn't worry to much about this everyone knows that you run a good operation, and like everyone have their good and bad times, but how you handle it is what makes the difference.
    Thank you for your comments.

    What I'm more concerned about is the fact that Jae Lee is providing misleading information to hosting consumers regarding not only us but many other providers. We're not alone in this by any means and there were companies who faired far worse.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Perhaps if it associated your company with negative implication (based on invalid tests) you'd be worried about it as well.
    Yes but how many potential customers you think actually will spend time reading such blogs ? From what i know most just read few reviews and signup and some do not even know about reviews but still signup, and reading and trying to understand benchmarking i feel is out of most customers league, unless they are web hosting owners looking for servers. Cause i remember when i started doing websites, i would just signup with most cost effective place and not bother reading reviews.
    I am sure most wanabee webmasters will not actually spend hours reading about benchmarks when customer reviews for that company already exists.

    Oh and if someone provides misleading information does not matter if they are writing good or bad, its still a form of fraud i would consider.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    Thank you for your comments.

    What I'm more concerned about is the fact that Jae Lee is providing misleading information to hosting consumers regarding not only us but many other providers. We're not alone in this by any means and there were companies who faired far worse.
    Yes I understand that, i would not be happy either, but this post would wake some people up, at least they are warned.

    Keep up the good work.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Energizer Bunny View Post
    Yes but how many potential customers you think actually will spend time reading such blogs ? From what i know most just read few reviews and signup and some do not even know about reviews but still signup, and reading and trying to understand benchmarking i feel is out of most customers league, unless they are web hosting owners looking for servers. Cause i remember when i started doing websites, i would just signup with most cost effective place and not bother reading reviews.
    I am sure most wanabee webmasters will not actually spend hours reading about benchmarks when customer reviews for that company already exists.

    Oh and if someone provides misleading information does not matter if they are writing good or bad, its still a form of fraud i would consider.
    In the end, it really boils down to there being many different types of consumers, those who read and understand these benchmarks, those who don't care, and some who are in between.

    That said, what Jae Lee is doing here is quite wrong. Besides the results being invalid he originally did this in a disguised manner to promote his own company (acting as if he is an independent party).
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  15. #15
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    As Layer0 has pointed out, he's not the only company being unfairly benchmarked. Crucial is included in these benchmarks with some very unbecoming comments and results.

    The benchmark results are worthless.

    From how to benchmark a web server,

    First, benchmarking a web server is not an easy thing. To benchmark a web server the time it will take to give a page is not important: you don’t care if a user can have his page in 0.1 ms or in 0.05 ms as nobody can have such delays on the Internet.

    What is important is the average time it will take when you have a maximum number of users on your site simultaneously. Another important thing is how much more time it will take when there are 2 times more users: a server that take 2 times more for 2 times more users is better than another that take 4 times more for the same amount of users.

    Here are few tips to carry out procedure along with an example:

    Procedures
    • You need to use same hardware configuration and kernel (OS) for all tests
    • You need to use same network configuration. For example, use 100Mbps port for all tests
    • First record server load using top or uptime command
    • Take at least 3-5 readings and use the best result
    • After each test reboot the server and carry out test on next configuration (web server)
    • Again record server load using top or uptime command
    • Carry on test using static html/php files and dynamic pages
    • It also important to carry out test using the Non-KeepAlive and KeepAlive (the Keep-Alive extension to provide long-lived HTTP sessions, which allow multiple requests to be sent over the same TCP connection) features
    • Also don’t forget to carry out test using fast-cgi and/or perl tests
    It's clear that you can run ab testing and come up with any results you would like, depending on when you 'decide' to run the test.

    Way to many variables here for anyone to really take you seriously.

    Good day
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  16. #16
    Ofcourse, no tests can be done with pin point accuracy. Thats why there are means and averages. If I run tests from several different locations and the results shows consistency we can certainly get an average score on it.

    With that said, each time I run a test, I am running it as a client's perspective. When I use seattle, i am running it as seattle's perspective. If i run it from dallas, it is from dallas perspective. and so on.

    To say that my tests are not valid because tests will vary region to region is a bit over-exaggerating.
    A host that is slow will always perform slower than other hosts no matter where it's tested from.

    Also key thing is the network.

    When I am running tests from multiple different locations, it will also count the results of the network hops which ultimately is the real cause for latency. Some datacenters have do faster network than others. The location of the datacenter is also very important in measuring speed of the benchmarks.

    I wish you all the best but if the benchmarks on my site is causing you to worry, I have to say I am sorry.

    The only thing I can do is just shut down the site and I'm sure that would be the best for all of you. But then, that might not be what the consumers want.

    Like i said, i am performing benchmarks from 5 different locations with more on the way.

    And the results will get more and more accurate as I run further extensive tests on it.
    Last edited by hostcritiq; 01-12-2008 at 05:52 PM.
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  17. #17
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    How would you like to explain the failed requests? Post tests from Los Angeles, Dallas, and Seattle on your website separating each - as you've yet to do so thus far.

    edit: You say have 5 locations, yet you've only mentioned Los Angeles, Dallas, and Seattle. Where are the other locations?

    Post separate tests for each. Let's see how they vary.
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  18. #18
    That crucial Web Hosting, does it have good support, etc...?
    Looking for a place to buy a domain package from.
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  19. #19
    Well if you look closer,

    you'll notice that I am running tests from 3 different locations in Los Angeles, and 1 in Dallas, and 1 in Seattle.

    As for the failed requests, it doesn't really affect my scores much. It's due to configuration in mod_evasive but whether I had it on or not, the speed difference was minimal.
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  20. #20
    I will be coming up with more benchmarks, from several more locations soon, I will let the numbers do the talking.

    And remember, the tests don't have to be accurate. I am running these tests as if a client were to access a website. Meaning, the server should be fast most of the time, peak time or not. So I conduct random tests throughout the day.

    This is not a test of pure hardware performance. It is more a test about client's hosting experience at any given moment.
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  21. #21
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    And remember, the tests don't have to be accurate. I am running these tests as if a client were to access a website.
    Wrong.

    Apache Benchmark is not the same as a client accessing a website. Apache Benchmark is only requesting the page itself, and not files that are required for the page to be displayed in a browser. It doesn't take into account advantages provided by the use of gzip and it doesn't take into account how quickly static files (such as the images, css, etc.) that may be sourced by the page are served. When a client accesses a website, all of these are factors yet with Apache Benchmark they are not.

    What you're also not testing (and don't really have a way of testing) is the impact of this traffic on the server.

    Lastly, I don't know about your servers, but we use throttling features available in LiteSpeed Web Server (as well as our own) which could also have an impact on the tests.

    Bottom line is, this isn't benefiting consumers, it's confusing them more.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by layer0 View Post
    What you're also not testing (and don't really have a way of testing) is the impact of this traffic on the server.

    Lastly, I don't know about your servers, but we use throttling features available in LiteSpeed Web Server (as well as our own) which could also have an impact on the tests.

    Bottom line is, this isn't benefiting consumers, it's confusing them more.

    Exactly.

    These tests are NOT from a client perspective at all, nor is it intended for that use.

    You are using the wrong software for the wrong test.

    http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Caudium-HOWTO/benchmark.html

    Good hosts tune there servers to clients needs. Things like caching, accelerators, gzip, etc are not taken into account at all. This is where many hosts achieve top performance.

    I like your idea - I'm all for equal comparisons, this is one of the reasons we sponsored the now defunct HostSentry.net project. However, as HostSentry can tell you, yours is a lofty goal and one that can not be achieved using Apache Benchmark tool.

    Kind regards
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  23. #23
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    Also, let's look at the intended function of Apache Benchmark:

    ab is a tool for benchmarking your Apache Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server. It is designed to give you an impression of how your current Apache installation performs. This especially shows you how many requests per second your Apache installation is capable of serving.
    It's meant as a tool to be used when tweaking your web server or trying different web servers on a physical system, not to make a comparison between remote hosts.
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  24. #24
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    I don't think the test method is that bad - I use ab myself to optimize my own vps setups by comparing against others. But the results do vary enormously depending on so many factors and for hostcritiq (aka jv0704 / lkbryant / Jae Lee / simplehelix) to boil them down into a single number (requests per second), taking account of all the variables, would obviously require some processing. With both the test method and analysis offering such potential for tampering you could only begin to believe the results if the tester was completely unbiased.

    So with the exposure of his connection with simplehelix (nice work RossH, isn't Google wonderful ), hostcritiq's credibility is zero. And no, Jay, coming clean after being exposed doesn't count.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by hostcritiq View Post
    As for the failed requests, it doesn't really affect my scores much. It's due to configuration in mod_evasive but whether I had it on or not, the speed difference was minimal.
    Wrong.

    You're getting more requests per second due to each request not successfully loading the full page - that is, you're getting a 403 92 times.
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