View Poll Results: Which is better?

Voters
44. You may not vote on this poll
  • A lot of low-quality servers

    16 36.36%
  • Few high-quality servers

    28 63.64%
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43
  1. #1

    Quantity or Quality

    In your opinion, is it better for a hosting company to have 100 low-quality dedicated servers or 25 high-quality dedicated servers?

    Imagine that you have 10,000 websites you are hosting. Would you rather divide those 10,000 websites between 25 high quality servers or 100 low quality servers? 10,000 is just an example.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    4,544
    I'd rather have 100 low quality servers because if something happened to one, there wouldn't be such an impact.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Wall View Post
    I'd rather have 100 low quality servers because if something happened to one, there wouldn't be such an impact.
    That is what I was thinking too but wanted to get everyones opinion... Thanks for your input.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,878
    I'll go with the quality servers option without a doubt.

    Regards
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
    [ cPanel Varnish Nginx Plugin ] - Enhance LiteSpeed and Apache Performance
    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    USA / UK
    Posts
    4,553
    Lots of low quality servers are better!

    If people wanted a few high quality servers then mainframes would be much more popular.
    RAM Host -- Premium & Budget Linux Hosting From The USA & EU
    █ Featuring Powerful cPanel CloudLinux Shared Hosting
    █ & Cheap Premium Virtual Dedicated Servers
    Follow us on Twitter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,797
    Fewer number of servers, easier for system administration, and human error/system administration is probably the largest source of downtime. That should also allow you to get additional redundancy built into the servers. Even though you'll affect more customers when you do go down, you should really never go down in the first place.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
    karl @ steadfast.net - Sales/Support: 312-602-2689
    Cloud Hosting, Managed Dedicated Servers, Chicago Colocation, and New Jersey Colocation
    Now Open in New Jersey! - Contact us for New Jersey colocation or dedicated servers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    313
    I would choose (already have with my company) more servers - less number of clients per server. That makes the management harder, but that way anytime we may experience some problem with some server, any type of problem, less users have impact... my clients are everything to me so I choose the longer path.
    Downtime eventually happens. That is something you cannot escape, with 25 or 100 servers.
    Last edited by xeno007; 07-22-2009 at 09:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    13,403
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Wall View Post
    I'd rather have 100 low quality servers because if something happened to one, there wouldn't be such an impact.
    I agree.

    It works well.
    .
    JoneSolutions.Com is on the net providing web hosting services and support 24/7 since 2001.
    .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,372
    I vote for low-quality (whatever that is). I don't think the low-q version will be 4x likelier to fail as your example ratio presumes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by Collabora View Post
    I vote for low-quality (whatever that is). I don't think the low-q version will be 4x likelier to fail as your example ratio presumes.
    Correct, the 100 low-end systems will likely have MORE than 4x the actual number of failures. This is because you're using lower-end, less redundant hardware AND have 4x as many systems. That is why I say the fewer systems should be the choice, better hardware = higher reliability, and then add on less system management to that.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
    karl @ steadfast.net - Sales/Support: 312-602-2689
    Cloud Hosting, Managed Dedicated Servers, Chicago Colocation, and New Jersey Colocation
    Now Open in New Jersey! - Contact us for New Jersey colocation or dedicated servers

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    what would you say about google then?

    they always claim that they use low end servers, what kind of servers do they have in place?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Syfonic View Post
    In your opinion, is it better for a hosting company to have 100 low-quality dedicated servers or 25 high-quality dedicated servers?

    Imagine that you have 10,000 websites you are hosting. Would you rather divide those 10,000 websites between 25 high quality servers or 100 low quality servers? 10,000 is just an example.
    honestly, there is no correct answer to this...

    it really depends on what the expectations of the customer are and what type of service they are after... many customers will value quantity over quality and many customers will value quality over quantity.. good thing is, there are plenty of providers that fit both profiles - so, no matter what a customer prefers, there will be options

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by wheimeng View Post
    what would you say about google then?

    they always claim that they use low end servers, what kind of servers do they have in place?
    My answer did not apply to all cases or all applications, it was specifically relating to someone running a web host, who is asking for advise on WHT.

    1) Google goes for the best value for the cost, looking at the cost for the life of the system, not specifically going with low end hardware. Also, certainly some of their hardware is considered high-end by WHT standards. The cost calculation is very different if you're purchasing systems for use in your own wholly owned facilities or building it with dedicated servers.

    2) They have developed a redundant "cluster" environment where individual system failure does not matter to them at all. Had the OP developed their own similar system, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be asking this question.

    3) The environment Google runs would also require specifically custom made applications, including a web server, mail server, control panel, back-end management, etc. I am assuming the OP has not gone through that trouble.

    So yes, if you have the development resources of Google, sure go that route, but I'm assuming you don't. Simply put, the array of applications needed for fully featured shared hosting is much more complex to design for than an application with a single purpose, designed from the ground-up for that platform, such as Google Search, Gmail, etc.

    Note: You can still go with a cluster type environment with a smaller number of systems, and I feel with doing this with dedicated servers you're going to get the most overall value by getting a smaller number of more powerful systems. The smaller number of systems will also result in less overhead in whatever virtualization layer you're using for the clustering, etc. At that point though you'd really need to do a full-out cost analysis, etc. as it then depends what exactly the "low end" and "high end" hardware is, etc.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
    karl @ steadfast.net - Sales/Support: 312-602-2689
    Cloud Hosting, Managed Dedicated Servers, Chicago Colocation, and New Jersey Colocation
    Now Open in New Jersey! - Contact us for New Jersey colocation or dedicated servers

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by wheimeng View Post
    what would you say about google then?

    they always claim that they use low end servers, what kind of servers do they have in place?
    who cares?

    I do not mean this in a confrontational manner what so ever, so, please do not take it that way...

    We have some pretty advanced clusters setup, and we ONLY use high end, redundant equipment on each and every single node..

    redundancy is nice - and its nice on all levels.. low end nodes only act to create points of failure... having high end systems with redundant, hot swap components - even in redundant, load balanced arrays - creates a better TCO then using arrays of low end servers... Google should already know this.. if they are willing to run on an inefficient TCO - that is their perogative - and they can certainly afford it - this however does not make it right - and lets face it - large corporations are not exactly known for making the best TCO decisions... (of course, this is assuming Google is really running low end systems in their arrays)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Posts
    4,974
    na, i was wondering that as well, thanks for the answers, i didn't have a stand over this quantity vs quality thingy.

    so just seeking for opinions.

    thanks guys

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    6,797
    Quote Originally Posted by cartika-andrew View Post
    who cares?

    I do not mean this in a confrontational manner what so ever, so, please do not take it that way...

    We have some pretty advanced clusters setup, and we ONLY use high end, redundant equipment on each and every single node..

    redundancy is nice - and its nice on all levels.. low end nodes only act to create points of failure... having high end systems with redundant, hot swap components - even in redundant, load balanced arrays - creates a better TCO then using arrays of low end servers... Google should already know this.. if they are willing to run on an inefficient TCO - that is their perogative - and they can certainly afford it - this however does not make it right - and lets face it - large corporations are not exactly known for making the best TCO decisions... (of course, this is assuming Google is really running low end systems in their arrays)
    We operate the same way, clusters of high end systems, but I disagree a bit on the Google side. They really are going for the lowest TCO on their equipment, but for them, the operational costs are the key there. Their cost scale simply ends up being very different than anyone here on WHT, thus you cannot make a direct correlation.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
    karl @ steadfast.net - Sales/Support: 312-602-2689
    Cloud Hosting, Managed Dedicated Servers, Chicago Colocation, and New Jersey Colocation
    Now Open in New Jersey! - Contact us for New Jersey colocation or dedicated servers

  17. #17
    I heard google has more than a million servers.. When you have that many, you gotta think about cost.. But I bet they have a large variety of servers. Some big ones, many small ones etc..

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,538
    High quality servers. Fewer of them to worry about on an administrative side. Since they are of higher quality less failures. You also need to factor in licenses if you use say R1Soft you now have way more licenses to back everything up. If you're using a control panel if it's per machine once again another thing that'll cost more.

    Only reason I can think of you using low end is if you cannot afford higher end machines.
    Tony B. - Chief Executive Officer
    Hawk Host Inc. Proudly serving websites since 2004
    Quality Shared and VPS Hosting
    PHP 5.3.x & PHP 5.4.x & PHP 5.5.X & PHP 5.6.X Support!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    792
    And the answer is: it depends on your application.

    If when a machine dies the only impact you see is a slight drop of overall capacity on your RRD graph, and there are no noticeable impacts (no downtime, no slow downs) and you can take your time to bring that machine back up, and node restoration is pretty much automatic (PXE boot with kickstart), go with many boxes. Obviously it only starts to make sense when you have enough of them.

    If, on the other hand, a dead box requires immediate attention because X number of clients are offline, then I'd choose fewer high(er)-end boxes.

    Other things to take into account: power and space requirements.
    Pings <1 ms, Unlimited Transfer, Lowest Price: http://localhost/

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Utopia.
    Posts
    222
    High Quality Servers.

    I would rather invest in good, powerful machines that use quality hardware which will reduce chance of failure. Also it saves on things such as licenses, eg cPanel.


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    4,485
    Depending on how low the quality is...
    LIMENEX WEB HOSTING
    Affordable High Performance Web Hosting in United States, United Kingdom & Singapore
    Web Hosting | Reseller Hosting | Managed VPS | Managed Dedicated Servers | Cheap SSL Certificates
    Check out our Managed Dedicated Server Special Deals!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cluj Napoca
    Posts
    468
    I am curious where is this "fewer for the sysadmins to manage" comes from ?
    Even if the number of servers will be smaller the number of clients will be the same and the hardware usually works ok so the sysadmin or the support will not have that much work on that part but the same on the client side.
    You can have an argument for example if you are colocated and the colocation price wil increase rapidly with a lot servers.

    Has anyone compared a Q9550 with a Xeon 5000 series ?
    If we are talking about a lot of P4's then yes, you may go for a high end server and that also depends on the number of P4's.

    Quote Originally Posted by shad0wz View Post
    High Quality Servers.

    I would rather invest in good, powerful machines that use quality hardware which will reduce chance of failure. Also it saves on things such as licenses, eg cPanel.
    I agree with the number of licenses.
    It would have been easier if cPanel was multiserver here
    Anyway depends on what you are doing with the hardware.
    IntoDNS - Check your DNS health and configuration
    IntoVPS - US Fremont and Dallas;EU - Netherlands and Romania VPS hosting

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,087
    I prefer to have more smaller servers. If an issue happens (server down, someone spam from the shared IP) it effects only 50-70 customers. Also it's easier and faster to restore the service when the data is 20GB and not 100 or 200GB. Also doing backups is faster.

    We use our custom control panel so we don't have any setup fees involved.

    The only problem I see with more smaller servers is the maintenance cost. The good part is we use FreeBSD on our servers and maintenance is easily done.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    5,034
    Quote Originally Posted by Cristi4n View Post
    I am curious where is this "fewer for the sysadmins to manage" comes from ?
    Even if the number of servers will be smaller the number of clients will be the same and the hardware usually works ok so the sysadmin or the support will not have that much work on that part but the same on the client side.
    You can have an argument for example if you are colocated and the colocation price wil increase rapidly with a lot servers.

    Has anyone compared a Q9550 with a Xeon 5000 series ?
    If we are talking about a lot of P4's then yes, you may go for a high end server and that also depends on the number of P4's.



    I agree with the number of licenses.
    It would have been easier if cPanel was multiserver here
    Anyway depends on what you are doing with the hardware.
    Number of servers directly correlates to human power required to support it. Fewer systems does lead to fewer support people. Even with automation once you get to any volume, you are going to need more experts as more can and will go wrong.

    I am in the fewer systems camp as long as we are limiting our choicess to 100 or 25 or something with a sufficient base number of systems.

    People love to compare google but that application is like few others in design and global reach so I don't think that is a resonable comparision. When you are Google's size you can do whatever you want and make it work.
    Can't we all just get along

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    4,987
    Personally, I'd rather have a few high quality servers. Easier to manage.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Quality or Quantity?
    By andrewklau in forum Other Reviews
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-06-2009, 10:56 AM
  2. Replies: 23
    Last Post: 04-30-2009, 01:39 AM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-12-2006, 03:25 PM
  4. Quality vs Quantity
    By NationHosts in forum Web Hosting
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 09-01-2006, 10:58 PM
  5. Quality Not Quantity
    By shahed in forum Reseller Hosting
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-13-2002, 04:32 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •