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Quantity or Quality

View Poll Results: Which is better?
A lot of low-quality servers 16 36.36%
Few high-quality servers 28 63.64%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-22-2009, 08:04 PM
Syfonic Syfonic is offline
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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.



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  #2  
Old 07-22-2009, 08:08 PM
Jacob Wall Jacob Wall is offline
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I'd rather have 100 low quality servers because if something happened to one, there wouldn't be such an impact.

  #3  
Old 07-22-2009, 08:09 PM
Syfonic Syfonic is offline
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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.

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  #4  
Old 07-22-2009, 08:17 PM
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I'll go with the quality servers option without a doubt.

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  #5  
Old 07-22-2009, 08:25 PM
ramnet ramnet is offline
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Lots of low quality servers are better!

If people wanted a few high quality servers then mainframes would be much more popular.

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  #6  
Old 07-22-2009, 09:06 PM
KarlZimmer KarlZimmer is offline
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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.

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  #7  
Old 07-22-2009, 09:11 PM
xeno007 xeno007 is offline
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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  
Old 07-22-2009, 10:40 PM
net net is offline
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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.

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  #9  
Old 07-22-2009, 10:46 PM
Collabora Collabora is offline
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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  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:29 PM
KarlZimmer KarlZimmer is offline
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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.

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  #11  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:43 PM
wheimeng wheimeng is offline
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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?

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  #12  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:55 PM
cartika-andrew cartika-andrew is offline
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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  
Old 07-23-2009, 12:00 AM
KarlZimmer KarlZimmer is offline
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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.

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  #14  
Old 07-23-2009, 12:13 AM
cartika-andrew cartika-andrew is offline
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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  
Old 07-23-2009, 12:17 AM
wheimeng wheimeng is offline
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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

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