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  1. #1

    Little confused about VPS needs

    I run an online retail business that sells over 50,000 products and has thousands of viewers everyday.

    So I have been doing a bit of research. Shared hosting is definitely out of the questions, but dedicated hosting is too expensive. A VPS server seems like a good compromise.

    The website itself is pretty small, maybe 5-10GB with all the images and databases. Traffic can be heavy, but I'm not sure what I will need in terms of bandwidth and ram. Currently we use Cpanel, osCommerce and mySQL for database. How much ram would we need? It seems like there is a huge price jump if you want to get anything over 1GB, but that just seems like it wouldn't be enough.

    Is there a way I can find out how much ram I might need?

  2. #2
    Short answer, no not really :-) In many cases it's going to depend on how you set up your VPS and the way your site interacts with it. In general a site doesn't 'not work' with too little RAM,.. instead it may just run poorly! Instead having more RAM can help it run better, the more you have the more you can use for caching, for example,to improve performance.

    But in saying that, I think a VPS with 1GB of RAM would be a great place to start. And you should discuss with potential providers what options you have in terms of scalability. That way you can upgrade (or maybe even downgrade) once you've analyze the real-world demands of your site after a couple of weeks.
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  3. #3
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    The real question is, how many people would be on your site at the same time? Many visitors at once would use more RAM, but many visitors spread out through the day would use less RAM.

  4. #4
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    And go with a host that will bump you up to more RAM with little to no hassle or issues.
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  5. #5
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    If you are running the site on a server right now, you should be able to get some kinda of statistics about RAM usage. If you can shell to the machine, running top and watching it over time can help. 1 GB RAM is definitely low for a busy e-commerce site. How much RAM do you have with your current host?

  6. #6
    You could use nginx instead of apache - you'd have a faster site, and nginx uses a fraction of the RAM required by apache.
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  7. #7
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    Sure, sign up for a small to medium VPS, see how it runs and if you need more then scale it up. The beauty of VPS is you can easily expand your resources with little or no downtime. So if you order a 256MB VPS and it cant take it, scale it up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTrike View Post
    Sure, sign up for a small to medium VPS, see how it runs and if you need more then scale it up. The beauty of VPS is you can easily expand your resources with little or no downtime. So if you order a 256MB VPS and it cant take it, scale it up.
    I agree with this, VPS would be the way to go for you.

  9. #9
    One of the great advantages of VPS over dedicated is that you can always upgrade or downgrade according to your resource needs. In a situation where you dont really know what resources your site may need a VPS can give you an important advantage.
    Theorically your VPS can be upgraded till using all the hardware node resources so you have all the space you want.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vpsplug View Post
    Theorically your VPS can be upgraded till using all the hardware node resources
    And then, it can even be moved up to higher level hardware if needed!

  11. #11
    I think 1GB of RAM would be a good start. You can always upgrade if you find you need more. That's one of the beauties of a VPS!
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  12. #12
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    First thing is to get an idea of how much bandwidth you are using. Work with your current provider to get you a history. You don't want to get hit with bandwidth overage charges.

    Next, what exactly is your budget? What are you running your website on (custom code, wordpress, a CMS)?

    If you can afford to I would take this slowly. Do some research on what the good VPS providers are that are in your budget and start contacting them about your specific needs. Get an account and get your website migrated over then run it concurrently with your current site and do some load testing (using something like loadimpact.com or your own users).

    You'll be surprised how much you can do with a VPS.

  13. #13
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    I would have to agree with Nnyan. Work with your current provider to get you a history on your current usage. For instance, bandwidth usage, ram usage, etc. With those information, you would be able to estimate what would be your requirements for a VPS to run your applications.

    Perform research on which VPS providers would be able to fit into your budget, requirements and as well as the reputation of the VPS providers Best of luck!
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  14. #14
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    i think the virtual wouldnt feet your needs for a site like this.
    i would suggest a value box single core should be better for staff like this
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  15. #15
    Thanks guys for all the responses. Unfortunately our we have already changed hosts, and our website has not been up for the past 6 months or so, so we can't get usage statistics anymore.

    I'll start with 1GB and move up if I need. Do you know of any hosting services that will meet my needs?

    Right now my biggest issue is SPEED. I want our website to load fast. Our previous hosts had our website load very slowly. Can't have that anymore.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by csk1007 View Post
    Thanks guys for all the responses. Unfortunately our we have already changed hosts, and our website has not been up for the past 6 months or so, so we can't get usage statistics anymore.

    I'll start with 1GB and move up if I need. Do you know of any hosting services that will meet my needs?

    Right now my biggest issue is SPEED. I want our website to load fast. Our previous hosts had our website load very slowly. Can't have that anymore.
    100mbps should be plenty.

    The next question would be where are the majority of your viewers from? If you are worried about speed, you'd want a low ping from the user to the server.

  17. #17
    Under which location most of traffic located?

  18. #18
    I echo PhPhear and suggest you check out using nginx. http://www.wikivs.com/wiki/Apache_vs_nginx and http://www.joeandmotorboat.com/2008/...ce-deathmatch/ has some information how nginx compares with apache.

  19. #19
    All of our traffic is in the U.S. Right now our servers are in Dallas, TX, which is pretty centrally located. I am up in Seattle, and it seems a tad slow to me.

    So, I had my host install nginx, but he says he's never used it before, so how do I know if I have installed it correctly and it's working?

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