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  • Need to switch but I'm not sure about my needs...

    Hello everyone,
    I'm currently on LunarPages with their business plan however my vBulletin is draining too much server resources and they want me to upgrade to a dedicated.
    While this may be a solution I really do not like how they have handled things so far shutting down my forum or moving it all of a sudden without even informing me... this is no good for a business, of course and I don't really trust them.

    They also keep telling me to optimize the forum I run a standard vBulletin with minor changes (graphic and such) and always update to the latest version as soon as it is available.


    I've spent the last hour and more checking the most recent messages about hosting and I'll get in touch with both URLJET (http://www.urljet.com/performance-vps-hosting.php) and ServInt (http://www.servint.net/contactus.php) to see if they can host my content etc. however I still have one issue:
    how do I get some useful stats (average connections etc.) about my forum to give them so they can help me figure out the best plan?
    LunarPages stats are unreliable (as they said me themselves so...).

    Also, the forum is run for free so money does matter a bit (I don't want to go cheap but can't afford a 200$/mo plan).

    Well, you may have guessed I'm not such an expert but if someone tell me
    where/what/how to check I'll manage it .

    Thanks,
    Aery

    ps.: I also found http://www.mxhub.com/vps-hosting.php that seems to have good stats, anyone has any experience with them?
    Last edited by Aery; Thu 24 Sep '09, 9:15am.

  • #2
    Hello Aery,

    Have you monitored your usage with Lunarpages? Can you let us know your current usage through your admin control panel ?
    Website Hosting | VPS Hosting | Dedicated Hosting
    Email & MSN: [email protected]

    Comment


    • #3
      Aery, even posting a rough outline containing:
      1. Total threads
      2. Total posts
      3. Average daily users / average users online
      4. What is you max users at once upon forum (at bottom of homepage)

      That type of basic information will instantly give others an idea of your server requirements. Its not exactly out of the ordinary that hosts talk things up and try and push customers into something they don't need... its money to them.

      I am an avid believer in starting at lesser requirements than may be necessary, and atleast being able to more accurately measure what you need vs. overkill with a server. ServInt are an excellent host, and I host all my online data with them nowadays, but even they as a host have tried pushing me into upgrades that I didn't need. As long as you can change things like max DB connections, full root access, then you have the ability to push what you pay for to its limits before spending more money.

      Do your homework, look for providers where you can fluently upgrade with zero disruption, things like that.

      Comment


      • #4
        I spent an hour with ServInts sales people today, I'm extremely impressed. Their vps packages seem quite impressive to me, especially for the price.

        If you are not an expert you in these types of things you may want to consider calling a few to see what tech support is offered and how well they communicate with you.

        You probably have cPanel, there may be a program called awstats, that will contain some information that you could post in this thread along with your max users, average users online at a time at the bottom of your forum.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the tips, so here's some stats.

          The forum was opened in 2003, it's a forum for 3D hobbyists and has especially grown in the last 2/3 years.
          We have freebies (zip files) to be downloaded and many images but bandwidth has never been a problem (in case I'll just use another hosting for the files and the new one for the forum).

          We have users from all around the word but most of them are from the US, then Europe and so on (Japan, etc.)


          Per Anthony suggestion:
          1. 4,789 Total threads
          2. 40,338 Total posts
          3. 5,622 Members
          4. Average daily users / average users online
          5. 123 Most users ever online

          New Post Statistics. In the last 5 weeks we had a weekly low of 98 and an high of 244.

          New Thread Statistics. In the last 5 weeks we had a weekly low of 20 and an high of 36.

          Is the Average users number = User Activity Statistics?
          In this case (last month) we had a low of 102 and a peak of 158.

          Also, I do have all those measure to prevent spiders and crawlers (I found in these forums) set and only registered users can post and use the search.


          Stats from Lunarpages: actually they say that the RAM and CPU usage stats I see through the CP aren't reliable which adds to my distrust of them (how do I check the usage if what they show me is not reliable?)
          Disk Space Usage 2776.32 Megabytes
          MySQL Disk Space 898.19 Megabytes
          Bandwidth (this month) 133698.93 Megabytes

          I hope the above helps already?
          Thanks a lot for the help and suggestions!
          Aery
          Last edited by Aery; Mon 28 Sep '09, 6:07am.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Abomination View Post
            I spent an hour with ServInts sales people today, I'm extremely impressed. Their vps packages seem quite impressive to me, especially for the price.

            If you are not an expert you in these types of things you may want to consider calling a few to see what tech support is offered and how well they communicate with you.

            You probably have cPanel, there may be a program called awstats, that will contain some information that you could post in this thread along with your max users, average users online at a time at the bottom of your forum.
            I do have cPanel but couldn't find awstats, there is a Statistics Software Configuration link but nothing in there?!

            Greets,
            Aery

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, so you have:
              • 2.7GB of disk space used
              • 133GB Bandwith this month
              • 0.8GB MySQL

              Rough guess... the bandwidth is likely a major issue for them due to the size of your database. Even though hosts say, "unlimited bandwidth $5.00 per month", they don't really mean it and get uneasy when people use excessive amounts of it with $5 accounts. Large databases also increase CPU usage, and as you mentioned the site contains lots of zipped downloads, this would be the major issue especially if being stored within your database as I suspect a lot of images / files are being from the size of it with your stats.

              If you have your attachments within your database, I would try this option first, being to remove images from your database and store them within your file structure. AdminCP > Attachments > Attachment Storage Types then follow the prompts through to move your images from your database to your server file structure instead. Normally you just have to create a folder on your server, usually in images, chmod it to 777 and place that path into your admincp as you go through the process to move them. It will instruct you as you go.

              Read http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/m...chment_storage as it contains the pro's and con's to having images and files in your database vs. on the file server. They are better on the file server. If you use blogs, you have to repeat the above through the blog option also, AdminCP > vBulletin Blog > Attachment Storage Type.

              This should keep them happy by reducing your CPU and RAM usage within more acceptable levels.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aery View Post
                I do have cPanel but couldn't find awstats, there is a Statistics Software Configuration link but nothing in there?!

                Greets,
                Aery
                Yes on most cPanels there is usually a statistics program, or maybe I just got lucky and have host that has it.

                With 40K posts and 133GB bandwidth it sounds like downloading files from you site is a popular thing to do, compared to posting.

                As Anthony suggested remove the attachments from the database. Personally I'd separate the 2 issues and put the downloads on another account/host. Don't take this the wrong way but you provider does not sound as helpful as they could be. You may want to consider leaving them, there are many to choose from.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't mean to step on Aery's toes so to speak, but I've been having the same thoughts/concerns and figured I would jump into the conversation here instead of starting a new one.

                  Here are my current stats
                  • 7915.95 Megs of disk space used
                  • 100GB Bandwith this month
                  • 800.41 MB MySQL
                  • Most users ever online was 461 (but on most days its betwen 60 - 80 users daily)
                  • Threads: 16,582, Posts: 243,407, Members: 4,380 (past two years we've averaged @ 40k posts.
                  • Gallery - Categories: 18, Images: 2,728, Posts: 1,744, Total Views: 88,057, Disk Space: 138.16 MB
                  We are currently on a shared hosting plan with HostMonster, but was considering moving over to http://www.servint.net/vps.php and wasn't sure which plan would fit the best.

                  Any input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

                  Thanks!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not sure about VPS - but both of you would be just fine on a very low end dedicated server (Pentium 4). I think you can get some deals on them for around $60 a month give or take.

                    VPS obviously requires less mantainence on your part and it may offer more bang for the buck (since I haven't checked the packages I could say for sure).
                    Plan, Do, Check, Act!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      WCM, if it is only the forum above, no other sites, you would likely get away with the base VPS, Essential package, being it has 30GB space and 1TB bandwidth, which fits your above requirements. I would honestly enter at that level, and at the worst, you may have to upgrade to the Signature package, but you would not need anything more than that with what you have.

                      I have a signature VPS which runs my forum, about half the posts that you have with half the DB size, approx 30k - 35k users monthly for that site. That ran fine on the base package... I only upgraded because I needed more resources for some other sites I have... which use far more resources than my forum does, and a Signature VPS runs all of it without issue. I only burst occasionally over my hard limits. If I just had the forum, I would put it back on the basic VPS again.

                      I always recommend that people start low, then work their way up after atleast viewing whether or not the lower scale will run it. ServInt are a business and would advise the Signature no doubt, but you can upgrade at any time once you are with them, and they will do it within a day or two for you with zero downtime... you just simply change payment plans.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the suggestions. At least I have an idea of what it will take to run my site on a vps or dedicated box.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We're like 80k posts & over 50k members, max people online were 581 ...


                          ...and we were on Shared Hosting until 3 days back


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Abomination View Post
                            Yes on most cPanels there is usually a statistics program, or maybe I just got lucky and have host that has it.

                            With 40K posts and 133GB bandwidth it sounds like downloading files from you site is a popular thing to do, compared to posting.

                            As Anthony suggested remove the attachments from the database. Personally I'd separate the 2 issues and put the downloads on another account/host. Don't take this the wrong way but you provider does not sound as helpful as they could be. You may want to consider leaving them, there are many to choose from.
                            Nope, they're not really being very useful.

                            They have disabled the viewthread forum script a couple of times and don't give me a way to monitor my site performances (since they say the data displayed FROM THEM is not reliable and that only them can check the true data and shut down the site if it's draining too many resources).

                            Guess what? No way I'll upgrade with this company...


                            By the way, I forgot to post some of their data if it can help understanding the forum/site needs:
                            Your account is utilizing excessive resources, causing a significant degradation of services on the server. This is a shared environment and we can not allow one user to utilize the majority of the resources on a server as it affects all users adversely. Because of this, you have been temporarily moved to the cloud server. A detail of the problem is shown below:
                            mysite.com
                            Average %CPU usage - 2.92
                            Average %Memory usage - 4.31
                            Average %MySQL usage - 0.1
                            Top Process %CPU 42.0 /usr/local/php5/bin/php-cgi /home/mysite/public_html/board/showthread.php
                            Top Process %CPU 40.0 [php-cgi]
                            Top Process %CPU 35.0 [php-cgi]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by anthonyparsons View Post
                              Ok, so you have:
                              • 2.7GB of disk space used
                              • 133GB Bandwith this month
                              • 0.8GB MySQL

                              Rough guess... the bandwidth is likely a major issue for them due to the size of your database. Even though hosts say, "unlimited bandwidth $5.00 per month", they don't really mean it and get uneasy when people use excessive amounts of it with $5 accounts. Large databases also increase CPU usage, and as you mentioned the site contains lots of zipped downloads, this would be the major issue especially if being stored within your database as I suspect a lot of images / files are being from the size of it with your stats.

                              If you have your attachments within your database, I would try this option first, being to remove images from your database and store them within your file structure. AdminCP > Attachments > Attachment Storage Types then follow the prompts through to move your images from your database to your server file structure instead. Normally you just have to create a folder on your server, usually in images, chmod it to 777 and place that path into your admincp as you go through the process to move them. It will instruct you as you go.

                              Read http://www.vbulletin.com/docs/html/m...chment_storage as it contains the pro's and con's to having images and files in your database vs. on the file server. They are better on the file server. If you use blogs, you have to repeat the above through the blog option also, AdminCP > vBulletin Blog > Attachment Storage Type.

                              This should keep them happy by reducing your CPU and RAM usage within more acceptable levels.
                              Thanks for the suggestions!

                              I actually have a small business account: http://www.lunarpages.com/business-hosting/ (and actually paid more than 21$/mo, they must have reduced the price recently ).

                              Anyhow while there are many attachments all zip files are only LINKS and also the majority of images are in the server and shown through the IMG tags so they can be checked even from non logged-in users (that's how I need it to be).

                              They've basically given me 2 weeks to either upgrade or shut down the forum or something along the lines so I don't really have plenty of choices.

                              Thanks,
                              Aery

                              Comment

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