View Full Version : Westhost - the never ending cycle?

03-19-2007, 04:03 PM
Hey guys. As my website keeps growing evry year, I have been upgrading and upgrading my plans. Right now, i'm on the $30 a month business PRO plan.
now, my website has been getting huge traffic, and no one can enter my site because:

Nicholas: Hello! Thank you for contacting WestHost. Please allow me one moment to review your question.
Nicholas: Looking at the VPS, I see that there are currently 37 open apache processes. In our shared VPS environment, the limit for MaxClients, or the number of concurrent apache connections is limited to 35. That doesn't necessarily mean that only 35 people can be on the site at once, but rather only 35 connections to apache itself can be open at any given time. When that limit is reached all other requests are queued, which will cause the slowness, and even browser timeouts. Looking through your logs, there have been 18 instances of you hitting your MaxClients settings in the last week. It appears that the traffic you are getting is more than this type of service package can provide. You can upgrade to a semi-dedicated server to be able to have a higher MaxClients settings, but it appears you have outgrown this package.

I hate this never ending cycle of upgrading to newer packages. The next package is $60 a month http://www.westhost.com/semided-business-hosting.html.

Now, yes, I can afford that. But where do I draw the line? Does anyone know when I should just quit and buy my own servers from bustbuy? http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/pedge_840?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

I don't know a lot about running my own servers, but I can guess that it can't be too difficult and I will learn. I have money to buy a server from bestbuy, and even if it's $600 I'd rather have that, than become a slave to a hosting provider. I don't want to keep buying 2 year packages with westhost and get into a position where I'm stuck with something I don't want (and can't cancel).

Can someone give me advice on this?

On the Ramparts
03-19-2007, 05:12 PM
There's more than server hardware to consider here.

Can you get a dedicated T1 or better to connect to your $600 server?

How much bandwidth are you using?

03-19-2007, 06:21 PM
On the Ramparts has a good point.

I am not sure what your business is but if the increase in traffic to your site means more business then I would say it justifies moveing up in plans. If you have a physical business that is housed in a building that can hold say 35 people and there are 35 more outside waiting to get in would you not think of finding a larger building to rent? Granted there does come a point where you think about buying a building but then you have to weigh the cost of upkeep on that building and other cost that come with owning a building. T1 connections are not cheap. Would you be able to stay up 24/7 to monitor your server? :)

03-19-2007, 07:26 PM
ok, I understand the building analogy. But;

Right now, $60/month x 24(2 years) = $1440. and the next plan, (dedicated), $150/month x 24(2 years) = $3600.

It just seems like buying my own server at like $1,200 and paying for the T1 service would end up being cheaper in the long run, and I can always cancel. I'm not in a binding 2-year contract.

Maybe I don't know the fine details about running your own server. If anyone (or a westhost employee) can pull up some info and actually compare side by side (why I should purchase from westhost over buying my own server), it would convince me to upgrade with westhost.

03-19-2007, 08:20 PM
Chat InformationPlease wait for a WestHost Representative to respond.
Chat InformationYou are now chatting with 'David W'
David W: Hello! Thank you for contacting WestHost. Please allow me one moment to review your question.
Grant: also- I want to upgrade to business semi-dedicated. Where does it say how many more VPS processes I will get in upgrade (from business PRO)?
David W: /var/log/httpd
David W: the file is error_log
Grant: Its loading...my site is so packed w/ traffic I can never even access it
David W: There isn't a statement anywhere stating how many that I am aware of. Semi dedicated can have around 40. Dedicated Servers can have up to 255.
Grant: ok
David W: Any other type of account has a limit of 35.
Grant: I don't really get it, cuz upgrading to business semi dedicated looks like a rip off. If I'm only getting 5 more processes...and less bandwidth than the business PRO (pro is 300MB bandwidth, semi-dedicated is 200MB). sorry if this is more of a billing topic
Grant: sorry GB
David W: In my opinion, with the amount of traffic you're getting it would make no sense to upgrade to a Semi Dedicated.
Grant: what would make better sense. I was talking to Nicholas earlier (he told me about the VPS processes being maxed) and he recommended simi-dedicated
David W: I would recommend a dedicated server.
Grant: I posted in the westhost forums about breaking free and buying my own servers from dell, because the dedicated is such a huge jump in costs
David W: Currently it is 8:15PM and you're Max Clients are maxed out.
Grant: maxed for the whole day
Grant: ?
David W: This isn't the heart of the business day, so I assume you get a lot more traffic during the day.
Grant: yeah
Grant: it is very frustrating. I just released a flash game online and I expect some decent traffic for the next 2-3 months. But I really can't afford $150/month for 2 years
Grant: it just isn't logical
Grant: and I would be binded to a contract I couldn't cancel
David W: I definatly understand the frustration. Currently I see that as the only good option currently with our company. Upgrading to a semi-dedicated may help a little, but that would just depend on traffic spikes.
Grant: yeah, it wouldn't really make much of a difference
Grant: I am debating why I shouldn't just go out and start my own server
Grant: I don't know what to do.
Grant: ok I guess that's all the help I can get from you. thnx david
David W: You are welcome. Have a good night Grant.

03-19-2007, 10:56 PM
An always on (as in corporate grade) high speed (> 1.5mbit upload) connection will cost you around $350+ / month. That is way more then you will want to pay for the hassle of hosting your own server. Not to mention the costs of installation, power, etc.

It would be way cheaper to get a real hosted dedicated server from some provider. By cheaper, I mean around $100 / month, but thats a good price to pay for 99% uptime, carrier grade connection, physical protection, etc.

Try seeing if you could lower the page processing time of your website. That is, try to reduce the length or complexity of any server side scripts. If you aren't using any, then you will have to resort to other methods (ie: dedicated server).


03-19-2007, 11:03 PM
my friend in another forum posted this:

Hmm, you have an interesting situation. If you went the server/T1 route here is what you should expect: unless you are very good with building your own computer, a server can be very expensive. Expect to pay anywhere from $2000-$4000 for the hardware. Next you would need to configure the server - this can be very complicated. There are people at NSS (Networking) in OIT that know this stuff like the back of their hands but I don't know if they freelance their services. T1 lines are very expensive: around $1000+ per month! Where would you run this T1 line? You would probably need to purchase a plan with the T1 provider just like you would with a hosting provider. I would personally hunt around for the best (in terms of cost and ratings) high-volume web-hosting provider. If this plan is cheaper than buying a server, T1 line and technicians to manage the systems ($10K-20K per year) over the next couple years, buy the web-provider plan and stay a slave to the system for a little longer. It all comes down to finances. I'm trying to figure out if I will be able to buy a house or condo this summer so I'm battling financial decisions myself. I hope this somewhat helps and feel free to ask me any more questions.

I guess I am just stuck paying the $150/month dedicated

On the Ramparts
03-20-2007, 08:35 AM
I guess I am just stuck paying the $150/month dedicated

If traffic volume translates to income from your site, moving to dedicated even at modestly increased cost, is a good business decision.

You will not be able to maintain high traffic on your site if the user experience is poor because you have not purchased enough capacity.

03-20-2007, 01:42 PM
yeah. I agree now

WestHost - CReeves
03-21-2007, 03:51 PM

I understand the difficulties involved in balancing the needs of your business. There are no doubt advantages of housing your own server but as mentioned above the amount of time, costs, resources, etc... involved to maintain that server are often not the best option for some. We are happy to assist you with upgrading your plan as your traffic continues to grow and to help meet your business needs. I think you will find the costs involved in upgrading with us to a dedicated server is well worth the investment and is financially a better option for most. If you have further questions or inquiries about what options are best for you please contact our support department and we would be happy to assist you.