Kids these days.
- This assumes the end user is familiar with command line usage. The typical consumer of VPSes aren't, in my experience, and rely on something like cPanel to do all administration. Which is why you can't really run on 64MB.
- The site itself doesn't take up RAM, just disk space. If you have 1024 static sites the only thing taking up ram is the configuration of the sites sitting in Apache's memory. As long as there isn't a lot of traffic on the site, it doesn't really matter how many there are.
- You could have 1 static site that has a medium amount of traffic and it would bring the 64MB instance to its knees as soon as you have more than a few concurrent connections.
Anyway, from this hoster's experience, when I get a question like "What can I run on a 64MB VPS" the easy answer is "Not much" because usually the type of person that wants to spend $3/mo on 64MB VPS instead of $7/mo for a 1GB VPS doesn't really have their priorities in place.
What? I thought it was the opposite, i.e., that typical VPS customers were familiar with a command line or had to get familiar pretty quickly :-) Do you have any data or experience to back this claim (I ask because I don't have any data to back my perception)? Maybe you are referring to managed VPS as opposed to unmanaged VPS?
Btw, the article is 2 yrs old so (should have been in the summary...).
And if you're smart about the setup, you don't even necessarily have to have a separate configuration for each site. See mod_vhost_alias for Apache, for instance. With that in place, memory is no longer an issue at all.
Apachebench on the 128mb VPS to a static page:
Document Path: /index.html
Document Length: 1046 bytes
Concurrency Level: 100
Time taken for tests: 0.843 seconds
Complete requests: 10000
Failed requests: 0
Write errors: 0
Total transferred: 12630336 bytes
HTML transferred: 10510208 bytes
Requests per second: 11867.44 [#/sec] (mean)
Time per request: 8.426 [ms] (mean)
Time per request: 0.084 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests)
Transfer rate: 14637.67 [Kbytes/sec] received
The catch with very small VPS slices for me is disk performance. Small slices means more neighbors, and if a few of your neighbors are high disk use applications your disk latency can get ugly. The nasty bit is you can benchmark and check it all out when you move in, then a month later your site is suddenly a dog.
CPU has the same dynamic, but I think the virtualization platforms do a better job at "fair" for CPU, and if you are using nginx or lighttpd you don't need much so should be treated well by the scheduler.
On the other hand, more ram gives you a lot more breathing room. It is much easier to do useful things if you get the 128MiB service instead of the 64MiB service. (I charge $4 per account, and $1 for every 64MiB ram, so 128MiB is only a dollar more a month than 64)
Nick, an employee of mine, points out that the 64MiB guests are still useful because they force people to learn about every process running on the box, and to only run what is absolutely required. And he's right; that is a great thing to learn. But it is also a lot of work.
That's an old article, but LowEndBox is a fun site for checking out the bottom end of the VPS market, these days it's mostly only postings of very cheap providers ($7/month limit) the blogger has been sent or seen on WebHostingTalk. Then the ensuing discussion of how long until the company behind it goes bankrupt. 64MB VPSes like this don't really get offered anymore, while 128MB and 256MB offers are much more popular, usually in the $15-$20/year range.
$15/$20 a YEAR ?
At $0.14/GB and $1/million requests - I don't think you can get any cheaper. Or reliable, for that matter.
I know you're probably referring to options for small startups just starting out, but thought I'd share that data.
But yes it will still be cheap for most static sites like a jekyll blog or something, if you ever reach more than 130 GB of outbound transfer you have just reached the cost of an entry level linode with transfer of 200gb included.
Just for the curious, yes, you do get quite a few interruptions in your service, but the staff is pretty good about it, and it's a reasonable thing to expect given the conditions. Certainly it is OK just for learning, which is my case.
If you sign with a 1-year contract it's even cheaper. I've been using 1and1 for 5+ years and the performance is pretty good. I've only had a couple of hours of down time in those five years and support got back to me very quickly
e.g. 49 EUR a month for an Intel i7 Quad Core, 8 GB RAM, 5 TB traffic (each additional TB is 6,90), IPv6, awesome support staff. I'm a fan.
Generally ,it's pick 2: cheap, reliable, good support
How long have you been using Hetzner, have you had any down time, and if you did, how was the support?
I've just seen nowadays they guarantee 99% Network availability.
None of my 7 servers has ever suffered a hard disk crash or similar, which is nice but not actually a meaningful data point. (Another nice point, internal traffic is free, even between their data centers)
Their support is top notch in my experience, answers within 15 minutes with the free support. Just read a random post in their support forum, they switched a defective power supply within 2 hours. They once phoned me because one of my servers was behaving suspiciously.
All in all, if you can live with 99% uptime I don't know any provider that's cheaper or has better support. (They do have failover IPs (http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produkte_rootserver/flexipa...) and high availablity packs (http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produkte_rootserver/option-...) but that doesn't help with the 99% network availability)
I also looked up the VPS mentioned in the article, and noted that it's not really that cheap. There's only two price levels below $20, and $20/mo for 256MB isn't great. I got a tax-day special on Zerigo that amounts to about $20/mo for 640MB, and RackSpace Cloud has 512MB for $21.90/mo. The author of the article also mentioned getting a billing issue resolved, and I expect not to have any billing issues in the first place for web hosting. I'm more willing to give other types of services some slack but I think hosting companies ought to have this one figured out.
But this isn't a VPS option.
I had no idea. I've been calling in "ninks" all this time.
And naturally 64 MB of RAM would NOT be enough for a VPS running cPanel (or any other mainstream server control panel, for that matter).
If the user is happy to use command line though then yes, he can run 18 static sites on a 64 MB VPS.
His post doesn't mention whether he's happy to have a no-control panel VPS though, so this entire blog post (well, the basis for it) does seem to be predicated on a fairly big assumption...
Overall it's a good, informative post though.
I'm not going to try to convince you that you should use a web hosting control panel, but I will point out that millions of people, almost certainly including at least a few people who have more experience than you, disagree with you.
each site gets it's own nginx config file, domain.name.conf (replace domain.name with real domain)
databases get prefixed with the domain name (replace . with _ )
Also, I'm working on a script to handle the DNS zones for me.
Yeah, we worked on one of those, too. We called it Webmin (literally, Webmin began as a simple tool for managing and delegating management of DNS records about 14 years ago). And, then we worked on a script to manage virtual hosts, mailboxes, databases, web applications, LDAP, DNS slaves, SVN and git, awstats and Webalizer, resource usage data collection and reporting, user management and delegation to untrusted users, virus and AV scanning, Greylisting, SPF record management, DKIM key management, automated backup and restoration of virtual hosts and all associated data, etc. We called that script (or huge pile of scripts as the case may be) Virtualmin.
Again, I encourage you to work in whatever way you are most comfortable and productive. I manage a few dozen websites, and find having tools to automate much of that process is valuable for me. Millions of users seem to agree that Webmin and/or Virtualmin removes tedium for them, as well. And, I'm sure the same can be said of cPanel users.
Incompetence is not the only reason someone would do something differently than you. Different requirements breed different solutions.
If that's too much, you don't need to use it. (You could shut it down when you're not using it, though it loses a lot of its utility when it can't communicate with your slave DNS servers, keep resource usage data, etc.)
Virtualmin is a more complicated beast, and can take quite a bit more memory, if caching is enabled, but that is optional, and when disabled it takes the same ~11MB as Webmin.
You can no more build a full-featured virtual hosting stack with email (and spam/AV scanning), web, databases, mod_fcgid or fastcgi with suexec, DNS, etc. in 64MB without a control panel than you could with a control panel. Likewise, if you just want web service, you can build one with Virtualmin in X+11 MB of RAM (where X is the amount of RAM the system and web server require).
Of course, Virtualmin (or cPanel or Plesk) are not targeted to very small deployments. They're for shared hosting, which tends to be on a larger system where a few MB for the control panel is of negligible impact.
I just want it to be clear that "control panel == memory hog" is not really accurate. It's probably all the stuff that users expect from a control panel-equipped system that makes it require more memory. ClamAV, for instance, requires more than 200MB. MySQL for a single moderately popular website can consume 300MB. Apache can grow as big as your imagination, because there are so many modules people can enable. A thoroughly stripped Apache isn't all that big, but the average Apache process is a couple hundred MB.
And, then we shared them, so that others wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel and write the same scripts over and over again.
Virtualmin and Cloudmin have CLI apps (imaginatively called "virtualmin" and "cloudmin", respectively) that can do everything the GUI can do (and a little bit more, since they can readily be wrapped up in pipes and for loops and can do things in batches very easily).
At some point, when the scripts are advanced enough, all you're doing is data entry. Data entry may be easier/faster in a web-based UI with dropdowns, radio buttons, multi-select boxes, etc. It is also easier to delegate to untrusted or partially trusted users when you can control every option they have available to them. Ever tried to limit someone to only being able to modify some DNS records, but not others, using sudo and filesystem permissions?
A primary reason Webmin is web-based is that a web browser is always available. An ssh client may not be. We do have plans to create a "webmin" CLI tool, at some point in the future, that does the same thing for Webmin that the virtualmin and cloudmin tools to...though that's a trickier business since Webmin isn't really like either of those tools, and is a lot more open-ended in its purpose and capabilities.
But, sure, command line tools are awesome, and Webmin doesn't prevent you from hitting the command line when you want to. I spend my time about 50/50 in Webmin/Virtualmin/Cloudmin and in vim via ssh.
Again, I'm not opposed to people doing their job any way they want. I'd just like to see an end to the FUD that only incompetent sysadmins use tools that make their jobs easier ("It has a GUI!? How dare they!"). I've spent my entire professional working life trying to make sysadmins jobs easier, so I want people to make informed decisions about the available tools, and I've almost never met a sysadmin that couldn't save some time or hassle by using one or more of the tools I work on. It's not the right tool for every job, and I don't recommend everybody install it on every server they ever see (though some sysadmins do), but it's got a lot of niches that it serves very well.
WordPress can sometimes use 32M to build a page.
That kind of setup is only useful where most of your visitors are NOT logged in, since logged in users often cause cache-misses.
It actually ends with MySQL + Nginx + PHP + WordPress all running in addition to the 18 static sites, which does seem a bit unlikely to hold up very well, even if the setup shown does leave the VPS with 48MB free.
I find that most VPS hosts just install a standard distribution and expect the customer to do all the work to reduce the memory footprint, or they install memory hogging Apache + Plesk control panel configurations that are hard to change.
I think one of these providers could make a great offering by having this type of small VPS all pre-configured and ready to run as soon as it's provisioned.
"number of static sites" is marginally better - the "number of sites" in that case is meaningless - the limiting factor will be the request rate and desired response time.
I reckon you could do that with one eye shut on even the crappiest VPS.
Its so painful to see this on HN!
@spitfire -- Yeah.. thems were the days! goes to show you how old I am
I'd be inclined to believe it is not spam. Mainly because sites designed as hosts for ad-articles/spam don't tend to build up communities or stick around this long (this article is over 2 years old).
But also because the site covers multiple providers, not just this one, sometimes favourably, sometimes not, always without any real benefits to the owner. It does provide a (presumably no longer valid) referral code for the particular service discussed in this one article, but it's an extra click away from this page, and the site goes to very large pains to point out it is a referral code: http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/vpslink-february-sale-and-10-o...
Also, to my knowledge, that is the only time this site has ever used any sort of referral code, and it was fully highlighted and explained. It also wasn't an affiliate code, it could only have been used to cover the site's hosting fees with a service the site owner had been using for the last 5 years.
Basically, it doesn't smell like spam to me. But, I have been enjoying the site for a number of months before it appeared here, so I'm less suspicious.
He also doesn't make money via affiliate deals (only banner sale ads). See http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/advertisement-situation-at-low...
I hope you'll find my account acceptable from the "shill" point of view.
I have bothered to read the site and he makes good points. Thats not the issue. The issue is with the "Title", then article starts with a reference to WebHostingTalk, then near immediately followed with a link his affiliate page -(very cleverly disguised) All of those three things separately are NO BIG DEAL; but all together on HN is very frustrating. The reason for that is because, I have grown to trust HN links and this makes me question that trust. I love HN because of the trust I have for the destination of the links. Post such as these challenge that trust.
You mean the page where he says So, here is a clearly marked affiliation link — do not click on it if you don’t want me to get referral rewards nor 10% off discount :)
I don't think you can get more ethical than that.
All of those three things separately are NO BIG DEAL; but all together on HN is very frustrating
I thought the information was detailed, useful, and I can personally attest to the trustworthiness of the site.
Personally I think this perfect for HN (and given that your account has been registered only ~250 days I think trying to lecture about how bad it is doesn't make much sense).
The problem is not the technical write up.
He said: I am still taking the “no affiliation sales” stance.
He posted that on his page http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/advertisement-situation-at-low...
Which contradicts http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/vpslink-february-sale-and-10-o...
The Ethical debate belongs at a different venue.. but you must concede that these are two conflicting policies. but whatever.. its no big deal. I have no problem with folks making money off affiliate marketing.
-Im not even saying that he has a bad site. or a bad guy. Im not even saying that his post was incorrect. what I am saying is: 1) Provocative Title 2) Immediately references to a sketchy forum 3) affiliate link + ads -- these are usually the signs of link-bait.
*Im not even commenting on the merit of the article or whether it belongs on HN or not.. Im just commenting on how painful it is for me to see it on HN.
You are replying to my post and this is a threaded forum, not Twitter.
1) Provocative Title
If it bleeds it leads. And what would be a better title exactly?
2) Immediately references to a sketchy forum
WebHostingTalk is the biggest forum about webhosting in the world. It's pretty important if you work in that field.
3) affiliate link + ads
Welcome to the internet.
2) Immediately references to a sketchy forum
WebHostingTalk is the biggest forum about webhosting in the world. It's pretty important if you work in that field*
---> That's debatable. I've worked in the web hosting industry for a very long time and I almost never go to that forum unless, im baited to it.
3) affiliate link + ads
Welcome to the internet.
I've got nothing against affiliates, or ads... heck - affiliate marketing is a very important part of the internet marketing ecosystem.
however, the very obvious absence of affiliates or ads on HN makes it a very nice place.
1) Title was written and posted as such to draw flame
2) Post is quickly started with a discount
3) The page is littered with advert
The merit of the technical write up is not in question; its the specific intention to incite controversy. thats the problem.
Its obvious to this crowd that 64mb is plenty to run a 18 Static Sites.
It is the very fact of challenging the ability to run 18 static sites on 64mb via a VPS is ridiculous. Now, if the article asked the question of "how quickly can you max out 64mb VPS and tactics to avoid it" -then, it would be less inflamatory.
As for the $$ im sure he does fine. Affiliate payouts in the webhosting indutry is huge.
I find it highly suspicious that your ACCOUNT STARTED the SAME TIME this was posted.
You are FAR too sensitive to deem comments as an ATTACK on the site; or deem it as non-valid. Frankly, there is nothing for you to defend. As I stated; theres nothing wrong with his technical write-up. I just highly question the motivations of being posted on HN with such a title, promo code, ads, etc.
FRANKLY, what you are doing text book 'Gaming HN'. And Heres WHY: 1) You just started your account today for this post 2) You have your comments upvoted and down vote dissenting comments by your confederates 3) You keep on telling people to go to " BuyVM .net" which by the way has LowEndBox.com as its biggest advocate 4) You have a very intimate knowledge of how LowEndBox operates, (if he does affiliate links, or has a WebHostingTalk account, or if he makes money from his ads) Come on you can tell me if you are Francisco Dias - the guy that runs BuyVM and markets almost exclusively at LowEndBox (You just got caught!)
Please stop trying to Game HN and HN users.
Open community, ne?
"I find it highly suspicious that your ACCOUNT STARTED the SAME TIME this was posted."
Of course, I found that this site/post even existed through a community.
"You are FAR too sensitive to deem comments as an ATTACK on the site; or deem it as non-valid. Frankly, there is nothing for you to defend. As I stated; theres nothing wrong with his technical write-up. I just highly question the motivations of being posted on HN with such a title, promo code, ads, etc."
I'm just defending the 'questionability' part - there is nothing questionable about this article being posted here, nor is it complete spam.
"FRANKLY, what you are doing text book 'Gaming HN'."
It's not a very fun game, if a game at all.
"And Heres WHY: 1) You just started your account today for this post"
Yes. I only found out that this place existed through a community.
"2) You have your comments upvoted and down vote dissenting comments by your confederates"
Sure, someone else might have been voting me up, but I don't have access to downvote anyone. Please try again. (I've also upvoted some other members of HN's group here - eh)
"3) You keep on telling people to go to " BuyVM .net" which by the way has LowEndBox.com as its biggest advocate"
It's only the "biggest advocate" because it won a voting contest - if another company won the vote they would be listed.
"4) You have a very intimate knowledge of how LowEndBox operates, (if he does affiliate links, or has a WebHostingTalk account, or if he makes money from his ads)"
It's kind of easy to figure out if you actually visit the/any site often. Who doesn't make money from ads?
"Come on you can tell me if you are Francisco Dias - the guy that runs BuyVM and markets almost exclusively at LowEndBox (You just got caught!)"
Nope. I'm not Francisco, sorry. I'm just a satisfied client.
"Please stop trying to Game HN and HN users."
There is no "game," sir, I don't know what you're trying to play.