I have a VPS hosting a few WordPress sites but the MySQL databases are in shared space. Does anyone here have any thoughts on how to determine when you need to switch to a MySQL VPS?
Unless you can pinpoint db latency as a bottleneck I don’t think you’d notice too much difference from a user perspective.
(Historically) the shared SQL is a good option for VPS even 'tho the word “shared” is often interpreted as “slower”. The database servers have much faster drives than the local disks and are optimised specifically for the task. Having said that, it might be a case that the VPS SQL has moved onto faster drives as well now. AndrewF would be your goto guy for all the ins and outs regarding the current specs.
Elle and Ipstenu have also answered questions super fast regarding current server specifications, too! So add them to your goto girls list
MySQL VPS is, and has always been, on different hardware than normal web VPS. I’m not 100% certain exactly what it looks like, but it’s generally similar to the hardware we use for other MySQL servers — small but extremely fast disks, basically. Since you are sharing the hardware with a lot fewer other customers on MySQL VPS, it performs quite a bit better across the board, and will improve performance for pretty much any site that uses MySQL to any nontrivial degree.
This might be a little too basic, but in case it helps someone:
Be aware that it can happen that you VPS is in a different data center than the (shared) Mysql server (Los Angeles / Virginia). In this case, of course, the performance will suffer a lot. It happened to me, after migrating from shared to PS.
You can check this (and ask for consolidation) in the control panel (Status->Data Center)
For what it’s worth, we’ve made some changes such that this should no longer happen for new VPS deployments.
I know you posed this question a long time ago, but I’m actually curious… did you move to a MySQL VPS? And how’d it work out for you? I’m running into the same questions you had… “do I even need a MySQL VPS? and if so, how big?”.