How the heck do they do it?

I’m curious, is anyone else wondering how DreamHost can offer 20GB of disk space and 1TB of transfer along with unlimited domains? Aren’t people just reselling even the most basic DreamHost packages? Will attracting heavy disk and bandwidth users hurt those people who don’t use much?

Did you guys just look at the stats and realize almost no one uses even a fraction of their transfer and space so you can bump it up really high and use it as a selling point?

Of course I’m really happy - not complaining, just curious about the game plane. I figure you’re just using the insane value for money and you’re leading the way and building market share. The only thing thing that remotely bothers me was that outage during the last LA power outage - anything shaking with making sure that never happens again?

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They can do it because they rate site traffic on CPU usage rather than bandwidth usage. In order to use the bandwidth allocated to you, you’d have to use up significantly more CPU-time than is allowed. That’s the “catch.”

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I doubt that I’ll ever use a fraction of what is included, even though one of my sites has relatively high traffic. Headline numbers attract power users, and power users tend to spend more money on extras like IP addresses and SSLs.

I’d like to see a shift of focus toward offering new and improved features (which DreamHost is already very good at), now that disk space and bandwidth have epic totals.

Simon Jessey
Keystone Websites (business site) | si-blog (personal site with affiliate links)

Simple data transfers probably do not use much CPU time, because the are more constrained by I/O. It’s all the CGI, PHP, MySQL, … stuff that consumes CPU time.

The real “catch” is that to the extent customers make use of the increased space, they are more likely to stick with DH because moving all that data to another company would be painful.

I’m pretty sure I could continuously stream 3Mbit/s without using much CPU - that kind of load hardly makes a blip on my home server. The reality is you’ll always be sharing the pipe with other people so it would be hard to ever reach that amount except for bursts.

I think the real trick is that 1TB/month means - if you can use that much its included, but hah just try it! Kinda like the free 48 oz steak - if you eat it all in one go!

But the reality is even at 500GB or 200GB or heck even 120GB per month it was a 'king great deal!

As for disk space - well lets face it, disk space retail is significantly less than $1G per GB, probably in the vast quantities DreamHost use its more like $0.50 per GB.

As the DreamHost blog mentions, their biggest expense is power and machines consume a certain amount of power regardless of whether their bandwidth pipes or disks are empty. So its in DH’s best interests to ensure ever shared host machine is as jammed packed with users as possible. Every minute they are running less than 100% CPU is another minute a less than the ideal customer to power consumption per server ratio.