Qualtiy of VPS service

Hi All,

I was wondering if VPS users could give a little feedback on how the service has been: uptime, any problem changing CPU and Memory, price compared to other VPS providers.

Thanks, mark

Hi Mark,

I can’t really give you that much feedback, but what I know I’ll provide… :slight_smile:

I’ve been on Dreamhost PS since August. You should know that it’s not a true VPS and is more like a hybrid managed hosting + VPS. You don’t get root but you do get shell access and you do get all the managed hosting features of a shared account like a nice panel, the one-click installs, etc.

I’ve only changed my CPU and memory once and it wasn’t by much. It worked but now I’ve switched back to the original level. (I guess that means that I’ve actually switched twice) I’m guessing that you’re wondering about big changes in CPU and memory limits that might affect your ability to be on a particular server. Unfortunately, I don’t have much experience with that.

Uptime has been fine. It’s improved significantly in that I don’t run into the “busy server” problem from having a runaway neighbor, I’m still affected by DNS issues. With the DNS issues I at least know that I don’t have to do too much checking up on my notification logs because DreamHost is always right on top of those kinds of systemwide problems.

The price is right to me - even though I imagine that there are competitors in the space, I haven’t found one that matches ease of use if you don’t want to have to manage everything yourself and the steadiness and dedicated resources available on Dreamhost PS.

Apologies if this sounds too one-sided or if it reads like ad copy, but I’m pretty happy. The one area for improvement is better handling of DNS or anything that would prevent or mitgate against the switch failure from earlier this autumn.

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Thanks for the info, appreciate you taking time to write up your thoughts!


If you researching into other solutions I would like to hear it too.

I´ve been using Dreamhost PS for a month or so, I don´t know anything about VPSs, and I´m happy to learn from this thread that Dreamhost´s solution shares the managed account part, I definitely need that.

I´m actually quite suprised by how much memory I need to allocated for my sites (400 at the moment) which makes for a quite expensive solution.

I guess my options are:
-move my non critical sites to another account

  • switch back to shared (it was slow but at least it didn´t return error messages)
  • find a cheaper solution somewhere else

On the last option, I heard people talking about Media Temple´s grid service. It costs only 20/month.

Any thought would be appreciated.

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What kinds of webapps are you running and how much traffic are you getting?

This is the current top choice for myself. I’m within the limits of the cheapest PS level, but my sites are totally minimal wordpress apps. I could see that if I had a bulletin board or an active gallery site, I’d be pushing the limits up.

This is also an option I would consider. You have to tradeoff the more reliable performance against the guaranteed resources.

It’s a bit of a hassle, but you could consider getting another cheap shared hosting account at another hosting provider and do your first option of having one PS account and one regular shared hosting account, but at another provider. It’s much more of a hassle because you have to get used to two different providers and chances are you’ll have to deal with the evil cpanel filesystem setup, but it does give you two redundant hosts.

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I have various sites, mostly static, two very limited traffic wordpress blogs, and 3 gallery instalations but with minimal traffic.

I’m looking into Media temple’s grid option, instead of a shared account in DH.


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Hmm. I wonder what’s causing your problem. I have two blogs, a media wiki, and a gallery. All very low traffic. All comfortably running under the minimum plan. I do have everything set to maximum caching and with a minimum of plugins.

I have to admit to being intrigued by their technology as well. One thing I couldn’t quite figure out is when you’d be charged more for additional grid resources. Do you have any idea about that?

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Seems like there’s a lot of optimization to be done, I have to look into that.

As for Media Temple, seems like they created some sort of unit and there’s some fancy report system to keep track of it.

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My understanding is that the grid service comes with the equivalent of 10% of one processor for one month. Which they call 1000 GPUs. Any usage over that is $.10/GPU or about $10/extra percentage you use.

Is that what other people can decipher from their site?

1% of one of our processors is 20 Mhz or $2. Note that the $2 also buys you 20MB of memory. Their container comes with “64 MB Ruby/Mongrel container” for the $20 price. I can’t seem to find what the 256MB and 1GB versions they mention cost or if they come with more GPUs. So if you are having trouble staying with 400MB of memory/400MHz or 20% of a processor, I doubt a 64MB/10% container is going to do better for you.

Your cheapest option long term may be to better optimize your web sites.

To give you an example, a single one of our panel machines uses about 2GB of memory with an average load of about half a processor and serves something like 25,000 panel pages a day. These are all database generated pages, nothing cached. So you really don’t need massive resources even for a heavily used dynamic app if you spend the time to optimize your code.

Ahh. But not everyone is as extraordinarily talented as the DreamHost Team Wot Built The Panel.

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Yeah, um… I’d guess that if your current hosting requires that you have a 400MB/400Mhz level of service at Dreamhost that you’ll need approximately the same amount at Mediatemple. I couldn’t find any information on memory limitations at Mediatemple but I can’t imagine they don’t track or limit it in any way. Actually, I can believe that they can’t track it but I definitely don’t believe they don’t limit it.

The Ruby/Mongrel container doesn’t apply to Apache/PHP hosting. It’s just their special way of handling Ruby apps because their default solution for Apache/PHP clustering doesn’t work for Ruby apps.

After having wasted an hour trying to figure out exactly what memory limits are imposed at for their GS service and getting nowhere, I’m giving up. I’d advise the OP to contact MT’s technical support folks with your application requirements. I’ll just note that MT’s dv service gives you 256 MB of memory for $50 a month.

Disclaimer: I don’t work for dreamhost, so don’t take what I say as representing them in any way.

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Any tips for Dreamhost will gladly heard. Btw, the panel is make up of Perl right ? And how bout this forum ? Is it using a single machine also ?


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The OP says that he has a few static sites, a couple of wordpress blogs, and 3 gallery installations:

Practically speaking, I don’t think there’s any optimization that he can do related to programming unless he’s going to magically start contributing to the WordPress and Gallery projects.

As I’ve said earlier in the thread (I think), I’ve had a lot of success in managing the resource requirements of my PS site by eliminating unnecessary plugins and by maximizing the caching. This really does help in managing site load - particularly for unregistered casual visitors.

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The panel is load balanced across many machines, those stats are just for a single one of the lot. The discussion forum is load balanced across many machines as well, but I am not sure the exact stats as it is mixed in with many other services.

To optimize the panel we track execution and load times from within the code and also using firebug for firefox which will give you load time stats for each element in your page. We also track from within the code a list of all sql queries made and how long each one took to execute. Perl has good profiling tools that will give you a break down of execution time per function as well.

Once you find out where most of the time is being spent in your code (which is almost always not where you expected) you optimize that area and repeat.