VPS metrics bogus, overpaying?

vps

#1

Hi All. I’ve been with dreamhost since 2004 or so. I had shared hosted for a long time. Based on the metrics that I was receiving from Dreamhost, when their new VPS server came out some years ago, I jumped on the bandwagon. I am running a vb4 website/forum and have relatively low traffic I would say.

Again, based on the statistics data I was getting from dreamhost, allegedly my site was too much for shared hosting, and I was happy to upgrade to VPS. Thoughtout my time on VPS I went through several resource upgrades, and had two VPS machines. One for my web front end, and one for the mysql database. My total cost was about 40-50 dollars per month, plus the 120/yr shared hosting fees.

Recently Amazon and their AWS department launched cheap VPS machines. I could potentially cut my costs in half, if not moreso. So I packed my stuff and went to amazon. For 10 bucks a month. That gets me 1 vCPU and 1 GB of RAM, and 30 gb of SSD storage. Doesn’t seem like enough based on all the resources dreamhost was telling me I was using.

What is annoying is this. I built my ubuntu LAMP stack from the ground up, hardened it, combined mysql with my web front end, and I am taking a whopping 8 GB of disk space, and rarely breaking 10% CPU. I am regularly at about 50% RAM utilization.

I want to say my Mysql server ALONE had 700 MB RAM, and even just the other day while I was closing services from my dreamhost panel, my Mysql server was at 75% resource utilization! After all my sites had been moved and the servers werent doing anything! Of course I sent support a note, but I got a form letter answer…my question and discussion is this…should I go back and try and recoup some of my lost money!!! Clearly the figures were botched and made up from the DH side, and I never needed as much resources as they were telling me I did.

I’m likely just going to let it go, but I want it known that their stats are bogus.


#2

This is quite strange, sorry you had such bad surprise.

Let me start by saying that AWS and DreamHost VPS are two radically different beasts: on AWS you (most likely) run a ‘vanilla’ Ubuntu Linux distribution, with the default packages and your own hardening/customizations. You can fine tune your own AWS Ubuntu instance to run exclusively what you need, and remove everything else. The drawback of all this freedom is that you have the responsibility to keep your installation up to date, secure and functioning across time.

DreamHost VPS instead offers you custom packages and a restricted sets of configuration options: these are all designed for ease of use and security, with an extensive focus on long term maintenance. With DreamHost VPS you don’t have to think about upgrading your base system because all of that is done by DreamHost staff. All these customizations may add some overhead that may cause the difference in resource utilization that you see. For example, DreamHost SQL VPS makes extensive use of sql query caching and that alone may cause the difference in RAM utilization you see.

Comparisons like this are hard to make since DreamHost VPS and virtual instances like AWS or even our own DreamCompute are totally different beasts. If you have more doubts, please open a ticket (or re-open one) or share more details here on how your applications are configured.


#3

Yeah, I’m not doubting that dreamhost has a lot of extra features. Believe me, the unlimited diskspace and bandwidth are two huge ones. That said, extra cost yielding extra features is just fine with me. In this case, I think the platform, the panel, and all the automation etc, is accounted for in the 120/yr annual fees. The VPS fees should really be used for your site. There shouldn’t be the overhead I was seeing at 75% (AFTER moving my sites off)…that’s unreasonable.

We’ll see how AWS does, but yes your points are all accurate. I probably had a TB of data consumption on my sql backups alone…that will be missed.


#4

I admit, the overhead you see feels a bit too much and I wonder what that is… Unfortunately I can’t tell without diving much deeper and I’m not sure it’s worth it, since you seem to have found a decent solution.

One other option that I can suggest you is to check DreamCompute, if you’re concerned about AWS unpredictable bills: DreamCompute is in many ways similar to AWS in the sense that you can create VMs with the latest Ubuntu (or any other Linux distribution) and configure them as you prefer. DreamCompute instances are not managed by DreamHost, you get the same packages you get on AWS. Pricing on DreamCompute is predictable, there is plenty of free storage included in the price and bandwidth is still free (no plans have been announced yet on the pricing). Details on https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/217744568-What-is-DreamCompute-Predictable-Bill

If you’re interested in testing DreamCompute send me an email and I’ll give you free credit to try things out.