Android, Linux, FLOSS etc.

My code

Subscribe to a syndicated RSS feed of my blog.


Fri, 14 Dec 2012

Amazon EC2, Bluehost, Dreamhost

I have been hosting on Dreamhost since 2005. For a $10 a month web hosting service, I have been happy.

Actually, I seem to have been grandfathered in with the monthly $10 rate. I started with a one-year plan in 2005 then moved to monthly. I pay monthly - $10 a month. It appears the monthly rate is now $11 a month with a $50 setup fee. Yearly is $10 a month, two-year is $9 a month.

Problems over the years...NTP was off by a little on my host, but an e-mail to support fixed that. A few times the host was completely unreachable - web servers down, not reachable by ssh. An e-mail fixed that. Sometimes my web logs would become unreadable or stop rotating, an e-mail would fix that.

The main problem I have faced is load averages. I have seen over two hour periods the 15 minute load average staying above 200 - peaking at 261. This on a machine with 4 processor cores. Of course, the machine slows to an absolute crawl when this happens. I have limited access to their machine's /proc directory, so I have no idea what causes these surges. I would say high load averages are my main concern with Dreamhost. As I type, the 15-minute load average is over 18. The machine has 4 processor cores. This has been a problem on Dreamhost since I signed on - in 2005.

One disconcerting thing with Dreamhost is it seems the concern has gone down from the techs over the years. In 2005 and 2006, support jumped on problems. As time went on, support does not respond to high load issues, or tells me factually incorrect information about what a load average is. When I can't access my web logs the way I have for years, but doing a cat, the message is more or less "just live with it" (thankfully, I can once again cat my web logs).

I just signed up with Bluehost in October. I opened the account for the use of one of my Android apps. Which might sound expensive for one app, but that app makes enough every four days to pay for a year's worth of Bluehost service.

With Dreamhost, html directories are all separate, which I like. With bluehost, they're all piled on top of one another, which I dislike.

Bluehost also does not let me run cron jobs. You have to go to the web interface and schedule jobs. I understand in a sense, why they do this, they don't want my account tied to the machine, but if you're going to virtualize scheduled jobs to the web, why not try to virtualize cron as well? I mean, this problem was solved with Unix in the 1970s, why are we going backwards?

I served out 23 gigs worth of files via Bluehost in November without much complaint, so so far, so good.

Amazon EC2

I wanted to pull some epub's from Gutenberg.org. So I signed up with EC2. They make a small credit card withdrawal and also call your phone and you have to type a PIN. In less than an hour, I was all signed up. I spun up a free micro-server on US East and connected to Gutenberg. IP blocked on the first try! Obviously someone before me). So I terminated that instance. So I spun up one from a non-US location. Success! I pulled down a few hundred epub's. Now I'm up to date. I sent an e-mail to Gutenberg.org a month ago and never heard back.

Anyhow, EC2 seemed cool. I have heard people talk about how cheap web hosting (and databases, and application servers) is getting, but I didn't really get how cheap. Or understand how easy it is to dial up an account from a small web server to one handling many hits. EC2's pay for what you use service, with reasonable prices, works great for me. I'm sure I will be looking more at it in the future.

[/vendors] permanent link