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Hardware Upgrades & DC Transfers - Semi-Dedicated Discussion


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#1 stocktrader

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 07:25 AM

Actually the 1.5TB drives are going to be for the semi-dedicated server believe it or not....We're going to be consolidating the Cypress/Demeter/Gemini down to just Cypress but the huge difference is we'll be going from single quad core (no hyper threading) to Dual Quad core (with hyper threading). The Semi-dedicated server will still have *much* less accounts than our standard shared/reseller offering more headroom and resources while still being quite limited on the account capacity compared to shared/reseller. Even though we'll be doing some combining - performance across the board will still improve.


1. Even though accounts on the new semi-dedicated servers will still have much more resources than the accounts on the shared servers, will the new semi-dedicated have less resources compared to the old semi-dedicated?

2. Since the new semi-dedicated servers will have more accounts, will this increase the risk of a semi-dedicated customer having server problems because of a bad neighbor? Part of the appeal of the old semi-dedicated servers wasn't just the higher resources, but the low number of absolute accounts on each server.
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#2 MikeDVB

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Posted 05 November 2010 - 10:28 AM

1. Even though accounts on the new semi-dedicated servers will still have much more resources than the accounts on the shared servers, will the new semi-dedicated have less resources compared to the old semi-dedicated?

No, resources will not decrease. Disk/Transfer will remain the same and CPU/Ram availability will actually increase as the server will be going from 4x2.4GHz to 16x2.13GHz and 4GB ram to 12GB ram.

2. Since the new semi-dedicated servers will have more accounts, will this increase the risk of a semi-dedicated customer having server problems because of a bad neighbor? Part of the appeal of the old semi-dedicated servers wasn't just the higher resources, but the low number of absolute accounts on each server.

The server, although it will have more accounts than it had previously (around 3 times), around 3.55 more powerful as far as CPU and have 3 times the RAM. The other nice factor is that having more cores will allow more processes to run simultaneously without the system having to queue things up (i.e. load going up) and that the processor cores themselves although are clocked slightly slower - are actually much more efficient. I can tell you that the new semi-dedicated hardware will be much more stable.

We wouldn't make changes if it wasn't for the better and for the improvement of the service, I promise that much.
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#3 TotalZen

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

The server, although it will have more accounts than it had previously (around 3 times),


Let's assume the performance is the same or better, there's still no denying that semi-dedi customers will be 3x more vulnerable to being affected by either a DDOS attack or hardware failure - as compared to before.

What are your thoughts on that Mike?
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#4 MikeDVB

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 07:18 PM

Let's assume the performance is the same or better, there's still no denying that semi-dedi customers will be 3x more vulnerable to being affected by either a DDOS attack or hardware failure - as compared to before.

What are your thoughts on that Mike?

None of our semi-dedicated servers have ever been hit by DoS/DDoS before and having more customers doesn't directly translate to higher hardware failure rates.

Semi-dedicated has always been, and always will be, much lower population than standard servers and as such will always have lower instances of issues that face standard shared customers.

We're providing all of the information that we can so that you will be as comfortable as possible with the upgrades and changes.
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#5 TotalZen

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:12 PM

It simply doesn't make sense to say that a server with 2 accounts is twice as likely to experience hardware failure or a DDoS attack than one that has 1 account and the same applies to 25 vs 50 or 100 vs 200.


Thinking about this some more, I believe you're correct about HW failure rate - that probably wouldn't change (it just means if something did happen, more customers would be affected at the same time, but the likelyhood of a problem wouldn't increase for any given customer.

However Dos/DDos is a different story if my thinking is correct, because you have to measure that as probability of attack per account (not per machine, as you would HW).

IOW, a machine with 1 account cannot possibly have the same rate of attack as a machine with 10,000 accounts.

So to summarize, the rate of HW failure per server remains constant, but the rate of attack per server doesn't.

Anyway, it isn't a big deal at all - just something I was pondering over. The total number of accounts is still way, way smaller than a shared server :)
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#6 MikeDVB

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 08:48 PM

Anyway, it isn't a big deal at all - just something I was pondering over. The total number of accounts is still way, way smaller than a shared server :)

Ok.
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#7 username

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 06:25 PM

My concerns are a bit similar to the last two commentors, but I have a few new ones too.
Given the 3x increase in accounts, isn't a ~3x cpu and ~3x memory increase just breaking even? I realize not all accounts are created equally, but I'd expect resellers to be wanting to push their stuff pretty close to the limit.
Also, how about disk IOPS?

As for the increased risk from 3x as many accounts, are the old servers going to have different IPs on the new combined servers? So that if something bad happens requiring a null route to be applied or someone gets themselves (or gets exploited and ends up) on a spam blacklist, it won't affect any more than it does currently.

Since you are colo-ing instead of leasing, you are responsible for hardware failures now yes? Do you have spare parts at the datacenter, or do they have the correct parts on hand, or do we have to potentially wait for shipping from you or the store to the datacenter?

Also just out of curiosity, is this data center local to you (that would certainly help with the previous scenario), or are you relying on remote help?

Been happy with everything so far, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and hope everything goes smooth.
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#8 MikeDVB

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 06:41 PM

Thread Split
I've moved some of the posts out of the announcement section here as they all seem to be related to semi-dedicated services and servers so I felt this was an appropriate section to discuss those concerns.
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#9 MikeDVB

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 06:48 PM

My concerns are a bit similar to the last two commentors, but I have a few new ones too.
Given the 3x increase in accounts, isn't a ~3x cpu and ~3x memory increase just breaking even?

If they were the same architecture then yes, but it's much newer processors which are much more efficient and can do more work per clock cycle. At the end of the day if you're not happy with the performance on the new server, you're welcome to cancel the service at any time.

I realize not all accounts are created equally, but I'd expect resellers to be wanting to push their stuff pretty close to the limit.

There is no such thing as a reseller on a semi-dedicated server.

Also, how about disk IOPS?

If the server for any reason isn't able to keep up with the IOPS demands of the accounts we'll bring another server offline and split the server down. We'd love to run SAS 15k RPM drives in the semi-dedicated servers however as most of the semi-dedicated customers use 15+ GB each we'd have to double or triple the semi-dedicated pricing to make it feasible.

As for the increased risk from 3x as many accounts, are the old servers going to have different IPs on the new combined servers? So that if something bad happens requiring a null route to be applied or someone gets themselves (or gets exploited and ends up) on a spam blacklist, it won't affect any more than it does currently.

None of our servers are blacklisted, and we've only had one instance of that happening over the last 3 years across all of our hardware. Beyond that - accounts currently on dedicated IPs will be on their own IP and then accounts on shared IPs are going to be spread out over various IPs as not to have an "all your [sites]/eggs in one [IP]/basket" type of situation.

Since you are colo-ing instead of leasing, you are responsible for hardware failures now yes? Do you have spare parts at the datacenter, or do they have the correct parts on hand, or do we have to potentially wait for shipping from you or the store to the datacenter?

We're keeping spare parts on hand at the facility and using 100% enterprise class hardware. The facility can provide us spare hardware if we go through our spare equipment, we would just have to pay them for it.

Also just out of curiosity, is this data center local to you (that would certainly help with the previous scenario), or are you relying on remote help?

It's not local to us however we've negotiated very good remote assistance terms with the facility should it come down to a hardware issue. Beyond that we have KVM on every server so essentially short of pure hardware failure we're capable of being 100% self-sufficient.

Been happy with everything so far, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and hope everything goes smooth.

Sounds good - like I said, you're always welcome to cancel if you're unhappy with the service after the transfer however I would probably wait until then to make that decision :)
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#10 username

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

Thanks for the quick response.

There is no such thing as a reseller on a semi-dedicated server.

Sorry, I thought you said earlier that cypress/demeter/gemini were being consolidtated into one, and demeter is listed as a reseller server on server status page. Having 3x the semi dedicated accounts makes much more sense.

Also sorry if all the questions are getting tiresome, I guess some of us just like to worry :) I'm not really a cancel everything at the drop of a hat type though so unless the crap really hits the fan, looking forward to the new server.
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#11 Blind Bandit

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:06 PM

Thanks for the quick response.

Sorry, I thought you said earlier that cypress/demeter/gemini were being consolidtated into one, and demeter is listed as a reseller server on server status page. Having 3x the semi dedicated accounts makes much more sense.

Also sorry if all the questions are getting tiresome, I guess some of us just like to worry :) I'm not really a cancel everything at the drop of a hat type though so unless the crap really hits the fan, looking forward to the new server.


I doubt Mike minds. its actually good people are asking questions it helps everyone. Just think of all the folks reading these threads but don't want to ask a question for whatever reason. And those that do know its ok to do so and will ask their questions.

Besides I don't think Mike would have left threads unlocked, if he had not intended to answer questions. :)
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#12 MikeDVB

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:24 PM

I doubt Mike minds. its actually good people are asking questions it helps everyone. Just think of all the folks reading these threads but don't want to ask a question for whatever reason. And those that do know its ok to do so and will ask their questions.

Besides I don't think Mike would have left threads unlocked, if he had not intended to answer questions. :)

Exactly, I'd rather you ask and know than not and wonder.
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