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Shared Vs. Semi Dedicated


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#1 Blind Bandit

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:23 PM

I know I already talked to mike about this. But I thought sense I had more questions and I didn't wanna bug mike with email. I should post my questions here and possibly help others who may also have questions


How many simultaneous connections are allowed on each shared vs semi-dedicated? For instance members logging into a chat room or onto a forum?

What kind of site would should be using semi -ded over shared?

Are CPU and other resource limits higher than shared?

For someone looking at both when should someone consider going strait to semi-dedicated over shared?

Will uptime better on semi dedicated?

Will general performance be better?

In general which is a better deal? And why should someone go with semi-dedicated?

I'm running a forum and I was curious generally if running a light weight script such as SMF how big could a forum get with shared. I know this has to deal with many factors but I'm curious about how long a forum could stay on shared? Is it more about posts or number of connections?


I know these are rather open ended and general but I've thinking about this for a bit and trying to see if I need semi dedicated hosting or if shared will work. I'm sure I've already asked a few of these before but I'm just trying to get a better feel if semi-dedicated is the right choice or not?
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#2 MikeDVB

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 02:36 PM

How many simultaneous connections are allowed on each shared vs semi-dedicated? For instance members logging into a chat room or onto a forum?

If you mean simultaneous database connections, it is set to 50 on both shared and semi-dedicated servers. If you don't mean database connections, then you would need to clarify your question a bit.

What kind of site would should be using semi -ded over shared?

Generally to be honest, most web sites will run just fine on the shared hosting platform and do not require semi-dedicated service. The primary reasons for going semi-dedicated are higher resource usage needs such as a tremendously busy dynamic site, you require more disk space or transfer than a regular shared plan can realistically support, or FFMPEG support for sites such as YouTube clones. There are of course other reasons for going with a semi-dedicated plan but these are just some of the top reasons.


Are CPU and other resource limits higher than shared?

There are limits set on our shared servers but there are no hard limits set on the semi-dedicated servers. When you only share the server with 24 other individuals you will generally have access to a much higher amount of resources than would traditionally be possible on shared hosting. We monitor all of our servers to ensure a high level of service and uptime and generally as long as you don't slow the server down overall or cause it to crash you'll be fine.

For someone looking at both when should someone consider going strait to semi-dedicated over shared?

Generally when you know that your site has outgrown the normal limits of a shared hosting account. People are often shocked when we don't try to talk them into a semi-dedicated account. If you require FFMPEG, or your site is highly resource intensive or just purely very very busy then we would recommend semi-dedicated hosting but for the average web site regular shared hosting will work just fine.

Will uptime better on semi dedicated?

Theoretically, yes. When you share the server with less people there is a much smaller chance that one of those individuals will overload the server or crash the server. We monitor our servers carefully to ensure that these situations do not cause major issues and we resolve them as soon as possible whether it is on a shared or a semi-dedicated server.

Will general performance be better?

Semi-dedicated servers are generally very "unloaded" as compared to the regular shared servers that are loaded quite a bit. We don't overload our shared servers or push them past their limits but generally the semi-dedicated servers sit going largely unused which is good because when you need to use the resources, they are available for you.

In general which is a better deal? And why should someone go with semi-dedicated?

It largely depends on what you plan to do. If you are going to be hosting a web site that is very bandwidth intensive or resource intensive the semi-dedicated plans would be your best option but if you don't need the extra power/space/bandwidth than a regular shared hosting plan should suit your needs just fine.

I'm running a forum and I was curious generally if running a light weight script such as SMF how big could a forum get with shared. I know this has to deal with many factors but I'm curious about how long a forum could stay on shared? Is it more about posts or number of connections?

It's more about simultaneous users, you could have a forum with 15,000 users but only have 15~30 people on the forum online at any given time and you would be fine but you could have a forum with only 500 members and 300+ online at any given time and have issues. It also depends on what modifications you are using and what settings you are using. Generally most forums are fine on shared hosting and should a forum outgrow regular shared hosting the plan can be upgraded to a semi-dedicated plan almost seamlessly.


I know these are rather open ended and general but I've thinking about this for a bit and trying to see if I need semi dedicated hosting or if shared will work. I'm sure I've already asked a few of these before but I'm just trying to get a better feel if semi-dedicated is the right choice or not?

Looking at your forum on ProBoards I'd say that you honestly would be fine on regular shared hosting. Whether or not you want to take the step up to semi-dedicated would be a decision that is totally up to you.
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#3 Blind Bandit

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 08:19 PM

If you mean simultaneous database connections, it is set to 50 on both shared and semi-dedicated servers. If you don't mean database connections, then you would need to clarify your question a bit.


Yes that's what I was asking thank you mike.



There are limits set on our shared servers but there are no hard limits set on the semi-dedicated servers. When you only share the server with 24 other individuals you will generally have access to a much higher amount of resources than would traditionally be possible on shared hosting. We monitor all of our servers to ensure a high level of service and uptime and generally as long as you don't slow the server down overall or cause it to crash you'll be fine.


Oh OK thanks I was just curious as this wasn't as clear.

Just for example if someone did really slow the down the sever would they be asked to upgraded or something of that sort?

Generally when you know that your site has outgrown the normal limits of a shared hosting account. People are often shocked when we don't try to talk them into a semi-dedicated account. If you require FFMPEG, or your site is highly resource intensive or just purely very very busy then we would recommend semi-dedicated hosting but for the average web site regular shared hosting will work just fine.


Hmmm that would make sense. What is FFMPEG?

Another question is bandwidth\ counted as in/out total or in/ out independently counted?

Theoretically, yes. When you share the server with less people there is a much smaller chance that one of those individuals will overload the server or crash the server. We monitor our servers carefully to ensure that these situations do not cause major issues and we resolve them as soon as possible whether it is on a shared or a semi-dedicated server.


So I wouldn't' be receiving a large up time hit by going with shared?

Semi-dedicated servers are generally very "unloaded" as compared to the regular shared servers that are loaded quite a bit. We don't overload our shared servers or push them past their limits but generally the semi-dedicated servers sit going largely unused which is good because when you need to use the resources, they are available for you.


So basically more burst able resources?

It largely depends on what you plan to do. If you are going to be hosting a web site that is very bandwidth intensive or resource intensive the semi-dedicated plans would be your best option but if you don't need the extra power/space/bandwidth than a regular shared hosting plan should suit your needs just fine.


thanks for clarifying that. Its a little hard sometimes gauge how much you really need.

I think sometimes we over buy for something we may not need in the fear that a customer will hit the limit without realizing it.

It's more about simultaneous users, you could have a forum with 15,000 users but only have 15~30 people on the forum online at any given time and you would be fine but you could have a forum with only 500 members and 300+ online at any given time and have issues. It also depends on what modifications you are using and what settings you are using. Generally most forums are fine on shared hosting and should a forum outgrow regular shared hosting the plan can be upgraded to a semi-dedicated plan almost seamlessly.


How would database size factor into this?


Looking at your forum on ProBoards I'd say that you honestly would be fine on regular shared hosting. Whether or not you want to take the step up to semi-dedicated would be a decision that is totally up to you.


Oh that's great, I may just start on shared and see how it goes.

I'm still trying to decide the forum software that I will use but I'm mostly thinking SMF or MyBB. But I'm still going over my options. Right now if I go with SMF it will have several mods and Mybb I'm not sure.

One more question if I were to go from shared to semi dedicated I would pay a fee for the move.

Thanks a lot mike for answering all of these. I'm sorry it took so long to get back to this thread. I've sat down to answer it several times but other items distracted me.
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#4 MikeDVB

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 06:16 PM

I somehow missed the topic reply notification, been very busy lately so I apologize for the delayed response.

Oh OK thanks I was just curious as this wasn't as clear.

Just for example if someone did really slow the down the sever would they be asked to upgraded or something of that sort?

It greatly depends, if it's a poorly coded script or there is any way to reduce the overall load (such as enabling caching in the script itself) then we can often alleviate the load without having the user upgrade to a dedicated server. There are some cases where you simply outgrow shared hosting (including semi-dedicated) where you would need to move to a dedicated server but generally by the time this happens the client has the ability to afford a low end dedicated server. We won't force you out but we also can't let you use a majority of the server resources a majority of the time.

Hmmm that would make sense. What is FFMPEG?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ffmpeg
FFMPEG is a server-side API that allows you to convert/compress video on the server and is used generally for video share sites such as YouTube clones and other plugins like the video plugin for Drupal. This way you or your users can upload any type of video file they want and it will be converted to a standard format that can be streamed out to visitors.

Another question is bandwidth\ counted as in/out total or in/ out independently counted?

It's in+out total. So if you have an allotment of 100gb/month you can use 90gb out and 10gb in or 65gb out and 45gb before you run into any sort of overages. Many companies say with 100gb/month would say you can only use 50in/50out but we believe this is terribly unfair and misleading as usually 85% of your traffic is going to be outgoing except in certain cases where you allow users to upload files.

So I wouldn't' be receiving a large up time hit by going with shared?

No, as it stands we have 99.99% uptime across the board on all of our servers. I was merely stating that the more people you share a server with the more likely it is that one user will do something to overload the server. The same thing goes with your vehicle, if you have 18 wheels instead of just 4 you are much more likely to get a flat as you have more tires that could potentially go flat. I hope that analogy helps.

So basically more burst able resources?

Not so much more burstable resources, but more resources you can use *all the time*. If you think of resources on a server as a pie, and you only get a piece of that pie to use for yourself all the time, here is how they would compare (roughly):
Posted Image
Semi-Dedicated (the blue slice is yours)
Posted Image
Shared (the blue slice is yours)

thanks for clarifying that. Its a little hard sometimes gauge how much you really need.

I think sometimes we over buy for something we may not need in the fear that a customer will hit the limit without realizing it.

You are right, in most cases a client will order a bigger package "just in case" but you can upgrade your package at any time and you would only pay the pro-rated difference for the time remaining on your account. If you sign up for 3 months of shared basic hosting and you decide to move to intermediate after one month you would only need to pay the difference between the two plans for the next to months. If you needed to go from quarterly to monthly however you would have to contact us for us to make this change manually.

How would database size factor into this?

Database size is generally not a major factor when it comes to hosting a forum unless you allow large uploads. Databases store information efficiently and it's very unlikely that you will find hosting that will not be able to house your database. You will most likely experience resource usage issues long before your database becomes too large for shared hosting.

Oh that's great, I may just start on shared and see how it goes.

That would probably be a wise decision and I think that you will find that shared hosting will be good for you for quite some time. You can upgrade to Semi-Dedicated at any time if you decide to do so however it is not an instantaneous change as we would have to actually relocate your account from one physical server to another. We are very good at transferring accounts and generally can manage to do it transparently to your website visitors in most cases.

I'm still trying to decide the forum software that I will use but I'm mostly thinking SMF or MyBB. But I'm still going over my options. Right now if I go with SMF it will have several mods and Mybb I'm not sure.

I've never used MyBB (even as a web browser) however I have used SMF and the only thing I don't like about SMF is the logo/icons on the board index but those should be easy enough to change and that's just me being picky.

One more question if I were to go from shared to semi dedicated I would pay a fee for the move.

The transfer would be free, you would just have to pay the pro-rated difference of the cost of the service for the time remaining in your billing cycle.

Thanks a lot mike for answering all of these. I'm sorry it took so long to get back to this thread. I've sat down to answer it several times but other items distracted me.

No problem, I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you getting back to me.
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