Anyone who has a website today wishes to be on the leading edge of the internet; however, without a right and proper distinction, it is hardly possible for your business to get that needed attention. An appropriate web hosting makes it feasible for those who have a website of their own to get it noticed by the ever-growing number of the internet users worldwide. An accurate web hosting goes a long way in publicizing your brand and making it accessible to those who are in need of the products and services offered by your business domain.
Beware the promise of unlimited bandwidth! The hawkers promising unlimited bandwidth seem to have dwindled, especially in the dedicated server arena; a quick Google search revealed fewer providers promising unlimited bandwidth for dedicated servers at outrageously cheap prices.
They more often come now not promising unlimited bandwidth but absurdly high bandwidth- intimations of 5000GB+ bandwidth for pennies(Well, not pennies, but you get the idea)! While it is true that bandwidth pricing has gone down in recent years, it’s still not a bargain basement commodity. Most of the money you pay for a dedicated server, in fact, goes to bandwidth- a quick look at Gigenet’s price breakdown, for example, reveals that most of your money goes to bandwidth. Each 1000GB of bandwidth is 100$ pricier, with unmetered 100Mbps weighing in at a hefty 1000$ per month!
There are two types of people when it comes to server performance: There are the benchmark/log/process manager people who studiously scrutinize everything from how often a machine to pages to the load per core on a machine, and there are the more laid-back folks who use the rather practical and somewhat easier benchmark of “If it hasn’t started to show a performance hit, don’t worry about it”. If you’ve been a frequent reader of the blog, you may be expecting my tried and true “Well… you should be somewhere in the middle…”
Surprise! I side with the practical guys on this one. I’ve heard the arguments for obsessive monitoring of a server to gauge its performance, but such monitoring should be a secondary measure. I don’t intend to say that it’s wrong, because it isn’t; process and resource management is an important thing no matter how you slice it, and you should always have someone or something looking out for it.
When it comes to server performance, however, setting arbitrary benchmarks as markers to your server’s performance isn’t exactly the most useful thing to be doing with your time. In a production environment, the biggest concerns you should have are stability and speed, in that order; if a server’s performance has been and continues to be stable and fast, just keep an eye on it and let it alone.
Don’t obsess over reducing the load per core by .5 or whatever you might think is a proper performance benchmark; as long as there’s no noticeable slowdown, you’ve done a good job so far (For, as we know, a server admin’s job is never done…)