Hyper Speed MySQL Databases

The last several months we have been feverishly testing many different hardware server configurations trying to squeeze every last bit of performance from each of them. One of our main focuses have been towards improving MySQL performance and segregating MySQL users resources from one another so that a user that is abusing the system wont’ affect others on the same server.

The software side of this equation and related custom MySQL patches that make it happen will follow in a few days on this blog along with GPLed source code to help out. However, for this entry I want to focus on the hardware side of things.

How have we increased performance on the hardware side? We are putting in SSDs of course! SSDs or solid state drives have been getting a lot of attention lately – and rightly so! They are EXTREMELY fast. The problem with SSDs are that many aren’t compatible with certain raid controllers, many are slow, and many have extreme write delays. The ones we use have none of these problems. Even random writes which is typically the slowest stat for SSDs outperform any regular platter based drive we have ever tested.

To illustrated how fast our software and hardware combination is compared to just a few months ago I took a server with 500 clients on it and benchmarked it in every way I could. We then took five of these servers and combined ALL the users onto a single new server with our new platform with the SSD and MySQL caching system. With 2,500 users on a single system you would think MySQL would fall flat on its face. Instead it is anywhere from 5x to 100x faster in our multiuser environment.

MySQL used to be the number one process (and corresponding threads) with blocked I/O on our system in a 24 hour period. This had always been the case. On one of our new systems it doesn’t even show up in the top ten. It really is that much faster!

The only downside is that very few of our server setups have our hardware/software MySQL combination rolled out. We are ready to begin rolling this out to most of our servers over the next 2-3 weeks. For those users on servers that can’t be upgraded to this new system you will be migrated to new systems that can take advantage of this setup.

With a MAJOR bandwidth upgrade happening next week, the rollout of our new MySQL solution, and MANY custom kernel patches things are about to get a lot faster and a lot more stable!

I know for many of our users that were originally migrated from our old system to our new system that it was a painful process riddled with downtime. I am so sorry for those issues. The testing process we used was sorely lacking – the responsibility was mine and I fell short for those users. The migration process should be MUCH smoother going forward. If it is any consolation, all of the users that were migrated to our new system will be the first to get the benefit of the new super fast database implementation.

Thanks for supporting Bluehost and Hostmonster!

Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com – Hostmonster.com

41 Responses to “Hyper Speed MySQL Databases”

  1. Hyper Speed MySQL Databases…

    The last several months we have been feverishly testing many different hardware server configurations trying to squeeze every last bit of performance from each of them. One of our main focuses have been towards improving MySQL performance and segregat…

  2. Harley says:

    Perhaps you can’t say, but what SSDs are you using? I hope you are using RAID 5 and have adequately testied at length against corruption of data and/or failures. Also, I feel sorry for your pocket book since I am assuming to get the performance numbers you are excited about you probably succumbed to the marketing genius of P.W. from STEC. Take any thing and distribute them with highly parallel components, add lots of RAM and a battery backup and you can sell to high end customers also. Sure there are cases where this makes sense but only if capacity was not your constraint and weighing TCO and overall system costs still get you a better deal. I know latency is still a concern with disk but wonder what your perf stats are on systems such as XIV or the RAMSANs. Anyway, congrats on pushing constantly on performance. Don’t forget that we customers want you to still keep in mind the overall system costs and don’t think you can convince us that you somehow achieved the sweet spot of price/performance and are running with enterprise SSDs at this point. If you have, then please share. Keep pressing on. You’re doing a great job!
    – H –

  3. Awesome! Love your service and appreciate you keeping us current via your blog.


  4. […] ?Matt Theaton (BlueHost?HostMonster?CEO) ??????????????MySQL????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? […]

  5. Steve Mazur says:

    This sounds awesome, Matt!

    I have been considering a VPS solution that I had thought that HM would have in place but maybe this will save the day?

    You guys have been great to me since I started with HM and I want to stick around, so long as my DB volume won’t crash the server.

    Best support I have had for hosting in 12 years!



  6. Angel says:

    Excelent, I upgrade my service (CPU), with this upgrade and the mysql upgrade I think that Bluehost really obtain a great advantage over the host industry

  7. Tony says:

    Hi Matt, had to call online support today! What a good response 15 seconds! (Friday 15 Nov 9:40pm) I had noticed some slowdown and checked status which reported a disk space issue. Whilst I was waiting for the message to be typed by support my website came good. Anyway seems to be running very fast now so maybe my server was being upgraded or migrated. Total time with support 4 mins. Fantastic!

    Thanks! Tony

  8. […] Click here to read the entire article! […]

  9. Jonathan says:

    Is there any way to know if we already are, or when we will be migrated? You can also do a very small thing to help us Rails users GREATLY. Install phusion passenger. Rails + FastCGI is TERRIBLE.

  10. Rishi says:

    Thanks for the update, Matt! Looking forward to taking advantage of the new caching system. :-)

  11. vince says:

    I’m finally glad to hear about these improvements. I got a few clients to switch and their sites have been plagued with slow response times and horrible network connectivity. We’ll see that this week has in store.

  12. Charles Peng says:

    Awesome. Bluehost is a very goods hosting service that I had never seen, I am using it, it’s so great.

  13. xp163.info says:

    this really great news, but just hope that you won’t start putting many more clients onto a single server because of this MySQL performance improvement.

  14. Dain Berrett says:


    I’ve used Bluehost now for a couple of years and love it. But this is the first time I’ve heard of Host Monster. What is the difference between the two? Are you planning on eventually merging Bluehost into Host Monster?

  15. Rishi says:

    Hey Matt! Does BlueHost plan on implementing a PHP caching system (ie, eAccelerator) anytime soon?

  16. Kirk M says:

    This is great news indeed. And by the looks of my cPanel it seems that at least the MySQL DB has recently been updated. Unfortunately, my server (box 189) has been overloaded (40 to 50 CPU’s worth) about 40% of the time since then (the past 3 days) which also means I haven’t been able to access my two, fully cached, up to date, WordPress powered sites either. Before the the update things were working fine.

    Box 189 has had a bad record of uptime ever since that major upgrade that was conducted at or near the beginning of this year with a complete corruption and subsequent rebuild of the server with a 3 day downtime shortly after that aforementioned upgrade occurred.

    Perhaps they’re still working on it?

  17. Rishi says:

    Hey Matt,
    Can we can an update when all the servers have been updated? Thanks! :-)

  18. Mike Vail says:

    Greetings Matt. I first wanted to tell you that I’ve been a Hostmonster customer for over 1 year now and love the service. I migrated 3 websites to Hostmonster from another hosting company that provided terrible service, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

    Unfortunately, one of my domains, boomservers.com, was one of the domains you personally flagged and disabled for excessive MySql operations. I am a very basic user and had no idea a statistics program (Psychostats) I was running for my gameservers was having such an impact on your servers and other customers. Had I known or been notified of the problem, I would have disabled the system immediately. Instead the account was disabled and I’ve been told I need to look for another provider.

    I can imagine how busy you are, but I’m hoping you can take just a moment to review my account and allow me to stay with your company. I don’t want to move my hosting services and I’m sure after you review my history you will see I’m a dedicated customer who would never knowingly abuse your services.

    My business has been effectively brought to its knees as a result of the account being disabled and your consideration would be greatly appreciated.

    Mike Vail

  19. Amapola says:

    I had noticed some performance issues on one account I help out with which was resolved. This must be the reason why.

    Things have been running great lately.

    Speaking of upgrades, I would like to make one suggestion. I don’t expect to get something for nothing. If people could at least pay to upgrade their SSL certificates to use them as a shared certificate, that would be great.


    Having to buy a separate account dedicated IP and SSL certificate for each account to use the certificate on is expensive and way too big of a pain.

    I have 7+ domain names on my account, and would like to use the SSL certificate on a few of them. The ability to use a shared certificate would also make it so I don’t have to wipe out my entire account in order to use the SSL certificate on the site I want to use it on.

    It looks like some hosting services allow this option.

    Please take this into consideration.

  20. sean.ray says:

    Great service from bluehost, and I have one question here is that, is there any plan for bluehost or hostmonster to provide vps hosting?

  21. Let’s hope the migration goes smoothly and all BH users can enjoy the benefits of the MySQL upgrade soon.

  22. ketyung says:

    Hi Matt,

    This sounds great, if we all get migrated to servers with SSD that boosts MySQL performance. My blog on Bluehost’s box234 used to get hit by MySQL performance issues, although I’ve used wp super cache to get it automatically generating static pages to reduce the frequency of DB queries, hoping to reduce the mysql problems.

    But recently, it seems to work quite smoothly even with increased traffic. It could be the box234 has been upgraded as what you mentioned here. It’s an excellent service if we all get the mentioned upgrades of software and hardware. Thanks :)

  23. Martin says:

    Hello Mr. Heaton,
    As a new affiliate , I wondered if more and diverse landing pages for affiliates was a feasible idea to develop better affiliate conversion lead in pages.
    Other than simply directing to the “Products.” page with an affiliate “track,” directing potential conversions into differing sections for better conversion from fresh lead in content ideas. Is there is a way to accomplish this already?

    My first affiliated efforts with your firm and hoping to earn money with conversions. Any tips on this would be appreciated, and hope to do well with your program soon.
    I tried for an offbeat yet similar look and tie in, to land people on your site, to make it a more seamless transition from referrals.
    A functional work in progress, open to any conversion sign up tips.
    Please don’t be to hard on my first effort if you have a look.
    I am self teaching and testing…and traffic is only recently begun in the last week.
    Start up pointers welcome. Do you have an affiliate forum for us to test new ideas or get tips and exchange ideas with other affiliates?

    Hope your holiday is a fine one.

  24. Angel says:

    Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt, we need VPS!!! We wanna still here.

  25. chrys says:

    Good man that Jon Christensen!! Anyway – – Happy Holidays “genius who looks like my son!!” Try putting width=”300″ height=”220″ on your BlueHost pumpkin img – can’t read the blog!! lol There couldn’t be a more thoughtful CEO out there!

  26. Adrian Eden says:

    ever since I have been using Bluehost I have found that my hosting and web design projects have been going extremely smoothly….Bluehost is by far my favorite hosting company and the incredible customer service will keep me coming back for years to come.

    Thanks Bluehost, have a great new year !

  27. You know, Matt, something else your company has done is pull sites without even a warning. This happened with Your2ndPlace.com, and I was very perturbed because until NOW I’ve had good customer service. Now I’m getting threatening emails, a la the Bush Administration. Sheesh. There was ONE error per day, and not one that a webmaster would easily notice. It required me to disable one module on Drupal – no problem. The MySQL inner join was too much for the shared server, apparently – no problem.

    But the tone with which I was treated actually caused me to come here and leave a comment. This is not the BlueHost.com I signed up with and maintain 3 sites through. I’m proactive, conscientious and pay on time… why am I being shot at by customer service?

    An email I sent to your customer service about respecting customers came back with this:

    “Thank you for complying with the Terms of Service. We have given you the option to rectify your account standing. Violators of our TOS will not be tolerated. If this continues you could risk your account status with us. Your account has been reactivated and should be fully functional.

    If you have any questions, you may refer to our Terms of Service located at


    Abuse Department/Level 2″

    I strongly urge you to consider the Terms of Service of your Users. If you respect me, I respect you. And only because I expect better of Bluehost because of it’s track record have I bothered posting this to you in response to the MySQL advances. Your MySQL advances, you see, haven’t helped me.

  28. mike says:

    It is Mike. Today is new year. I cannot find tech support. So I have to check the issue by myself. I checked Bluehost PHP Configuration. I found “Bluehost PHP Configuration” was changed. I do not know who changed it. So I changed the option from “PHP5” back to “PHP5 (FastCGI)”. Now it works well.

    Happy New Year for all of you.


  29. HostMonster says:


    My website: http://www.alreadyhosting.com has been hosted with HostMonster since the start of our site and we have never once had any problems with your hosting.

    Our web hosting review site offers unbiased reviews of web hosting companies and we are honored to have HostMonster and BlueHost in our top two spots.. You guys have done an excellent job getting the most out of your servers (as mentioned in your post) and they always seem to be VERY reliable.

    Being an affiliate for your site has given me the distinct honor of getting to know some of your staff… I have never met a friendlier and helpful bunch of individuals.. James and Jay always answer our questions very quickly and are very helpful…

    Keep up the good work! AlreadyHosting.com is proud to announce that HostMonster is the 2009 Best Web Hosting Company and BlueHost is #2!

  30. pat says:

    Hi Matt,

    Your service desk people are the main reason I renewed with BlueHost. They are fantastically helpful and courteous. However, I am moving to Europe and would like to be able to contact the help desk without paying a fortune in long distance phone calls. I am on Skype and was wondering if you have any plans to add a Skype connection. That way I could put your service desk on my list of contacts and call through my computer for free, without incurring any long distance expenses. It would not only help me, but would allow you to broaden your market considerably.

    Please let me know if this might be something you will do to help people like me who are outside the US.

    Best regards, Pat

  31. Ryan says:

    As of Jan. 6, 2009, migrations are NOT going smoothly. I hope the performance increase justifies the several hours of web and email downtime I’m experiencing in the middle of the very first business week of the year.

  32. M. Alam says:

    thanks for the update, i’m a prospective customer, and mysql is a primary interest, so this is very encouraging :)

  33. John Lynn says:

    Hey Matt,
    Thanks for the interesting blog posts. While you’re getting the most out of MySQL can you please work in a few hooks that will provide webmasters information on which of their scripts are inefficient? I’m sure that many websites that take down your servers would be fixed if they knew which scripts were causing the problems with mysql. Why not empower website owners to know which of their scripts are inefficient so they can stop using them or find something better. This is never more true in the world of CMS and plugins. Help us out with a little love so we can avoid the dreaded Account Suspended screen and you can avoid having to put that screen up as well.

  34. Dr. Craig says:

    MySQL temporary table space cannot be increased with Blue Host as they run the temporary table space from a ramdisk to increase as many domains on one server as possible.

    Blue Hosts response to me requesting more MySql Temporary Table Space was “in a shared hosting environment it is necessary to ensure that everybody on the server has access to the temporary table space and to make sure that everything is configured optimally”

    Although never an issue before with Blue Host, this really limits the use of MySQL on their side as it won’t handle a lot of records. I see this as shameful actually. Is that good service?

    Dr. Craig Crowley, YOxyz.COM

  35. סניפים says:

    It sounds great
    hope to use your service

  36. thinkx says:

    So far, so good.. I’ve been struggling with ODBC configuration issues and security setup issues, but getting there. Some of the user-interface for configuring accounts, etc. could be improved.

    Since I’m a new user, I’m wondering – how do I go about testing performance on my databases, without causing any damage or problems to the hosted environment?

  37. sigpoggy says:

    I would like to second the request for Phusion Passenger, an Apache plugin that greatly speeds up rails applications:


  38. […] 从Matt Theaton (BlueHost和HostMonster的CEO) 的博客看到,他们已经开始改善MySQL数据库,包括改善数据库的性能和使数据库用户的资源相对独立,以避免某个用户滥用数据库资源而影响同一服务器的其他用户。 […]

  39. Great we are loking fowad for thsi solution as we have many lasge MySQL Data base o our may sites with blue host hostings. Great service keep it up.

  40. Arnold Falosane says:

    I’ve used Bluehost for quiet a while. Never heard of Host Monster. Is this not the same? Sounds interesting.

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