Web hosting is a constantly changing animal. We have gone from 2 gigs of space for our customers to 50 gigs in less than 3 years. The average traffic usuage of our customers has grown more than 5 times in the last 3 years, and cpu usage for scripts and other user run programs has grown by at least 100%. How do we deal with these issues?
This is a huge problem, and one that needs a huge answer or customers are going to get very angry. This is where I come in. About three weeks ago I became obsessed with finding out every major inefficiency with our code, with Cpanel, and with Linux itself (The OS we run our hosting company on). These last few weeks have been extremely enlightening. I have learned things that I believe will make a huge difference in the speed of our servers and overall hosting experience.
I have an extensive background with computer hardware and Cody (Our main hardware guy/network engineer) is as good as you can find anywhere. Our servers are built from the highest quality parts and designed by Bluehost exactly for our needs. There isn’t a dell, or HP system out there that we wouldn’t stop on and leave in the dust that is in the same price ballpark as our servers.
We have learned that Linux I/O tracking, and especially disk I/O tracking is near impossible to track. This makes it VERY difficult to tell exactly which processes are eating up resources on the disk. We have solved this issue now thanks to Linux’s main man himself Andrew Morton who wrote a patch for our kernel specifically for us. Thanks again Andrew!! You are the greatest.
We have unbelievable new caching mechanisms that will be available over the next 30-45 days that will allow many customers scripts to increase 40-300% in speed with no loss to data or other major consequences. Everyone of our customers scripts will soon be stored and executed 99% of the time in memory instead of costly disk i/o and cpu cycles doing the work.
Cpanel, the 3rd party software control panel we use, will still be with us, but we are CONSTANTLY gutting it and throwing out huge portions of their extremely slow code and replacing it with our own custom pieces that work very well with their existing infrastructure but without the enormous speed penalties that exist in their current code base.
Why am I telling you all this? Because web hosting is changing! The demands you will make on our servers will be tremendous and we need to be able to handle it. We need to be able to not just handle it, but make it be as smooth and fast as possible. When we are done with many of the improvements that we are doing on our side other hosts aren’t going to be able to compete. The speed advantages with our systems will be too great.
That is my commitment to you – I will ensure that we update and innovate faster than the industry so that you can rely on technologies that runs todays applications the fastest possible, and still be able to run tomorrows software needs without looking for a different hosting company.
Speed is EVERYTHING, and we will give you the technology that will make your site faster, and provide server performance that is unrivaled in the shared hosting environment. This is coming soon! Test systems are already in place. When everything is ready it will be rolled out to all our clients as fast as we update all our servers. We will always continue to work hard for our customers, but most of all because we love to do it!
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com