Huge bandwidth upgrade…

Well, we are now about the largest bandwidth consumer in the state of Utah. It has been a signicant challenge getting enough bandwidth from diversified providers to provide fast internet to the sites we host. In the last month we pretty much completely saturated all our pipes. The worst part was that I thought I had “thought ahead” when I ordered more bandwidth months ago. It took so long to get it sorted out that I wanted to throttle XO Communications for dropping the ball so badly.

This made us look bad and caused issues with our customers that we couldn’t fix. We HAD to wait for XO to solve our problems. That is a bad position to be in. The good news is that we now have 700 Mbits of bandwidth more today than we did yesterday and it shows. Things are running MUCH faster!!!

We have also taken advantage of the new huge bandwidth pipe to remove/scale back bandwidth limits that we had on customers with dedicated IP addresses and FTP downloading. There are still limits in place, but they are very high so if you are bumping into the limits you shouldn’t care because it is ridiculously fast now. We have also greatly improved the CPU situation on most of our servers. We still have about 10-15 servers that need to be further upgraded, but we have made excellent progress.

I am writing this to let you know that I am not all talk and that real dollars and real resources are being poured into the speed and stability of our network. The next major change is already 50% done and that has to do with our support. The number of people and the quality of our support will be noticably better in the coming weeks. We have more people than ever and our training process is good and will soon be great.

Thanks,
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com

23 Responses to “Huge bandwidth upgrade…”

  1. sketchut says:

    I really hope this will help. I host with bluehost(FIRST time). You’ve got enough reputation all over the web to get someone new like me without any prior experience to host with you. Dont lose it. But to be honest speed and stability have not really been great for me.

    I’ve had my site down several times already in just 2 -3 weeks. Not for long but still pretty disappointing. I havent got much visitors if at all to my site yet but the cpu usage is pretty high when i go to see it every time. For once it went up to 5 out of the 4 cpus. Sharing a bit too much? I dont know.

    This is just another rant from your hundreds of thousands of users but i really hope you pay attention.

  2. Tomson says:

    Hey Matt,

    I like to read your weblog now and then to read what’s going on at Bluehost. If you’re upgrading the servers or bandwidth, does this yield for Hostmonster’s servers as well?

    Tom

  3. Tyson says:

    I don’t know if that is related to my sites, but I’ve noticed a *considerable* speed increase on my Django-powered sites recently. I’m very grateful.

    Whatever the cause, thanks, Matt. Your respect for customers is unparalleled in the web hosting world.

  4. David Peyton says:

    This is great, Matt! I have been searching around for a suitable host for a while now – and happened to come across Bluehost in most of the top webhost review sites. One thing that I noticed to be particularly different about Bluehost immediately after signing up (just 2 days ago), was the noticeably good response time in the cPanel and on my site itself.

    Keep up the good work. I hope that I won’t have to move from Bluehost!

  5. Cameron says:

    I’m so happy that we got a bandwidth upgrade! No I understand why my sites have been running a bit slow, but now that’s fixed! Excellent!

  6. Todd says:

    What are the limits on people without dedicated IPs? If I’m reading your post correctly, those with a dedicated IP are seeing the most change from this upgrade? I just tried downloading a 255 meg mpg file via ftp to see if I would notice the change. It started out around 250K/sec, and climbed to a little over 400K/sec over the next 30 seconds, then started dropping significantly, and by the 5 minute mark had dropped below 100K/sec. Is this what I should expect?

  7. Seth says:

    Matt – the new anti-spam feature is fine. My question is if there’s a way to get it to filter even more. For example, my bayesian spam filter on my local computer is still catching quite a bit of spam coming through this new service. Is there a way for paying users to further “train” this service perhaps by uploading spam messages to it, for example? That would be nice. Thanks.

  8. Robert Sher says:

    Dear Matt,

    I got your e-mail containing the entry I am commenting on, and what a nice treat to see an ISP speak honestly about its challenges and actions. It makes everyone realize that there are regular people running hosting businesses (at least this one) with all the normal challenges of any business. The tone you set, and the plain speaking style was refreshing.

    I have two low traffic sites on BlueHost, but both have significant storage. To date I’ve not had any problems at all, found your service to be great, and most of your features self explanatory and easy to use. I recommend your firm to anyone asking me for hosting.

  9. Tyrone Mixx says:

    To: Matt Heaton

    Dear Sir,
    I’m immensely disappointed and at my wits end.

    I’m having a terrible time trying to get a domain name registration changed from a company called DOMAIN MONGER to BLUEHOST.

    For a week I’ve been going round and round with BLUEHOST SUPPORT person named Joseph.

    1. I requested the transfer on Bluehost using Bluehosts Transfer Option.
    2. Bluehost sent me an authorization number
    3. Bluehost tells me they are waiting to get something called an EPP from Domain Monger.
    4. Domain Monger says that they play a passive role in this process. That they have RECEIVED NO REQUEST from Bluehost to transfer this. They said to just have bluehost process the transfer.

    SO IT’S A MAD CIRCLE.

    Bluehost say’s get an EPP from Domain Monger
    Domain Monger says they have nothing to do. That bluehost should just do it. AND ROUND AND ROUND IT GOES.

    IT’S DRVING ME CRAZY. Please help me.
    Tyrone Mixx

  10. Kent Ford says:

    I like Bluehost and its attitude.

    However, I just got a note about server migrations. And now my site is down. NOT a good thing for the busiest week of Christmas sales for my video business.

    Please help!

    Kent

  11. Christian says:

    Matt,

    I would like to comment on the new spam filtering. I have noticed and the situation has improved the past few days (with the strange exception of today Wednesday).

    However, half my spam is bounced email from spam that forged an email address of mine as the sender address. Don’t you think this situation could be improved by SPF?

    I tried making an SPF record, but cpanel etc. does not let me edit SPF directly, and when I asked your support staff I was told I would have to give them the SPF string and they would put it into the TXT field of my nameserver entry (manually).

    Since bluehost knows better what IP addresses outgoing email servers can have I think it would be significantly easier if bluehost would support SPF directly. You have all the information you need for generating an entry.

    thanks for your consideration,
    chm.

  12. @David Peyton – Welcome aboard the Bluehost team

    @Matt Heaton – Do you have plans for unlimited add on domains or adding some more add ons?

  13. Artemka says:

    Keep it up matt!

  14. David Peyton says:

    I’ve just noticed a massive increase in bandwidth on my site! This is great – thanks again Matt/BlueHost. =)

  15. Hercules says:

    Hi Matt,
    Great 2 see that there will be tons of extra Bytes flowing from BH HQ out to the world every second from now on.
    What can we thing of the ‘CPU Upgrade’ you mention?
    I see that my box only has 2 CPU’s while most other boxes run on 4.
    Will these boxes get pimped with more CPU’s too?

  16. Mark Smith says:

    Matt,

    Have you ever considered adding some sort of compression technology to your web hosting service such as mod_gzip to Apache 1.3.x or even better upgrading to Apache 2.x with native mod_deflate capability?

    With Moore’s Law leading Metcalf’s, bandwidth concerns usually trump any CPU speed considerations, and compression, especially when coupled with Apache’s mod_expire cache control, can provide a significant reduction in server bandwidth load and a faster viewing experience for web site visitors.

    I have been back and forth with the BlueHost technical support staff, to be finally told BlueHost does not support Apache compression technologies. This leaves me with little choice but to implement compression using some sort of PHP trickery, which will undoubtably use more CPU than implementing compression at an Apache level.

    Please consider providing some sort of compression capability at the Apache level for your otherwise excellent shared web hosting service.

  17. Alex says:

    I appreciate your straight forward approach. I feel confident staying with a service provider as long as I know they are actively trying to, and capable of, solving any issues that come up, rather than just denying there is a problem and passing the buck. I have had a few issues over 2+ years of hosting here, but less than I have had with other services and no more than I have with any other service from companies large or small. I continue to recommend you guys to people looking for a host.

  18. Sappworks says:

    BlueHost is coming up in the world.

    Sappworks Design has entered into a recent project to create a local Alaskan search engine, and one of the developers had mentioned that he prefers Ruby on Rails.

    We looked around and found that Text Drive was a little bit outside of our price range… You’re the next on the list, so we started hosting with you.

    Its excellent to hear that hardware is being upgraded.

    You should also consider streamlining your control panel, and making bluehost.com look better. Hire a graphic designer, and give the site visual features that adequately represent the tools that bluehost provides.

  19. Katherine says:

    Now that I have read what an awesome company and work ethic you have, and seeing how dedicated you are to your customers I want to apply to work with your company.

    I currently reside in Spokane, WA so if you have a way that I could join what I would consider to be great company, email me and I will most definetly forward you a copy of my resume.

  20. [...] I piddled around the CEO’s blog (I own a pair of jeans older than this guy!). He apologizes for bandwidth shortages, which are apparently now fixed. Fair enough. [...]

  21. Tim Wheatley says:

    To Tyrone.

    I had huge problems recently when transferring a domain from GoDaddy to BlueHost. GoDaddy just stalled, it took a looong time (over 5 days) for them to release the domain after I had told them to.

    I’d suggest checking thoroughly in your admin control area at Domain Monger as they probably still require you to do something – but even when you have, you might have a little wait…

    Tim

  22. Wayne Connor says:

    Bluehost is great, just make sure you don’t sacrifice stability for growth.

    Thanks,

    Wayne
    http://dubbo.org

  23. Just wanted to say, that after reading this blog for a month, and running into all sorts of boundaries with our last host – we moved hosting to bluehost and haven’t looked back.

    Unfortunately for you, we have taken up alot of your support team’s time, but they have resolved every issue we have had within an hour.

    Although the increased bandwidth and diskspace you speak about doesnt really affect us, support certainly does, and we sure are getting it!

    so, thanks
    Bruce

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