Archive for the ‘Hosting’ Category

Invest in Your Business: Time is Money

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Everybody knows time is money, but it seems to be a very important concept that seems to escape a lot of developers’ mind as we strive towards code utopia. One of the strengths of developers as Larry Wall, the father of Perl, has put it, is laziness. We’re willing to go through great distances to save time in the long run. We invest into infrastructure so that we can benefit from it in the future. This causes us to obsess over frameworks, languages, plugins, coding standards, documentation, and so on.

One key thing to remember as a programmer is: “time is money”. The ultimate law of an employee is that you must bring in, in one form or another, more money than you cost. If that’s not the case, the company can quickly go out of business, or you become a burden on the resources and less of an asset. Sometimes, as a developer, we need to take a step back, and think “What does business what? What does business need? What WILL they need? How are the investments I’m making going to further that?” Often times, the code infrastructure investment doesn’t.

For example, if we decide to port the javascript over from one js library onto the next, and it cost the entire development team a couple of weeks to port, a week to test, and another week to put out all the fires that occurred because of the port. To developers, they might think, “Yes! Now everything is on a more modern javascript framework, we might get more cool stuff for free from now on, or it’s less likely to break. We can do javascript faster now!”

From the business standpoint, “We just lost a month worth of development time, and ALL these bugs just came out of nowhere! Our competitors just launched X! We need to gain ground!”

As developers, we need to understand that we’re playing a support role, a significant support role, but a support role nonetheless. We need to be more of an asset and less of a liability. We’re helping to keep a ship sailing. When we make our time investments we need to not only make it from our the perspective of making developers lives easier, but also whether or not that type of investment is even an option for the business. As a developer we are often times protected against all the business craziness so we can focus on our work, but at the same time, I do believe that exposure to such business requirements can help us better align how we use our time a bit more appropriately. At the end of the day, if the ship sinks, what good are all those technology investments we made?

HostGator vs DowntownHost (DTH) Review

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

For various reasons, I recently came across the need to evaluate existing hosts in the market.  While I’m still hosted on DowntownHost (DTH), and I am still a proud patron of DTH. I initially signed up for unlimited bandwidth and disk space, and unfortunately, there has been a recent change in policy in that aspect. As such, I was forced to look for a new host that can accommodate my new requirements.

Enter HostGator. There was a time where DowntownHost far outperformed HostGator due to the load average. A friend and I once compared our hosts, while his servers were being taxed pretty heavily, my host (DTH) had a lot of at .28 server load out of 12 cores. I scoffed at his HostGator account, and began my 3 year relationship with DTH. Years later, I revisit the host I ditched, and was offered the opportunity to peak behind the curtains, and I was very pleased by what I saw.

The server I was placed on had a server load of 2.34, I wasn’t too please, but then I found out that the box had 16 cores, and I instantly performed a 180 on my perception. Low load, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, free ssh, free SSL, and free static IP? Needless to say, I made a few phone calls and immediate created a host account with them. I jumped on a Cyber Monday deal, so it was 50% off hosting cost for the next 3 years.

Of course this is the honeymoon stage, we never know how things would turn out, but I was able to reach a tech by phone and by live-chat so far. I hope they keep the service up. As a web developer, I am always in the market for a good host. I wrote this article because I’m always shopping for a good host, if it can help a fellow developer out, so be it, and if I get paid if someone signs up thanks to the banner below, even better:

That being said Downtown Host still one of the best hosts I’ve worked with, I’ll have to wait a few months before I know where I truly stand with HostGator, so here’s the DTH sign up link:

Now hosted with DownTownHost

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I just moved my server to DownTownHost. What a WORLD of difference. BlueHost = 8 cpus with an average serverload of 100. DownTownHost 8 cpus with an average serverload of .07.

Also, I applied for the 4.95 per month plan and it’s offering all the features I want and need. After the 25% discount using the code below it’s 3.71 per month. That’s even better than GoDaddy. For now, I am very happy with the service.

Anyways, if you want to check out the host yourself use this link: DownTownHost

Oh btw, use the code “happy2008” to qualify for a 25% discount.

BlueHost = LackOfDecentHostBluesHost

Monday, June 16th, 2008

So I’ve been with BlueHost for a couple of 2-3 months now. I can say with certainty that as soon as I find a decent host, I’m moving again. I’ve monitored BlueHost for 10 days from June 2 – June 12 and the logs show that BlueHost is pretty much overloaded all the time. When I called their tech support, they gave me some lame excuse like “It’s not unusual for servers to be overloaded during peak hours for 5-10 minutes at a time in a shared hosting environment”. Since the server load coincidentally went down by the time I was done waiting for the representative to pick up, I had no choice but to wait for it to go back up before I called. Unfortunately, the minute I hung up, the server load spiked again. This is when I decided to log the server loads. The log shows that server is overloaded per on an average of 50-90% of the time. I think that is simply unacceptable. If my web page takes FOREVER to load, I no longer consider it hosted. I think it’s okay if they’re overselling, as long as they keep the load under control. I’ve heard HostGator does a decent job of this, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to switch to HostGator. I want to find an even better host. Anyways, you can take my word for it, or you can click the links to my logs of BlueHost server loads (They’re in the format of: <time>, <server load>):

June 2
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7
June 8
June 9
June 10
June 11-12

Bluehost Review

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

This entry is about my experience with BlueHost so far, after 2 months. I can’t say I’m particularly happy with their service. I’ve experienced high server loads at 3 am in the morning, due to mysql database backup. I’ve experienced high server loads from the hours of 10 am to 3 pm due to peak usage. I’m probably going to experience high server load as well during the evening. So my question is, when can I expect there to be a normal server load? When nobody surfs the web? What’s the point of having webhosting if that’s the case?

If you don’t know what a serverload is, it’s a number that roughly represents how many CPUs the load is taking. Your server performs best when that number is less than the total number of CPUs. I’m pretty envious at my co-worker because his server load at HostGator doesn’t ever seem to exceed 5 and doesn’t seems bogged down, whereas my server load seems to exceed 8 like ALL THE TIME and is constantly laggy.

I’m writing a script that tracks the server load and displays the information graphically. I’m going to use that information to try to get BlueHost to move me to a better server. If after all that, they still don’t do anything about my server load, I’m probably going to move on to a new hosting company.

Migration from GoDaddy to BlueHost

Friday, April 11th, 2008

I have just finished moving my site from GoDaddy to BlueHost. This form of migration was the first one I’ve ever done, and it went quite smoothly.

I think a few tips that would help anyone migrate from one host to another would be to first figure out if you’re transferring the domain, web hosting, or both.

Domain hosting is simply the reservation of the domain name, such as google.com, yahoo.com, jacksonleung.com, etc., much like an address, or a telephone number.

Web hosting actually contains all the files and databases behind the domain name, much like the company an address points to, or the customer service representatives behind a telephone number.

If you’re simply changing the hosting, like I did in my case, not only will you have to migrate the database and the files, you’ll most likely have to change the namespace of your domains to the new namespace server of the web hosting provider.

Afterwards you have to make sure all the data from your databases were copied correctly from one server to another then you have to make sure all your script work with the new database environment. You might also want to move your emails from your old web hosting provider to the new one.

Although it might be unnecessary, I like to run through my scripts one last time just to make sure everything works, and after all that, you can cancel the domain / web hosting with the previous provider.