Overselling & You – Why It Matters March 14th, 2007

Idologic does not oversell servers. Simply put, Idologic does not sell more disk or bandwidth than we physically have on each server. This allows us the flexibility to allow our reseller clients to oversell and keep CPU & RAM usage within acceptable performance metrics.

Why is this a big deal?
Well, let’s use the example of a reseller account with 1 GB space and 10 GB bandwidth. In this example, an account without overselling costs $10/month while an account with overselling costs $20/month. If you saw those numbers listed on 2 different hosting websites, at first glance you’d assume the 2nd plan costs twice as much for the same resources. But…..does it really?

Scenario #1 – Overselling Not Allowed For The Reseller
If overselling isn’t allowed, you can create (10) accounts with 100 MB space and 1 GB bandwidth. At that point you’re done. It doesn’t matter how much space or bandwidth the accounts actually use….you can’t create any more accounts unless you increase your account size. In most cases, you’ll find that with (10) 100 MB/1 GB accounts, you will only use several hundred MB disk and a couple GB bandwidth. However, all that unused space is wasted….you’re paying for it but it will likely never be used. In almost all cases like this, if a hosting company does not allow their clients to oversell, it is because they are overselling the server themselves (the server couldn’t handle both the server owner and the reseller overselling).

Scenario #2 – Overselling Allowed For The Reseller
Now let’s look at the other picture. If overselling is allowed to you the reseller, you create the same (10) 100 MB/1 GB accounts. However, after several months you realize that only a couple hundred MB disk and a couple GB bandwidth are actually getting used. So you create another (10) 100 MB/1 GB accounts as new clients come in the door. Over time, you might actually squeeze 20-30 accounts into that reseller account. If you didn’t have overselling capability, you’d be paying 2-3 times more for this capability. We have found that Idologic customers regularly stretch their accounts much further than other seemingly lower priced hosting companies while maintaining higher speed and reliability.

Conclusion
So….in the cases above if you want to create (30) 100 MB/1 GB accounts and overselling isn’t allowed, it will cost you $30/month. However, if you got the account with overselling, you could likely do that for $20/month.

Simply put, Idologic charges you for the resources you actually use rather than the resources you allocate.

But what if…. (growth concerns)
Now here’s where some people say “Ah ha, I’ve got you now! What happens when you actually run out of space?” Well, if you’ve been watching your account and notice that you’re starting to use up all your space or bandwidth, simply put in a support ticket and we’ll upgrade you on the same server (we always keep a large reserve of disk/bandwidth to allow our clients to grow). If you need more space and bandwidth than is available on your current server, we’ll either move your whole account to a new server (with virtually no downtime) or open a second account on another server and move individual accounts between servers for you.

2 Responses

  1. Robin says:

    “(we always keep a large reserve of disk/bandwidth to allow our clients to grow)”

    Approximately how much?

    Robin

  2. webmaster says:

    It varies depending on the size of the raid, but I looked at a few servers and it’s approximately 25% for user space; that’s only the user files, mysql, backups, etc. are seperate from that.

    Bandwidth is a little trickier, the servers are on gigE so the machines can handle lots of bandwidth; but obviously IO and CPU limit the amount we would “use up”.

    On a quad core server we aim to keep the load around 3.0-4.0 at the busiest time of the day.

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