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    Moving from a shared website account to a VPS account?

    I currently run a single website for a federation of schools. It's a single site, about 200 html pages, about 20 downloadable documents, a few images here and there but nothing too intensive. Traffic is pretty low, maybe 20 visits on a good day with the odd spike of a few hundred visits at key times in the year. Up to now, it's fine being on a shared account, one of those £30 a year jobbies from hostgator.

    I've been asked to set up a new website that can be accessed by possibly around two thousand students in one go, without some students having to wait too long or students being given a 'Not available message' from their browser. The plan, apparently, is to put some work on different pages, e.g. cover work if there is snow, use it to deliver simultaneous questionnaires to a few thousand students, do some tests that have to be done at the same time across multiple schools etc but the idea is that a large number of students will access the pages at the same time.

    Now, I don't want to look like a cock-up artist. I have produced a new website but am not sure whether a) the shared account will hold up with so many simultaneous log-ins (I have my suspicions it won't) and b) whether I need to upgrade to something where I have more CPU use and RAM, e.g. a VPS. I've discounted a dedicated server as being over-the-top. I'm going from £30 a year to around £300 a year so want to try and get it right.

    a) Any thoughts?
    b) Any suggestions / recommendations for a mangaged VPS, please.

    I'm keen for a managed solution to minimise the workload, and alternatives delivery via a website are not possible - this is the main Head's baby!

    Thanks for your help!

    Luk

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    fiendishlyclever's Avatar
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    I believe that CPU resources are the biggest drain, so a static website would be less of an issue than a cms based website. Even then there are plugins and similar to optimise for heavy traffic.

    Are you not tempted to host on site on your own hardware?

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    Hi thanks for the reply. The new site is a now a Joomla site not an HTML-based one. There are half a dozen components in it and about 300 pages so far but this will grow rapidly. I guess the problem I'm having is how to work out what I need in terms of hosting. The VPS companies all talk about number of CPU cores, RAM, burst RAM and a few other parameters. Trying to guestimate without going over the top but making sure things work is the headache. For various LEA-related reasons, it must be hosted offsite via a third party. I'm tempted by a https://www.123-reg.co.uk/vps-hosting/ the 'large' VPS with CPanel (which I'm used to).

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    If you want a reliable cPanel VPS, go to Acenet - Web Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Servers. I have been using them for over a year now and I haven't had any downtime, and their support is second to none. It's also VERY cheap, (~£20 per month for their lowest VPS with cPanel).

    Hope this has helped

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    Thanks for the reply and suggestion. I certainly like the look of Acenet but they don't have any vps products available at the mo - all out of stock and their management charges do seem a bit steep.
    Hosting, Virtual Private Server & domain deals - South West Broadband have been recommended and have top reviews. They seem to be offering a lot more for around the £30 pm mark. It's an interesting and fun problem but I don't think it's one that can be calculated to find a solution. There seems to be too many variables. I guess all I can do is get things set up on vps and then try it with a few thousand simultaneous logins, keep my fingers crossed and watch what happens!

    If only Warwickshire LEA weren't so closely related to the Neanderthals, I would be hosting this ourselves and wouldn't have to go into this territory.

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    Just having a look around on WebHostingTalk, WiredTree (WiredTree: *NEW* Pure SSD RAID-10 VPS & Hybrid Plans! Updated VPS Plans! Discounts! - VPS Hosting Offers - Web Hosting Talk) seems to be very good with excellent reviews.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    I use Tsohost who have a cloud platform. They say there's no single point of failure and it can cope with bursts of traffic. http://www.tsohost.com

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    Have you had a look at the Amazon Web services products - Amazon Web Services, Cloud Computing: Compute, Storage, Database
    Their EC2 is perfect for you. You can scale as required, and as it is elastic it will increase your capacity as it needs it. You only pay for what you use

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    Interesting suggestion. Thanks for that. Having read a fair amount of what was on their website, and I can honestly say that I haven't got a clue what it is they're flogging and if it can host a Joomla website or how their costs are worked out and what their different options actually mean and what it's likely to cost or supported. They've done a really great job wrapping whatever it is with unintelligible jargon and impregnable techno-speak, with no real, clear examples. There is also a significant number of very unhappy customers about. That one's certainly ruled out! Thanks though. :-)
    Last edited by luckedout; 28th December 2013 at 10:16 PM.

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    DigitalOcean and Linode are another two popular VPSs.

    ServerBear is a useful website to look at if you want to see benchmarks of the various VPSs.


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