[plt-scheme] Web Hosting on PLT Scheme Web Server?

From: Matt Jadud (jadudm at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Jun 28 05:00:19 EDT 2007

On 6/27/07, Noel Welsh <noelwelsh at gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't know what current market prices are.  Bytemark was competitive
> when we looked into it.  However I strongly suggest you get more RAM
> unless you are expecting very low load.  RAM has been the limiting
> factor in our applications, far more so than CPU speed.
> N.

I think an important thing to consider also is quality of service.
Bytemark has consistently been excellent with us. When my credit cards
went missing (and therefore were cancelled), they just let our machine
ride until I had time to register a new card. They have always
responded to every service request/upgrade quickly and professionally,
and are constantly on the move in terms of making their service as
stable and excellent as possible. Our VM, at its peak, had an uptime
of 280+ days... only cut short by our need to reboot to see the effect
of a disk space upgrade.

So, 13 Euros/month is a good price, but the question is whether or not
you get good service for that price as well.

As to Grant's question of hosting our own server, we're now
considering that---but it took a while to get to the point where we
could financially justify it. Colocation costs 50 quid at best, and if
anything goes wrong with the hardware, you're in trouble. A virtual
machine is much cheaper, sits on better hardware than I can afford,
and someone else makes sure things keep ticking over. I would be very
leery about managing my own hardware unless I was prepared to have
additional drives, power supplies, drive controllers, and the like
ready to roll in case of failure. So, in this regard, if you're paying
for hosting:

1. Start cheap with a Xen VM or similar, and upgrade that VM as necessary
2. Upgrade to a dedicated box (at around 50/60 GBP a month, $100 or
so/month) when you need the performance that dedicated CPU, RAM, and
disk provide, and
3. Never buy your own hardware unless you know exactly why you're doing it.

Those are the small lessons that I've learned in helping maintain the
untyped.com VM. And I guess I might as well finish it off:

1. All your configuration should be under version control.
2. Your server is only as good as your backups.
3. Automate everything, no matter how trivial---writing and
documenting the script to automatically add new domains is easier than
trying to figure out which six config files you must edit (in an
error-prone manner) by hand.

There may be other lessons I've learned and internalized at this point.


4. Use PLT Scheme for all of your server scripting needs. But I didn't
need to say that here, did I?


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