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Introducing CloudLinux to our hosting servers

Hello All,

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been rolling out CloudLinux on our web hosting, business web hosting and reseller hosting servers. Many servers have now been upgraded and the remaining servers will be upgraded shortly. CloudLinux is a new Operating System designed to improve server performance and reliability.

What is CloudLinux?

CloudLinux is an operating system that uses lightweight virtualization to improve the performance and stability of the server. Using some of the latest technology usually found in cloud environments, it brings some massive benefits to a regular hosting environment. In a shared web hosting environment, one web server is shared between a number of users. This means that all users on the server share access to the CPU/Processor, the Memory and the Hard Disks. In a shared environment, it was previously possible that one user could install a bad script or run some bad software (often unintentionally), make a coding/programming error or be responsible for some other mishap that could potentially severely slow down or even crash the server. This causes pain and downtime for all of the users on the server.

CloudLinux ensures that each tenant/user on the server is given a finite amount of resources that they cannot exceed. We’ve set these resources at approximately 200-300% of the limits mentioned in our AUP to be more than generous. This roughly equates to each user on the server getting 1 full CPU/Processor core and 1GB of RAM. Obviously we’re not allowing you to use all of that permanently (you need a VPS if you need this amount of resources permanently) but these are here to allow you to burst during busy times (peak visitor times, installing/upgrading software, etc).

Note – the above is for web hosting and reseller hosting. Business hosting users get approximately double the above resources as our business hosting plans are designed for more intensive users.

This shows the difference between regular operating systems and CloudLinux.

What happens if I exceed these resources?

Very few people exceed the generous resource limits we’ve set. So far fewer than 1% have encountered any problems.

Two things happen if you exceed these resources. The first is you may notice a slow down on your website / hosting account as CloudLinux applies a “soft brake” to your account to prevent it from overloading, slowing down or crashing the server. Once resource utilization reduces, your account will return to normal.

If you massively exceed our resource limits, you will receive a 503 error when trying to access some parts of your website or hosting account. This is CloudLinux taking more severe action to prevent an imminent server crash or overload. If you continually receive 503 errors then you need to evaluate your website / hosting account and see where it can be optimized. A common source of resource abuse is the addon modules often found for the popular open-source scripts (WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, Drupal, etc). Try remove some of the unnecessary modules and see if things improve.  If you are unable to determine the source of the resource abuse, submit a ticket via our helpdesk to our Hosting – Technical Support department and we’ll be happy to assist.

Remind me… what specification servers does Namecheap use and how many users per server?

We operate a range of servers. New servers are 8 CPU Xeons with 12-16GB RAM. Some older servers are 4 CPU Xeons with 8GB RAM. All servers run RAID hard drives and are and always have been ‘best in class’ when we have bought them. We don’t skimp on lower quality hardware.

Users per server ranges from 300-500 depending on the server specification (many of our competitors will cram 2000+ accounts).

How can I check and optimize my account/scripts?

We’ll be writing a series of blog and knowledgebase articles on how to optimize and get the most out of your hosting account so stay tuned for more.

View your resource usage in cPanel

The CloudLinux cPanel plugin (more information at http://www.cloudlinux.com/docs/cpanel-enduser-plugin.php) adds resource information to your cPanel. This helps you to see how much load your account is generating.

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Matt Russell avatar

Matt Russell

CIO @ Namecheap, overseeing global infrastructure, cloud & hosting More articles written by Matt.

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