14 Nov

2012

Hardware Upgrades 2012

SiteGround New Gear

If you are a SiteGround client and you have been one for more than a couple of years, you probably have noticed that we tend to change our hardware quite often. This has been mine and SiteGrounds’ philosophy for quite some time now.

Most hosts will brag about high-tech brand new hardware configurations on their websites but what remains hidden is that they use this hardware only for the new servers they set up. Usually, they won’t replace a working machine for any reason. In fact they will keep it (even if 5 years old) until it’s dead broken and they are forced to restore all affected websites from a backup. This means that even if you get a good hardware initially, as time goes by you will be stuck with it and you will get slower and crappier service until your old server crashes and you are “lucky” to be moved to the new hardware.

You may ask yourself why is this the case? One of the main reasons is that replacing the hardware of all production servers requires a lot of work: long hours of data transfer from hundreds of machines to the new ones, detailed testing before and after the transfer to avoid downtime or other issues, etc. However, we believe that the performance gain for all customers is ALWAYS worth our efforts. Here’s in brief description what’s cooking for all SiteGround clients in terms of hardware changes this year:

Hardware changes on Shared hosting – our best selling product

We are in process of changing all of our shared servers. The latest upgrade was last year when we moved to a new DC. Now, we dare to say, the new servers we’ve been testing for months are real monsters, compared to our current ones. Here are some major points of that upgrade:

  • CPU Upgrade – from 1x Xeon(R) X3360 (4 cores) to 2x Xeon(R) E5-262 (24 cores with HT). This is approximately a 6 times performance upgrade.
  • RAM Upgrade – from 4GB to 16GB (4 times up)
  • Storage – We are changing Hard Drives and Storage. We’re adding ultra fast SAS drives to store the MySQL database on our shared servers. We’re also changing all RAID controllers and hard drives to utilize 6gbit bandwidth ports. As a result, we expect 4,5x faster read speed, 4x faster write speed, 3x shorter random access time.

Hardware changes on Semi-dedicated hosting servers

Our semi-dedicated hosting was lightning fast already. But we tried hard to make it even faster :) Here are the highlights:

  • CPU Upgrade – from 2x E5620 CPUs (8 cores) to 2x Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 (24 cores with HT). This is an approximate of 3-4 times upgrade of the CPU power.
  • Storage – We’ve always used very fast storage on Semi-dedicated and an SSD to power the MySQL. We’ve now upped our storage, by making it 6gbit and entirely made of ultra fast SAS drives. We’ve upped the number of drives in our RAID10 array from 4 to 6, for better I/O performance. Combined with a new ultra fast 6gbit SSD drive for the SQL, the RAID performance increased almost 3 times.

To sum up the digits, the new upgrade means an average of between 2 and 4 times faster loading speed of a website hosted on a shared or semi-dedicated hosting. Semi-dedicated hardware upgrade process has already been completed, so all our Semi-dedicated clients can now enjoy the brutal power of their host servers. We expect all shared hosting servers to be migrated to the new machines during the next 2 months.

You can also check the inforgraphic on this subject!

Author: Tenko Nikolov

The SiteGround Mastermind

For the last few years Tenko Nikolov has been one of the masterminds behind the success of SiteGround. He has come up with multiple successful strategies for overcoming technical problems and has achieved real business results for SiteGround. His vision and skills have made SiteGround a leading host in terms of technology and platform reliability.

Comments (1):

  1. Bob Leake says:

    Great web hosting service and outstanding support.

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