I currently host twenty-three domains in my partner hosting account, based in Arizona.
In the last six months there have been a couple of periodic capacity issues on the shared server. These have manifested themselves in – at best, occasionally slow page loads and – at worst, unreachable websites fronted by server-generated error messages.
A reverse lookup of the IP address shows that there are currently 7,279 websites hosted on that one shared server.
Even though most of them are probably low-volume traffic websites, 7,279 websites on one server is a pretty big number.
Because of this big number, and prompted by the periodic performance issues of the shared server, I’m thinking of moving the twenty-three domains to a new home.
An analysis of traffic shows that none of the 23 domains are particularly high-volume.
The top three get in the region of 250-550 page-views a day, each. Then there are a few specialised websites that have peaks and troughs in visitors, but probably hit an average of around 100-200 page-views a day. The rest are esoteric, highly niche websites that receive very low traffic – around 25-50 page-views a day.
In terms of internet traffic, those figures add up to barely nothing. Any reasonable webserver should be capable of dealing with that kind of demand.
I like the idea of having everything hosted on a shared – but dedicated – server.
So I have been looking in to leasing a dedicated server with a commercial hosting provider. It’s an expensive option. It would give me a naked server, installed with just an operating system.
The geek in me is quite excited by the thoughts of what I’d have to do to that server, in order to turn it in to the host of multiple websites.
A challenge, too.
And rewarding, once completed.
So that’s an option, but it’s the second option under consideration.
The first option that I’m going to pursue is to look at hosting a couple of these websites on my Synology Diskstation NAS, just to see how that goes (the NAS already has a static IP address, so all I would need to do is create a zone file with some nameserver details).
In a way this brings the same challenges (and the same opportunities to geek myself to a happy place) as leasing a naked server.
There are a lot of practical things to be learned like, for example, do I mount one instance of MySQL for each website database, or mount a single instance of MySQL and label each website with its own tables.
But yes, hosting my own websites on my own hardware could be a fun thing to do.
My NAS is capable of hosting up to 30 websites, according to the manufacturer’s blurb.
There are many security packages in the NAS software library.
The house I’m moving to is being served with a broadband connection that’s currently delivering 80Mb/s download and 12Mb/s upload, so that’s more than enough bandwidth to host websites through.
So once I’ve moved house, I’m going to give it a go.
I’ll host one or two of my most expendable, least high-traffic websites on the NAS. I’ll take some metrics, and we’ll see how it all goes.
I can’t help noticing there’s a PowerEdge server (2x Quad Core, 2.33Ghz 16GB RAM) on eBay for £200.