Since October, 2008, all my vBulletin forums and wordpress sites have been hosted at Wiredtree.com as their technical support is great and their willingness to help when problems occur is why I also recommended alot of my consulting clients to move their vBulletin forum sites over to Wiredtree.com when they hire me to optimise their servers and/or recommend new server upgrades or new web hosts for their growing sites and forums. I’m not available 24/7 for my clients, but Wiredtree.com are available 24/7 via support ticket helpdesk and toll-free telephone support.
I will only recommend web hosts that I have used personally.
But there’s a few reasons why I continually recommend Wiredtree.com for vBulletin usage at least:
1). Technical support:
Their servers are all Fully Managed service offerings. Their technical support and willingness to help beyond the usual basic stuff.
2). Litespeed web server offered:
They offer a Litespeed web server which is a better alternative web server software from Apache web server. Litespeed web server is at least 2x to 5x times faster than Apache web server and scales much better in terms of high concurrency visitors and is much more efficient in it’s use of memory. Litespeed web server is almost a drop in replacement for Apache, everything that works on Apache including htaccess will work on Litespeed web server. I’ve seen 1x Litespeed web server replace the work load of 4x load balanced Apache web servers and still scale and perform better! You can see my benchmarks here and check out older benchmarks done by Litespeed themselves on their blog. Litespeed cpu licensing may confuse you but it’s quite simple. Choose the number of cpu licensed equal to half the total number of actual physical cpu cores you have. So if you have a Quad core cpu server, choose 4/2 = 2 cpu Litespeed license. If you have a Dual Quad core server with 2x 4 = 8 cpu cores, choose a 4 cpu Litespeed license. The reason for this is the number of cpu cores licensed is allocated to Litespeed itself, you still need to leave enough cpu cores for PHP itself and other processes. vbtechsupport.com uses Litespeed web server instead of Apache web server. Alot of the larger vBulletin forums I’ve consulted for also have switched to Wiredtree.com to take advantage of using Litespeed web server with their web servers and added to fact that Wiredtree.com tech support are familiar with Litespeed web server, you have an additional layer of help in relation to Litespeed if you have questions.
3). MariaDB MySQL Server Support:
Wiredtree officially announced support for better performing MySQL fork, MariaDB with XtraDB InnoDB storage engine on their Facebook page. I’ve benchmarked MySQL vs MariaDB vs Percona MySQL versions and you can see older results at http://vbtechsupport.com/657/ and http://vbtechsupport.com/606/. Note, official MySQL 5.5.2x releases have caught up somewhat in InnoDB storage engine performance to MariaDB and Percona. But for MyISAM performance, there’s only one real choice and that is MariaDB MySQL.
4). VPS and Hybrid VPS Server – SSD Accelerated:
5). Backup options – R1Soft CDP backup:
Backup are something we always overlook and don’t think we need to fork out $$$ for until we really needed it for data recovery. At which stage when it’s almost too late, we all wish we had some better form of data backup in place. Well with Wiredtree.com their VPS plans include free nightly backups and their Hybrid servers include free R1Soft CDP backups. With Dedicated server offerings you’d have to ask for R1Soft CDP backups to be added to your servers at additional costs, but R1Soft CDP backup is way better than traditional disk/rsync back up methods.
R1Soft CDP puts almost no extra server load while doing backups so doesn’t effect performance of your forums and site while backups are run. This is because back ups are from the block level http://wiki.r1soft.com/x/yw1E. This method uses R1Soft CDP features as outlined at http://www.r1soft.com/linux-cdp/cdp-enterprise-edition/features/ .
Don’t hold me to the cost figures as they may have changed but R1Soft cost is US$30 per license and each license covers 100GB storage + US$1/GB for actual storage, so 100GB backup = US$100 + 30 = US$130, 200GB backup would cost US$200 + 60 = US$260. That covers web data backup, you need R1Soft mysql plugin installed on mysql database server which costs US$20/month.
R1Soft can be configured to just backup specific directories but by default it backs up entire server including operating system. You can then set the interval it does for differential backups and the number of restore points in time backups via a graphical gui interface. As i understand it from working with previous referred clients to wiredtree who use R1Soft, the actual data consumed for cost calculation is on the single full set of data + incremental data being backed up.
For example, if web server data + os consume 40GB, then that is the cost of storage 40GB, regardless of number of restoration points’ reported full disk backup size, the restoration points are differential backups mapped to the initial full backup, so incremental costs is the cost of that differential. For example, if you set to backup every 2 hours, and in 2 hours you have an extra 512MB of storage data. Then in 2 hours time data quota consumed = 40.5GB even if restore point lists your entire backup data in 2hours time as 40.5GB with prior backup restore point listed as 40GB. Note, costs above are for dedicated servers only Dedicated servers. For Hybrid servers, R1Soft is included free of charge. R1soft CDP backup is excellent and well worth the money, has saved a few of my clients in the past when they needed to revert to a previous restore point or get some particular files restored.