DoulaMatch.net keeps growing, as does our Facebook app BirthWatch, so I am always looking at whether our hosting needs are keeping up with our business requirements. I've always used shared hosting plans in the past. Very cheap, but you do get what you pay for. One of the issues looming for us was that Facebook was going to make us send our own emails to our app users, which I could see quickly exceeding the typical email usage limits on most shared hosting plans. SoftSys Hosting, our current host, limits us to 100 per hour. After you exceed this, your account is automatically suspended, which would be a very bad thing.
One of the reasons I chose to switch to SoftSys recently was that they also offer reasonably priced Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans. So I fired one up to migrate our big apps to. I am looking forward to the possibility of better performance as well, which is the point of this page.
I used the Hammerhead Firefox plugin to perform the tests to get a true end-user benchmark.
I tested 3 scenarios:
- VPS for both IIS and SQL (unibox)
- VPS for IIS and shared SQL Server
- Shared IIS and SQL
The unibox was fastest. Page loads were generally 1000 - 1500 ms
VPS for IIS and shared SQL was about 25% slower than the unibox
Shared IIS and SQL was about 70% slower than the unibox
SQL did add a load and memory consumption, but I still never got above 1.3GB memory utilization on the unibox.
Will be interesting to see how it performs under real load.