Thinking About Switching Hosts

Finding a reliable hosting company is hard.. And finding one that could keep up with our demands is even harder. (We have over 60 sites, generating close to 1Mil pageviews/month) Yet last April, I stumbled onto the holy grail of hosting, and their name was Mosso. (They’ve since changed their name to The Rackspace Cloud)

I made NUMEROUS posts about them over the past 17 months, and I’ve generally been very happy with them..

But the one thorn in my side has been how they compute your bill. They use a metric called a CPU cycle, of which you get 10K/month. Every month, I get dangerously close to that limit (in the beginning, I had some costly overages that nearly tripled by bill!), but through careful optimization and WordPress plug-in consideration, I’ve been able to stay under the limit. For the past 9 months, I’ve been under 10K/month!

Then, on September 2nd I noticed a VERY noticable spike in my CPU cycle usage. From the 2nd onwards, the CPU cycle usage remained high, more than 2x the normal usage. After 4-5 days of this, I contacted the support team to see if they could see what was causing this spike.

It’s then that I’m informed that they’ve changed the way CPU cycle usage is computed, and that it’s been incorrectly computed for the past 18 months! What does this mean for me? A $75 overage this month, and more like $150 in overages each month going forward!

I talked with my business partner about this, as we’re now looking at a substantial monthly hosting bill. I don’t want to go back to a dedicated server, as I’ve got enough going on without having to worry about a server going down during a traffic burst. That was the whole reason we went with a Cloud offering in the first place.

So now I’m looking for some options. WP Engine looks like an interesting offering, and it’s only $99 for their multisite package. I’ll have to talk with their team and see what kind of limitations come with that. I might just move my 5-6 high-traffic sites over there and keep the rest with Rackspace. But if I can safely move ALL of my sites there, that would be even better.

If anyone has any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear it.. Thanks!

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