Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Hovhannes Avoyan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: CloudExpo® Blog, JAVA IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

CloudExpo® Blog: Article

How to Compare Hosting Companies’ Speed & Reliability

In an 'always-on' world, there’s never a time when someone isn't surfing through your website

What do you look for when you choose a Web hosting provider? These days, it seems difficult to compare the differences between each service, whether you're talking about supported languages, databases or bandwidth. You might be tempted to pick the cheapest provider and plan in hopes of saving a few dollars. However, you should not overlook the importance of speed and reliability.

Take a small business for example - if its website is down or under-performing, the host is actually hurting the business. Even if the hosting were $1 per month, losing $100 in revenue because of unreliable performance means the customer loses $101. At that price, they could afford to grow their business to a dedicated server.

For the past year, my Hosting Performance Monitoring team at GoDaddy has scrutinized our environment and made some changes to make sure we are offering best in breed web hosting. Offering your customers a reliable, stable and fast platform is the most important feature you can provide. But that means more than just "Is the site up?" or "Is it fast?" You need to ask, "Is it up and fast all the time?"

In an "always-on" world, there's never a time when someone isn't surfing through your Website. Therefore, you want to double check that your Web hosting provider is fast and has great uptime, consistently. Outlined below is our tried and true performance and reliability measurement method, and a sample of results from studies that we've conducted.

The Hosting Reliability Measurement Method

1. Identify Your Providers
Make a list of the hosting companies you want to compare. It can be two for a head-to-head comparison, or hundreds to get an understanding of the entire industry.

2. Get Accounts
Purchase a Web hosting account from each company. Depending on the provider, this step can be daunting - some companies' sites make it incredibly difficult. For example, certain providers asked us to email or fax in our driver's license or credit card to buy an account.

3. Deploy the WordPress Sites
Load a cloned WordPress site to each hosting provider. This site should be completely single-sourced, which means the site only loads from its own resources, i.e. it doesn't reference any third-party scripts, images, etc. This makes the tests purely about the server's performance.

4. Audit
After setting up all the sites, make sure they're identical before you start testing. One way to do this is through webpagetest.org. Load each of your sites, then compare the Bytes In, Requests, and make sure there's only one domain listed in the Domains tab.

5. Measure
There are plenty of measurement techniques. You can pick any combination you see fit. We recommend trying a combination of the following:

Once you have all of the data on file, you can share it with the world! If you want to take your observations on a longer term, you can use APIs from the sites you used to perform the tests that automatically updates daily, weekly or monthly.

Here's a sample output from our own trials using two of the techniques we've outlined here. It compares GoDaddy cPanel to 6 of its closest competitors from January 1 2014 through March 1 2014.  The competitors listed here (A through F) are real competitors.

Pingdom, Response Time*                                            Pingdom, Downtime*

(Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014)                                   (Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014)

*Disclaimer: based on one site per product. It is not necessarily representative of the provider's product as a whole.

Analysis: In 60 days, 99.9% uptime means ~90 minutes down. Anything more should be unacceptable and likely violates the provider's uptime guarantee.

Competitor C and D had respectable response time averages at 0.804 seconds and 0.857 seconds, but should be disqualified for having worse than 99.9% uptime with 5,853 minutes (that's 4d 1h 33m) and 199 minutes of downtime.  Doesn't matter what the speed is, this much downtime should not be tolerated.

GoDaddy cPanel performed exceptionally well, with the lowest response times and better than 99.9% uptime. GoDaddy cPanel is the clear performance winner in this 60-day study.

Gomez Results

Jan 1, 2014 through Mar 1, 2014

*Disclaimer: based on one site per product.  It is not necessarily representative of the provider's product as a whole.

Analysis: This is full-page load, in this case 15 page objects (i.e., CSS, JS, images) totally approximately 750KB. Gomez test nodes are sitting on high bandwidth connections on the edge of their networks in top tier data centers. This is not the typical home user on wifi sitting 100 feet away through 4 walls, it's fast. Gomez nodes have latency to tend with, however. Whichever Gomez node location is fastest for a provider is very likely the closest node to the provider.

GoDaddy cPanel performed under 1.0s on avg, at 0.743s, throughout the 60 day period. Competitor D was close at 1.001s

Conclusion
There are very few, if any, Web hosting performance studies available to help consumers make the right choice. We urge industry review analysts to adopt the method described in this article because we believe it provides a comprehensive view of how hosting companies perform. It's straightforward, too. Just set up a cloned WordPress site on a few different hosts, and then use a tool like Pingdom to monitor performance.

If we can get trusted, third-party sources to publish information like this on a continual basis, customers will have all of the information they need to make informed decisions.

More Stories By David Koopman

David Koopman is Principal Engineer, Hosting Infrastructure Performance Engineering Team at GoDaddy. He leads the Hosting Performance Team at GoDaddy and is responsible for measuring and monitoring performance of thousands of servers, hosting millions of websites. His team works closely with product and infrastructure teams to ensure consistent performance across the GoDaddy web hosting product line.

Since joining GoDaddy in 2002 as a software developer, David has helped transform the company’s Web-based email product into a multi-million account operation. During his tenure at GoDaddy, he has held several development positions including Dedicated and VPS Hosting Development Manager, Architect, Sr. VP of Product Development, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Scientist and Principal Engineer.

Prior to joining GoDaddy, David was the Technical Director of The Web Mark, a medical Internet services company. He attained a BS in Computer Science from Southwest Missouri State University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

When not developing new product ideas at GoDaddy, David enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, off-roading and boating.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
In this scenarios approach Joe Thykattil, Technology Architect & Sales at TimeWarner / Navisite, presented examples that will allow business-savvy professionals to make informed decisions based on a sound business model. This model covered the technology options in detail as well as a financial analysis. The TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and ROI (Return on Investment) demonstrated how to start, develop and formulate a business case that will allow both small and large scale projects to achieve...
Python is really a language which has swept the scene in recent years in terms of popularity, elegance, and functionality. Research shows that 8 out 10 computer science departments in the U.S. now teach their introductory courses with Python, surpassing Java. Top-ranked CS departments at MIT and UC Berkeley have switched their introductory courses to Python. And the top three MOOC providers (edX, Coursera, and Udacity) all offer introductory programming courses in Python. Not to mention, Python ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

After a couple of false starts, cloud-based desktop solutions are picking up steam, driven by trends such as BYOD and pervasive high-speed connectivity. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, cut through the hype and the acronyms, and discussed the emergence of full-featured cloud workspaces that do for the desktop what cloud infrastructure did for the server. He also discussed VDI vs DaaS, implementation strategies and evaluation criteria.
The stack is the hack, Jack. That's my takeaway from several events I attended over the past few weeks in Silicon Valley and Southeast Asia. I listened to and participated in discussions about everything from large datacenter management (think Facebook Open Compute) to enterprise-level cyberfraud (at a seminar in Manila attended by the US State Dept. and Philippine National Police) to the world of entrepreneurial startups, app deployment, and mobility (in a series of meetups and talks in bot...
Containers Expo Blog covers the world of containers, as this lightweight alternative to virtual machines enables developers to work with identical dev environments and stacks. Containers Expo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Bookmark Containers Expo Blog ▸ Here Follow new article posts on Twitter at @ContainersExpo
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins of distributed applications that enables them to build, ship, and run any app anywhere. Docker allows applications to run on any platform irrespective of what tools were used to build it making it easy to distribute, test, and run software. I found this 5 Minute Docker video, which is very helpful when you want to get a quick and digestible overview. If you want to learn more, you can go to Docker’s web page and start with this Docker intro...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...
There’s a lot of discussion around managing outages in production via the likes of DevOps principles and the corresponding software development lifecycles that does enable higher quality output from development, however, one cannot lay all blame for “bugs” and failures at the feet of those responsible for coding and development. As developers incorporate features and benefits of these paradigm shift, there is a learning curve and a point of not-knowing-what-is-not-known. Sometimes, the only way ...
You use an agile process; your goal is to make your organization more agile. But what about your data infrastructure? The truth is, today's databases are anything but agile - they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application an...
Over the years, a variety of methodologies have emerged in order to overcome the challenges related to project constraints. The successful use of each methodology seems highly context-dependent. However, communication seems to be the common denominator of the many challenges that project management methodologies intend to resolve. In this respect, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be viewed as powerful tools for managing projects. Few research papers have focused on the way...
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
How can you compare one technology or tool to its competitors? Usually, there is no objective comparison available. So how do you know which is better? Eclipse or IntelliJ IDEA? Java EE or Spring? C# or Java? All you can usually find is a holy war and biased comparisons on vendor sites. But luckily, sometimes, you can find a fair comparison. How does this come to be? By having it co-authored by the stakeholders. The binary repository comparison matrix is one of those rare resources. It is edite...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
Enterprises are fast realizing the importance of integrating SaaS/Cloud applications, API and on-premises data and processes, to unleash hidden value. This webinar explores how managers can use a Microservice-centric approach to aggressively tackle the unexpected new integration challenges posed by proliferation of cloud, mobile, social and big data projects. Industry analyst and SOA expert Jason Bloomberg will strip away the hype from microservices, and clearly identify their advantages and d...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers ...
Software development, like manufacturing, is a craft that requires the application of creative approaches to solve problems given a wide range of constraints. However, while engineering design may be craftwork, the production of most designed objects relies on a standardized and automated manufacturing process. By contrast, much of moving an application from prototype to production and, indeed, maintaining the application through its lifecycle has often remained craftwork. In his session at Dev...