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Theres a year-old question on this - http://community.webfaction.com/questions/7707/how-many-users-per-server where the answer specifies that you would expect around 110-130 users on a "new" server.

I'm on web314, when i run wc -l /etc/passwd I can see that there are 326 users on the server. I realize many of these are not actual "neighbors" but are users for apache, mysql etc. and possibly extra ssh accounts under the same client. But I'm curious how this compares to other servers? I've been a customer for a year and recently started to experience intermittent 502's from nginx on my sites, mixed with intermittent very slow page loads. I created a ticket and the issue has seemingly been resolved by a restart of apache on the server, for now at least.

Anyway, how many users are on the other servers, and how are they doing with free memory? CPU load? I'll admit I'm a little skeptic that maybe webfaction are starting to crowd the servers more than they used to. For reference, here is the user count and ram status on web314 at the moment. I don't mind overselling the RAM, since most users apparently don't use up much or any ram (I myself hardly use any), but with 16gb that is enough for 256mb for around 62 users - and that's not even considering ram usage for the shared mysql/postgres/apache instances.

I guess there's no way for me to tell how many users are on this server, but I'd probably ballpark it to 150-230, meaning at most 100 mb of ram pr customer - MINUS ram for apache, nginx, mysql and basic system functionality. I'm not saying it's necessarily unreasonable, just want to hear opinions on this and experiences from other servers.


[xxxxxxx@web314 ~]$ uptime
 12:08:56 up 19 days,  8:29, 10 users,  load average: 3.80, 3.32, 3.15
[xxxxxxx@web314 ~]$ wc -l /etc/passwd
326 /etc/passwd
[xxxxxxx@web314 ~]$ free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:         15946      15367        579          0        371       6521
-/+ buffers/cache:       8474       7472
Swap:         4095       2387       1708

asked 05 Mar '13, 05:16

Madsn
4314
accept rate: 0%


In the past, we did load around 110-130 customers per server, but that practice resulted in a lot of servers being under-utilized, and other servers being over-utilized.

Our current practice is to carefully monitor system load as new customers are added to a machine, and to then stop adding customers when the 24-hour load average starts to rise.

In practice, this works out to around 150-160 customers on a machine. This is indeed a bit higher than our old limit, but the machines we're using these days are much more powerful. Also, thanks to the kernel cgroups feature, load is managed more effectively.

All of that said, if you ever feel that your shared server is not performing as well as it should, please open a support ticket to let us know the details of your observation, and we'll be sure to look into right away to determine the cause.

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answered 05 Mar '13, 12:27

seanf
12.2k31836
accept rate: 37%

thanks for being specific. It's good to find a hosting company that's open about this stuff.

(09 Mar '13, 00:53) turgs

I've not noticed any problems but here is my info from web368 for you.

[xxxx@web368 ~]$ uptime
 16:43:39 up 96 days,  4:19,  4 users,  load average: 1.38, 1.19, 1.03
[xxxx@web368 ~]$ wc -l /etc/passwd
266 /etc/passwd
[xxxx@web368 ~]$ free -m
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:         15921      13170       2750          0        458       4960
-/+ buffers/cache:       7751       8169
Swap:         6143       3393       2750
[xxxx@web368 ~]$ ./ramcheck.sh
  PID   RSS COMMAND
23123  1752 sshd: xxxx@pts/2
23124  1924 -bash
23834   980 -bash
23835  1120 ps -u xxxx -o pid,rss,command
23837   952 awk {print $0}{sum+=$2} END {print "Total", sum/1024, "MB"}
Total 6.57031 MB

The contents of ./ramcheck.sh came from an answer posted here previously by Johns I believe.

ps -u xxxx -o pid,rss,command | awk '{print $0}{sum+=$2} END {print "Total", sum/1024, "MB"}'
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answered 05 Mar '13, 10:57

bitspill
31310
accept rate: 0%

Thanks for this, interesting to see. I would upvote you if I could.

(06 Mar '13, 14:06) Madsn

On web320, wc -l /etc/passwd is showing 312 users. On web180, it's showing 324.

I rarely have issues with web180. I was having issues with web320 a while ago (see this post), but it seems like they've improved it greatly over the past week.

Doesn't answer your question, but hopefully it helps as a reference. :)

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answered 07 Mar '13, 14:57

inntheboat
112
accept rate: 0%

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question asked: 05 Mar '13, 05:16

question was seen: 3,603 times

last updated: 09 Mar '13, 00:53

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