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How much to OVERsell?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by rweiss, Apr 12, 2003.

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How much do you oversell disk space and bandwidth?

  1. I do not oversell.

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. I sell approximately 1.5x my available disk space and/or monthly bandwidth.

    4 vote(s)
    15.4%
  3. I sell double (2x)...

    3 vote(s)
    11.5%
  4. I sell three-four times (3x-4x)...

    1 vote(s)
    3.8%
  5. I sell five times (5x) or more...

    8 vote(s)
    30.8%
  1. rweiss

    rweiss Well-Known Member
    PartnerNOC

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    Hi there,

    We're racking up a good number of users and the question of how much to oversell is coming up.

    While it's reasonable for any hosting company to oversell a little bit, we certainly want to be responsible about it.

    I'd like to keep this discussion generic... I'd say that no matter how great the packages that a web hosting provider offers, disk and bandwidth usage on average (per domain) is fairly similar between hosting providers.

    So... my questions are:
    1. If you have 80GB of disk space on a machine, how much do you oversell it by? If your hosting packages are "more than large enough" -- i.e. 500-1000MB, is it reasonable to sell 160 GB worth of space in total (double what you have)? Maybe even more?
    2. This question only applies to those with dedicated or colo'd boxes. If you have an allotment of 400GB of monthly transfer, how much would you sell without feeling "at risk" of going over?
      [/list=1]

      I think this is definitely an interesting topic... any feedback would be appreciate (and useful to everyone, I think).

      -Russ
     
  2. techark

    techark Well-Known Member

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    I don't oversell.

    I have a set amount of profit I want to make per box I set my plans accordingly and then buy another box when I get to that level of profit and space used on the server.

    In fact most of my servers on space are undersold.

    But that is just my personal way of doing business if I sell it, it is gone, it belongs to the customer whether they use it or not , but every host is different. Plus most of my business is to resellers and I reach the limit of number of accounts I want to be hosted per box normally before we reach the space limits.
     
  3. rweiss

    rweiss Well-Known Member
    PartnerNOC

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    Yeah, I guess when you have resellers you have to be slightly more careful, especially if you give them the oversell option.

    Right now we don't allow reselling, but might in the future. I see what you're saying. It just seems that users don't often come close to using all of what they are offered (especially when web providers offer "crazy" good deals, like 1GB of disk space for $10 or less).

    -Russ
     
  4. PWSowner

    PWSowner Well-Known Member

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    I don't oversell space because it's very cheap to add that if needed. Bandwidth is a different story. Most sites only use 1/10 to 1/2 of what's given and if I didn't oversell bandwidth, there would never be enough accounts on the server to pay for it.
     
  5. Website Rob

    Website Rob Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing wrong with overselling, if, like credit, it is handled wisely and responsibly.

    Anything over 10% - 20% would not be deemed prudent IMHO, and it all depends on how much one monitors their Server -- resources and otherwise. Data Transfer should never be a problem as most DC's allow & provide for a Server to exceed said allotments and charge accordingly. This allows some freedom for the Server operator.

    From my POV, if any Client has access to the resources they have paid for, whenever they want/need it and it is available to them, there is no problem. Whether overselling is involved or not makes no difference to them. They just want what they paid for, whenever required.


    I know others will disagree with what is mentioned above and indeed, it has already been mentioned that once someone pays for "said resources" it belongs to them and cannot be allocated to someone else. Which is fine, for those that want to operate that way. It is also fine, for someone to prudently and responsibly, oversell resources for a Server -- while still providing each Client what they paid for when they want it.

    While it may sound 'impossible', it is very feasible. Unfortunately, there are too many people overselling and not providing the wisdom or responsibility they should be, in the area of Server management. Which, BTW, includes a lot more than just overselling. Thus, giving us all a bad name in the Hosting business. Par for the course and happens in most business sectors. All we good providers can do, is weather out the storms and be available to provide the good service people look for.
     
  6. outlet

    outlet Registered

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    If you draw a parallel to the banking industry, a little overselling is not such a bad thing. All a bank does is give you the illusion that you can retrieve all of your money at any given time. They don't have every single penny of everybody's money available to them instantly. They keep a certain percentage available for immediate access, and they do whatever they will with the rest.

    Of course, this really works well for them because each person makes up a tiny percentage of their total assets and the chances of most of them needing all of their money at one time is extremely slim (but possible). The practice doesn't work quite as well for hosting, especially on fixed resources such as hard drives. But extremely prudent overselling is not nearly as bad as everybody says. It has gotten a bad name from abuse.
     
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