Shared Resource Management through CloudLinux

Shared Resource Management through CloudLinux

Last year we mentioned that we were looking at installing CloudLinux across our fleet of shared hosting servers.  We have finally completed that task. So what is CloudLinux, why is Hosting Nation excited about it and what does it mean to our customers?

In a typical shared webhosting server environment, when a user is abusing the server it affects the rest of the users on that server. There are a few limitations that can be put on a hosting account such as disk quotas and PHP memory limits, but they don’t help when there’s a runaway script or huge database queries. CloudLinux will!

CloudLinux is a commercially supported, RedHat based operating system that is designed for shared hosting environments. CloudLinux creates a lightweight virtual environment (LVE) for each individual account on a shared server and allows us to limit the amount of resources any single account can use. No more can someone take over the whole CPU on a server causing problems for other users and more support calls for us.

When a website uses more of its CPU allotment, it slows down without affecting the other users.  When a hosting account’s limit on entry processes (web requests) website visitors will experience an error message “503 Service Unavailable”, indicating that the account has exceeded its resource allocation. When the website falls back beneath its limit, the site will resume function. Memory limits are also in place, that unlike PHP limits, cover all processes run by that user.  In the future will introduce IO limits, MySQL limits and limit defined by hosting package as these technologies become stable.

As an end user, you also benefit from the lower server load and fewer interruptions of service. You also get a nifty little display in your cPanel  which shows useful stats for your account. Customers can determine their website resource status through monitoring of their cPanel logs. Under the “Logs” heading inside cPanel, you will find a “Resource Usage” icon. Clicking on this icon and reviewing the percentages of each resource used will give clear indication whether the website is abusing resources.

But wait! CloudLinux does more! Using features called Cagefs and Securelinks, server security is beefed up with measures to prevent hacked accounts from accessing you account. A user can now only see the files in their hosting account guarding against some of the tricks hackers use to gain information about other users.

So do you need to be worried about hitting resource limits? Probably not. Any legitimate site will run just fine. The small set of users that this might affect are the users that were causing the resource usage problems before. Any customer experiencing a “503 Service Unavailable” error or concerned about the numbers in their cPanel  should contact Hosting Nation support to analyze the usage and  review if the website has been hacked or requires an upgrade path.