Scaling Questions

How do I resize my server?

When your server is powered off, go into the server configuration page, then simply adjust the CPU and memory settings.

Can I change the size of my server whilst it is running?

No. Operating systems are not able to recognise changes of this sort and would crash if we enabled them.

How do I grow my disk?

To increase the size of your drive, shut down the server it is attached to, choose Edit for that drive in your control panel and increase the size in the dialog. After resizing the disk, you can restart your server attached to it but will then need to grow any partitions and filesystems on it to make use of the extra space. (Our preinstalled linux images do not have partitions but just a single filesystem filling the entire drive, so it is sufficient to run resize2fs directly on the hard disk block device node to grow this filesystem.)

How do I shrink my disk safely?

It is very important to shrink the size of your filesystem and any partitions using your operating system BEFORE trying to shrink the drive itself! If you don’t do this, you will chop the end off the filesystem when you shrink the drive leading to serious corruption. If in doubt, we strongly advise against attempting a drive shrink because of this risk. However, once you are sure it is safe to do so, you can shrink the virtual drive by shutting down the attached server and decreasing the drive size via the control panel. The shrinking of disks is completely unsupported by us, and we will not be liable for any data lost by doing this.

How do I scale automatically with load?

You can use our API to start and stop servers when your application detects that it needs extra computing power. Building an application which scales across multiple machines like this is done in the same way as it would be on physical hardware which you could programmatically turn on and off, but is beyond the scope of this FAQ.

How do you recommend configuring server clusters appropriate for each stage in my website’s growth?

Whilst the exact answer will vary according to your web application’s architecture, we recommend the following cluster architectures to back a typical site as it grows, progressing in order:

  1. Single small server with standard disk, running entire LAMP stack
  2. Single large server with dedicated disk, running entire LAMP stack
  3. Multiple large servers in classic 3-tier web application architecture, interconnected over private network VLAN:
  • Clustered database servers with dedicated disk
  • Front-end application servers with standard disk
  • Load balancer(s) running Pound, HAproxy, etc

Note that in the second stage a single larger server with dedicated disk will typically give better performance than splitting immediately into multiple small servers, since disk I/O is improved and there are no extra latencies from cross-network communication.

If you’re needing help with complex solutions, you should take a look at our sister company, Melbourne Server Hosting who offer a full range of both cloud servers and physical dedicated servers.

 
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