Comments on: Pools: Arbitrary HTTP Servers, Resource Reservation and Scalability A blog from the staff at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. Thu, 22 Apr 2010 05:56:33 +0000 hourly 1 By: Nilson Thu, 22 Apr 2010 05:56:33 +0000 I’m trying to understand how exactly is this going to work.

So, basically, from what I understood there will be an SSH environment to where we can SSH to (like with the current shared hosting) and the file system contents will be mirrored to the “pool servers”. Is this correct?

I guess I’m really just trying to figure out the deployment scenario for a modern Perl application (with several dependencies such as Catalyst) by locally installing modules instead of asking for module installs using support requests every time.

Pool site maintenance doesn’t differ much from our regular hosting in this regard, with the sole exception that you have access to the config files for your server process. -jdw

By: andrew Mon, 19 Apr 2010 22:56:08 +0000 Very awesome feature, I’m considering trying a few VPS apps out to see if they’ll work. Linode is fun and great, but more and more I’m getting less time to do server maintenance myself and just want to focus on the apps.

Is there any sort of support for cron jobs? For instance, let’s say I have a search server (sphinx) in one lane and apache in another. Is it possible to have a) apache communicate with the other lane (I’m assuming only on port 80) and b) for a cron in the search server to index items in the mysql process every 5 minutes?

You guys are beautiful, I love you all.

Yes, cron job support will come to pools first because lanes provide what we currently lack: a context within which to run the job. -jdw

By: Vasilis Sun, 18 Apr 2010 09:33:43 +0000 That’s a great feature addition for Good work guys.

Question: Is it possible for us “poor” and low-budget web admins to be able to run a one-time Pool test for a short period eg. 15 days without costing us the expense of 3-5 months for our sites that run now? I’m asking because I would be interested to know how my two Drupal web sites running here would perform on the same pool, running in different lanes. Would you consider such an option?


No. Pools, like the rest of our services, are priced based on the cost of providing them. -jdw

By: Rob Sat, 17 Apr 2010 21:37:37 +0000 Just wondering, but would this be a way to get some form of SSL?

I know you say “port 80 only”, but for, say, a private/limited-use site there’s nothing really stopping one from serving SSL on 80 instead of 443, right?

Perhaps something like stunnel as a front-end to an existing site?

No, you would not be able to run HTTPS on port 80. -jdw

By: Flav Tue, 13 Apr 2010 02:48:06 +0000 Could you explain the difference in performance between pools and a regular non-pool site is? My main interest is in PHP/MySQL sites that run off wordpress. Would I notice a difference in speed even in low-traffic sites or only in high traffic sites? If only high traffic, what sorts of bandwidth/hits are we talking to see a difference?

Performance difference depends largely on the type of application, not so much traffic level. “Heavyweight” frameworks (e.g. Django, Catalyst, Zend, Rails) and PHP apps that don’t run in safe_mode are the largest performance beneficiaries of pools. WordPress works fine with the PHP 5 Fast setup, so would only really be a pool candidate at extremely high traffic levels or if you don’t want to hassle with safe_mode restrictions. -jdw

By: jdw Thu, 08 Apr 2010 23:06:57 +0000 mod_rails should definitely work, and we’re likely to provide it for pools alongside mod_php and mod_wsgi soon. I don’t know enough about Ruby enterprise edition to comment there, but don’t think there’s a FreeBSD port for it, so you’d have to build it yourself.

The current monthly pool price is the base price ($3.43) plus the RAM price ($21.45/GiB). So for a 128 MiB pool, it’s:

$3.43 + (128 MiB * $21.45 / 1024 MiB)) = $6.11

We’ll be including a calculator with the public site documentation, because it’s one of those things that becomes obvious as soon as you play around with it.


By: Greg Thu, 08 Apr 2010 22:36:58 +0000 Would there be any chance of getting mod_rails (aka Phusion Passenger) and Ruby enterprise edition in a Pool?

Also, can you please clarify the pricing of a 128MB pool?

“The base price for a pool is $3.43/month.”


“Pools can be configured at any memory size you desire between a minimum of 128MiB ($6.11/month)”


By: Nick Thu, 08 Apr 2010 06:57:27 +0000 Awesome@Memcache support!

I see you when you’re sleeping. I know when you’re awake.

St. Nick

By: jdw Thu, 08 Apr 2010 06:43:34 +0000 Nick-

APC is known to work. I’m not sure if it’s included in the pool distribution though, so if you set one up and can’t find it, just let us know and we’ll get it copied in there. I have no experience with XCache, but if you want to build it and load it in, it’d probably work fine.

But, this is eerie… When your comment came in I was actually sitting here at that exact moment evaluating the feasibility of per-pool memcached.

The answer is yes, we are definitely going to make that an option.


By: Nick Thu, 08 Apr 2010 06:31:47 +0000 Will pools support PHP op-code caching (XCache, APC etc.)? We use the Symfony framework which needs this to perform well.

Also, any chance of having a per-pool Memcache service?