Geek alert! This article is for Slicehost geeks only.
Talk about playing on the edge, I almost fell off this time. I have eight slices (virtual servers, that is) on Slicehost (which is now owned by Rackspace) and believe me they are tiny! But they can serve low-volume to medium-volume web sites pretty well. For instance, Shaping Youth (several thousand visitors a day) and GirlsHorseClub are on these little servers and they serve up pretty rapidly. Nice thing about Slicehost is that any host can be scaled up from the tiny size to 16x that size, and because it’s cloud computing, you can also bring up multiple instances of any server and have them share load. This allows me to implement the traditional three-tiered architecture (web/application/database) quite well without having to worry about whether my servers will be able to handle the load because I can scale ’em up whenever I need to.
But, the catch is that when you start with the tiniest slice (256MB RAM) you really have to fine-tune your operating system and applications in order to get good performance out of them. (continue reading…)