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A client of mine is getting billed around ~$1400 per month for hosting. However the site is only averaging roughly 200 hits per day and it serves no large files nor videos.

It's hosted with http://www.engineyard.com/ and I've looked at the bill and "Standard Support Standard CPU Extra Large Instance Usage" features, which clocks in at $833 per month plus a myriad of other line items. I have no idea how serving such a small website could possibly rack up such massive costs - anyone have any experience/ideas on this?

Update:

Plus what is a "Standard Support Standard CPU Extra Large Instance Usage", exactly?

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Sounds like it's time to switch to another host. A simple website with 200hits/day should clock in around $5/mo at one of the major shared server providers. –  Chris S Feb 14 '11 at 18:23
    
Or just find out what they need and get the extras killed off the bill and the instance. Might be a lot easier/cheaper than migrating to somewhere new. –  ErnieTheGeek Feb 14 '11 at 18:26
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Yeah. Dont blame the host for what may be stupidity of the person signing up. The host (system) will gladly accept all kinds of useless options - if a stupid admin selects them. –  TomTom Feb 14 '11 at 21:15

4 Answers 4

That does seem very expensive, but of course it's a free market and if he's happy to pay that bill they're under no obligation to suggest he move or change supplier to save money.

What I would say is that unless the application is particularly complex there's no need for him to have the 'extra large' service - moving hosts can be time consuming, complex and risky - it might be easier for him to simply move to a, significantly, smaller service level - perhaps only one or two CPUs and less memory? If this isn't fast or cheap enough still then I'd look around, I'm sure you could find geographically-appropriate alternatives for the same cost or lower given only an hour or two's research.

Good luck.

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It's actually the web developer that organized the hosting and I am looking for a concrete way of calling him on the charges as I am pretty sure that it's (massively) excessive. –  K-Bear Feb 14 '11 at 18:30
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You should be able to ask engineyard for a VM usage report - specifically average and peak CPU load, average memory and disk IO stats. This should tell you what sort of VM he needs, feel free to post them on here if you wish. –  Chopper3 Feb 14 '11 at 18:34

I found their support options that explain what "standard support" gets you. They appear to be reselling Amazon EC2 with added pre-configuration and support for Ruby on Rails applications, so the "extra large" probably refers to Amazon's Extra Large, which means 15 GB of RAM, 8 "compute units" and 1690GB of storage.

My guess is that your client got what he asked for rather than what he needed, but without knowing how hard you're working the cloud to get those 200 hits, it's hard to say if you could just switch to a "small".

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Keep in mind that Engine Yard does managed application hosting rather than just hosting. They are a bit like Heroku. They offer premium support for the whole stack as well as hosting. If you're running a single server that isn't terribly complicated, having Engine Yard manage it is overkill.

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The hits per day would be questionable only when calculating cost from a bandwidth pov.

For hardware allocation the invoice would be based on the management layer and hardware allocated. This does sound like it was possibly overspec'd for the application currently in use. It might be worth a call to Engine Yard and downgrading some of the additions.

See if there management is required and determine if your actually needing it, if you can remove that layer it will probably reduce the pricing by half.

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