Short term high traffic hosting

I client of mine is running a promotion during the month of September. They are expecting a spike in traffic that may overwhelm the GoDaddy hosting plan.
Does anyone have any ideas for a host that can accommodate high traffic but only for a month?


Cloud hosting Amazon, Windows Azure etc. Scale to the traffic with either.
(I personally would move their entire site to Windows Azure…but that is just me)

How much traffic are they expecting? estimate?
I can usually hold a hundred or so on a Godddy shared hosing account at one time with no issues. If its more than this than you could get dedicated hosting.

A dedicated server isn’t a good idea for a short term burst of use - you typically have to commit to a long term contract, or pay a substantial set up fee. Also, the resources available (e.g memory, cpu) are typically fixed. With cloud/virtual server hosting, you can rescale resources as required, and pay for usage on a a very granular basis with no long term commitment.

I would look for a non-committing VPS that can possibly handle the amount of estimated traffic. This will allow you to withstand the onslaught of traffic while not committing the next year with the VPS. You should be able to move back into a shared hosting plan afterwards.


What you must be concerned with is the % of CPU time that you can command at any one time. That means that most shared accounts will cease serving you as soon as your demand is high, same with VPS as it’s also shared (albeit separate). At least you know with a dedicated server that you own all the CPU time that the server has. However, that’s back to my original advice: Know your requirements!



It’s often impossible to truly know your requirements though. There’s a few things I’d do.

First, get the client on CDN, someone like CloudFlare or [url=]MaxCDN will provide you with 1TB free. That will mean all static content (images, javascript, css, html files even) can be served from the CDN, reducing the amount of queries on your hosting provider often 80%. If you’re using Wordpress, get W3TotalCache.

As for hosting, we need to know more details of what type of site it is…dynamic or static? You may simply be able to roundrobin it between a few servers for instance.

Or just use a Cloud Service provider like Amazon or Windows Azure. Both allow one to scale to the need. Both also provided local datacenters around the world with CDNs. Another benefit is you only pay for what you use. Used only 1 GB of bandwidth that month? You only pay for that 1 GB not for the 200 GB you reserved. So much simpler with these services.

Your client might consider migrating on a VPS in order to be able to scale up the resources when one needs more. I agree that using a CDN would help a lot.

I understand what you are trying to recommend, but VPS’s themselves are not scalable in the same way services such as Windows Azure and Amazon EC2.

A VPS is still saddled by sharing the CPU time and RAM on any given server. Typically this means that high demand often causes VPS’s to under-perform. The scaling that can be done with the cloud services actually don’t use the same kind of ‘shared-use’ model; instead it is a type of clustering that in some of the more robust services can mean you can scale to the demand, and down-scale. Additionally you normally do not have lengthy contracts or costly setup and can have your site located in your target market (to reduce latency).

I agree that as soon as it is permissible and cost effective you should move your site off of Godaddy. Godaddy doesn’t specialize in hosting and they also don’t use a true cPanel product. If your client is going to be running promotions on and off then a cloud service is also your best solution at this point. It is going to be a bit more expensive than a simple shared account but not as expensive as a VPS from month to month. Of course this statement can vary with your plan and your provider. But, with a cloud account you can have that flexibility to scale your resource up during promo. time and then back down again once you know that your usage levels have dropped. The technology crowd knows about cloud services but the mainstream user and even many who use hosting are still catching up on the latest technology trend. And, cloud isn’t a trend but the next step in hosting technology. Look into it. You will find it can suit your particular circumstance perfectly.

Amazon EC2 instances are just xen VPS, and have exactly the same CPU/ram/bandwidth share issues any xen VPS would have. The only difference between EC2 and other VPS is a high level API that can manipulate multiple instances across your account, and interact with other amazon web services, however if you only use a single EC2 instance, as opposed to a cluster then there is no scalability advantage.