I have read rumors that certain shared web hosting providers assign more than 1,000 users to each of their servers. This implies that the servers will be grossly overworked and the service will be slow. However, you never really know what you’re going to get with a new host, because such numbers are never published. You won’t see the sales pages for Godaddy and Dreamhost list service descriptions as One 8-core Opteron processor, 16GB memory and one 2TB hard drive with 2,000 user accounts per server. Unfortunately you won’t find anything like that on AN Hosting’s pages either, but I did a little sleuthing and have more details for you.
Over the summer, AN Hosting launched a new “Power Boost” service. The idea is to provide a set of servers with many fewer user accounts. Each account thus receives a larger slice of system resources. According to the AN Hosting blog:
If you ever had to decide whether you should upgrade to an expensive Dedicated server, you don’t have to anymore! AN Hosting is now providing a more powerful hosting solution for your websites by introducing the Power Boost upgrade. […]
Major Benefits Include:
- Enhanced performance for your website(s)
- More CPU and Memory availability
- FREE Dedicated IP included!
- Increased limit of emails sent per hour (1,000/hour)
- Higher PHP memory limits
- Greater server efficiency and reliability
- Easy on the pocketbook and competitively priced, from $15.90/month!
- No special knowledge required; same AN Hosting support and management as before, just More POWER and PERFORMANCE!!
I spoke to an AN Hosting sales rep and was able to get much more specific details, including a description of their regular service. Their Power Boost service is designed to provide 5x the performance of standard AN Hosting service. On the standard servers, 400-500 user accounts are assigned. The Power Boost servers are provisioned with no more than 80 user accounts.
My impression, based on these numbers and over a year running this website on their servers, is that AN Hosting loads their servers appropriately. You won’t end up on a server so heavily loaded that it’s useless. And if your site grows too large, you can easily move it to a Power Boost server.