An interesting tech test, looking for sponsors or pledges from interested people. [Industry Secrets]

AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

origin of this thread: https://talk.lowendspirit.com/discussion/comment/30849/#Comment_30849

Background and questions to answer.

There has always been a question around overselling, how much is, ok, what methods are used, what is oversold, what are the limits, will it still be usable if oversold.

To not put this on any specific host there has been questions in the past on how hosts can sell so much ram/specs for so little and still exist years later, one of the suspicions has always been using large or just fast ssd arrays as swap and selling swap as Ram.

The plan

To get 2 identical physical servers and run them for 2 or 3 months, 1 will be configured for significant overselling, the other will not be oversold.

Customers will not know which server they are on, that will only be revealed at the end of the experiment.

Services will be KVM based.

All technical details and methodologies will be documented and posted here and on the main site.

The expectations

As customers will only be able to buy one of these i.e. they will only have a server on 1 node so will have no way to do any direct comparison themselves they will not know which node they are on and service quality will seem acceptable even if on the highly oversold node.

The technical details

I would be looking to use 2 nodes with somewhere close to the following specs.

  • 12 Threads minimum
  • 32GB Ram minimum
  • 4 x SATA SSD's minimum (NVME preferred or 2 x NVME + 2 x SSD)
  • 1 x /24 IP range.

1 node will be configured as standard. LVM, 30 of the 32GB RAM Sold, Raid 1 minimum (maybe 10 depends on specs)

1 node will be configured to use ram, lower priority large SSD SWAP spaces, Thin provisioned disks with a 4x oversell i.e. 128GB Ram sold.

Plan for selling.

There will be 1 package/plan based on common requirements along the lines of:

  • 2 vCPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 30GB Disk space
  • 50 GB BW (just to avoid potential abuse)

I will figure out what the lowest price can be so it does not cost money to sell it (fee's etc) I expect this to be around €0.50 for the entire term which I hope to be 2 months minimum, possibly 3.

The reason for charging is that I don't want to make it free so participants can be verified to some degree as the potential for abuse is rife and to manually provision based on requests is too time-consuming.

What is needed to make this happen.

Option 1. In an ideal world a host that provides dedicated servers sponsors this, please tag any hosts you think may be interested in participating obviously they will be heavily credited through the documenting of this which I expect to be multiple parts and I expect to lead to sales as I will essentially be providing a blueprint for becoming a host on your network with maximum profitability per node.

Option 2. As above but the host provides the servers at a cost which if I can cover myself I will but may ask for pledges from the community.

Option 3. We all collectively agree on a host and chip in at full price to spread the cost.

The requirements repeated in case you skipped that above:

  • 12 Threads minimum
  • 32GB Ram minimum
  • 4 x SATA SSD's minimum (NVME preferred or 2 x NVME + 2 x SSD)
  • 1 x /24 IP range.
  • Both servers must be in the same physical location and connected to the same physical switch/core to avoid any external factors influencing perceived performance.

Control and keeping it honest.

Aside from 1 of the nodes not being oversold at all, I will be inviting other experienced community members to audit and verify the setup and provide comments, ideally @Francisco if he is willing as he is a well known trusted technical resource but not limited to 1 other host so any others are welcome to be involved.

If this happens what should I know?

  1. If you buy a VPS assume your VPS data is not private, others will need access to the servers to validate the experiment.
  2. Assume it will not be stable, this is an experiment that may need to be tweaked.
  3. If 1 node needs to be rebooted both will be rebooted so as not to give away which is which.
  4. If this happens and If you buy one and think a sentence that goes anything like "I know it's only €0.50 and/or I know it is an experiment BUT" this is not for you.
  5. There will be no support, NO SUPPORT.
  6. Abusers accept they will be named and shamed.
  7. Linux/templates only for simplicity and to avoid control panel based limitations artificially impacting this.

Any questions, thoughts, words of support?

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Comments

  • Given the overselling, you'd have about 4x more users on the oversold node than on the non oversold one. Can you still guarantee a 50 50 chance on what node a user lands on, and does that matter?

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  • Also, @Clouvider the above might be a nice way to kickstart some of your new locations with respect to resellers?

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider
    edited June 15

    @teamacc said:
    Given the overselling, you'd have about 4x more users on the oversold node than on the non oversold one. Can you still guarantee a 50 50 chance on what node a user lands on, and does that matter?

    I mean obviously not, all that matters is that you dont know as the buyer which one you are on.

    I suppose I should also add generally that if your entire motivation for taking part is to find out yourself which one you are on and publish that before the end of the experiment, you kind of missed the point although if you figure it out anyway then that is fine.

    I have no doubt that some tech-savvy people will be able to work it out, I could, I suppose it is also fine to speculate publicly, as long as you understand I won't reveal or answer questions around that until the end.

    I expect that there will be a difference is service quality, that is not the point, the point is would you still buy it if the price is right.

    I should have said the regular plan price will be positioned at €1.75 p/month

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  • Sounds cool. 😅 Considering your requirements, I believe am not a tech savvy.
    Anyway waiting for your result of this Experiment

  • Excited for results, and hope contabo sponsors this experiment

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    Mostly lurking for now.

  • AlexanderMAlexanderM Hosting Provider

    First post here ;) We're more than happy to sponsor the /24 subnet!

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  • @cybertech said:
    Excited for results, and hope contabo sponsors this experiment

    Lmao

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @AlexanderM said:
    First post here ;) We're more than happy to sponsor the /24 subnet!

    Brilliant, that's a big part of the puzzle. :+1:

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  • BrendanBrendan Hosting ProviderOG
    edited June 15

    FlowVPS is also willing to sponsor a /24 :) Know you only need one but will put the offer out there anyway.

  • wdmgwdmg Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    Not a hosting provider, but also happy to sponsor a /24 or chip in money towards operational costs.

  • edited June 15

    Count me in. Willing to go even for 3rd option (if EU).

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    looks like the IP space is covered, really appreciated, now we just need to secure the hardware for ideally 3 months.

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  • Nice idea Ant! I'm interested to see how this plays out, and will buy one once I can think of a meaningful use for it. My only concern would be that the usage patterns you'll see on these would not reflect real-world results (will they all just idle or will everyone have geekbench on a hourly cron or something crazy? Lol)

    I suspect that an "oversold" node could be as close to non-oversold in terms of performance, where the node is monitored and proactively kept in good health. To the average user, it's going to be virtually indistinguishable.

    You'd pretty much have to use alphawootracks as the benchmark for horrible performance imo lol

    Resident numpty

  • FAT32FAT32 OG
    edited June 15

    Interesting experiment :) Let me know if you need a really noisy neighbour - but will this consider as an abuse? :joy:

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider
    edited June 15

    @dartagnan @FAT32 yeah the very nature of this experiment will nurture none conventional use, I was thinking about that while writing the initial post.

    The bottom line is that I can't really control that but I decided that both servers will be subject to the same unnatural use so it should balance out.

    I am also thinking I may pick a bunch of guest servers at random for the last month/phase and migrate them to the other nodes as that may make it even more interesting.

    Any hey, if it really works out I might even end up keeping the servers and offering a ridiculous price to keep them.

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @dahartigan said: You'd pretty much have to use alphawootracks as the benchmark for horrible performance imo lol

    I think that was caused by them simply overselling rather than applying some intelligent design to it. :)

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  • @AnthonySmith said:
    Any hey, if it really works out I might even end up keeping the servers and offering a ridiculous price to keep them.

    Just to confirm, does ridiculous means cheap? :D

    "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always."

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @FAT32 said: Just to confirm, does ridiculous means cheap

    yeah, cheaper than contabo :)

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  • vyasvyas OGContent Writer
    edited June 15

    Cool idea!

    50 GB BW (just to avoid potential abuse)

    Interesting

  • Ambitious & interesting. I like it.

    I'd drop the spec's to 1 vcpu & oversell that too? Presumably people willing to oversell aren't exactly shy once they've embraced the dark side?

    I think it'll be quite dependent on luck of the draw tbh on workloads. i.e. If the oversold one gets allocated more heavy idlers then it'll slant it. So would collect resource usage over time so the extent to which the "over" actually gets used

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    yeah, I should have added some detail around that, the main thing here is the disk and Ram overselling, every VPS host oversells CPU, it is such a given I did not think to even mention it.

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  • If you oversell 4x, it would be 64 customers (128vCPU) on a 12thread machine. Wouldn't CPU power also be an issue (assuming that you are mostly considering on RAM usage)?

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  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @sanvit said:
    If you oversell 4x, it would be 64 customers (128vCPU) on a 12thread machine. Wouldn't CPU power also be an issue (assuming that you are mostly considering on RAM usage)?

    Maybe I should have said "up to 4x" there is no absolute formula without a customer use crystal ball however the truth is that most customers barley touch even 10% of a core on avg.

    But that is part of the fun of this experiment, maybe I will get 3x maybe I will get 5x but I will push it to the limits and it will be a very interesting analysis afterwards.

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  • WSCallumWSCallum Hosting Provider

    It'll certainly be interesting to see the results. It's worth considering a lot of these scenarios are with providers who provide high RAM packages on nodes with like 1TB of RAM, which in itself makes overselling less noticable as the vast majority don't actually use their resources - They just buy 60GB RAM plans because its cheap and cheerful for what it is and then probably use 10GB at the most half of the time.

    Looking forward to the results of this!

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  • @AnthonySmith said:

    @sanvit said:
    If you oversell 4x, it would be 64 customers (128vCPU) on a 12thread machine. Wouldn't CPU power also be an issue (assuming that you are mostly considering on RAM usage)?

    Maybe I should have said "up to 4x" there is no absolute formula without a customer use crystal ball however the truth is that most customers barley touch even 10% of a core on avg.

    But that is part of the fun of this experiment, maybe I will get 3x maybe I will get 5x but I will push it to the limits and it will be a very interesting analysis afterwards.

    makes more sense! Thanks for the reply, and really interested on the result :D

  • Could also be an interesting business offering. i.e. VMs with very good "specs" but it's specifically declared as heavily oversold. For some of my use cases that would be useful. e.g. I needed a high RAM one because I couldn't get gitlab to install on smaller ones...but obviously the definition of "RAM" is flexible...

    Interestingly Google just made an "overselling" announcement of it's own - very similar type thinking:

    https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/nodes/overcommitting-cpus-sole-tenant-vms

  • Oversold to 4X idling customers will just skew the results. Just saying.

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  • Definitely an interesting experiment. I'll happily buy and idle one! I just hope enough people puts some kind of load on it though, since we are notorious for idling.

  • lentrolentro Hosting Provider

    I'm interested in helping cover the costs. Great experiment, and I'm excited to see what the results are!

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  • ReadyDedisReadyDedis Hosting ProviderOGServices Provider

    I'll be cool with sponsoring 2 units of 2 x Dual E5-2620v2 - 32GB RAM - 4x240GB SSD ( or 2x500GB SSD )

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