how to decide on web hosting packages based on concurrent users and other requirements...

Hi there,

Here is our domain name www.GoOverDESK.com. Education/Teaching/Training related website. Lessons and Solutions will be available in the forms of videos. Solution Notes/Past Examination Solved papers will be available in the form of Flip Books and interactive quizzes in the form of SWF files. Samples of all types of contents can be readily seen now at this link:

http://www.gooverdesk.com/prototype/viewdemo.php

1- Lessons and Solutions videos will be stored at  Vimeo/Daily Motion = Total size here is 4 to 5 GB. And we will be pointing users from our website hosted on the xyz web hosting provider to the mentioned video streaming services.

2- Solution Notes, Past Examination Solved papers and interactive quizzes = size here is 1 GB. Plus the other files such as HTML, CSS and PHP or some. The size of our public_html = approx 2 GB (including content and other website related files). currently hosted with xyz web hosting provider.

We are still in the design and development phase of our web portal. However in the next few weeks we will be launching it and will start our marketing campaign or some thing. And we like to give flawless video streaming experience to our users i.e to the user of www.GoOverDESK.com. Ideally user should have no issue accessing the content from our site. Like no buffering or latency issues.

use case: Lets assume we have X number of registered users. And they try to access our website concurrently (at the same time), and start taking the video lessons/solutions (stored at Vimeo/Daily Motion, as mentioned at Point 1 above)  and other related content (stored at the xyz web hosting provider as mentioned at Point 2 above).  At this stage mostly all of the users will be from South Asia (Pakistan).

Looking for stable web hosting solution that can serve flawlessly, like can handle max traffic load of X number of users at the same time.
Attached please find the files, which are the available hosting plans/options. which one is the best suited for our above mentioned needs/use case.

Please advice what plan should we consider for 100 users for our baby step or pilot project. And what will be for 500 users. And please pin point if possible for 1000 users as well.

Please suggest.
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masmatcAsked:
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:

1- Lessons and Solutions videos will be stored at  Vimeo/Daily Motion
This content is hosted by Vimeo, so it will not have an effect on the performance of your web site. Any buffering/latency will be due to either:
Vimeo
Users connection


2- Solution Notes, Past Examination Solved papers and interactive quizzes

What are these files? Video? Pdf ? etc.
What is their average size?
How often will a member download these files? 1 time, every time they visit? etc.

Ultimately these are the content files that will impact your host performance.  With these numbers, you can estimate how much bandwidth you'll need.


The size of our public_html = approx 2 GB

I assume this contains all of the items from #2 above.  It is extremely unlikely that any single user will download your entire public_html folder.  Most visitors will cache the majority of your site in their browser, so repeat visits won't cause your html/css/etc to be downloaded again.

The question really comes down to how many unique visitors do you plan to have each day and how much data will these visitors be downloading?

Let's say, just for fun, you had 100 members visit today and every one of them downloaded your entire 2GB public_html folder. That is 200GB of bandwidth used.  Obviously, this is not going to happen, but it's an easy calculation for you to run with.

Please advice what plan should we consider for 100 users

Even the cheapest shared hosting will be able to accommodate 100 concurrent connections. Your site appears to be mostly static. There will be minimal resources used.

I'd say the two most important things for you to consider:
1.) Reliability. Do they have a good reputation for uptime and support?
2.) Location. If your target demographic is in Pakistan, you may want to focus on finding a host that has a datacenter that is near Pakistan. This will help prevent latency to these users. You also may want to integrate with a CDN.
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masmatcAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply Lucas Bishop. For sure we will be considering the important things/factors that you have mentioned.

The file types are as follows:

a) Solution Notes+Past Examination Solved Papers (Total Size of 900 MB) = These are Flip Books. As you know a Flip book is the combination of html+xml+jpg+swf+png+js files. Each package of one flip book is anywhere from 8 MB to 25 MB. We have like approx 60 of them. Average size of the flip books is 15 MB. Sample can be seen at http://www.gooverdesk.com/prototype/viewdemo.php  (Please click on the VIEW SOLUTION NOTES link).

b) Interactive quizzes are SWF files (Total of 27 MB) = We have approx 40 of them. And the average file size of an interactive quiz is 0.7 MB.


c) Other web site related files html, css, php, png etc.

Hence the entire  public_html = a+b+c = 900+27+ 815 = 1742 MB  approx 2GB or something.


"How often will a member download these files? 1 time, every time they visit? etc."

Premium users/members do not "suppose" to or "allow" to download these files, they can explore the flip books and take the interactive quizzes during their visits to the site in the browser environment. We have tried to "disabled" the downloading option and stuff.  

"Your site appears to be mostly static"

Along with other static HTML pages and stuff, we have a simple registration form where user get register, and have a process to become premium member after selecting the required package, website generate an order and fire up an email to the user sending order detail and confirmation. Then once user registered and or become premium member, user use the email address and password to login and use the user dashboard where we have links to all the contents like video lessons/video solutions (stored at Vimeo) and solution notes, solved papers/interactive quizzes (stored with xyz web hosting provider). Do have a simple My SQL database where we are storing the user and premium member information and stuff.


"The question really comes down to how many unique visitors do you plan to have each day and how much data will these visitors be downloading?"

First time visitor of the site only have access to all the regular html pages of the site, also have access to the demo page  (where we have linked the sample content like couple of video lessons/solution - stored at Vimeo and a sample Flip Book and a quiz- stored at xyz web hosting provider). All the other content will be available to the premium member only.

Let say we only allow 100, 500 and or 1000 users to become premium member. And there is supposedly nothing to download even for them other than the videos from the demo page or something. However day by day if new users start to exploring the site, how many of them, i do not know? that will depend on the feedback of a premium members, i guess. But then whatever package we have for our hosting, cPanel statistics may be help to decide about the next hosting platform for us.

what we have to decide at this stage with the help of expert like yourself is this, for the baby step of this project, for the first launch, out of the available VPS packages that i have attached the files for which one is best suited for our requirements (At my first post). Stable web hosting solution for 100 or for 500 or for 1000 users.

Please let me know.
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Lucas BishopClick TrackerCommented:
I would start with the cheapest base package. As you grow your member base, you can upgrade the package when you start to get close to its limits, or notice that its response time is not meeting your needs.

Additionally, since you mentioned that your user base is in Pakistan, I would recommend you use the server that is based in Pakistan. It will likely have better response time for your users than the US based server:
pakistan server
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masmatcAuthor Commented:
Lucas thanks again for the valuable suggestions. We are getting close to make the decision with your help.

As you can see in the following image that, one thing about the Pakistan based servers is the less Bandwidth such as it start form 10 GB/Month to 80GB/Month. Do you think that will be enough for us?

Pakistan Based Servers
And here is the specifications for the US based servers from a reliable web hosting provider in Pakistan:

US_Based_Servers
So in our analysis, it boils down to the following three options as of today:

1)  Use VPS1 as shown in the US based server image above, store 2GB of data on the server i.e. our public_html (website files+content files). And store the videos files (5GB) at Vimeo.

2)  Use VPS1 as shown in the US based server image above, store ALL the data, that will be 7GB on the server i.e. our public_html (website files+content files)+ videos files (5GB). No Vimeo in this case, just the plain VPS1 with 3TB of monthly transfer. One thing is not clear here though, does this one be able to handle traffic of 500 to 1000 concurrent users as well.

3)  Use any of the Pakistan based servers (PK VPS 1 to PK VPS 5)  as shown in the Pakistan based server image above, store 2GB of data on the server i.e. our public_html (website files+content files). And store the videos files (5GB) at Vimeo. The issue that we see here is less Bandwidth such as it start form 10 GB/Month to 80GB/Month as compare to 3TB for the US based servers. Other issue here is that PK based servers are way costly, more expensive then the US based servers.

So please suggest which option to shoot for like option 1, 2 or 3. We do appreciate your help.

Best Regards
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masmatcAuthor Commented:
Excellent! thanks man.
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