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KnownHost Server Configuration?

DRE

Well-known member
#1
Who here uses Knownhost and if you do would you share how your server was configured and optimized for Xenforo? I'm moving to KnownHost and it will officially be my first Managed VPS. I have mostly used Shared Hosting in the past but today I bought their SSD-2 plan because it has the 2GB RAM I need to keep my site running smoothly. I used @Azhria Lilu Affliliate link. She once helped me move from shared hosting to VPS in the past whenever I had issues so my site has actually been hosted under KnownHost before. My site went down while I was being hosted by her though and they could not figure out why. You would think 'Uh then why would you go with KnownHost again?' This is my answer and drastic solution to my database issues but I need more RAM to do it. I currently have 780mb of RAM in shared hosting by @Slavik He says my site was using too much RAM and that I needed at least 2GB or RAM. Even so, I really, really wanted to get KnownHost's $35 a month managed SSD VPS Hosting with cPanel plan because it looked like a steal of a deal. It comes with 1024MB Guaranteed RAM, 15GB RAID10 SSD Storage, 2000GB Bandwidth, unlimited domains, full root access, 24/7 / 365 support with free backups, 1-click installers...

Besides my database issue I think some of the reasons for needing more resources is that my site has been getting aggressively indexed by Baidu search engine spiders. I have 480 members, 180,000 messages site with an average of 10 people online at a time and around 180 guests, most of which are those annoying Chinese bots. I have told my issue to several prospective hosts and out of all the hosts I asked, I liked the answer by Mathew from KnownHost the best: http://forums.knownhost.com/threads/blocking-traffic-from-china.2552/#post-14264

KH-Mathew said:
Hi Dre,



Support can install Nginx as a reverse proxy to Apache for you. While Litespeed is definitely a powerful and fast web server I have seen very good results from nginx. Before throwing software at it make sure that your site is optimized though. This includes using expires headers to force caching. Even if you have to set the expires time very low due to the site being very dynamic and images changing a fairly low expires time can save you some bandwidth if customers are reloading pages, changing to pages that require a full page load but reuse headers/footers etc. Minify all css and Javascript and use a CDN for jQuery when possible. Make sure that if you are displaying an image at 120x120px via css that the actual image size is not 2000x2000. I have seen a site that loaded a 15M index page that was reduced to ~1M after properly resizing images. This will help with bandwidth as well as page loads. We use the the Nginx Admin plugin for cPanel from http://nginxcp.com/.



For regulating bot traffic you can use robots.txt. Any legitimate search engine bots should adhere to this . You can also use mod_security to filter traffic based on many attributes. You can check the referrer and user agent using modsec and block based on this. Referrer and User Agent are not extremely reliable since the client can spoof these but it does offer some mode of protection from the weakest attacks. More in depth use of the modsec regex engine will allow blocks based on matches to sketchy request URI's. Config Server has a modsec plugin for cPanel here http://www.configserver.com/cp/cmc.html . Config Server's plugin ties in with their firewall too so that multiple modsec infractions will trigger a perm block by the firewall. It does take some in depth knowledge of how request URI's are used to exploit scripts and the use of regular expressions to fully leverage the power of modsec, but the base definitions lists are pretty powerful. Just be prepared to need some tweaking to keep from blocking legitimate traffic such as google bot.



As for the coupon codes, email sales@knownhost.com to find out more about that. I know there are some coupons that apply to VPS and Dedicated servers but not SSD.
Because he was very detailed and seemed knowledgeable in his answer I decided to take the plunge. I went with the 2GB RAM option not just because of Slavik's suggestion but also because it's recommended for @LuckyRiver free upcoming Poker addon for Xenforo that he mentioned in my Casino Addon Request thread.

Yes! :)

Screenshot of latest blowfish authentication and forum avatar test on XF 1.2 final release :

But keep in mind, you will need at least 1gb, recommended is 2gb. I've have only tested the game on Ubuntu 11.04 64bits and Centos 5. Windows platform should work since development is done on Windows.
Although 2GB of RAM may help solve some of my issues as well as doing all those anti-bot steps Mathew outlined I also want something extra to speed up my site. I looked at G-WAN, learned that it's possibly snake-oil then looked at HHVM but @Mike Edge told me it's too buggy. I even talked to Facebook HpHp and they said they haven't tried it on any paid forum software solutions yet so there really isn't any known paid forum software running on HHVM. That left me with almost choosing Knownhost's $12 Litespeed option. I've done a lot of googling and learned that Litespeed outperforms nginx in a lot of different setups. Only negative is that it isn't free (although OpenLiteSpeed is). Here's a comparison: http://nocfusion.com/web-server-selection-apache-litespeed-lighttpd-or-nginx/

So instead of buying Litespeed I've decided to ask Knownhost to configure my server with Nginx as a Front End Proxy for Apache since Nginx is free. Already created a thread about it. I was going to do this myself through DigitalOcean unmanaged VPS since they had a nice $20 package. After much advice and especially after @Parminder Singh Chahal advice in that Nginx thread I decided to just get managed VPS. Knownhost is twice as much than the plan I could've went with at Digital Ocean but at least it's 25% less than the 'semi-dedicated' plan I had before at MDDHosting.
 

Moshe1010

Well-known member
#3
You can block all Chinese IPs through csf in your cPanel.
I didn't really like Knownhost. I had a lot of trouble with them and issues they couldn't solve. They were alway referring me to 3rd party links/info. Their support is great, but they are not knowledgeable in my opinion. Whatever they couldn't do for me, Servint did in 5 minutes without asking questions or complaining that this is my problem and go figure out this issue by yourself (I wanted to install xCache and it was clearing its cache every 2 minutes. They said everything is working, but they don't know why it's happening). If you don't want LiteSpeed (I would recommend it), you can go with Apache booster:
http://applications.cpanel.net/apachebooster-4/
 

DRE

Well-known member
#4
You can block all Chinese IPs through csf in your cPanel.
I didn't really like Knownhost. I had a lot of trouble with them and issues they couldn't solve. They were alway referring me to 3rd party links/info. Their support is great, but they are not knowledgeable in my opinion. Whatever they couldn't do for me, Servint did in 5 minutes without asking questions or complaining that this is my problem and go figure out this issue by yourself (I wanted to install xCache and it was clearing its cache every 2 minutes. They said everything is working, but they don't know why it's happening). If you don't want LiteSpeed (I would recommend it), you can go with Apache booster:
http://applications.cpanel.net/apachebooster-4/
What they offer is still at a really good price and if it comes to involving a 3rd party, I have root access and can pay another developer to help me. They will have to do until I learn how to manage my own VPS.
 

Mike Edge

Well-known member
#5
I didn't really like Knownhost. I had a lot of trouble with them and issues they couldn't solve.
Yeap, never used them personally, but have heard some pretty bad stories from clients that moved to us from them. Recently too we had a client that had to wait two days for KnownHost to get his VPS back up so we could transfer his site. His VPS was crashed and continued crashing on each reboot. He was only running one small xF forum on it too, maybe 20k posts.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#6
Yeap, never used them personally, but have heard so pretty bad stories from clients that moved to us from them. Recently too we had a client that had to wait two days for KnownHost to get his VPS back up so we could transfer his site. His VPS was crashed and continued crashing on each reboot. He was only running one small xF forum on it too, maybe 20k posts.
I'm worried about my forum crashing on Knownhost since it crashed when I was on Azhria Lilu's server. :LOL:
 

Mike Edge

Well-known member
#10
We just fairly recently moved from Knownhost. They are not very investigative when something isn't right in front of their face
Great to hear you finally got things resolved and moved! Sorry again too Qwk86gn that we couldn't offer you a dedicated server for your required specs.
 

DRE

Well-known member
#11
Horror stories aside, one of the main reasons I went with Knownhost because although it's managed vps, I have full root access and can change my site over to HHVM after I experiment with HHVM on a DigitalOcean droplet.
 

Mike Edge

Well-known member
#14
I went with Knownhost because although it's managed vps, I have full root access and can change my site over to HHVM after I experiment with HHVM on a DigitalOcean droplet.
Your assuming HHVM will ever work stable on the Zend framework, Ruby on Rails been promising Zend support for 4 years before it finally happened and been buggy the 2 years since lol.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#16
I think you've made a wrong move here. You were talking to Nimbus Hosting, I thought it was a done deal. I know for a fact that you'd have had good service from them and most importantly: a reliable service.

Your site ran on our VPS for several months without issue, alongside two other quite busy sites. Straight before that you'd been on two servers which for some reason couldn't support you due to performance issues. One of those was Knownhost!

So, this doesn't make sense to me.

It doesn't matter to me whether you use Nimbus or not. I just like them because it's been the most reliable service we've ever had in 10 years along with the best support I've ever seen. But ultimately I just want to see you on a reliable host for once. So I hope this doesn't turn out to be another disaster for you :)
 

DRE

Well-known member
#17
I think you've made a wrong move here. You were talking to Nimbus Hosting, I thought it was a done deal. I know for a fact that you'd have had good service from them and most importantly: a reliable service.

Your site ran on our VPS for several months without issue, alongside two other quite busy sites. Straight before that you'd been on two servers which for some reason couldn't support you due to performance issues. One of those was Knownhost!

So, this doesn't make sense to me.

It doesn't matter to me whether you use Nimbus or not. I just like them because it's been the most reliable service we've ever had in 10 years along with the best support I've ever seen. But ultimately I just want to see you on a reliable host for once. So I hope this doesn't turn out to be another disaster for you :)
I understand where your coming from but have you forgotten that even after I removed over half my addons my site still started dragging would go down? It would also go down possibly due to some cron that ran in the early morning that none of you could figure out what was causing it. This was one of the same issues I had with xFHost so apparently it followed me over. Ever since xFHost I had been using GotSiteMonitor so I do have a record of the many times my site went down when you hosted me.

In summary, my hosting experience with you under NimbusHosting is actually slightly similar to my experience with xFHost. It was great in the beginning, then crazy stuff started happening. I do not blame you or Mike Edge for that issue or else I'd have written negative reviews. I personally think there's just something wrong with my database that both hosts could not figure out even after I went down to having only about 30 addons running.

So with that said you may wonder "Well if you felt that way, why would you bother giving nimbus a second try?" For the same reason I gave KnownHost a second try. I believe this is the answer and a drastic solution to my database issues but I need more RAM to do it. I almost went with Nimbus but when I told him about the 200 online at a time Chinese search engine bots using up my resources I did not like his answer. I told him I was interested in getting the Tornado package which is $45 a month. His answer was to add a bolt on DDOS Protection for $15 and a CDN for $15. That's now $75 and only the CDN actually has a possibility of stopping some of those bots and even then I already told him I was interested in Incapsula's free bot protection in their CDN service. Tim went from $45 to $75!!! Knowhosts service looked more enticing after I got a more sensible answer from Mathew, the fact that it's $25 cheaper and they have SSD drives.