Hey MNB readers,
Happy Halloween! What a fright I got this morning when I got an email from our new host, mediatemple, regarding something called GPU overcharge.
Thankfully we are at least able to write a post over the next few days to try and do something before it gets any worse. We have about a week or so to try and sort this before it gets out of hand.
TL:DR situation: gpu overcharge will result in over $1000 monthly charge to run MNB. I cannot afford this.
As you know, we’ve experienced some difficult times as a Nokia community. Both with the news about Nokia no longer directly part of the mobile space as we define it, and MyNokiaBlog itself due to several site issues. We are so lucky however that despite those news the community still talked about Nokia and as long as there are people who love Nokia, old and new and all the tangible Nokia links that we can muster, there was something for the writers to share. We keep going because you make it fun to keep going.
We experienced a major downtime in April with almost a week intermittently offline. This happened again in August which resulted in almost two weeks of disrupted service. We weren’t sure what we were going to do, especially since this is going to be my final year of medical school with the most important exams coming up in the next few months (now 30-60 days).
I thought of making one last attempt to move from our longstanding host, dreamhost. Their chatservice was so helpful and friendly to us, but sadly there were site issues that seemed to be unfixable and I thought that perhaps a fresh start could be the reset. In the back of my mind, it made more sense that I would simply be transferring the problem, not fixing it. But I had to go with some blind optimism. I didn’t have the time or the ability to do this myself so we paid mediatemple to move our site for us ($179).
MNB funds itself through the ads on the site. My aim with the site was always to just have a platform to share news. I was less interested in expansion or making money, just enough that running costs would not interfere with my studies by needing a part time job to pay for things. You guys visiting here, commenting, interacting keep the site alive in more ways and we appreciate that. Since the first downtime, it really affected how google saw us and adsense was significantly cut. Part of the move to mediatemple saw a one last hope because their monthly charges were a very small fraction of what we used to pay. According to their support team, based on our site stats which due to the combined decline in Nokia news and issues at MNB had reduced to be compatible with their Grid service.
We wouldn’t have fit in our heyday but now bandwidth wise and storage wise, we’re definitely in check. I was really surprised since, now, hosting is relatively became a lot cheaper than what I expected at $20 monthly (not including other miscellaneous running costs). It seemed like a dream that we could get MNB up and running again without having to worry financially in terms of running costs. Most importantly, MNB was up, and we could try to hold on to the remaining parts of our community.
However, there’s something I overlooked. GPU usage
There weren’t any clear or direct information on the web and I mistook an article regarding bandwidth vs GPU charge.
We are allotted 2000 “GPU”. As of last week, GPU use is now 400/day. There are no records before that time to indicate any changes. I’m not sure if a) GPU usage was ok before so there were no records b) GPU monitoring only occurs after a certain time when the user is used to MT.
One of the issues we had at DreamHost was an unresolved cause for high CPU. Bandwidth was normal, but something was causing high CPU which took MNB down. That was when we were on a non shared maxed VPS. Once you take the space you’re given, you’re just turned off. The annoying thing is that when MNB was much more popular, CPU spiking wasn’t the problem. Now that traffic became much lower, something else was killing MNB.
Potentially, because we moved to their ‘gridserver’ which is a shared host, the original issue potentially was never fixed. But being on shared host, we were able to take up GPU resources and essentially stay up. At least that’s from my understanding. That would be OK if the bump in pricing was reasonable. But
- each 1 GPU costs 0.1$,
- 10 GPU is 1 dollar,
- 100 GPU is 10 dolars
- 1000 GPU is 100 dollars
- 10,000 GPU is 1000 dollars. This is what it will likely be next month. This month is about 300USD from when monitoring began.
And there’s more to running costs than just the hosting.
If MNB was making that in adsense, I’d happily plow it back in revenue. But it’s not. So here’s the dilemma. What can we do?
- Fix the GPU load. http://kb.mediatemple.net/questions/1989/How+do+I+reduce+my+GPU+usage%3F#gs It could be a plugin issue as they have indicated. I’ve tried to keep site changes to a minimum so as long as it works and we have our little community, I’m happy. Oddly enough, searching for “GPU Mediatemple” from user comments doesn’t leave me with hope that it could be fixed as similar users are facing the same insanely high charges. Search for user (strangely named Nokia3310 of all names: http://topic-finder.com/web/hosting/general/37049-is-mediatemples-gs-really-worth-the-hassle.html). Could be something else malicious/targeted/non-discriminate.
- Move to another host: Any suggestions? Site moving services if available as I cannot do this myself due to time/knowledge constraints
- Shut down MNB – move to GOG (keeping MNB active and not posting would still result in issues as it would use resources).
- Just give up and stop blogging about Nokia
. Nope. Nokia fans are never fans themselves of the number “4”.
- Moving to private host. Cost would go up but not as ridiculous as the overcharge hopefully. The only issues here perhaps would be lack of technical knowledge as they do not do this for you, it’s a manual move. Secondly, if the GPU issue continues, although there won’t be overcharge, there will be downtime. It’s pertinent to fix that GPU load. 🙁
- Get outside help to diagnose and treat the GPU issue (if it is fixable).
- Advice from you guys _____
Thank you for taking the time to read this, for any help you may have or if you shared this with someone who might have an idea on what to do.
MNB got to where it did because of you guys and is still here today thanks to you. As much and as long as I can keep the site going, we will do so. For me at least, the next few months will be the most difficult due to the finals which I’ll need to be dedicating the majority of my time on. I’ve managed for so long integrating MNB in my daily routine that it rarely causes issues (only when there are bigger projects/video filming/ and of course, site issues). You guys have made this such an enjoyable journey and its been an absolute privilege to have had this as a rewarding hobby.
I’ve said it multiple times but it’s too surreal to sink in: Because of you as a community, we became seen by other communities, other media outlets and Nokia themselves. You helped bring other Nokia fans together, other Nokia peeps, to come chit chat, debate, share news, reviews, ideas, apps etc and even made friends, both on the internet and even physically through meet ups. I think that’s rather awesome and why despite the recent setbacks, I want to do as much of what I can to keep going.
Thanks for sticking around and for everything!