How to know your server inode limit and usage

Shared hosting accounts, Virtual Private server and Dedicated servers – all come with inode lmit. Any file on your Unix (or linux) system is considered as an inode. For example, an email stored in the system is considered as an inode. This way all the systems are restricted to a number of max inodes.

If you’d like to know the max allowed inodes and the usage – you need to ssh into your system (if you have SSH access) and run the following command:

df -i

This will display the amount of maximum, used and free inodes in different file systems for your unix account.

SSH commands to check Hard Drive usage information in Linux Server

Login to your Linux server using SSH Client (ie, PuTTy)

Once you are connected to your server:

Use to following command to check Hard Drive and partitions:

(without the “#”)

# df -h

It will show you output like this:

Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/simfs 489G 42G 447G 9% /
none 7.8G 4.0K 7.8G 1% /dev
none 7.8G 0 7.8G 0% /dev/shm

The Size is shown in GigaBytes.

If you’d like to see the usage volume of a particular partition (ie, “/home”), use the following command:

(without the “#”)

# du -sh /home/

It will show you the usage in Gigabytes (or in Megabytes if usage is below 1 GB)

If you’d like to view the directory size in a particular partition (ie, “/home”):

(without the “#”)

# du -sh /home/*

The above will show you the size of all the directories in that partition.

Beware of Unlimited Space / unlimited bandwidth Web Hosting.

“UNLIMITED” – a well known term in web hosting industry now a days. Unlimited emails, unlimited databases, unlimited aliases etc were some of the features heard for a long time. Now competition has driven the companies to offer Unlimited web space and Unlimited Bandwidth.

I have spoken to many hosting provider support team and asked how could they provide “Unlimited” web space when this web space is actually Hard disk drives installed in the server and which has its capacity limit. The answers are always tricky. Most of the times the answers are: “we do not provide any limit on the web space as long as it complies with our Terms & Condition”. The tricky part is “Terms & Conditions” or “Terms of Service” or “Acceptable usage policy” etc. We need to understand a little technically in this issue.

When we host a website in a web server, it occupies a certain web space. When the website is running or are being browsed by the web site visitors – it consumes web server processor and RAM capacity. Besides many other restrictions (irc server, running bots) the web hosting service providers restricts the resource usage per website in shared servers. Okay – now since I stepped into the term “Shared Server” – let me tell a few things about it. Shared server means a server which is being shared by many users or websites perhaps. The websites share the total hard drive, Ram usage, Bandwidth port etc. Normally there are a lot of websites hosted in a shared server. Assume there is a one Terra Byte Hard Disk, 4 GB Ram installed in the web server and there is a 100 mbits/s port connected to the server. Again assume there are 200 websites hosted in that server. Those 200 websites will share the total capacity of the server.

Now as days progresses, the server components are getting cheaper and the bandwidth cost is also going down. But it hasn’t gone so down for which any one may offer unlimited webspace and bandwidth when there is nothing called unlimited. Now a days companies offer unlimited webspace even at a cost of $2 per month.

A Xeon server (average) in some big data centers costs atleast $200 per month. It may consists of 2 TB hard disk, 16 GB Ram and a 100 mbits/s uplink port. Now if some web hosting companies sell around 100 such unlimited hosting accounts they will be in the break even point. And to make profit they will require to sell even more accounts in that very server. Due to server virtual environment web hosting service providers can create web hosting accounts allotting unlimited space and bandwidth. This is actually called “Overselling”. The lower the price of hosting account is – the more the server will be oversold. But ultimately all such unlimited space accounts will be using that 2 TB Hard disk.¬† How can 100 or more unlimited space accounts be fitted in 2 TB?? Well, when some one buy a web hosting account he/she is allotted unlimited space (although it is impossible), but some one may only upload a 100 MB or 1 GB website in the server. The server usage will depend upon the actual usage by all the websites, not what is allotted. Now if someone’s website starts using more space and more server resources – the real face of the webhosts are revealed. They will start matching the Acceptable usage policy and will start telling you your website is using more resources than it should and that it is no longer suitable for a Shared Server. You need to buy a dedicated server. Therefore this purchase turns out to be something like you purchased some services which you are not allowed to use with its full potential.

The situation is getting alarming as almost all the major webhosting service providers are also getting into such business. My suggestion will be to read the Terms & Conditions properly before you buy hosting and better if you can avoid unlimited space/bandwidth – because there is nothing called unlimited space/bandwidth and you’ll never be able to use it.

If you ever need a high volume/heavy duty website to run from a web server – think of your own Dedicated server or virtual dedicated server.

Goodbye 2008…

Everybody is wishing for and welcoming 2009 but no one seems to miss year 2008. How fast time runs out!!! I really had to force my mind to believe that year 2008 is no more with us ūüôĀ …

I don’t know why I feel 2008 flew off so quickly, may be the year was a good one. But the truth is that, 2008 was a very eventful year and it didn’t end as I expected to – considering the political change that Bangladeshi people had to face at the very end of the year.

Let’s just pray that the year 2009 will be more peaceful a year to us and to the mankind.

Hosting websites at Local webservers (Part 2) – The reality…

It was what I was fearing of… 2/3 days ago the SEA-ME-WE4 (submarine cable) link went down. And I found that I couldn’t reach the sites which were hosted in local webservers (eg. btcl.gov.bd). I really don’t have a good concept of how these routing take place, but I think it is because of the Root DNS resolving Zone not being present in Bangladesh. To reach this root zone the International connectivity is a must (Submarine Cable). As far as I know- A company has been awarded the international gateway under their operation, if they can have a local DNS root zone which will look for if the requested URL is located at a local server. Since all the ISPs will connect through the same gateway, any web server hosted locally using local ISP’s bandwidth, will be available to users of other ISPs, thus not requiring Submarine cable bandwidth for these locally hosted sites. This will also encourage people to host websites at locally hosted servers, specially the sites which has most of its users from Bangladesh.

Expert’s words in this topic are welcome and will be encouraged….

deja-mu deja-mu deja-mu deja-mu deja-mu deja-mu

Hosting websites at Local webservers.

Most of the Bangladeshi website are hosted either at USA or at UK servers. There are many reasons for that. Those web servers are secured, fast, reliable and can handle much traffic and process load. Besides, those are powered by high speed internet connection yet at lower price than anywhere else. Those hosting service providers are experienced and technologically far ahead. Probably this is the reason why everybody prefers USA or UK servers.

Since the demand for web services are growing day by day, it is becoming an important issue to ensure data security and privacy. Think of a government site where it will consists of data which is confidential. Hosting such sites in other country’s web servers will definitely be a catastrophic decision. Fortunately in Bangladesh, the government sites are hosted locally (at BTCL web servers).

Now that web services and E-commerce sites are becoming popular the importance of where these are hosted – becoming an important thing to consider. In many cases the target user group of these sites are solely Bangladeshi users residing in Bangladesh (e.g. bdjobs.com). Hosting these types of websites locally will not only ensure confidentiality and security but also maximum up time for the local users. How? We have seen our national pride the submarine cable snatched a lot of time. We are disconnected from the sites that are hosted at USA or UK servers. Instead, if the sites are hosted locally these will still be available for the Bangladeshi residence although the submarine cable is down. That’s because locally hosted servers will still be available and the DNS servers will still be able to point us to the locally hosted sites. It will actually act like an intranet service inside the whole country. Besides these, if the sites which provide download services like mp3 download, Drama download etc, are hosted locally, a huge amount of bandwidth pressure on the submarine cable will decrease resulting more bandwidth available for other usage.

I remember when I used Sirius Broadband they used to provide users an intranet site/server from where the users were able to download movies, mp3s, natoks, softwares, videos etc. Normally if that service wasn’t there the users would download those from other sources using internet. But the above intranet server could save Sirius Broadband precious bandwidth by restricting users by diverting them to intranet server.

Now If we consider the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited to be the national ISP, they will be able to save bandwidth if the sites are hosted locally since the traffic requests and sources are both running locally. It will somewhat act as what Sirius Broadband did.

Now let’s focus on what are the hurdles. The bandwidth cost in Bangladesh is too high to run an web server smoothly. Although the above procedure will hardly use the submarine cable bandwidth the ISPs have to pay to BSCCL (Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited) since BSCCL acts as an Internet Exchange (HUB). I am not sure about whether govt has given the charge to any other company to maintain the Internet exchange through which all the ISPs and other companies willing to have local web servers will be interconnected among themselves in the same way the telecom companies are connected. Rather than buying only Submarine cable bandwidth they will be buying local bandwidth through which one ISPs will be able to transfer information with websites hosted at other ISPs end. Submarine cable connectivity will still be required since website browsing request can still be generated from outside the country. For example, the trace route from http://visualroute.visualware.com in the following image.

trace route from a server situated outside the country

It is like the telecom industry. All the local and NWD calls are generated and terminated at the telecom operators end except for ISD calls. Only ISD calls require outbound bandwidth to connect with telephones in other countries. All the local and NWD calls are routed through multiexchange servers through which all the telecom operators are interconnected among themselves. Only for ISD outgoing/incoming calls these operators depends upon BTTB which has the only connectivity with international exchanges.

There fore local bandwidth is to feed requests from Bangladesh and submarine cable bandwidth to feed requests from outside the country. The local bandwidth should be in negligible cost. Thus people will be encouraged to host websites in local servers. Moreover this will ensure maximum uptime causing maximum exposure for e-commerce sites. This is the way how the e-commerce culture in Bangladesh can really emerge.

I am not sure whether this methodology has already been established or not, but this really can be a boom. Many companies will come forward with an intension to have a website or web based online operation system. This will not only automate and increase the total output but also will create opportunity for web developers and software firms.

Disclaimer: The above statements are sort of top view of a system and I really can’t dig any deep because of my knowledge limitation. It is possible that the system has already been deployed and I am unaware of it. Constructive replies will be encouraged pointing out whether I was wrong in any point or if the recommended system is not deployable at all.

Importance of SEO – Some facts

  • 93% of all Internet traffic is generated from search engines
  • 99% of Internet searchers do not search beyond the top 30 results
  • 97% of them never look beyond the top three results
  • Top 10 positions receive 78% more traffic than those in positions 11-30
  • 65% of online revenue is generated from websites in the top three positions on search engine results pages
  • 93% of global consumers use search engines to find websites
  • 76.7% of Google users use the natural search links (organic, unpaid listings)

*Source: Forrester Research, 2006

Earn money from your non-professional websites

Commercial organizations tend to have their own websites as a part of their product’s marketing, cataloging, display or information sharing purposes. Some websites do provide web services and earn money from those services. But some sites are there which neither belong to any commercial organizations nor provide any web services. For example: Photo sharing site, personal websites, blogs, forums etc. Although the purpose is not anything commercial, still the author of the sites can earn some money if their sites are really popular and have some good traffic. I know many people don’t like the idea of having advertisements in their website for various reason. First of all the ads really disrupts the theme of the¬† site and secondly it is not easy to influence someone to put their advertisement in your site. Both the problems are solved now a days. Some third party advertisement agencies have solved these problems. They collect advertisements from the advertisers and puts those ads on your site. They just don’t put anything in your site, rather they have algorithms which selects random ads that matches the content ant theme of your site. For example, if your site specializes on photography, then the ads that will appear in your site will be something related to photography. The doubt that you might be having is something whether you’ll be paid or not and how… The third parties are some companies like google, yahoo, msn, adbrite which really do have some value with their name upon which you can rely on. Moreover, this advertising system is getting so popular now a days that you should really rely on the ad agencies.

Let’s consider some popular sites like facebook and HI5. Now let’s consider some E-mail address providers like GMAIL, HOTMAIL, YAHOO. I’ll not believe if you say that you are not part of these social networking sites or don’t use above mentioned free email addresses. Did you pay anything to these sites? or do they have any offer which requires you to pay to get those? No…. You don’t have to pay anything to get those services. Still those sites are growing in terms of their asset and revenue earning… Where do they earn from?¬† Yes, advertisements… Some other things are ofcourse there- like a big network of people and their information. But still their major portion of revenue do come from the advertisement they serve in their pages.

You might not earn that much, but you’ll definitely feel the urge to develop your site and enrich content of your site which will increase traffic or visitors to your site ultimately resulting more clicks on the advertisements that you’ll serve in your website. More visitor, more clicks, more earning- really interesting when you apply those to your site. Yahoo Publishers Network/ Adbrite¬† / Google adsense do have some easy and convenient way of payment which definitely gives you a chance add something to your wallet, and If you can ensure a great number of visitors, you can expect the amount to be a decent one.

Look at the right side bar in my blog, and there are numbers of advertisements there. If you click there, I’ll get about 4 cent per click. These are advertisements from Adbrite network. Adbrite’s advertisements do have something interesting like- If you want to provide a portion of our site for advertisement you can have ad from advertisers for continuous display of which for a fixed time you can earn a fix money regardless of if someone is clicking on the ad or not. Moreover you can your own bid as well as allow advertisers to put their bid and you get the power to choose whose ads to approve. I’ll write an individual post on Adbrite’s advertisement policy. Till then try these advertisement system in your site, and if you don’t have a website¬† but would like to have one at very low cost, you may try offers by BDWEBTECH .

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