I decided to move my blog hosting back onto the North side of the border. There were a couple of reasons, but by far the largest was the ongoing poor server performance I’ve been having at Dreamhost. It seemed like there was nothing I could do to improve performance, or at the least reduce bottlenecks. Enough was enough, and it was time to move. CanadianWebHosting.com has some good prices – a touch more expensive than Dreamhost, and not with the insane (i.e., infinite and imaginary) limits on bandwidth and drive space. It felt like Dreamhost was overextended, at least on the server I was on. Whereas my old Dreamhost server had typical loads (as indicated by top) around 50, my CanadianWebHosting server has a more sane 0.1 average. In initial testing, dynamically generated page loads went from 20-60 seconds down to 400ms or so. I can live with that, especially with static page caching enabled so most accesses should be almost instantaneous.
The other factor was repatriating my hosting back onto Canuck soil. There are a couple of sub-factors here. First, the Patriot Act and DMCA scare the hell out of me. It’s not like I’m writing anything that could invoke either, but just having them hanging over me felt uncomfortable. Although CSIS can strongarm access to any server in the country anyway, it’s not a legislated standard operating procedure.
Subfactor 1.2: a slight move toward local hosting. Sure, CanadianWebHosting.com is located in Richmond, which isn’t exactly “local”, but that’s a full 2000 km north of Dreamhost’s LA datacentre. And it’s kinda nice knowing at least my data is able to live in Lotusland.
CanadianWebHosting (B) is just a scootch closer to home (C) than Dreamhost’s LA datacentre (A).
I feel a little bad, having recommended Dreamhost so highly, and being at least partially responsible for a few people moving onto it. Hopefully, they’re happy with the service – when it worked for me, Dreamhost was really great. It’s just that I somehow hit the ceiling, and it was much lower than it should have been.