We’re Switching to LiteSpeed

It’s official after our internal testing of LiteSpeed for the past week or so we’ve decided we’re going to be switching all our servers to use the LiteSpeed web server.  From our testing it is significantly faster and also uses a heck of a lot less resources than our current configuration.  It’ll provide all the features of our current configuration and be much faster so it really has very few losing points to it.  We’re going to start upgrading on December 29th and have all our 64bit systems switched before the end of that week assuming everything goes well.  We’ll also migrate our one 32bit Harpertown based system to LiteSpeed the week after.

Once that migration phase is over we’ll be working on upgrading our old Xeon 3220’s to be a minimum of Xeon 5410’s and most likely reducing our web server fleet by at least one machine.  This does not mean we’re losing customers or anything of that nature.  It’s just we’re switching to more powerful machines so merging older machines together makes sense for us.  We’ve done this in the past with old dual cpu systems when we switched to quad core systems.

So these are exciting times here at Hawk Host.  We are migrating to faster web server software, upgrading all our machines and also working towards a new site.  Things are really booming and we hope everyone continues to help us out with that by recommending us to your friends and posting reviews on various web sites.

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2 Responses to We’re Switching to LiteSpeed

  1. Luke says:

    Hi Tony. That is interesting to say the least. Personally I’ve never heard of LiteSpeed so I can’t really say anything meaningful about. However, from reading a bit on the LiteSpeed Technologies website I understand that LiteSpeed is a replacement for Apache.

    The thing that concerns me a bit is “How” compatible is LiteSpeed with Apache? I’m sure they claim 100% or something and probably most of the common operations are pretty fool prove but once we get into the more obscure Apache areas like mod_rewrite etc., how will LiteSpeed hold up?

    I can understand that a business running their own servers to power their applications (like e.g. wordpress.com), a product like LiteSpeed can be very valuable. However, for a shared hosting environment like HawkHost where you need to deal with a lot of different types of scripts from all corners of the earth, the LiteSpeed option might turn out to be broken or buggy in some cases.

    In it’s self this is probably not much of a issue because someone might be able to create a workaround, some might not. The problem is in these cases that the amount of information on problems with LiteSpeed will be minimal. Troubleshooting will not be painless.

    Maybe you could consider to keep an Apache box around and give your customers the choice to stay on an Apache server instead of an forced switch over?

  2. Tony says:

    Well here is the thing it is suppose to be a drop in replacement and things like mod_rewrite are suppose to work 100% like they did in apache. LiteSpeed also reads the httpd.conf file of apache thus we do not even need to make any changes to cPanel. I am also not sure besides mod_rewrite that anyone would be using on our servers with apache. There is maybe the authentication portion so like .htpasswd but that works fine to (we use it on our site). We run the most basic of modules as it stands for Apache so LiteSpeed will probably add a few extra features that were not even there before.

    We are also not the first host jumping to LiteSpeed. There are many hosts some smaller than us and some bigger than us already running it. We’ve tested it and any script we’ve thrown at it works fine.

    I highly doubt they’ll be any issues at all with the switch over. As far as leaving Apache around our goal would be to replace all of our servers with LiteSpeed. The fact is Apache and the suPHP setup we run is killing us but it was the only secure solution we had. With LiteSpeed it’ll be just as secure and problem free with PHP but also be significantly faster. Having just one machine still with Apache would be very costly for us as we’re trying to improve the density of our servers while keeping the quality.

    Right now with our current setup our limiting factor is the web server. We have many terabytes of extra space and we’re not even using close to the amount of bandwidth we have. Other services are not holding us down so Database (MySQL, PostgreSQL) SMTP (Exim) Mail (Courier although soon Dovecot). With cPanel not having clustering of services or at least to the extent we’d like. LiteSpeed is a great way to improve our density and better utilize our servers.

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