Site/App Performance

Why is My VPS Slow?

by Andrew Loschert  • 

Does your website load slowly?

Have you upgraded into a “professional” hosting package only to find that your new VPS lacks the performance you were promised?

Lackluster server performance has been a thorn in the side of VPS hosting customers for some time. Many buyers have learned to pay attention to server specs — getting as much RAM, as many CPU cores and as much disk space as possible for their money. But others have realized that spec shopping alone won’t guarantee performance.

But why not? Why can’t VPS customers simply buy a server with more RAM, CPU and disk and trust that they will get the boost in server performance they require?

The problem most often comes down to something called the “noisy neighbor.”

The noisy neighbor explained

The noisy neighbor is the customer on a server who uses more than his or her fair share of server resources. Over the years, cloud/communal hosting services, including those that use VPS, have succeeded in building systems that eliminate the noisy neighbor problem for RAM, CPU, network throughput and disk space — basically every critical, performance-related server resource except one: IOPS.

Disk IOPS (or Input/Output operations Per Second) have traditionally remained one of the last truly shared resources in VPS and cloud environments. All VPS hosting service providers face the same problem: if one user slams the disk of a VPS or cloud environment with a lot of read/write requests, all the customers on that hardware suffer a slowdown. And with few ways for customers or hosting providers to measure customer IOPS usage, noisy neighbors can operate in the background, untraceable — with only the resulting slow server performance or their neighbors as evidence. It’s a little-known fact, but IOPS hogging is the number one cause of “mystery” site slowdowns in the VPS industry.

This lack of guaranteed IOPS performance and protection from noisy neighbors is what has continued to drive some customers — who can use the extra power and afford the price tag — to invest in dedicated servers, even as the benefits of virtualization grow everyday.

Now, however, you have another choice. For the first time, VPS and cloud hosting customers can purchase a server with guaranteed IOPS without investing in a dedicated server. ServInt’s Cloud VPS combines a super-fast, all-flash storage architecture that delivers the performance and predictability of dedicated storage at the price point of a public cloud.

How do we guarantee IOPS and prevent noisy neighbors from slowing down your VPS? First, we removed the disks from our VPS host machines and replacing them with a vast SSD cloud storage array. Then, using SolidFire technology, we were able to set the number of IOPS each customer has access to in the storage cloud. The service tier you choose has a certain number of IOPS, and you know that no one else has access to those IOPS. They are 100% guaranteed, as are every other critical server resource you purchase.

If you are considering upgrading into a VPS to secure the performance you need for your growing website and applications, make sure you invest in a hosting package that can guarantee all your server resources for the speed you require. With ServInt’s SolidFire SSD VPS, you now have the storage technology to ensure that your applications won’t be affected by that annoying noisy neighbor.

Photo by paraflyer

Find out more about ServInt solutions

Starting at $69

  1. Malik, Thanks for the comment. Since you are not our customer, there's no way for us to know what the cause of your slow server was, but you are wise to suspect noisy neighbors if you are on a host machine (or cloud environment) that houses other customers as well. Unless your host can guarantee IOPS performance, then you're always at risk.
  2. Hi Servint, I have one simple question for you, please read my comment and answer me if possible. When I started with my website I chose this VPS Hosting provider with preinstalled Windows operating system. I did not expect to have traffic that I had from the very beginning and for that reason I have chosen the smaller plan. Soon I experienced some slow performances and I thought it must be because I need higher performances. After a while I changed my plan, and everything was perfectly fine, but now, I am thinking that it might be because of noisy neighbor and that I am paying for more resources for no reason. Could this be my issue, or it is just my site that needs more resources? Thank you for your time.
    Malik Brikley /
  3. Don't brag about the size of your package unless your performance is guaranteed. #VPS #IOPS
  4. RT @servint: People who brag about the size of their package usually can't guarantee their performance. #VPS #IOPS
  5. RT @servint: People who brag about the size of their package usually can't guarantee their performance. #VPS #IOPS
    stuart_oliver /
  6. People who brag about the size of their package usually can't guarantee their performance. #VPS #IOPS
Andrew Loschert

Andrew Loschert

Marketing Manager, ServInt

Andrew Loschert is the Marketing Manager for ServInt and the editor of the ServInt University.

  • The New York Times
  • The Hill
  • Bloomberg
  • The Seattle Times
  • Computer World
  • Ars Technica