CDN recommendations?

Hi, everyone!

I'm currently using Mutli-DB with 4096 databases and am looking at better optimizations (and hey, SoftLayer has a nifty deal on new dual-quad servers right now)...and CDN is really ideal. I've got over 90gb of uploads I'd like to push into the cloud. At SoftLayer this would cost me only $38/mo.

1) Has anyone used any CDN plugins with SoftLayer's "CloudLayer" service...and how did it work out? The same space and bandwidth on other CDN services will cost me at least 3x as much. I contacted their sales dept, and the person I talked to said it wasn't even possible to use WP with their CDN. But he was clearly just an idiot.

2) Can anyone advise on how to integrate a CDN plugin (like W3 Total Cache) into a Mutli-DB setup? My last attempt (with WP Super Cache) hosed the Multi-DB configuration, and I'd like to avoid that if possible.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I can get W3TC to work with SoftLayer for the CDN (at the very least, thru FTP)...but I'm afraid I'll have issues related to Multi-DB. I'd love to hear about experiences and recommendations from anyone who has tried this already.

Thanks!

  • drmike

    Softlayer = ev1/theplanet, a known spam supporter. When I first started with the hosting that I do, I had a couple of servers with them. I found out that my class c was blocked by others because I was in the same class as a well known spammer and had been for months, Nothing was ever done until about a year later.

    edit: I can;t find a reference on that as a google for "ev1 spam" pulls up too many examples to go though.

    They also just got caught running off another CDN service who was using their services:

    http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/cloud-computing/2010/12/14/what-happened-to-simplecdn/

    http://tremulous.net/forum/index.php?topic=14798.0

    They also have problems with content as well:

    http://www.webhostdir.com/news/ShowItem.aspx?ID=72637

    And don't forget that these were the folks who actually paid for their linux licences:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EV1_Servers#EV1_and_SCO_licensing_controversy

    reedit: Can you tell that I just don;t like these folks?

  • wpcdn

    Shawn,

    Can you clarify how the WP Super Cache CDN solution hosed your Multi-DB installation? We're planning for a possible migration to Multi-DB in the future and we use Super Cache, so we want to know about any gotchas.

    However, we don't use the integrated CDN functionality to offer our own CDN service to users. We use a separate plugin which is actually based on the same plugin used by WP Super Cache. We just think it's wise to handle caching and CDN separately, even if the CDN add-on in WP Super Cache is essentially a separate component.

    In theory, any CDN redirect plugin should work fine at the individual site level, regardless of whether it's a Multi-DB setup or not. The CDN just needs proper URLs, wherever they're hosted. However, I should caution you that we have seen issues with the CDN redirects not working when using the WPMU DEV domain mapping plugin. We have been attempting to resolve those issues, but have not yet been successful.

    Best regards,

    Mark

  • Shawn

    Hi, Mike!

    I appreciate the input, but I've been with ThePlanet for 7 or 8 years and currently have over a dozen servers with them, and have had over 20 thru the life of my accounts with them.

    Any provider with 200,000+ active servers is going to have people that claim they do things differently than they actually do, or complain about a previous business (like ev1, that doesn't exist anymore) attempting to mire the name of the company that bought them out. No matter what you do, some people will not be happy.

    While each merger brought out a couple problems (like the ev1 spam support), each was resolved in only a few weeks. Contacting ThePlanet with complaints re spam/hacking/hardware issues has always resulted in a very timely correction, including free industrial firewall use throughout DoS and DDoS attacks. Reporting problems is the most effective means of getting them resolved - whining about them in public forums (as is typical from many website owners) rarely gets anything done. The way the SoftLayer merger worked was actually ThePlanet buying them out, but then opting to use the SoftLayer brand. Not that it matters much, but it's reassuring to me that ThePlanet's ethics and business practices (which I've always admired) are still those in control.

    re: ev1/linux - big deal. That was before the merger, and ev1 were always idiots anyway.

    re: "caught" shutting down simplecdn - please read the simplecdn owners actual reports. It's not HIM reporting that SL shut him down, but him reporting that 100tb reports that UK2 reports that SL shut them down, and nowhere does anyone actually involved in the process claim that it was an anticompetitive thing. If anything, my money would be on UK2 shutting down SimpleCDN for hurting their business model, or for violating their own ToS. Anytime a company claims "unlimited" you should be wary. If they don't provide solid numbers, with some basis in a valid business model that can both generate revenue and pay for costs incurred, the business will fail or at the very least shut down those that use "too much" in order to minimize losses. SL has not (and still does not) forbid third party CDN services or other competition on their network. UK2 does, but they're just a reseller for SL. Blaming SL for what UK2 did is extremely disingenuous. Quite simply, this was never about SL - but always about UK2.

    re: "content issues" - these are actually covered in the AUP. Posting the wikileaks cables could be considered terrorist-support, a violation of US law. As a webhost myself, I know just how hard it is to toe the line between openness and legal obligations, and have had to shut down several sites because the owners refused to obey AUP and legal requirements. Don't blame me (or SL) for obeying the law. If they didn't provide the 4 hour window (required under the SLA), then I'd be concerned.

    Anyway...don't you find it hypocritical that you can actually use both spam-supporting and legally-compliant as arguments against the same business in the same post? Seriously? It's very simple: if they receive a complaint, they investigate it. If the investigation actually bears fruit, they comply with their own AUP. Persoally, I think this is the way business should be done.

    Back to the question though - do you have a recommendation for a better CDN and provider that has anywhere near the same level of options, capacity and support -- at even remotely the same prices?

  • Shawn

    Hi, Mark,

    IIRC, WPSC overwrote the db-config.php file and made changes to wp-config.php, which quite effectively broke Multi-DB. After restoring from a backup and removing the WPSC folder, it worked again..but that wasn't fun. Especially since WPSC doesn't actually document what changes are going to be made to the system, and no safety/sanity checks were made.

    I was hoping someone had been thru this in the past and had recommendations for the safest plugins to use in a Multi-DB environment.

    As of last night, I'm testing W3TC on another of my multi-user sites and intend to integrate Multi-DB into it for testing. I'll report back on progress.

    As an aside - based on the star rating of WPSC (4 stars with 618 reporting) and W3TC (5 stars with 860 reporting), I think I'd really prefer to go with W3TC. Clearly more people are far more satisfied with W3TC, and the tuning options are pretty nifty, too.

  • drmike

    We all got lucky. The site just ate my post. I don;t feel like retyping it and I;m sure we all don;t want to listen to me.

    I;m torn on uploading images and uploads to a third party site. I know that wp.com has actually stopped doing this and has for quite some time. They're now something like 20% of the images that they have which generate 80% of the views are actually back on their servers. The rest are over at Amazon. Looking at those percentages I have to wonder if the costs of transfer is what did it in for them. We had a thread on the old mu forums where someone ranted that they went through (Going off of memory here) 600 gigs of transfer in a month and it cost him a fortune dealing with Amazon.

    Granted though that this was a few years ago and prices have come down. Looking at Softlayer, 600 gigs of transfer prepurchased would only be $140 a month. Plus probably hard drive space.

    One thing you may want to think about is just offloading some of your most used files. I know a former volunteer on the old mu forums offloaded to amazon his theme and javascript files. He did a write up here:

    http://www.ringofblogs.com/2008/04/12/off-loading-wpmu-theme-files-to-amazon-s3/

    With a first month write up here:

    http://www.ringofblogs.com/2008/05/08/first-month-data-using-s3-offloading-for-wpmu/

    edit: Just saw your post about W3TC. W3TC has issues with the ms-ness of wordpress. I can;t find an example thread right off (and I have to really go get something to eat right now.)

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