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How to pick a servlet hosting company: recommended resource quotas

For just "playing about" with your first servlet, you will probably find a cheap, default package to be sufficient. But if you intend to put your servlets and site to moderately serious use, then as a rough guide, I'd recommend at least the following for serving in the order of 100-200 thousand page views per day:

  • a coupe of per cent of CPU usage of a moderately powerful server (at least a dual processor 2GHz– most web servers will offer at least this);
  • being allowed to "peak" at higher CPU on occasions (for cases where your servlet needs to do a 'quick bit of processing', e.g. for agregating data from RSS feeds);
  • a sensible amount– at least 100-200MB– of uncontended RAM, i.e. RAM that will be dedicated to your account alone;
  • in the order of 50-100 GB of traffic per month;
  • disk space as required.

Many hosting companies give the illusion that having gigabytes of disk space is the important criterion, because this is a cheap resource that they can attach a large number to for marketing purposes. In reality, the more 'precious' resources of memory and CPU allocation are generally more important for servlet-based web sites (and indeed other dynamic sites). Most plans that give you a fair allocation of these will automatically give you enough traffic and disk space, though of course you should do a rough calculation to make sure you're getting what you need.

On the next page, we look at logistical issues of servlet installation to consider when choosing a servlet hosting company.

Written by Neil Coffey. Copyright © Javamex UK 2008. All rights reserved.