Clarification on Escargot server slowdowns

Hey all. I’d just like to clarify on why Escargot’s server tends to have slowdowns as I now have enough information to draw a conclusion.

For anyone who’s not in the know, Escargot right now runs on Google Compute Engine’s platform, which allows us to own a hosting server for a fee, and in our case lets us host Escargot for everyone. According to valtron the server Escargot runs from is a shared core server with around 0.6 GB of RAM (this explains why Escargot would previously crash with 1.0k users, I added in 1.5 GB of swap memory recently and the server’s now able to handle ~1.5k users) and 1 vCPU (virtual CPU). As far as I know, this is what Escargot has been running on for more than 3 years. The catch comes in with the vCPU. The plan our server is on (f1-micro; $3.88/mo) is designed so that it throttles CPU power by 80%, only removing that restriction in very short time periods in certain conditions (Google goes into detail about this here). In other words, as our server experiences peak hours, the CPU throttling prevents the CPU from keeping up with the heavier load and causes noticeable and major slowdowns.

When it comes to solutions, we’re very limited on those. One, the restrictions are part of our plan, as I said before, so we can’t just hack those options out. Two, the plan we’re using is actually the cheapest Google offers. The plan just above ours that decreases the CPU throttle to 50% (doesn’t help much) is around $9.25 above our current plan, and the cheapest that allows us to fully utilize CPU power is around $20.10 above our current plan. While it doesn’t sound like much, with bandwidth and other costs (plus the fact valtron doesn’t have any dedicated sources of income for Escargot other than his full time job) it can add up quickly. With all of this coming in full circle, Google’s other server plans aren’t ideal for us so upgrading to those won’t be possible. We’re also aware having full CPU power won’t stop the server from overloading and crashing with lots of users on, but we’d rather have the server run smoothly before crashing instead of experiencing large amounts of lag trying to respond to user sessions. Me and valtron however have agreed on looking into other hosting providers when we can, so there’ll definitely be some sort of solution to this in the future. I just wanted to update everyone on our current situations and keep things transparent about the project.


The amount of effort put into this project is extraordinary, and
I know that sometimes, hosting such a massive community
isn’t going to be free forever.

I only wanted to comment on the money issues, perhaps
a donation button could be set up?
It does not profit off of the MSN
project, as a donation is fully the user’s decision, whereas ads do profit
off of MSN, and it is not the user’s decision to view those ads.

Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps not, as I am just
suggesting stuff that may help.

If a server crashes, it’s entirely fine, it’s not like a
wave of backlash was going to happen. (Yeah there is
people creating topics asking if Escargot’s down, still.)

Have a good day’all

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While the idea sounds generous and is beneficial in the long run, you have to understand that Google’s server plans when you’re taking this stuff seriously isn’t cheap and can seriously pile up on the bill. That’d basically mean we’d have to rely on donations just to keep a server up, and when you consider when we get to setting up a network using more than one server, it only gets worse from there…

That’s why switching to a more sane hosting provider would be the best option for us. Maybe if we’d still have to get extra money if/when we switch then we’d probably consider setting up donations, but it’s not that important right now is all I’m saying.


we’re not supposed to be profiting off of microsoft’s work anyway


this really only applys if you shove adsense crap in users faces, nonprofit stuff is fine, like donations or nonpaid ads. but if you use something like adsense to make money off of microsofts ip (in this case, wlm) you will get cease and desisted.

Escargot would literally be the only thing I would ever donate to, no doubt about that. Amazing project, amazing people and an amazing community.

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What about g1-small as a possible upgrade?

Otherwise it might be worth considering adding adsense to the site so you can get some income!

While that’s possibly as cheap as we can upgrade to, that still won’t help exactly as that only decreases the CPU throttle by 30% (so it throttles by half of the full power basically) and the only other advantage we’d have is more RAM (1.1 GB of it, to be exact, and even then with the 1.5 GB swap I added to the server recently that isn’t much). And in the long run we won’t be able to benefit from Google’s hosting options anyway, so we might as well consider switching hosts at some point anyway.

That doesn’t exactly help either in our case because Escargot is a project basically using other companies intellectual property, and profiting off it like that would only be us begging to be hit with a C&D. Also who knows if the ad income we’d be able to get will even allow us to upgrade to an appropriate server? We’ll stick with paying out of pocket for now, thank you very much.

i’mma be concerned on this one but like, are you guys fine even with paying out of pockets?

Yeah. The bill AFAIK is manageable and valtron has a full time job anyway so he might be getting enough cash to keep the servers afloat for some time.


have you ever considered another provider like datawagon?