Revserver / Dreamhost question

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Fri Aug 13 12:10:48 EDT 2010

stephen barncard wrote:

> 1.  If I want to use my own Revserver instance at Dreamhost, would I have to
> get a 'Personal Server' account?  I understand my shared hosting can't be
> used for this. Has anyone here done this?

Shared hosting should be fine.   Just like the older Rev CGI engine, the 
only limits you'll run into with RevServer are those imposed by the 
hosting company for shared accounts, which should be fine for most uses.

Hosts will vary in how they limit resource consumption to prevent a 
single account from dominating a shared CPU.  For example,, 
TierraNet, and others limit processes to 30 seconds, while Dreamhost 
limits them to about 300 aggregate minutes per day.

Which is "better" will depend on your needs (and if you ran a single 
process for 300 consecutive minutes you'd likely get a letter from 
Dreamhost asking why you need to do that <g>).  But no matter which 
specific limits are used by the host, most CGIs will run quite well 
within them.  Very few customers have run into these limits 
themselves, and I run a lot of CGIs on TierraNet, Dreamhost, and others 
and have never come even close them at all.

As many here have noted, 30 seconds is a very long time to run a 
continuous process.  With my CGIs I target a maximum of 5 seconds and 
may in some extreme cases tolerate up to 10 seconds if absolutely 
unavoidable, but even that's too long for my tastes; I can't have the 
user siting there without feedback for that long.

Looking at resource averages as our guide on this, the Dreamhost support 
wiki says: "Average shared hosting customers normally use less than 5 
CPU minutes per day for their account".  When you consider the 
popularity of Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, and other PHP/MySQL-driven 
systems, that average lends a good perspective of how even complex 
systems perform under normal loads.

Given the speed of the Rev engine, I'd be surprised if you ever needed 
more than a second or two to run most things you'd want to do with it on 
your server.  With the blog, the custom search engine I 
built for a client, and other relatively processor-intensive tasks, the 
Rev engine is able to do what I ask of it in a fraction of a second.

But if you ever find that you do need to run unusually lengthy 
processes, Andre's latest article in the RevUp newsletter covers how to 
break up a long task into chunks that allow even a shared-hosting 
account to run long processes without denying performance to other 
accounts, and will keep your users happy with good responsiveness:


> 2. If I want to use RevServer on multiple domains -  is a  single license
> good for this? Per server, not per domain, right?

My understanding is that it's per server rather than per domain. So if 
your Dreamhost account has a dozen domains you should be able to use 
RevServer on all of them, but if you also have hosting on another 
service you would need an additional license for that other server.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  Rev training and consulting:
  Webzine for Rev developers:
  revJournal blog:

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