The Grid Platform

Is the Grid a shared hosting system?

The Grid has some features in common with shared hosting systems, but we consider it one of the original cloud hosting platforms. It was designed and built with a few key features that make it faster and more reliable than shared hosting platforms:

  • Clustered architecture.

    The Grid is built around shared clusters of high quality server hardware, networked together to make the most efficient use of resources.

  • LAMP compatibility.

    The Grid features wide support for the most popular Linux server-side application technologies, including Apache, PHP, Perl, Python, & MySQL.

  • Performance-boosting add-ons.

    The new and improved Grid hosting platform includes plenty of server enhancements to help reduce page load times, such as FastCGI. FastCGI lowers the overhead associated with interfacing the web server and CGI programs, allowing a server to handle more web page requests at once. Bottom line: Your sites on the Grid now load faster than ever.

What do I get with a Grid plan?

  • 100 GBs of premium storage
  • 1 TB of short-path bandwidth
  • 100 unique sites / alternate domains
  • 2,000 GPUs
  • 100 databases
  • 1,000 email addresses

Which LAMP software is installed?

The Grid currently features the following versions of software:

  • PHP 5.5 with FastCGI
  • Perl v5.10.1
  • Python v2.6.6
  • Apache 2.2.22
  • MySQL 5.5
  • Git 1.7.2.5
  • SVN 1.7.4

What is the AccountCenter?

The AccountCenter is (mt)'s custom all-in-one hosting control panel and account management center. It’s the single source for all of your Grid controls, support requests, billing inquiries and more. The new uControl panel lets your users manage their own accounts, so you never have to change an email password or manage spam settings for your users again. Plus, the iPhone AccountCenter lets you control your hosting on the road with the world’s first iPhone-enabled web hosting control panel.

Can I use SSH to access my Grid service?

Yes. SSH access to your Grid service can be enabled directly from the control panel inside the AccountCenter. Read this KnowledgeBase article for more information.

Does my Grid come with a version control system?

Yes. Two popular version control systems are installed on the Grid: Git and Subversion (SVN).

To learn more about using SVN on the Grid, read this KnowledgeBase article.

To learn more about using Git on the Grid, read this KnowledgeBase article.

Can I resell resources on my Grid service?

Yes. Although the Grid was not designed for reselling hosting services, many designers and developers resell their Grid space. If you maintain websites for clients and only need to provide them with email, FTP, and SSH access, you shouldn’t have any problem reselling Grid hosting. You can easily create additional users that have access to email, FTP (including sub-folder FTP restrictions) and SSH resources. However, the Grid is not designed to be a mass reseller hosting platform. It doesn't offer separate control panel access for your clients, separate website statistics for each site hosted on your Grid service, or any billing or customer support services for your clients.

If you are interested in a more robust reseller solution, please look into our DV Managed plan. It allows you to set resource limits for your clients and provide them with separate control panel access, along with many more reseller-friendly features.

Does the Grid go down for maintenance?

The Grid is designed for continuous operation 24/7/365. The distributed nature of the Grid nodes allows this system to be maintained without ever being taken offline. Should a maintenance issue arise that would require a disruption of service, all efforts will be made to open a maintenance window during off-peak hours and provide all affected customers with ample advance notice.

Web Applications

Which applications are available for 1-Click installation?

We currently have WordPress, Drupal, and ZenCart available for 1-Click installation. More applications will be added based on customer demand. Please let us know which applications you'd like to see added to our 1-Click installer.

Which applications are known to work on the Grid?

For an up-to-date list of applications that have been installed on the Grid and tested for basic compatibility by (mt) Media Temple staff or customers, please see this KnowledgeBase article.

The app I want isn’t on the list. Does that mean it won’t work?

Not necessarily. The list of known-compatible applications is for convenience only. We try to keep it as current and complete as possible, though. So if you’ve successfully installed an application not already on this list, please let us know.

Do 1-Click applications get updated automatically?

No, the current version of the 1-Click installer does not provide automatic application updates. We are looking into the feasibility of adding this feature in the future. We still encourage you to become familiar with any 1-Click application you install, so you may perform your own routine maintenance and updates as needed.

Email

Does the Grid come with email service?

Yes, the email solution included with the Grid is an all-in one, business-class system featuring powerful tools for managing me

  • Upgraded infrastructure.

    Mail by (mt) is built on a powerful new infrastructure to deliver fast, supported, business-class email — all at no additional cost. The Grid’s built-in email system is also run on entirely separate servers. Which means you can send and receive email all day long without ever affecting your website’s performance.

  • Contact management tools.

    Mail by (mt) lets you access all your contacts from anywhere and share them with anyone, through a number of supported clients and mobile devices. Our address book system features a drag and drop interface, support for photo thumbnails and Vcards, and more, so you can sort and use your contact information any way you want.

  • Calendars you won’t forget.

    Create calendar entries, share your events, and get reminders—all from your choice of browser or mobile device. Monthly, weekly, and daily views will keep you on top of your schedule, and your Grid mail’s easy-to-use interface lets you quickly create, move, and resize scheduled events with just a click.

  • Full IMAP support.

    Mail by (mt) features an easy-to-use, intuitive browser interface, with full MIME support and a rich HTML email editor built right in. With full IMAP support, it’s also quick and simple to set up your favorite desktop or mobile app to access your Grid mail.

Which applications are known to work on the Grid?

For an up-to-date list of applications that have been installed on the Grid and tested for basic compatibility by (mt) Media Temple staff or customers, please see this KnowledgeBase article.

The app I want isn’t on the list. Does that mean it won’t work?

Not necessarily. The list of known-compatible applications is for convenience only. We try to keep it as current and complete as possible, though. So if you’ve successfully installed an application not already on this list, please let us know.

Do 1-Click applications get updated automatically?

No, the current version of the 1-Click installer does not provide automatic application updates. We are looking into the feasibility of adding this feature in the future. We still encourage you to become familiar with any 1-Click application you install, so you may perform your own routine maintenance and updates as needed.

Bandwidth and resources

What do you mean by “scalable bandwidth” and “burstable resources?”

With (mt) Media Temple's Grid system, your website is no longer tied to an individual hardware server. Rather, it is spread across hundreds of server processors. This model gives your site ever-expanding grid-cluster computing capability, which allows you to scale far beyond older shared server systems—and even exceed what some dedicated servers can handle. So your sites are always ready for intense bursts of web traffic from Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, or any other major source. Your databases automatically scale to meet web traffic demands using our innovative Auto-Scaling MySQL system.

What’s a GPU?

Grid Performance Units (GPUs) measure the CPU resources being used by each request to your Grid service. Built-in reporting breaks down usage by each hit, helping you track down errors and code inefficiencies. Your Grid service comes with enough GPUs to power 99% of the sites we've ever seen. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones with massive levels of sustained traffic, additional pay-as-you-go GPUs are there when you need them. This system is made possible by keeping track of each customer's individual usage with a measurement we created called GPU (Grid Performance Unit). Each Grid hosting plan includes 2,000 GPUs per month, enough that at least 99.7% of all Grid customers will never exceed the GPU allocation. If your site experiences occasional traffic surges, the GPU system allows you to stay online without worrying about getting shut down after reaching an arbitrary limit.

How are GPUs calculated?

A GPU is a measurement based on CPU time required by every single hit/request made to your Grid service. This includes your web server activity, programs, scripts, and all associated parent and child processes across all nodes within our system (100's of processor cores). The Grid system keeps track of all the measurements taken from your server and adds them to a running total, which is calculated about once an hour.

  • 1 GPU = 7.24% of 1 CPU for 1 hour
  • 2,000 GPUs = a continuous 20% load on one processor for the entire month.
  • 2,000 GPUs = 2.78 GPUs per hour for an entire month
    NOTE: Numbers are based on a 30-day calendar. These numbers will vary based on actual calendar days for each given month in your billing cycle.

How can I tell how many GPUs my sites use?

You can view a breakdown of your daily or hourly GPU statistics at any time from inside the AccountCenter.

  1. Log into your AccountCenter.
  2. Click on your primary domain.
  3. Click on GPU Usage Report.

Also, if your server is projected to exceed its allocated GPU usage, a courtesy email will be sent to you automatically by our systems.

What if I go over the allocated GPUs?

If you should exceed your GPU allocation, you will be billed at the end of the month for the overage that your server incurred, at the rate of $0.10 per GPU.

However, this is relatively rare. Based on our analysis of over 10,000 random sites, the vast majority (99.97%) would never exceed the GPU allocation, even with heavy traffic. As an example: Even if your service effectively used 2 GPUs per hour during the day and 0.6 GPUs per hour at night, at the end of the month, you would not have gone over the GPU limit.

How are the projections calculated?

At the beginning of each new billing period, the Grid system resets your GPU count and begins to calculate a projection of how many GPUs your server will consume. When the hourly usage results multiplied by 24 (hours in the day), multiplied by 30 (days in a month) exceeds the amount of GPUs allocated in your plan, the Grid system generates an email message as a courtesy notice to you. You can also view a GPU report for your server directly inside the AccountCenter.

Could my service be shut down because of GPU overages?

In very rare circumstances, it is possible. We have seen a few occasions where customers have reached such severe resource demands that their ending monthly bill would greatly exceed most hosting budgets. In most cases, the situation stemmed not from organic traffic patterns and usage, but rather from malformed software, hacked scripts, or highly inefficient programming techniques. To protect our customers, it is (mt) Media Temple's policy that any Grid service consuming more than 250 GPUs per hour will be suspended until (mt) Media Temple can communicate with the customer and determine the source of overly demanding resource utilization. If you would like to pre-approve your service "bursting" past 250 GPU/hr, please contact us so we can set up an exception to this policy.

Is there a way to throttle or cap my GPU usage?

Not at this time. The Grid was designed to handle large bursts and traffic spikes. Restricting its performance is not something that was built into the design of the technology.

I got an email saying that I owe $200.00 for GPU overages. Is this a bill?

No, it’s only a projected overage. The email is letting you know that if things continue as forecast, you may go over your allotted GPUs for this billing period and have to pay for the overage.

How much am I charged for overage?

$0.10 per GPU

How can I cut back my GPU usage?

Optimizing scripts and disabling plugins are the simplest steps you can take. Read Understanding the GPU Tool in the (mt) KnowledgeBase for more suggestions.

Will I get a notice when I'm over 2,000 GPUs?

The moment your service is projected to go over the limit, our system will automatically send you an alert. Any actual overages will appear on your (mt) invoice.

Can I get custom GPU alerts?

Sorry, GPU alerts are not customizable at this time.

Can I buy a bundle of GPU's ahead of time at a lower rate?

Sorry, we currently do not offer GPU packages.

MySQL SmartPool

What is MySQL SmartPool v2?

It’s a multi-tenant database hosting system featuring guaranteed memory resources and automatic burstability. (mt) has radically re-architected multi-tenant MySQL hosting technology, allowing the SmartPool to function more intelligently than any previous generation of hosted MySQL. Key features include:

  • All-SSD storage.

    Our MySQL SmartPool storage drives are entirely SSD-based, allowing many times more IOPS than a comparable spinning drive. That eliminates storage bottlenecks, enabling higher speed and performance than other shared database hosting systems.

  • One-click upgrades.

    When your website's traffic demands exceed the limits of the SmartPool, an upgrade to the MySQL GridContainer can be made directly inside the AccountCenter. Our system handles all aspects of the upgrade seamlessly with zero migration burdens.

  • Database bursting.

    When the SmartPool recognizes sudden spikes in database traffic it automatically allocates a single-tenant MySQL Container. This allows your databases to grow beyond the guaranteed SmartPool resources. This unique feature helps customers survive temporary traffic bursts resulting from press releases, mass blog coverage, Reddit, etc.

What are the MySQL SmartPool specs?

  • MySQL 5.5
  • 64MB RAM guaranteed
  • 4GB disk space
  • Guaranteed resources
  • Improved stability
  • Multiple database users
  • Instantly scalable
  • All-SSD storage

What is Auto-Scaling MySQL?

Auto-Scaling MySQL technology provides the behind-the-scenes power your websites need to handle intense bursts of database activity on-demand. A suite of exclusive tools developed by (mt) constantly monitor your database for bursts in activity and automatically spring into action with on-the-fly migrations to a temporary MySQL Burst Container as needed. When the burst subsides, your databases are automatically migrated back to the SmartPool. Here’s how it works:

  1. Tahiti load-leveling technology.

    The constant monitoring of the Tahiti load-leveling system identifies overloaded databases within the MySQL SmartPool and prepares them for scaling.

  2. Transparent database migration.

    Your database is backed up and duplicated into a dedicated MySQL Burst Container invisibly as your website continues to operate.

  3. Smooth scaling.

    After the initial duplication is complete, a friendly scaling message is displayed in place of your website as an additional sync is applied to ensure no data loss. This usually takes less than 5 minutes.

  4. Bursting complete.

    An email is sent notifying you that your database is now serving data from your temporary Burst Container until the high load subsides (up to 7 days).

  5. Zero-intervention database scalability.

    Our MySQL SmartPool system automatically identifies intense bursts of database activity and transports your databases into a MySQL Burst Container. This proprietary system delivers a dedicated instance of MySQL with the isolated resources your applications demand during traffic spikes.

How many MySQL users can I have on my Grid service?

Each Grid service is deployed with a single database user capable of creating up to 100 databases. Each Grid service in the SmartPool system can then create up to 4 more MySQL users, bringing the total to 5. Permissions which include database access, read only and read/write capabilities, can be set on a per user, per database level. More users can be created by adding an optional MySQL GridContainer to your service. The MySQL GridContainer Lite comes with 10 MySQL users, Pro includes 20 users, and Advanced supports up to 50 users.

Can I access my databases from external applications?

Yes. Each Grid service comes with a unique address that will allow you to access your databases from outside the (mt) Media Temple network. For your protection, you will need to add the IP addresses you will be connecting from before you can gain external access. Please see the Database section of the Server Guide for more information. Detailed instructions are available in this KnowledgeBase article.

How much MySQL database storage do I get?

There is a 4GB limit on total database size. If you burst beyond this, then you will be put into the appropriate sized MySQL GridContainer. Customers have the option to purchase a separate MySQL GridContainer to provide additional database storage. Please read the MySQL GridContainer FAQ for details.

What is a MySQL Burst Container?

A MySQL Burst Container is a single-tenant MySQL GridContainer that is allocated to you automatically, in real time, when the SmartPool system recognizes sudden spikes in database traffic. This unique feature allows your databases to scale beyond the guaranteed SmartPool resources, helping you survive temporary traffic bursts resulting from press releases, mass blog coverage, Reddit™, etc.

Do MySQL Burst Containers cost extra?

No. MySQL Burst Containers are an automatic part of our MySQL SmartPool v2, included at no extra cost.

How long will I have access to a MySQL Burst Container?

You will have access to your MySQL Burst Container for up to three full days.

What happens after three days?

The SmartPool will analyze your MySQL usage patterns and send you an email with additional MySQL options that are available.

During peak usage, will (mt) shut down my site’s instance of MySQL?

No. However, please note: Although the limits of the Burst Container far exceed traditional shared hosting resources, it is possible to exceed the limitations of your Burst Container, which may affect your website’s performance.

How many times can I temporarily scale using a MySQL Burst Container?

Each Grid plan comes with two MySQL Burst Container cycles each month. If you exceed two in any month, you will receive an email notification outlining your options.

How can I purchase a permanent MySQL GridContainer?

Permanent MySQL GridContainers can be purchased and instantly activated 24/7 from inside your AccountCenter.

How many databases can I have on the SmartPool v2?

Each Grid service can have up to 100 databases in the SmartPool v2 system. To protect the system against abuse, there is also a maximum allowable limit of 10,000 database tables, regardless of the number of databases. Not to worry, though—most applications that use a database don't even approach these limits under normal circumstances.

MySQL GridContainers

What’s the difference between the MySQL GridContainer and the MySQL SmartPool?

The new MySQL GridContainer is designed for customers who demand guaranteed performance and absolute reliability for their hosted database systems. The MySQL SmartPool system works great for a majority of applications but unfortunately remains subject to the unavoidable volatility of shared hosting, sometimes called the "bad neighbor effect." The MySQL GridContainer system solves these problems by running a single instance of MySQL in a dedicated server which has complete RAM and CPU isolation from other applications, databases, and customers. This new, industry-first architecture results in faster performing sites and applications that are easier to optimize and troubleshoot.

Which version of MySQL does the GridContainer come with?

All MySQL GridContainers currently include MySQL Server version 5.1.26.

What MySQL GridContainer sizes are available?

MySQL GridContainers are currently available in the three sizes shown below. All GridContainers can be ordered from the AccountCenter and rapidly provisioned for use in minutes.

  • Lite: 128 MBs
  • Pro: 256 MBs
  • Advanced: 512 MBs

Once you’ve purchased a GridContainer, all upgrades and downgrades between container sizes can be made instantly in the AccountCenter.

What are the prices for MySQL GridContainers?

The 128MB GridContainer is an additional $20 per month, the 256MB GridContainer is an additional $75 per month, and the 512MB GridContainer is an additional $150 per month.

How do I buy a GridContainer?

To buy a MySQL GridContainer, you must already have a Grid account. To purchase a new MySQL GridContainer, simply log into your AccountCenter and click on the GridContainer icon to order.

How do I know what size GridContainer I'll need?

The GridContainer size you choose depends on how your web applications use the MySQL database server. The GridContainer Lite is an excellent entry level, business grade solution that offers a highly tuned MySQL environment with additional tools to help you analyze your database utilization and understand your scalability needs. Once you've purchased a GridContainer Lite, you can easily upgrade to a bigger container in the AccountCenter.

Does the Grid include a free MySQL GridContainer?

No. However, the Grid does come with all the MySQL capabilities provided by our MySQL SmartPool v2 system. For the majority of Grid customers, the MySQL SmartPool v2 system is sufficient. Those interested in higher performance, business grade MySQL hosting may add a MySQL GridContainer for an additional monthly fee.

Is there downtime when upgrading GridContainer sizes?

No. Acquiring additional GridContainer resources is a simple, automated upgrade from within the AccountCenter. Resource increases happen in real time with zero disruption or downtime for your applications.

How do I manage my GridContainer environment & applications?

We've developed our own set of time-saving GUI tools to help you manage the setup and routine maintenance of your MySQL GridContainer. These tools feature quick access to the most commonly used database operations, and they continue to work just the same once you’ve added a MySQL GridContainer.

phpMyAdmin is also available for additional web-based database control. In addition, new exclusive MySQL GridContainer controls allow you to reboot your container environment, quickly repair database tables, and provide access to MySQL performance and query analysis tools on demand. Additional tools for enhanced monitoring and customization will continue to be added to the MySQL GridContainer controls in the future.

Will I have root access to MySQL?

While root-level access is not available on the Grid, you can edit the my.cnf file through the MySQL GridContainer controls in the AccountCenter. Most options are fully configurable. There is a convenient reset option if you want to return to the default configuration. Please be aware that you will not be able to effectively set certain parameters beyond the resources you have purchased with your container. For example, key_buffer_size cannot be set to allow use of more than your purchased RAM.

Is the MySQL GridContainer solution a clustered or replicated database solution?

The current implementation of the MySQL GridContainers provides a single unshared copy of the MySQL Server. No clustering or replication functionality is included. We are looking into the possibility offering this functionality in the future.

How do MySQL GridContainers compare to other MySQL hosting solutions?

MySQL GridContainers provide a scalable, resource isolated environment specifically tuned for maximum MySQL Server performance. Containers feature many of the benefits of a dedicated or virtual dedicated sever without any of the setup, maintenance burdens, or costs that come with with dedicated server solutions.

How can I tell how my MySQL database resources are being used?

MySQL GridContainers include specialized tools and documentation to help you determine how your sites and applications are using resources. For complete details on these tools, explore the MySQL GridContainer controls in the AccountCenter.

Can I edit any MySQL configuration options?

In the current version of our MySQL GridContainer technology, server-level configuration editing is not available. We are currently looking into the possibility of making this feature available in the future along with root-level MySQL access. Although these features are on the product roadmap, availability dates have not be determined.

How many MySQL user accounts does a GridContainer come with?

The MySQL GridContainer Lite comes with 10 MySQL users, Pro includes 20 users and Advanced supports up to 50 users. Permissions can be set on a per user, per database level. Privileges include database access, read capability, and read/write capabilities.

Why does the Grid use containers?

Server software, including MySQL, performs best when dedicated resources are allocated to it. (mt) Media Temple has recognized this trend and developed proprietary GridContainer technology to provide high performance, resource-isolated environments specially designed for hosting this class of software.

What if my applications outgrow my GridContainer?

No. Acquiring additional GridContainer resources is a simple, automated upgrade from within the AccountCenter. Resource increases happen in real time with zero disruption or downtime for your applications.

PHP

What PHP frameworks are compatible with the Grid?

Known compatible frameworks include:

  • Symfony server hardware, networked together to make the most efficient use of resources.
  • Code Igniter
  • CakePHP
  • MODx
  • Seagull Framework

This list is not comprehensive. However, we like to keep it as thorough and complete as possible. If you’ve been able to install another PHP framework on the Grid, please let us know.

Does PHP on the Grid have safe-mode limitations?

No, although our PHP environment is so flexible, you can turn it back on if you really want to. You can also turn off safe mode per domain using the .htacess file. Please see this KnowledgeBase article for details.

Which PHP modules are included with your versions of PHP5?

Take a look at phpinfo pages to see the latest versions of PHP5 running on the Grid.

If you need a module that's not already included, please let us know and we'll look into adding support for it.

Is it possible to override the default php.ini settings?

Yes, you can override most php.ini configuration settings by managing your own php.ini file for your Grid service. We've even provided a sample php.ini file to get you started. To learn more, please read this KnowledgeBase article.

SSL

Does the Grid support SSL encryption?

Yes. Your Grid service automatically comes with a shared SSL certificate for encrypted email over SSL. Please see our KnowledgeBase article for details. You may also purchase a custom SSL certificate through us for secure web browsing.

How many SSL certificates can I have?

Thanks to recent enhancements to the Grid, you can now buy and install as many SSL certificates as you want on your Grid account. To buy an SSL certificate from Meda Temple, log in to your AccountCenter.

Can I buy an SSL certificate from (mt) Media Temple?

Yes. We offer QuickSSL certificates (from GeoTrust), for $50 one-time setup and $10 monthly for one year. You can purchase the SSL certificate in your AccountCenter. Please read this KnowledgeBase article for step by step instructions.

Security

What security measures are protecting my sites on the Grid?

Our Grid servers are housed in secure, guarded, Tier 3+ data centers on both coasts, where they’re extremely well protected from physical threats. We strive to maintain best practices for security across all our products and services. Some of the security measures in place for the Grid include:

  • Grid support.

    On the front lines of the fight against online security threats, you’ll find our own team of in-house security engineers. Our dedicated Grid experts are constantly on the lookout for evolving online threats, making updates and patches behind the scenes to keep your websites secure.

  • CloudFlare with Railgun.

    Media Temple has partnered with CloudFlare, a content delivery network service that makes the whole Internet safer by automatically detecting and blocking new attacks that arise against any website on its network. Grid customers can activate CloudFlare with Railgun in the AccountCenter at any time, for free (a savings of $200), to instantly make their sites and applications faster and more secure. Visit the (mt) CloudFlare page for more information.

  • Cloudmark email filtering.

    The Grid uses Cloudmark filtering technology to screen all inbound and outbound email messages for spam and other abuse. Cloudmark is powered by the Cloudmark Global Threat Network, which receives real-time threat reports from billions of subscribers around the world. Messaging data is analyzed automatically to detect and identify anomalies and suspicious sending patterns. New fingerprints are added to the Cloudmark Global Threat Network within minutes, and the global threat database is updated every 30 seconds.

  • CloudTech Security.

    For your most crucial applications — like e-commerce sites or important client projects — our CloudTech Premium Support team can provide an extra level of security. The CloudTech Security Pack subscription includes proactive security monitoring, instant alerts, automatic malware cleanup, and professional blacklist removal. We also offer emergency malware cleanups on demand.

How many SSL certificates can I have?

Thanks to recent enhancements to the Grid, you can now buy and install as many SSL certificates as you want on your Grid account. To buy an SSL certificate from Meda Temple, log in to your AccountCenter.

Can I buy an SSL certificate from (mt) Media Temple?

Yes. We offer QuickSSL certificates (from GeoTrust), for $50 one-time setup and $10 monthly for one year. You can purchase the SSL certificate in your AccountCenter. Please read this KnowledgeBase article for step by step instructions.

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