Inodes Explained - What on earth... and the Unlimited Myth Debunked.
The Linux operating system uses data structures called Inodes to store information about a file. Many hosting companies will dishonestly advertise unlimited storage, but limit your Inode usage, effectively making the unlimited storage offer null and void.
To many it will be obvious that offering unlimited storage is simply impossible. There is no form of data storage that is unlimited. Every hard drive, SSD, NAS or SAN has some sort of upper limit to the amount of data it can store. Every web hosting company has a finite amount of data storage. A web host cannot possibly give you unlimited data storage.
Secondly, web hosts, particularly discount providers like us, cannot afford to give you all the storage you want for a few pounds per month. If you want to build your own ebay.com or youtube.com, no discount hosting provider is going to give you all the storage you need, even when they advertise unlimited storage. How would they afford to allow you to use all the storage resources of even a single server, when the cost of operating a single server is easily 100s of times more expensive than the hosting plan you're paying for?
Any web host advertising unlimited storage is deceiving you--hoping you'll believe them so they can capture your business, at least until you actually start using more storage than they really want you to. At this point you should surely know that any company offering "Unlimited Data" is not a company that you want to work with.
Check the terms of service of any web host offering "unlimited" storage, and you'll find storage restrictions in the fine print, or even the fine fine print hidden somewhere in the deep of the sites T&Cs. Some of the well known web hosts such as GoDaddy, BlueHost (not to be mistaken with the incredible Web Host Provider Blue Sky Hosts), HostMonster and HostGator all limit the number of inodes your site can use. Inodes are equivalent to files, so a web host which has an inode limit of 50,000 is going to limit your site to no more than 50,000 files. You may think 50,000 files is a lot, but we have many clients using our lowest cost hosting, which provides up to 1GB storage, who are well over 50,000 inodes. When it comes to all the files that make up your website, including emails, temporary files, files cached by scripting languages, etc. you'd be surprised at how quickly you can end up with over 50,000 files on your site.
As an example, Our BlueSkyHosts.com website doesn't take up much room. It's mostly composed of PHP scripts which connect to a customer database to manage hosting plans, billing, technical support, etc. As of this writing, our website consumes under 2GB storage, but uses over 40,000 inodes. That's pretty close to the 50,000 inode limitations of many of the popular "unlimited" storage hosts, in less than 10% of the storage we provide with our lowest cost hosting plan!
How much storage do you really need?
We all like to think we are getting a really good deal...sometimes when we don't even need it!
Rather than fall for the lie of unlimited storage, just because it sounds good, think about how much storage your website will really consume. Most websites consume far less than the storage we provide with our most economical cPanel web hosting plan, which is only £3.99/month for 5 gigabytes of storage and 50 gigabytes of monthly traffic. Our servers are operated under cPanel Partner NOC providing high quality, professional hosting services at affordable prices.
Hosts that advertise "unlimited" storage will typically oversell their services, overload their servers, and you'll find your website performing very slowly, I know this to be the case because of the many that have since joined us here at Blue Sky Hosts, the thing that most attracts our customers is our refreshing honesty and desire to see your business succeed after all with out your business we wouldn't have one!
We take great care to ensure all of our servers perform very well. We do not overload servers, and every server has the storage capacity to handle the 1GB (or more) each hosted client can use.
Thursday, February 28, 2013