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GPU usage Issue on Media Temple’s Grid-Server

I tried Media Temple(mt) Grid-Service(gs) hosting service for about 20 days and found that it’s not the perfect hosting solution for my sites as wordpress wp-cron.php takes most of my GPU’s. Media Temple’s GRID hosting plan uses GPU measurement (which stands for Grid Performance Unit). According to mediatemple, GPU is a measurement that derives from CPU time required by every single hit/request made to your (gs) Grid-Service. Each hosting plan has allotted 1000 GPU’s per month (Approx 1.38 GPU’s per hour).

We ran 3 wordpress blog’s, thepicky.com, parentinghopes.com and another site which averages about 20K page views daily. For $20 per month, MediaTemple offers 1000 GPUs and if you exceed that, you have to pay $0.10 per GPU as overage. Approximately 1.38 GPU’s per hour will total to 1000 GPU’s per month. In my trial period my sites busted around 37-45 GPU’s per day (see pic). If you average, then my account will be over 1000 GPU’s per month and I will be ended up paying $15 to $25 as overage itself.

GPU Usage Report

wp-cron.php uses most GPU’s in Media Temple Hosting

I tried to figure out what’s causing the most GPU’s. It was wp-cron.php which takes most of my GPU’s. wp-cron.php script is used to publish articles which are scheduled to be published at a later date, and process other time-related actions in WordPress. I googled, someone suggested to use wordpress plugin to control wp-cron.php, which I don’t wanted to. I don’t want to touch the wordpress core files, as it is the beauty of wordpress.

According to me wp-cron.php is not the problem, mediatemple grid-server is not the solution for sites with 20K pageviews. I contacted mediatemple’s customer service and they are unable to solve my issue as this is wordpress related. I thought the better solution is to move my sites to a different host. I was well within mediatemple’s 30 days money-back guarantee period so I discontinued the service with (mt) Media Temple and moved my sites to eleven2 hosting. Media Temple processed the request and refunded the money back, which is good.

Related: How to Move WordPress from Dreamhost To Media Temple’s Grid Server

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • rodney - eleven2 April 13, 2009, 3:21 pm

    thanks for the kind words!

  • CrunkMonk July 17, 2009, 5:23 pm

    I just wanted to point out that many hosts will just turn your site completely off when you reach their version of the GPU instead of letting you go over. Here is a link to that discusses that wp-cron.php file causing problems on other hosts due to it’s amazingly high cpu usage: http://trinity777.wordpress.com/2008/10/28/wordpress-26-the-issue-of-wp-cronphp/

    Here is an excerpt from another one:
    “wp-cron.php is WordPress’ version of a process scheduler — a function runs selectively on a request every so often and checks to see if any scheduled things need to happen. To do them, it doesn’t just run a command — it opens an HTTP request to your local server (acting as a client, essentially) with a secret key made from a hash of your database password (”?check=”) for wp-cron.php, which runs as a new Apache and PHP process so it doesn’t interrupt or slow down the existing request. It’s a good way to “fork” a process from PHP.

    Except that it’s kind of bad, in that if wp-cron.php in any way can’t be accessed, then the client is redirected to the 403 or 404 page, which are Wordpress pages, which run the whole wp-cron.php request all over again, and basically result in a good setup for an infinite loop.”

  • Cameron August 15, 2009, 8:32 pm

    Gotta say I am surprised you got as far as you did with Media Temple before the GPU’s caught up to you.

    Looking at the picky I can see it’s fairly light in terms of loading processes, and that must explain it.

    I have run several sites (mostly for other people) on media temple and I have never had the kind of traffic you were talking about before the GPU overages happened. For the mot part it they were magazine websites loaded with media.

    I’m going to be looking into the wp-cron deal, perhaps there is another way to reduce the load, but heck we are complaining about overages on the cheapest service.

    Stay away from Hostgator, I’m looking for a new host because they have truly ridiculously low “processes limit” of 25, and I started topping out on the baby croc plan ($7/month) with less then a hundred visitors. I know thats very cheap, and I guess I got what I paid for, but less than a hundred visitors before I need to upgrade is a little ridiculous. I have had to optimize the site to the point somethings like social bookmarking buttons in posts freeze up.

    Thanks for the perspective, but I’m still thinking the $20/month from Media temple’s Grid Server is a deal.

  • Calebe Aires February 13, 2010, 9:01 am

    I an getting the same as you were. Did you moved to an share host or dedicated server on eleven2?

  • SSD August 7, 2010, 4:47 am

    Wordpress Core is very slow, every request on a wordpress blog load the core entirely, with every active plugins.

    The script without any plugin and the default theme takes about 200-400 millisecond to load, and it can go above 3 or 6 seconds, if you have many non efficient plugins !

  • Valerie October 3, 2010, 12:34 am

    You can always try SiteCloud… another cloud hosting provider.

  • chovy October 7, 2010, 4:52 pm

    I too have wp-cron.php being my #1 consumer of GPUs — w3 total cache relies on it heavily…I do not know of a way to disable it completely and use real cronjobs from a shell.

    It has caused my $20/month (mt) plan to spike into $800/mo (and that’s only 3 weeks in). I have several domains, and all of them use 20-30 GPUs per day on wp-cron.php — the rest is typically under 3 GPUs (404’s etc.).

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