Resource Usage Policy
Specific rules and regulations governing resource usage.
What are Resource Usage Policies?
In a shared hosting environment, a server’s resources are what economists would call a common pool resource, meaning that although having plenty of available system resources benefits everyone, no single user has an incentive to ensure that they don’t use too many resources themselves. In an effort to protect against the tragedy of the (server) commons, we have placed limits on the amount of a server’s resources that any given user may consume. While these are limits, server abuse is not limited to these policies and is up to Great Smoky Hosting’s discretion what constitutes server abuse. Please note that these resource policies are applicable towards shared, reseller, and semi-dedicated hosting services.
The Purpose of These Policies
Understand that these policies are in place to protect you, our customers, from poor service quality. Generally, if we need to impose a restriction on an account for resource abuse, that account is in violation of at least two of these policies (or one policy to a very serious degree) and is adversely affecting the other clients on their server. The large, large majority of sites, at least 99.5%, will never even have to take these limits into consideration. That being said, it’s good to make yourself aware of them.
It is also important to note that many of these limits can be seen as “soft” limits. They are not actively enforced, and you can run up to or even over most of them without issue. If, however, you start to affect the overall performance of a server, we do need to have limits and policies in place. Without them it’s incredibly hard to explain to the customer, in quantitative terms, exactly how a site is consuming too many system resources. If an account is found to be in violation of these Resource Usage Policies, we will do our best to work with clients to give 48 hours, 5 days, or 10 days notice depending on the severity of the violation. We reserve the right as outlined in the Terms of Service to suspend a site if it is causing a severe problem.
Unsolicited Bulk/Commercial Email/SPAM
The use of Great Smoky Hosting servers and networks to transmit unsolicited bulk/commercial email (also know as spam) is strictly forbidden. Under no circumstance is the transmission of spam acceptable or tolerated.
The transmission of spam from our servers and networks can cause irreparable monetary and reputation damage. All damages caused by spamming will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Any client caught explicitly spamming from our servers or networks will have their account immediately terminated & without notice.
General Content & Service Restrictions
Great Smoky Hosting’s servers are not allowed be used as a backup/storage system. One cPanel/SiteAdmin backup for that same account is allowed to be stored for no more than seven calendar days.
Reselling is not allowed on Shared hosting plans. If reselling is desired, please contact us prior to signing up.
Under no circumstance is pornography permitted. Nudity, adult-oriented e-commerce stores, and similar are allowed if the content is legal in the United States of America. Great Smoky Hosting will be the sole arbiter as to what constitutes a violation of this provision.
All interactive chat web applications are strictly prohibited on Great Smoky Hosting’s servers. This includes but is not limited to chat applications written in PHP, Perl, CGI, Python, Ruby, etc. in addition to IRC or IRC bots. Any web application that provides ‘real-time’ chat is not permitted. Shoutboxes, chatboxes, live chat/live help (such as but not limited to LiveZilla) and other web based chat programs are prohibited.
Web Applications & Web Accessible Scripts
All web applications that are out of date and actively being exploited will be shut down immediately without notice. As a webmaster you should evaluate your web based applications and scripts on a regular basis to ensure they’re secure and up to date.
Forums and any applications using a commenting system should have some form of spam protection or moderation. CAPTCHA is a popular way to eliminate spam robots from spamming your website.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) farms or similar are strictly forbidden on Great Smoky Hosting’s servers and networks. SEO farms create undue strain and resource abuse on any given server and affect all clients.
- Banner rotation services and link exchange networks are not permitted.
- Offering Image, File, Document and Data storage, and free hosting and email services are strictly prohibited.
- Off-site media storage is not permitted.
- Operating a public mirror site is not permitted.
- Running a proxy or anonymizer, whether publicly accessible or protected, is not permitted.
- Prime bank or bank debenture-related sites, lottery sites, muds or online RPGs, hate sites, hacker-related sites, sites promoting illegal activity, IP scanner or other hacking tools, mail bombing or spam scripts, or forums and websites that distribute or promote warez content are expressly forbidden.
- Bit torrent applications, trackers, and clients as well as any file-sharing/peer-to-peer activities are forbidden.
- The operation of gaming servers (such as but not limited to Minecraft, Counter-Strike, Half-Life, battlefield1492) are forbidden.
- Web spiders and indexers are not permitted.
- The above mentioned services / web content create undue system load on our servers and should only be run in a dedicated server environment. All violations will be shut down immediately and may result in account suspension and/or termination.
If you have a question on whether or not your content is in violation, please email us for clarification.
Resource Usage Restrictions
Processes invoked by the web server, cron, shell or any other method should not exceed the following limitations:
- Consume more than 1 GB of RAM.
- Utilize in excess of 5 seconds of CPU time.
- Your account as a whole shall not exceed the limitation of daily CPU minutes put forth by us as determined by our accounting software.
- Number of open files should not exceed 64.
- Create core dumps.
- Number of simultaneous processes should not exceed 15.
- Execute a script/binary that forks in a way to create a fork bomb.
- Programs may not run in the background or listen on a network port. If you require a bot, service or daemon, you should consider a dedicated server, as very few shared web hosts allow this type of program.
- All users are restricted to 15 concurrent MySQL connections.
- Each database is restricted to 2 GB of disk space.
- Database queries should not exceed 3,000 per hour.
- Database changes (insert/update/delete) should not exceed 1,000 queries per hour.
- Database servers should not be used as a hosted solution. Database access should only be used for the web site hosted by Great Smoky Hosting.
- Remote database access is for administrative purposes only.
Files and Directories
- The total number of inodes in an account may not exceed 75,000. Every file (a webpage, image, email, php file, directory, etc.) on your account uses up one (1) inode. This is not something we actively enforce and it will only become an issue if a client is causing problems for other people on the server. We will of course notify you if this is the case with a full explanation.
- A directory can not contain more than 2,500 immediate child files. This includes subdirectories themselves, but does not include files contained within those directories.
- Simultaneous Apache connections may not exceed 50 from one individual source at any given time.
- Web processes should not fork or spawn subprocesses.
Email and Mailing Lists
- Files in excess of 10 MB should not be sent via email.
- Processes should not send outbound mail to more than 25 recipients at any given time.
- The maximum number of members per mailing list is 1,500.
- POP connections are limited to 60 per hour.
- SMTP connections (outbound email connections) are limited to 500 per hour per server account.
- Mailing lists larger than 1,500 will require a semi dedicated, VPS, or dedicated server from us. Dividing one list into smaller parts to get around this limit is not allowed.
- Any mailing list over 900 emails is only allowed in off peak times such as Saturday and Sunday or from 1am to 8am ET during the week.
- Any mailing list must be throttled so that it sends an email every 6 seconds at the very minimum. If the mailing list software you are using doesn’t support throttling you must use something else. We do this as this keeps the server load from going very high and causing problems for other users. If you don’t do this you will be suspended.
- We do not allow you to send to a mailing list you were given or that you bought. This is spamming and we have zero tolerance for this.
- Any mailing list must comply with the rules set forth by the United States of America and can be found at: http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business.
- No Direct SMTP mailing system scripts are permitted. Mail should be relayed through the local MTA.
- All cron jobs must be ‘niced’ to 15 or greater (see the Unix manpage for “nice” for more information).
- A cron job should not execute more frequently than once every 15 minutes.
- Our servers should not be used as an SSH bounce point to other servers/networks.
- You may not use the Unix “find” command recursively on directories more than 5 levels deep.
Dedicated IP Addresses
- Dedicated IP Addresses require valid justification.
- Valid justification includes SSL certificates and DNS nameservers.
On certain web hosting plans, Great Smoky Hosting does not place limits on the amount of particular resources a single client may use. Great Smoky Hosting makes every reasonable effort to provide clients with the disk space and bandwidth resources needed for their websites within the limitations of these Terms of Service. Great Smoky Hosting monitors all servers via automated and non-automated methods to help ensure no single client adversely impacts other clients located on the same server.
Please note that shared hosting plans are for website hosting, and the storage of backups (unless otherwise allowed in this agreement), file repositories, MP3s, videos, photo archives, and similar is strictly prohibited. Violators of this policy may have their accounts terminated without refund.
Failure To Comply With Policy
Failure to fully comply with these terms is grounds for account suspension and/or termination (with or without refund, subject to Great Smoky Hosting’s discretion).
We reserve the right to remove any account without prior notice. If we terminate your account for violating policy, you will forfeit your rights to a refund – and none will be given.
The examples listed herein are a guide and may not be an exhaustive list. If you have a question on whether or not your content is in violation, please email us for clarification.