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VPS CPU Utilisation Policy

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VPS CPU utilisation policy

This policy is an extension of our terms of service located here. We want to ensure you have access to the resources you need, as you need them. We recognise that sometimes there is a need to use more CPU processing power on occasions and we want to make sure you can use those resources when required without setting the base CPU utilisation limit too low. This means that at those critical times when you need a little more CPU horsepower, you can get it.
To ensure the stability of our service into the future we established an automated CPU utilisation policy. This means that our systems will automatically review how much CPU you are utilising per core over a given period; and if necessary, curtail your VPSs request for CPU resource if it is deemed to have exceeded the criterion defined by this policy. Please see the CPU policy in the table below.
This policy is applied universally across all VPSs unless we have specifically agreed an exception as part of a bespoke set of requirements and commercial agreement. If you wish to discuss your bespoke requirements, please raise a support ticket into the Sales Department.

Band Average CPU utilisation on host server (per VPS core) Average measurement period (minutes) VPS CPU throttle penalty (per VPS core) VPS CPU throttle duration (hours)
A 90-100% 60 20% 3
B 60-90% 60 25% 3
C 40-60% 60 30% 3

If on average over a 60-minute period you use less than 40% of the host CPU per VPS core then you will never need to worry about throttling and will be able to use 100% of the available CPU for periods where you need extra performance for short bursts. We find that this policy strikes a reasonable balance between performance and stability.

Question: How do I know when my VPS is penalised?

Within your Service page on our portal select the "View CPU Utilisation" option from the menu on the left. Within there you will see details of your CPU usage from the perspective of the host node as well as any penalties that are currently being enforced to throttle your CPU usage. Within the Service page of your VPS your VPS service status will also change to "Penalised" if your VPS is currently throttled.
Furthermore, whilst your VPS is being throttled your VPS is likely to show steal time within “top” when your CPU bandwidth is being constrained on the host machine. Contrary to popular belief, steal doesn’t always mean the host is overprovisioned, it can also mean deliberate throttling (such as in the case of a policy such as this) is being imposed due to over-utilisation of CPU bandwidth.

Question: Can I remove a throttle or do I always have to wait until the penalty has expired?

Once your VPS service is 7 days old, you can remove 1 penalty every 7 days yourself from the "View CPU utilisation" page. There's no need to contact us to do this, it's entirely self-service.

Question: My VPS was penalised, how many additional vCPU cores do I need to avoid being penalised again?

When a penalty has been imposed we will tell you on the "View CPU Utilisation" page how many vCPU cores we think you'd need to avoid being penalised again in the future, assuming you were to require the same amount of CPU resource from the host node. In the Recent Penalties table you'll see a button which will take you to the upgrade page to purchase the required quantity of vCPU cores. Remember to fully power off your VPS after the upgrade has completed as you won't get the benefit of the additional CPU processing power until you do.

Question: My VPS is currently penalised, will upgrading the quantity of cores on my VPS lift the current penalty?

Upgrading cores will not automatically remove an existing penalty that is already applied. However, if you haven't already removed a penalty in the last 7 days and your VPS is 7 days old then you will be given the option to lift the current penalty yourself via the "View CPU Utilisation" page. Once the penalty has been removed you'll see the full benefit of the vCPU upgrade.

Question: Do other hosts impose these types of limits?

Other hosts may not make it clear that they have a policy for this but they usually do. Unless you are specifically purchasing dedicated CPUs for your VPS (and paying for the benefit of this) you will be subject to a fair use policy by other hosts and usually their policies in this area are vague and leave you wondering how much (or little) CPU you can actually consume and for what duration. Most other hosts have to manually react if users are seen to be abusing CPU resources to the detriment of other users, whereas our system is completely automated and driven by the policy detailed in the table above. This means that if other users are abusing CPU resource on the host machine, you don’t need to wait for us to do something about it manually as our automated system will handle this and restore stability. This means that the rules are clear, are applied without prejudice and means better stability for everyone using our service.


hostworld terms of service may be modified at any time by hostworld without prior notice. Your continued use of the service will be deemed consent and in agreement to any such amended terms of service.

Last Updated: 22/06/2022

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