Just as N.Z. Bear got his The Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem fixed, Hosting Matters has pulled the plug:

Hosting Matters has notified me that the scripts are monopolizing resources to an unacceptable degree and they will not permit them to run. I’m still not clear if this is just the natural progression of load growing over time, or if something is still screwed up in the database.

But the bottom line is I’m out of business until I can figure something out, and that will be next weekend at the earliest.

I hope it’s just a glitch in the program rather than an insurmountable problem. The Ecosystem is one of the more popular sites in blogdom and it’s the best resource of its kind.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. joy says:

    Noooooooooo! I was just about to surpass you in the traffic rankings. Darn.

    On a more serious note, I feel bad for Bear. His hosting provider doesn’t seem very flexible.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Given that HostingMatters is the provider for many of the major bloggers, this is rather bizarre from a PR standpoint. I don’t know if this is a bandwidth problem or what. This is beyond my technical expertise.

  3. Rick DeMent says:

    It is most likely the fact that the scripts take up a vast majority of the processing power. CGI scripts (or any script for that matter) take processor resources to one degree or another, not bandwidth. So unless you have a dedicated $erver the hosting company will take a dim view of a sustained 97% processor resource hit.

  4. James Joyner says:


    That makes sense. Wonder if running the scan at a low peak time (say, midnight Pacific time) would help?

  5. Jay Solo says:

    Perhaps it’s time for a new host…

  6. James Joyner says:

    Could well be, although HostingMatters is pretty blog friendly. It’s what InstaPundit uses, for goodness sake. (And OTB, too, for that matter.)

    Tiger suggested in the comment on Bear’s post that I link that maybe Technorati should take over the hosting. Sounds interesting, although Technorati’s feed is down a lot too.

  7. Annette says:

    I am the one who made the final call on the scripts. It’s rather strange reading some of the things being said about us, since the commenters have no idea how serious this issue really is to every other person sharing the server where those scripts currently reside. This is not some issue of us acting in a capricious or arbitrary manner, since that is not our style, and anyone who follows our actions knows this. It definitely is not a PR issue (bad PR? for protecting other clients from the actions of one?). This is an issue of protecting the stability of the server on which our client sites reside, because people need their sites to stay up and not be affected by someone else using every available resource on the server. The particular server in question is a dual Xeon 2.4 Ghz w/hyperthreading and 2 G of RAM. These scripts are creating serious enough issues on that beefy machine to cause us concern, which points to some fundamental issue – but not on our end. Somehow, I don’t think we’re the bad guy here, and I’m betting the other people on the server don’t view it that way either. In fact, we host this very site here. I daresay you would not like the impact of those scripts on your site’s performance were you on the same server. We cannot and will not risk the operational status of a server due to issues like this, and state so in our AUP.

    We have indicated to NZBear that he is certainly welcome to use his scripts; however, they absolutely cannot run as they do now, for hours (yes, hours) at a time, with all memory and all CPU cycles in use and a load – again, on a machine of a type very few hosts could afford, let alone use – that ranges from six into the teens, with a highh mark of over 40 at one point. The fact is, in the current form, the scripts simply are not suitable for shared hosting, here or elsewhere (and elsewhere would probably result in a suspension or even termination of the site without notice, instead of simply a kill of the processes themselves). Could they made to be? Possibly; I have no idea what they do, and we do not offer programming services, so the only thing we look at is the effect. That effect, right now, is unacceptable.

  8. James Joyner says:


    This sounds reasonable enough. Indeed, as I noted above, HostingMatters is the hosting service of many of the top blogs.

    Bear’s Ecosystem is hugely popular within that community, though, so we’d certainly like to see a resolution of the problem in some manner, whether it’s a matter of Bear modifying the script, running it less often, or hosting it on a dedicated server somewhere.

  9. Annette says:

    I believe our stance is quite clear in that we have said we will allow the scripts to be run. However, in their current instantiation, that simply is not an option on a shared server. Were the scripts to be made better behaved, we certainly would not have a problem – after all, it’s not as if we go around picking clients at random just to give them a hard time. Hosting is a balancing act, because something important to one person (running these scripts) is not important to someone else trying to do something while these scripts are running (check their mail, load their site). Our job is to ensure the balance is maintained. Of course, we provide dedicated services as well, and this is an option some people choose when their sites become popular or when their usage becomes so great that they need to have all of the resources of a machine all the time, with the only impact on that usage being to their own site(s).