Thumping bass, deafening TV, barking dogs and all-night shouting matches. If you’ve ever had loud, disruptive residents on your street or in your block of flats, you’ll be all too familiar with the concept of noisy neighbours. Maybe the worst thing is their sheer selfishness – doing whatever they please at all hours with no consideration for others.

In web hosting, the idea of noisy neighbours provides a useful metaphor. ‘Noisy neighbour syndrome’ can be an issue in shared or virtualised multi-tenant environments, where several customers utilise the same server resources. If a single virtual machine (VM) has disproportionately high bandwidth and processing demands, it can effectively monopolise server resources and potentially degrade performance for other users.

To extend the metaphor even more, imagine living in an apartment building or a shared house with some particularly obnoxious fellow tenants. Not only are they loud, they also take up more than their fair share of common areas. They park in your space, leave their rubbish in the hallway and fill the communal garden with junk. And you don’t want to know about the shared bathroom.

One way to avoid noisy neighbours, or at least minimise their impact, is to move into a detached house. Even if your next-door neighbour makes a racket at 3am, you won’t suffer too badly if you don’t share a wall. In a hosting context, this represents the dedicated server option, where you’re fully in control of your own physical machine. Because you’re the only tenant on the server, you don’t need to worry about other users affecting its performance.

Of course, like a detached house, the cost of a dedicated server puts it outside the budget of many people. What if you need an affordable hosting solution, but can’t deal with other customers hogging server resources? Luckily, recent advances in web hosting technology and architecture have helped to mitigate noisy neighbour syndrome and ensure consistent performance.

Our Web Hosting platform is a clustered web hosting solution. Unlike a standard hosting setup, your website is hosted across multiple servers, so if another site near yours experiences a sudden increase in visitors, the system automatically re-routes your traffic through a less contended server. Intelligent load balancing uses sophisticated algorithms to forecast increased traffic and bottlenecks, and ensures your data travels along the best performing paths at all times.

To stretch the metaphor yet again (and probably too far), clustered hosting is like a fully sound-proofed flat in a building with immaculately maintained communal areas. The neighbours can be as noisy as they like, but with the latest clustered architecture, you and your business-critical applications shouldn't be disturbed.