We extended the freistilbox PU limit for static asset requests

Published 2021-08-19 by Jochen Lillich

All freistilbox plans now include free concurrent requests for static assets regardless of the plan’s PU limit.

One feature that differentiates freistilbox from other managed web hosting platforms for Drupal and WordPress is that our main plan, freistilbox Pro, does not limit the number of websites a customer can deploy to their cluster. Instead, we limit the number of concurrent web requests their cluster will handle. We’re using the term “Processing Unit” as a stand-in for the hosting infrastructure resources required to receive and process a single HTTP request. This abstraction simplifies communication, and it also made it easy for us to solve an issue caused by modern web application architecture.

Until recently, each and every incoming HTTP request counted towards the PU limit of a freistilbox cluster. This design made sense when we launched our managed hosting platform about a decade ago. But with modern web applications that asynchronously load lots of assets, it started to show its age. For example, Gutenberg, the new content editor in WordPress, makes lots of concurrent web requests to its own web application to fetch UI elements and other assets. When some of the Enterprise-level WordPress websites we’re hosting started regularly hitting their PU limits and therefore running into loading issues for their editorial teams, we decided to change what constitutes a Processing Unit on freistilbox.

The result is that freistilbox changed its definition of PU to a more narrow one. A Processing Unit now represents a PHP worker process. After all, it’s executing application code that’s consuming resources of our hosting infrastructure; in some cases, a staggering amount! Serving static files, however, is always a quick and resource-friendly affair. That’s why requests for static asset files do not count towards the PU limit of a freistilbox cluster anymore. Your cluster will now happily serve dozens of concurrent static asset requests, even if it’s only on the base plan with 16 PU. This upgrade in hosting performance comes at no additional cost for our customers.

At freistilbox, it’s our mission to provide a managed hosting service that lets our customers, as we say, “work efficiently and sleep peacefully”. It’s making customer-friendly changes like this one, by which we make sure this stays to be true for decades to come!