No Reduction in Server Resource Usage?

Recently moved one of our sites to Cloudflare because our web host has been notifying us of high server resource utilization which is resulting in overage charges.

After configuring CF and monitoring for a few days, it appears the cache is working well, according to CF analytics. Percent cached, data served, and data cached all look like they’ve increased to a solid level, but at my hosting provider, there has been absolutely zero reduction shown in server usage, so even with Cloudflare up and running apparently well, we’re still looking at overage costs.

Any thoughts on what I can look at that I might be missing? Really need to get server usage down.

Three plausible reasons:

  1. The data that causes the high resource utilization on the server would be non-cacheable (e.g. dynamic).

  2. The fact that you have cacheable data, does not mean that things will be cached forever. To cache your content (or content of other sites), storage is required. Some other site might be heavily popular in one region, where your site isn’t. As such, the content of your site may be evicted from the cache here much earlier, than e.g. in other regions where you are very popular, meaning that this (unpopular) region would have to request the data from your server again.

  3. Cloudflare consists on hundreds of locations worldwide, generally, you should expect any CDN to have to retrieve cacheable data from your server at least once per location, before it is actually cached at the edge of the CDN.

There are a chance that you can limit the kind of “damages” that option 2 and 3 may add, if you enable Tiered Caching.

If it is cacheable data that you serve, Tiered Cache will likely help a lot on the issue you describe.

If Tiered Cache is already enabled, or otherwise turns out to be a failure as well, you will need to share much more about your actual setup, the content you serve, and so on, for anyone to be able to dig deeper in to what can eventually be done.

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Also, make sure your server only accepts requests coming from Cloudflare, as bots may be hitting it via direct IP address access.

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