6 months review of Hetzner – cheap dedicated servers.

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6 months ago I decided that I would go away from cloud hosting for my main sites, and some of my backup sites, and got two servers @ Hetzner

WHAT?? are you thinking, but I wanted more control over my servers, and wanted to have more services on fewer hosts and servers.++

I found out about their server bidding, you can get decent servers there for cheap money, and there is no setup fee or contract. I’m using Windows Server 2012 R2 DC on my servers and use Hyper-V to run my VMs.

And this had now worked 100% for the last 6 months.

Product/hardware/price

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At Hetzner you can get it all, from several thousand euro per month servers, to €26/mo servers. And since I’m on a low budget I did find their serverbidding site, and found me a couple of good servers.

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The servers sold on their serverbidding is mostly 2-3 years old. Core i7 2600/3770/3930 and Xeon E3/E5 is mostly what you find there. The auction works like this, the price drop on different servers at different times, if somebody grab the server before you, the price goes up again, and it will take hours up to days before the price is so good again. I had two servers, a Core i7 2600 with 16 GB RAM and a Core i7 3770 32 GB RAM both with 2 x 3 TB HDDs and 20 TB bandwidth @ 1 Gbps, then 10mbps the rest of the time (if you use up 20 TB with BW) And I paid only €26/mo for each server.

I have changed one server, mostly because people recommended it, but I think I regret it, but still, my setup now is:

  • Server1:
  • XEON E3-1245v2, 32 GB EEC RAM, 2 x 3 TB Enterprise HDD, 20 TB BW, 9 extra IPs. Price: €59/mo
  • Server2:
  • Core i7 3770, 16 GB RAM, 2 x 3 TB HDD, 20 TB BW, 3 extra IPs: Price: €28.52/mo

The reason why Server1 cost so much more then Server2 is because of two things: The CPU was €11/mo more expensive then a i7 3770. And then the IPs. I have three extra IPs (0.84 each) and a /29 subnet. (€6.72) And Hetzner force you to have something called a flexi pack when you want /29 /28 /27 subnets. At that costs €12.61 extra per month. Not happy for that, had gladly paid €6 extra for the IPs, but have to pay twice that just to add a subnet is not a good thing.

Some times you are lucky with the disks you get. On my i7 3770 server, the disks was brand new when I got the server. On my XEON server my disks is around two years old.

Still, you get allot for your money. If you are lucky to get a server at the right time, you can get a very good price, and lots of disk space etc.

Service/Support

Hetzer are a unmanaged host. They fix network and hardware issues, but thats it. All other support cost money. Still, I sent in some tickets in the start, just to see if they helped or not, and at the first I got fast and good help, but then they started to say that they only support Network and Hardware, and that you have to pay for all other support.

They also charge you for the most. Like the flexi pack, if you need to boot from a USB, you have ONE hard reset per month, then you have to pay (so don’t turn the server off)

Still, what can you expect from a company that sells you a Core i7 3770 32 GB RAM, 6 TB HDD, and 20 TB BW on 1 Gbps port for €26/mo?

Have not had any hardware issues at all the last 6 months, so I have not tested their real network/hardware support.

Benchmark

I have taken benchmark from one Linux server on each server, both using 4 cores, and 3 GB of RAM and here is the result:

First the Xeon E3-1245v2:

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I tested with 8 cores on the server, but since the 4 last core is just threads, the result was only 5.550 points, around 500 points higher.

Then the Core i7 3770, actually this one got a little better result then the XEON.

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Network/uptime

100% uptime on the network on both Data centers (16 and 19) I have my servers the last 6 months.

Conclusion

I did go from a real cloud service @ Iwstack.com to a dedicated server. Was sure that was a bad idea, but since I have my own fail over service, servers in two different DC, backups on Vultr and a good host like Hetzner, my switch was not so bad. My servers is much faster then the Iwstack system, and I can start, stop, create etc server much faster on my servers then at Iwstack. I can use Hyper-V so I can Live export my servers how often I want, no snapshot that only works in this and that way. Full snapshot, that can be imported back on the same server, or on another server with Hyper-V. Just change the IP, and you are up and running again.

No abuse on the server, just me. The network can be from 200 mbps to 1 gbps. I think that will have something to do with other servers on the same rack using BW.

Still, after 6 months, I don’t regret that I changed from Iwstack to my own dedicated servers. But of course, it cost more money. Before I paid less then I do today, but I have put several of my services in the two servers, saving money here and there. Still, it cost more then the cloud. Since I used so little RAM, HDD and CPU cores.

What do you think? Please comment on LET after I have posted the review there also.