14 month review of IwStack.com – the real cloud service.

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Around 14 months ago, I did made a huge decision, I canceled all my Prometeus  servers that I have had for 1.5 years, and moved my servers to iwStack.com. Of course, iwStack is a part of Prometeus, so I did not change host completely, but I changed from normal KVM servers to cloud servers.

As most LET/LEB readers and WHT members already know, Prometeus.com is known to be one of the best host out there, with no bad reviews at all the last years, and thats impressive, especially in the LEB marked. But of course, the LEB marked is only a small part of Prometeus.

Everybody talks about cloud service, and we have huge companies like Digital Ocean and Linode, and newer companies like Vultr.com. But there is a difference between all of them and IwStack.com, and the difference is that IwStack.com offers REAL cloud service.

More about this later on. Here is my review of IwStack.com after 14 months of service.

If you want to support my site, please use my affiliate link if you have plans to sign up at IwStack.com: https://www.prometeus.net/billing/aff.php?aff=168

Product/hardware/price

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Prometeus.com has always had really good hardware, with  good price policy. And there is no difference with iwStack.com. They have managed to create a really good IaaS KVM cloud system, a real cloud (not like DO) with High Availability, Fail-Over, Live migration, Snapshots, Own ISO and Templates, Isolated Network, External Firewall with GUI, Hourly billing and Variable size. When you sign up for iwStack.com you have to pay €30, that you can use in full on the cloud service. The reason for the entrance fee, is to stop abusers. Since you can create lots of VPS servers (at least 20) when you first get access, they have to protect the service from abusers, looking for free/very cheap servers.

iwStack.com has some really good prices, when they launched their service back in 2013, nobody could beat them on price. Not for a real cloud service. Still, I don’t know about any cheaper real cloud service in Europe, but there is so many now, so maybe. Still you only pay for what you use, per hour. You always pay for disk and IP, but if you turn off your server, you don’t pay for RAM and CPU. Most other cloud service charge you for all the resources when the VM is turned off, but not IwStack.com

They have now added more locations to the cloud. You can create KVM servers in Milano, Italy and Dallas, USA and you can add XEN servers in their second Milano DC.

The prices starts at €2.16/mo for a 512 MB RAM instance, then you have to add €0.72/mo per 10 GB of system disk you need.You can add instances from 512 MB RAM to 16 GB RAM. They have a really good price calculator that shows you how much your setup will cost.

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You can easily create (and destroy) new instances in the control panel. (cloudstack) (see my guide here), but they have also added many of the features in their client portal.

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Service/Support

We are talking about Prometeus here, so of course, the service is good. They are unmanaged, so you can’t expect any other support then hardware/network failures, but if they have time, they can help you with allot. But don’t demand it, then you have to go with a managed host (and pay lots more).

Still, in my opinion the service has gone down little since the start. Maybe because they have lots more customers, or because “Uncle Sal” is not so active as he was. I don’t know. Before IwStack was a clear 10/10 host, but now, not a 10 or a 9.

They have also had some trouble with their cloud. And stuff I was told before I sign up would never happen on their cloud service (downtime etc) did happen more the one time. They had a big issue with HA (High availability) that shutdown all the servers, and they did not come on before after some hours. Then the next day or so, they had the same issue, or part of the same issue, and I got more downtime.

I also have to say that it takes very long time to start up a instance or shutdown. Maybe it has something with them being a real cloud service, but when you have to wait 5-10 minutes to start an instance, then it’s no fun. This issue have been there since the start.

Benchmark

This is on their highest plan (16 GB) and the result is good. But on their smaller instances, the result is not so good. Around 1500 on a 4 vcore instance with 2 GB RAM:060214iwstack4

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IwStack is not using any SSD or SSD-cached disk, but they are using a Hitachi HUS 150 SAN. As you can see I get a average speed of 450 MB/s.

Network/uptime

On my 1.5 years with Prometeus before I changed to IwStack, I had almost 100% uptime on all servers. They had a little issue, and then I was told that it would never happen on IwStack. Still, the last 12 month I have just 99.90% uptime on my three IwStack servers.

Not bad, but not 99.99% either.

Conclusion

Despide the small issues I have had, I still think IwStack.com gives you lots for your money. And you can setup really complex setups there if you need to, with failover, firewall, HA etc etc. They have expanded to the US and added a second DC in Milano with XEN servers.

IwStack.com offers real cloud, and if you don’t know what real cloud service is after reading this review, you don’t need it. The people that know what it is, they are the customers that should take a extra look at IwStack.com

After 14 months of service, I can’t give them 10 of 10 points more. I have to give them 8 of 10. I will also take a break from them (as some maybe have seen, all my servers is off just now). I still have almost €200 in credit, so I will use them again, but for now, I will try out my own dedicated server, and see how that goes.

This is my honest review of one of my favorite hosts out there.

If you want to support my site, please use my affiliate link if you have plans to sign up at IwStack.com: https://www.prometeus.net/billing/aff.php?aff=168

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

12 month review of HostHatch.com

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It’s actually more then a year since I saw a good offer on LEB from HostHatch, for a smaller SSD OpenVZ server. I took the offer, and have used the server actively since that.

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. https://portal.hosthatch.com/aff.php?aff=204

Product/hardware/price

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HostHatch offers servers in three different locations, LA, USA – Dronten, Netherlands, and Stockholm, Sweden. That will cover most of US, and all locations in Europe. They have really good connections, and their servers function very well.

They have four main product line as you can see over. Their OpenVZ and KVM series has all SSD disks. They have a High storage line if you need to store large backup files, and they have their 10Gbps VPS line (in the Netherlands) for any that need really fast connection out/in from their server.

Their lowest OpenVZ plan starts at $8/quarter and their next plan, with 512 MB RAM, 50 GB disk and 2 TB bandwidth, starts at $4/mo. Their KVM line starts at $5/mo, the same with their storage serie. Their 10Gbit plans is more expencive, starts at $35/mo for the smallest plan (1 GB RAM, 75 GB HDD, 5 TB BW).

They are using Intel Xeon E5 3.5Ghz+ CPUs on their OpenVZ and KVM line. And they are using Intel Xeon E3 on their 10Gbit line. So it’s good hardware, the servers is fast, their network is good, and the uptime is great.

Service/Support

Only used their support twice, and both time I got the first reply (not auto) within 10 minutes. First ticket was solved on under 10 minutes also. The second ticket took little longer to solve.

But my impression is that they have pretty fast support, and they do help you. Of course, remember that this is an unmanaged host, so don’t expect the world and that they always replies within minutes, and solve any issue you have.

Benchmark

This is from their $4/mo 512 MB RAM, 2vCores, 50 GB SSD disk and 2 TB BW. Not a high number on the benchmark, but still, it’s only $4/mo so I did not expect the highest result here.

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As you can see the DD speed goes over 580 MB/s, but maybe they are using some cache or something, since the first command only gave 296 MB/s.

Network/uptime

I have 99.896% uptime on my first server there the last 12 months. Some of the downtime has been me doing some work on the server. But not a complete 10/10 on the uptime there. Still, very close to 99.9% that is the “standard” in the LET marked.

Conclusion

HostHatch is a solid provider, has been that for over 12 months for me. And it’s a bonus for me that they have a DC in Sweden, since I live in Norway. So I can etc. use the VPS for VPN or to fast upload and download files. For users in Europe, a 10Gbit server can give you really good speeds. (but the price is little to high on the 10Gbit line, but still, it’s 10Gbit connection to the world). I would recommend HostHatch to all LET/LEB members and other users that need cheap, but good servers, in the US, Netherlands or in Sweden.

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. https://portal.hosthatch.com/aff.php?aff=204

12 months review of Vultr.com – A good year.

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It’s almost one year since VULTR.com had their soft launch, and I have been with them since they launched their service, and I have to say that they just get better and better for each month. Now it’s almost a year, so here is a cake:

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Thats for you DaveA and all others on your Vultr team. If you manage to blow out the candle, you can wish you something good. 😀

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732

Product/hardware/price

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VULTR offer KVM cloud instances with SSD storage (like DigitalOcean), so you only get some cloud features like hourly billing, quick deployment, many locations etc.

VULTR similar plans like DigitalOcean, but they have increased their smallest plan from 512 MB RAM to 768 MB of RAM, a 50% increase for the same price as DO charge.

They also charge $3/mo less for the 1 GB plan, and $5/mo less for their 2 GB plan.

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As you can see VULTR now has 14 locations online, thats three times more locations then DigtalOcean has.

VULTR guarantee more then 3 GHz CPUs on all their plans (except their storage plans in NY), so you get fast CPU power on all servers. They offer SSD storage as standard and you get speeds like 3-460 MB/s.

You deploy new servers within minutes depending on what location you are deploying in. It’s really simple as you can see in the picture over, you only select locations, package, and OS, then your server is online. You can use their  OS templates, your own .iso files, backups etc, when you create your instance.

They have also launched there Multi core series with 8, 12, 16 and 24 cores and on my Benchmark test on their 8 core server (the 24 core was not online) I got a result of 5918.9, thats insane high. (see my Top20 list) and I have also benchmarked their 16 core server, with a result at 7698.3, the highest result ever tested here at reviews.myhken.com

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Service/Support

Their service is still pretty good. And their support pretty fast.

Since I have been a BETA tester for several of the new features, I have had lots of contact with their support staff, and it’s seems like they have several support staff working for them, and they seems pretty knowledgeable.

Benchmark

Their new multi core series taking my top 1 and top 2 spot om my Top20 list.

Their 16 core multi core series with 48 GB RAM: (7698.3 points)

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Here is their 24 core server, with a insane result of 9600 points in UnixBench

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And their normal (performance series) 2 core 2 GB RAM server, you get lots for your money here.

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Network/uptime

Vultr has good speeds on their servers, and now they have finally fixed the network speed in the Netherlands, so you get 1 Gbit there also.

Few issues with Vultr.com Network the last months has left my servers with a uptime of: (total for the entire time I have used them, and thees two servers has been online the whole time)

99.971% on my Amsterdam server (11 months)
99.980% on my France server (11 months)

Conclusion

If you need a host that can offers lots of locations, rapid deployment, insane fast servers, own .iso files, backups, templates, IPv6, Private Network and hourly billing ++++, take a look at [VULTR.com](http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732). They have kept their promise to add lots more features and locations, and they still have more to come. Their servers and networks works really good, with fast servers, and high uptime.

Giving VULTR 9 of 10 points this time also. They are getting better and better, and I’m looking forward to see how good they will be in the future.

And again, happy one year birthday (soon) and I’m looking forward to a second year with you.

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732

Benchmark of Vultr.com – Multi-core server with 24 cores

Did a benhmark on Vultr multi-core serie and their 24 core 64 GB RAM server, and the result was the highest I ever have seen. 9600.2 points in UnixBench.

Use my aff. link: http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732 if you want to try out Vultr.com and they offer $5 in free credit for all new customers.

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Of course, this server is not cheap, $600/mo, but at Vultr.com you can rent it by the hour, and it cos $0.90 per hour. So if you need some serious CPU power for some time, but less then a month, this might be the right thing for you.

So they now hold the first and second place on my Top20 list.

Use my aff. link http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732 if you want to sign up. They offer a $5 free signup bonus for all new customers.

7 month review of DigitalOcean

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It’s now 7 months since I signup with DigitalOcean, and I have to say that I do not regret at all. Their service has been really great, their servers works perfect (I’m using their AMS1 and NY2 DC), their network has 99.989% uptime last 7 months, so everything is just perfect.

In my last review I mention that DO maybe would launch a UK datacenter, and now they have. They have also added a new DC in the Netherlands, AMS3. So two new data centers the last 4 months.

If you like to sign up, you can use my affiliate link here ( https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=6baa1cd0214b   ). If you sign up with this link, you will get $10 in free credit so you can play around, and get two months of free hosting with their lowest plan.

Reed my complete review here.

Product/hardware/price

DigitalOcean is not really a cloud host, but they offer cloud features like pay by the hour, snapshots, templates, quick deployment, use your credit to create lots of servers, backups, several locations etc. But still, you get a “normal” KVM server. They have no High Availability, no Fail-Over, no Own ISO, no External Firewall with GUI etc like iwStack do.

But still, they have a really good product. It’s super simple to create new droplets, it takes only around 55 seconds before it is online (you get the root password on e-mail). In fact, it only takes around 55 seconds to create a 64 GB RAM, 640 GB SSD disk, 20vCore KVM server! What other host let you do that?

Their prices starts at $5/mo or $0.007/hour. You pay for what you use, and they do only bill by the hour. But they do charge you 100% regardless of your servers is turned on or off. Still, you can create a template, and delete your server, then recreate it later on when you need it, without paying for it. Unlike iwStack.com, they do not charge for template disk space.

I’m normally using a 512 MB RAM , 20 GB disk. 1 TB BW, 1vCore server on their AMS1 DC, paying $5/mo for it. So most of my review is based on this server, with the uptime. But I have done my benchmark test on a 64 GB droplet.

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Service/Support

The first (and only) time I used their support so far, it was a mixed experience. I asked them some really short and clear questions, and got BS replies back. But I had stumbled on a little “trade” secret, that the normal support guy did not know (or wanted to reply on). I did not understand why I could not get any reply, after I had repeated my self for the third time. I then tweeted about this issue, and then it took under 10 minutes before I got a reply, both on twitter and on my support ticket. This time from a Support Specialist. I got a really good explanation on my question, and as a really nice thing I got a credit on my account.

I think this is a excellent proof of a good host. I could easily been a situation there I had been very unhappy, just getting strange replies on my ticket, but it was solved very fast. And with a very good outcome for me. 😀

Their response time on “normal” support tickets is around 14 minutes average from my tickets.

Benchmark

I have done one test on Serverbear.com, but it was not done on the same droplets as my own benchmark. On the Serverbear test I got a really low disk speed of 160 MB/s.

I did then run a test on a 64 GB 20vCore server, and the result was: 4927 points. It currently holds the 4.place on my Top20 list.

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I get an average of 445 MB/S on my DD test, and thats not so impressive since they offer pure SSD disks on the nodes. Still, 445 MB/s is not bad, but it’s not Ramnode speeds either. I have seen DO speeds up to over 700 MB/s but I’m sure that was on low load nodes.

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Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.914% uptime the last 30 days with 1 minute monitors. I’m using their AMS1 location for my test server. They had some hardware issue with the node I’m on, thats the reason for the downtime this month.

Conclusion

DigitalOcean is not a complete cloud host, it lack some cloud features like HA, fail-over, firewall etc, but it still is a really good host. Servers is deployed within one minute, you can choose from several locations, templates etc. You can create templates and backups that you can transfer from EU to US and vica versa.

Their servers is really good, you can resize your servers with one click, and their uptime is really good. (the best).

They expands, and thats a good thing. Their new London location and their new AMS3 location in the Netherlands is up an running.

If you like to sign up, you can use my affiliate link here ( https://www.digitalocean.com/?refcode=6baa1cd0214b   ). If you sign up with this link, you will get $10 in free credit so you can play around, and get two months of free hosting with their lowest plan.

 

7 month review of VULTR.com (updated)

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VULTR.com is still not one year old yet, but I have been with them since they soft launched their service, and I have to say that they just get better and better for each month. I have now been with them for over 7 months, and here is my updated review of them.

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732

Product/hardware/price

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VULTR offer KVM cloud instances with SSD storage (like DigitalOcean), so you only get some cloud features like hourly billing, quick deployment, many locations etc. Since my last review they have added features such as, Ipv6 (beta), Private Network, Startup scripts, SSH keys, and they have launched two more locations

VULTR similar plans like DigitalOcean, but they have increased their smallest plan from 512 MB RAM to 768 MB of RAM, a 50% increase for the same price as DO charge.

They also charge $3/mo less for the 1 GB plan, and $5/mo less for their 2 GB plan.

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As you can see VULTR now has 14 locations online, thats three times more locations then DigtalOcean has.

VULTR guarantee more then 3 GHz CPUs on all their plans (except their storage plans in NY), so you get fast CPU power on all servers. They offer SSD storage as standard and you get speeds like 3-460 MB/s.

Their hardware seems solid, and using CentOS 6.5 and Virtualmin gives me a really good result. The servers (both France and Netherlands) works really fast.

You deploy new servers within minutes depending on what location you are deploying in. It’s really simple as you can see in the picture over, you only select locations, package, and OS, then your server is online.

They have also launched there Multi core series with 8, 12, 16 and 24 cores and on my Benchmark test on their 8 core server  (the 24 core was not online) I got a result of 5918.9, thats insane high. (see my Top20 list) and I have also benchmarked their 16 core server, with a result at 7698.3, the highest result ever tested here at reviews.myhken.com

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Service/Support

Their service is still pretty good. And their support pretty fast.

Since I have been a BETA tester for several of the new features, I have had lots of contact with their support staff, and it’s seems like they have several support staff working for them, and they seems pretty knowledgeable.

Benchmark

Their new multi core series 8 core 16 GB RAM server in New York. Taking the 2.place on my Top20 list.

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And their 16 core multi core series with 48 GB RAM:

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And their normal (performance series) 2 core 2 GB RAM server:

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Network/uptime

Vultr has good speeds on their servers, and now they have finally fixed the network speed in the Netherlands, so you get 1 Gbit there also.

There was a network issue on my France server some days ago. I had 100% uptime last 80 days or so, but now the uptime is 99.977% on that server.

On my Netherlands node, that is around 90 days old, I have 99.977% uptime. And on my London server, I have 100% uptime.

Conclusion

If you need a host that can offers lots of locations, rapid deployment and hourly billing, take a look at VULTR.com. They have kept their promise to add lots more features and locations, and they still have more to come. Their servers and networks works really good, with fast servers, and high uptime.

Giving VULTR 9 of 10 points this time. They are getting better and better, and I’m looking forward to see how good they will be in the future.

Please use my affiliate link if you are thinking about signing up, keeps my site running without any ads. http://www.vultr.com/?ref=6802732

29 month review of KnownHost.com

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KnownHost is one of my fully managed services, and I think this is the reason why I have not had any issues with them the last 28 months. They have also taken the 4. place on my Top20 list after their recent server upgrade. Read more in my review.

Product/hardware/price

KnownHost is a US based company with data centers in Texas, California and New Jersey. They are using Virtuozzo on their servers, and offer fully managed plans with both Plesk and Cpanel.

Their plans goes from 512 MB of RAM to 5 GB of RAM. With a price of $25 – $90/mo on their SSD plans, and $25 to $120 on their normal plans.

I’m using their SSD2 plan with 2 GB of RAM, 30 GB of SSD disk space and 3.000 GB of BW. I’m using Plesk 11 as control panel. The price for this plan is $50/mo and for a fully managed server with Plesk/Cpanel this is a good price.

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Service/Support

KnownHost is known for their good service, and I have only positive experience with KnownHost so far. I have used their support once in 29 months, it was because I wanted to update PHP from 5.3 to 5.4. They responded in person within 3 minutes after I opened the ticket, an within 8 minutes the issue was solved. But three minute response time is really good.

Free stuff

The last 29 months, my VPS plan has been upgraded for free several times. I have gone from normal RAID 10 disks to SSD disk. My RAM has been upgraded from 960 MB to 2 GB. My BW has gone from 2.5 TB to 3 TB. And the CPU has been upgraded from Xeon(R) CPU E5645 to Xeon(R) CPU E5-2630 v2 @ 2.60GHz

Benchmark:

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Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.999% uptime the last 12 months with 1 minute monitors.

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Conclusion

It just works. Almost no downtime, no issues, no need for support. (just me asking for updating PHP) What a perfect host. If you need a fully managed host with Cpanel/Plesk in the US, take a look at KnownHost.com, and I’m sure you will be happy.

Benchmark – 1 node plan – GridVirt.com

This is my 150 day benchmark of my VPS at GridVirt.com. I’m still on the East Coast node, and I’m still a happy customer. The result is little lower then my first benchmark on the same node, but the node can have more customers now, then last time.

Server location: New Jersey, USA
*1 Node* –$25 / mo
Plan info:
KVM – 1.5 GB RAM, 20 GB SSD , Unmetered GB BW.
Disk info: Pure SSD

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