90 day review of VULTR.com

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VULTR.com is not very old, 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 week. I have now been with them for over 90 days, and here is my updated review of them.

Product/hardware/price

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VULTR offer “fake” 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, Custom ISO files, Multiple IPs (max two extra IPs per server) and snapshot feature.

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 11 of 12 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.

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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

Amsterdam, NL

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France

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London

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Vultr has good speeds on their servers, except on their Netherlands node there they have reduced speed to just 100 mbit. They have promised to increase the speed again, but the time has come and gone, and no ETA on when they will increase it again.

Network/uptime

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 99.941% on that server.

On my Netherlands node, that is around 90 days old, I have 100% 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 8 of 10 points, since they are not offering all features and locations just now. Looking forward to seeing them getting better and better.

Check it out for your self…vultr.com

12 month review of Backupsy.com

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Almost 12 months ago (27.04.2013) I got my first Backupsy server. They offered a really good deal on a 500 GB disk server in the US. I was really happy, but when they opened at Netherlands DC I moved my files there, the price was little higher, but still the same great service.

Some months ago I got 4 more servers with Backupsy, both in the UK and NL. Here is my review of them

Product/hardware/price

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Backupsy have really good prices on their backup line. 250 GB/512 MB/1 TB for $10 and 500 GB/512 MB/2 TB for $20. But they always have coupons out there, so you will get around 30-40% off with their coupons.

They have currently 8 locations to choose from, 6 locations in the US and 2 in the EU. They are using good hardware, and their servers works fast. Backupsy are using Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5570  @ 2.93GHz on both my NL and UK servers. My oldest server is using a Xeon(R) CPU X5560 CPU.

When i first started to use Backupsy they was a really new company. But within months they had 8 locations, and have got lots of customers. They also gets pretty good reviews/comments on LET/WHT so they must do something right.

One thing you have to check on before you get a Backupsy server, is about other use then Backup. They have some restrictions on most of their locations about not using the server for anything else then backup.

Service/Support

I have some support tickets with them (just a few) and their response time is really good for a unmanaged host. On three tickets i have a average response time of 8 minutes, and thats is really fast support. Can’t complain over that.

Their service is really great. They have been really helpful a couple of times, one time with a really good offer on 4 servers in two locations, and the second time when I needed a temp server to transfer around 300 GB of data off my old server, and then back on it after I had done some work on the server. (added a Truecrypt container for storage).

Benchmark

My Netherlands server:

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My UK server:

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As you can see I get pretty good disk speeds on both my servers. They are not using SSD disks, and still I get 354 MB/s on my NL server and 259 MB/s on my UK server. Their network speeds is also pretty good. As you can see cachefly speeds is 60 MB/s on my NL server and 45 MB/s on my UK server. And the speeds is great to most locations also.

Network/uptime

On my oldest VPS server I have 99.993% uptime with 1 minutes monitors, the server has been up for 277 days. On my “newest” servers I have 100% uptime the last 72 days since I got them.

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Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with Backupsy. Their prices is really good, you get allot for your money, they have fast servers, fast network and really good uptime.

They have lots of locations, both in the US and in the EU so you will most likely always find a DC that is close to you. They have a good support department with only 8 minutes average response time (on my three support tickets). And they are active at LET ( @serverian ).

If you need a good backup server, or two, go for Backupsy, you will not regret.

 

30 day review of VULTR.com

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It’s seems like 2014 will be the “cloud” year, more and more cloud providers is coming. VULTR is not a real cloud service, but offer cloud like features, the same way as DigitalOcean do. The difference is that VULTR has more locations (soon coming) and offer better prices on some packages. Here is my review of VULTR so far.

Product/hardware/price

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VULTR offer “fake” KVM cloud instances with SSD storage (like DigitalOcean), so you only get some cloud features like hourly billing, quick deployment, many locations etc. VULTR has promised that more features will come the next months.

VULTR has the same plans as DigitalOcean, but the price is little lower on some of the plans., take a look at this pictures to see the plans, price and locations.

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As you can see VULTR has plans to offer 12 locations around the world soon, 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, but you don’t get Ramnode speeds, more like 3-460 MB/s. Still, can’t complain over that.

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.

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Service/Support

Their service seems really good. They have already several good offers, like double your first payment and 2xRAM coupons last weekend. They are active on Twitter and on LET.

I have opened one support ticket in this period, and they used around 30 minutes to reply on it. Not the best, nor the worst reply time for a unmanaged host.

Benchmark

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Great speeds internal in Europe, and ok speeds to the US from my Netherlands and France server.

Network/uptime

I have 100% uptime on my Netherlands server and on my France server the last 30 days.

Conclusion

If you need a host that can offers lots of locations, rapid deployment and hourly billing, take a look at VULTR.com. They also promise to deploy lots of new features soon, that will take them closer to a “real” cloud provider.

They do compete with DigitalOcean, but if they deploy all they say that they will deploy, they actually can give better service then DO.

They offer fast servers, good network speeds, great prices, many locations, hourly payment and more, and I’m recommending them. Of course, the best thing is maybe to wait some times, so they get all their locations online. But if you can live with the current locations, go for them now.

Giving VULTR 7 of 10 points, since they are not offering all features and locations just now. Looking forward to seeing them getting better and better.

Check it out for your self…vultr.com

40 day review of iwStack.com (Prometeus)

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Around 40 days 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.

Product/hardware/price

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, in fact, I dear you to find any real Cloud service that can compete with iwStack pricing. I have really searched, both in Europe and in the US, and I have not found any host with so low cloud prices, not with all the features of iwStack. 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.

The prices starts at €1.44/mo for a 384 MB RAM instance, then you have to add €1.08/mo per 10 GB of system disk you need.You can add instances from 384 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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Service/Support

You can’t beat Prometeus (iwStack) on service. They are really the best. But, remember, they are a unmanaged host, so don’t expect 5 minute response time on support tickets, or that they will fix issues that has nothing to do with their hardware/network.

But I’m pretty sure that most people using Prometeus know how much extra you get, all the time. From good offers, prices, and support, when you don’t expect it. Thats really give Prometeus the little extra that keep their customers happy, and loyal.

When I moved my servers from Prometeus to iwStack, I had four servers there, and 1 server on iperWeb. Mr Salvatore did transfer all my remaining credit from all servers to my new iwStack account. He did not have to do that, but he did. And thats why I love Prometeus and their brands, you always gets more then you expect.

Benchmark

I used their biggest instance for this test, their Basic-16 GB, 12 vCore plan. The result is 3612 points in UnixBench. Thats around 1600 points better then their 2 GB plan with 4 vCores. It’s also the first time I have a Prometeus (iwStack) server on my Top20 list.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.

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Decent network speeds, but not top notch on this test. I’m using a second line test, with all my Europe based servers, and it gets much better speeds then this. All my customers are from Norway, so speed from the US is not so important for me.

Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 100% uptime the last 40 days with 1 minute monitors. Uptime has always been one of Prometeus strongest sides, and I do actually expect more uptime from iwStack Cloud service then I did from Prometeus normal servers.

Conclusion

What can I say, if you looking for really good cloud service in Europe, don’t look at any other host. iwStack.com is really the best option out there, and nobody can match their prices. The next on the list (with the same cloud features) takes almost 4 times per month.

Prometeus is a really well know company by now, and you really get the best from them. With iwStack they have outclassed their cloud competition.

So I highly recommend iwStack.

30 day review of Digital Ocean

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When I first started looking at Cloud hosting, I did quickly hear about two services, iwStack.com and DigitalOcean. One month ago I did signup for an account with DO, and have used their Amsterdam 2 DC since that. As always I started with a small VPS plan, to test uptime, network, hardware etc. Here is my review of DigitalOcean.

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 AMS2 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.

The first test is with a 16 GB 8vCore server, and I got a UnixBench result of 2844. I did then run a test on a 64 GB 20vCore server, and the result was: 4226 points. It currently holds the 5.place on my Top20 list. I could not test their 96 GB RAM 24vCore server, they have disabled it on all locations.

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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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Really good connection in the Netherlands, and not so bad speeds all around.

Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 100% uptime the last 30 days with 1 minute monitors. I’m using their AMS2 location for my test server.

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).

Signup and do a test for your self, I’m sure you will like DigitalOcean as much as I do.

 

4 month review of Ramnode

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The first time I used Ramnode is around 1.5 years ago (July 2012). They was a new company then, only around 2 months old. But still, they had really good servers with really good disk speeds, and a high Benchmark result. But back in 2012 I did not continue with their service, because they only had US servers then.

4 months ago, I did signup for two Netherlands servers with Ramnode, and have used them since that.

Product/hardware/price

Since they started back in 2012, Ramnode.com has always used really good hardware. When they started with their SSD-cached nodes, and then their pure SSD nodes, almost no other companies could compete on IO speeds.

Ramnode offer OpenVZ and KVM servers, both plans comes with pure SSD and SSD-cached options. Ramnode offer so many different plans on three locations, as you can see on the screenshot below, their prices starts so low as $2/mo. On top of that they often have coupons out there (just now they have a 25% off coupon) so you can get the price even lower.

I’m using a OpenVZ SSD-Cached VPS (CVZ-E5) – Netherlands – 512MB CVZ-E5 server with a Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2630 0 @ 2.30GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 120 GB SSD-cached disk, 2 TB BW and I’m paying $4.87/mo for this after a LEB special.

I’m using my Ramnode server to store Virtualmin backup files, that I also have used several times to restore sites on test servers around EU/US, and their servers works really good.

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Service/Support

I have not used their support yet, or they contacted me because of really high CPU load on one of my servers. I got an e-mail telling me that the VPS was suspended since it used a mining script. They gave me the option to start the server, and find out what the issue was. I quickly found out that one of my sites (using Status2k) was hacked, and someone had uploaded a bitcoin mining script and started it.

The day after the first “attack” my CPU load on my other Ramnode server was going into the roof, and I found out that I had only deleted the script, but not removed it from RAM, so it still could be started and used. They shutdown the server, and notified me. Also this time with details the script that was abusing my CPU.

They also advised me to maybe rebuild me servers, since they had been compromised. And that started the process there I got rid of almost all my old servers, changed hosts, and got a completely new setup for both my main servers and my backup servers.

Under the whole situation Nick was very professional and I never got accused for abusing their service on purpose. And of course, it was my fault that my servers got hacked, and the best advice was to rebuild my servers to be 100% sure.

Benchmark

Since my plan just comes with 2 cores, my UnixBench score is 1256.8. Have not used UnixBench on small VPS plan before, so don’t know if the result is over or under the average for a such plan.040214ramnode4

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Good/decent network speeds from most locations. Of course, best results from the other NL locations.

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I just using a really cheap OpenVZ SSD-cached node, but still I get decent disk speeds with a avrage of 468 MB/s.

Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.942% uptime the last 4 months with 1 minute monitors. Ramnode has a 99.9% uptime guarantee so no problem there.

Conclusion

Ramnode is not a just 4 month old company that I first used back in 2012. They have become one of the most liked companies on both WHT and LET/LEB. they have won the Q3 2013 and Q4 2013 poll of the Top Providers on LEB.

They have really good hardware, good network, really good disk setup, good offers, good prices, three locations (EU/US) etc etc.

And @Nick_A use lots of time both on WHT and LET to satisfy his customers. They are a unmanaged host, but you still get the feeling they are something more then that.

60 days review of INIZ.com

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I have used INIZ for 60 days now, after I got a good deal on LEB. My first plan was to use the server for my DNS failover service, but I later on decided that I would only use one host for that, reducing the number of hosts and servers I use. So I paid for a year. 😀

Product/hardware/price

INIZ provides unmanaged service in three locations: Los Angeles, New York and Amsterdam, Netherlands. They offer OpenVZ plans, pure SSD plans and KVM plans. They have plans from $4.93/mo (256 MB) to $19.72/mo (2 GB)

I’m using a LEB special and have a OpenVZ, 4vCores (Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2650 0 @ 2.00GHz), 2 GB RAM, 100 GB disk, 2 TB bw plan that I’m paying $46.50/year for ($3.85/mo). I’m using their Netherlands node.

Their prices is not very low, almost $15/mo for a 1 GB OpenVZ server with no SSD is actually some expensive. But, INIZ is a active member on LEB, and often has very good offers, like what I’m using. So always take a look at LEB and the VPS offer section of WHT before you order from them.

I have seen some high load on the node from time to time, but I’m sure INIZ has it all under control, since the load is not seen for any long time.

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Service/Support

Not much to say about their support, have not tried it all the last 60 days. But since they made it to place number 3 on the Q4-2013 (and Q3-2013) poll on LEB, and they must have a good support team.

I have not used the server for any live site. I used it for a month or so as a backup server on my DNS failover service. So I replicated my sites every hour to my INIZ server.

Benchmark:

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My plan is “only” a RAID-10 plan, but I get some good disk speeds here. I must say that I have also seen speeds down to 250 MB/s, but I get speeds over 500 MB/s most of the time.

Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.949% uptime the last 2 months with 1 minute monitors.

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Conclusion

INIZ.com is a good provider with good hardware and network, with great offers from time to time. I have got really much value for my money with them. They do not have much downtime and they are holding their promise of 99.9% uptime.

I have changed my rating system, and INIZ gets 8 of 10 points in this review.

 

18 month review of Soladrive.com

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SolaDrive.com it’s my second fully managed services, and one of the host I normally recommend. I have been using them for over 18 months now. Read more in my review.

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Product/hardware/price

SolaDrive.com has really good hardware. They still are number 1 on my Top20 benchmarking list. You get at least a 16 core server (fair share), but they also have 24 cores servers. I’m currently on a Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 @ 2.00GHz server
on their UK node using their OpenVZ business plan with 1 GB of RAM and 40 GB RAID-10 HDD.

SolaDrive has three fully managed OpenVZ VPS plan to offer from 1 GB to 4 GB of RAM and three XEN plans, see the above picture for specs and prices. For a fully managed service, their prices is pretty good.

They also offer three locations, Los Angeles, Scranton and the UK.

Service/Support

SolaDrive has excellent service, and are know for it on forums like Webhostingtalk.com. They really takes cares of their customers. They say on their page that support tickets normally is replied on after 10 minutes, but no longer then 60 minutes. I have checked my  last three tickets, and the response time was: 23 minutes, 3 minutes and 4 minutes. Thats a average of 10 minutes, so they don’t lie on their site.

Benchmark:

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Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.796% uptime the last 12 months with 1 minute monitors. Most of my downtime has been a result of DDoS attacks on the node or DC. They do promise a uptime of 99.9%, so in this case they have not held their guarantee. 13 hours and 53 minutes of downtime is allot in a year.

Edit: They have changed their UK Data Center around 7 months ago, and after that they have only had 1 hour with downtime. Just wanted you to know that.

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Conclusion

The only negative thing about SolaDrive is that they have had allot of downtime on their UK node the last year. (they have later on changed DC, and there has been only one hour downtime since that) But their service is still excellent and their support is really fast. and they have a great product. So I have no problems at all recommending SolaDrive to people needing a fully managed host in the US or in the UK. So I give them four+ stars (of 6) this time.

First impression of Digital Ocean

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I just started playing with cloud hosting, and after I moved all my main sites to iwStack.com, I wanted to see if there was any other good cloud host out there, that don’t charge you lots of money. After reading on LET, I quickly found out that DigitalOcean was next in line for me.

DigitalOcean is not really a cloud service like iwStack.com, but they charge by the hour and you can create “droplets” in several location, and it only takes around 60 seconds to create a VPS server. They uses KVM.

You can create VPS servers from 512 MB RAM up to 96 GB of RAM.

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You pay hour by hour, and you can see both the hourly price and the monthly price when you create a new droplet (VPS).

You can then select location of your new server, currently DigitalOcean has 5 locations to choose from, three in the US and two locations in the Netherlands.

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After you have chosen a location, you can select what kind of OS you want on your server. You can also create a new server from templates you have creates, backups or destroyed servers.

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Then you click on Create Droplet, and 60 seconds later your server is online. You get your root password on e-mail.

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Their billing system is simple. You pay by the hour for any droplets (VPS) servers you have created. You pay full price if the server is on, or off. The only way to not pay is to destroy your server, or/and make a template of it, and then destroy it. (you will get a new IP if you restore it).

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The uptime has been 100% so far, after I started monitoring the uptime. I played with the server at the beginning, so I rebooted it some times, before I started monitoring it.

I have done some easy benchmarking, checking connection speeds and IO:

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I have not tried their support yet (but it’s a unmanaged host) so I can’t tell how good they are.

I still like iwStack.com better then DigitalOcean, but it’s not a bad choice. At iwStack you have to pay €30 to get access. At DO you only have to pay $5 to create your first server.

Take a look for your self, and find out how DigitalOcean can make your hosting more easy.

 

18 month review of KnownHost

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 18 months. 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.

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.

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 18 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 18 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) E5-2630.

Benchmark:

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Network/uptime

My monitoring services tells me that I have a 99.994% 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.