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.

 

Entering cloud hosting – with iwStack.com (Prometeus)

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I have finally moved my main sites from “old” KVM based servers to the cloud, and luckily I did not have to leave my favorite VPS provider, Prometeus.

I have used Prometeus.com as my main host for almost 1.5 years now. And I have to say it, they are really good. Their hardware and network is very good and stable, so I have almost had no downtime at all past 1.5 years.

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Some days ago I decided to try out Prometeus cloud service, iwStack. And I have to say it, I love it. You get a “pay as you go” account, and can start creating VPS servers, private networks, firewalls, load balancing, snapshots (both manual and automatic) etc etc right away. And you only pay for what you use. They charge for the hour, so if you only use a VPS server for an hour, thats whats you charged for. I really like that I can create new VPS servers within minutes, and using them for whatever I want, then close them down (or destroy) them and not paying for them. And also the option to create a new Linux or Windows VPS at anytime I want, not having to order something a wait for it.

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You can get a price estimate using this price calculator…

The price is not to bad, in fact it’s one of the cheapest I have seen. Before I had four KVM servers with Prometeus. 2 x 512 MB (25 GB) servers, 1 x 1 GB (35 GB) server and 1 x 1.5 GB (35 GB) server. The total price without any discount was €30.5/month

With iwStack I have created three servers that do the same. 1 x 512 MB (40 GB), 1 x 1 GB (10 GB) and 1 x 2 GB (20 GB), with a CentOS 6.5 template (20GB), and two snapshots (2x20GB) I pay €0.777600 per day = €23.4 per month. So I save €6.5 per month.

I also have a Windows 2012 R2 server that I only start when I need it, and then stop it again. The only cost on it when it not run is for the storage, and thats €0.057600 per day, thats righ €0.05 per day. When I run it it costs me €0.006000 per hour = €0.144000 per day. (€4.32/month)

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The price is not the most important thing for me (but it’s not bad either), the best thing with iwStack is the endless opportunities, the freedom of creating as many VPS servers you like, whenever you wants. And of course, the possible to upgrade (and downgrade) servers as I need. And of course, the fact that you only pay for used resources is really nice.

Iwstack – creating a new VPS in the cloud. (my guide)

I will make a review sometime after 30 days but here some disk and network speeds from one of my cloud KVM servers:

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Iwstack – creating a new VPS in the cloud.

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I have started using iwStack cloud from Prometeus, and here is how fast you can create a new VPS within your cloud account.

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You can select a Template (iwStack templates, or your own) or using .iso files (you can also upload any .iso file you want into the cloud)

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I’m using my own CentOS 6.5 32bit template that I have created.

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Then you select how much RAM and CPU cores you need, from 384 MB (1 core) to 16 GB. (12 cores)

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If you using a Template, it’s has the ROOT disk size fixed. iwStack offer a 10 GB centOS template and a 40 GB template (and many other OS types). My template uses 20 GB primary disk.

If you are using a .iso file, you can select how big the ROOT (primary) disk should be. In this step, you can select if you want a secondary storage disk attached to your server.

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Here you can select what network you want your VPS using. iwStack offer both normal networks and a DDoS protected network. You can also create your own private isolated network, with load balancing, firewall, fail over service, and more.

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And then you’re new VPS is online within minutes after pressing Launch VM.

 

Bencmark – GridVirt.com – East Coast 1 Node

GridVirt.com has opened a new DC in New Jersey (East Coast) and their hardware is even better then on the West Coast. All customers on the West Coast got a free transfer to the East Coast if the wanted. And I moved my VPS to the new location. Here is my benchmark from the new location, and is has improved. The disk spedd (DD) is 1.5 GB/S on the new location, thats insane speeds.

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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30 day review – gridvirt.com

My 30 day review of GridVirt.com

I signup at GridVirt.com because I had heard about their insane I/O speeds. So of course I had to test this out. And everything I had heard was true, they have the best I/O speed of them all.

Product/hardware/price

GirdVirt.com uses hardware virtualized KVM Virtual Private Servers with a SSD RAID setup and multiple 10GBit network backbone. And it’s not hard to see that they uses good hardware. The server is very fast, their network is very good, and all tops of with the insane disk speed from their SSD RAID.

Their VPS plans start with 1 Node plan, and it’s the plan I’m using. This plan offer 4 CPU cores, 1.5 GB of RAM, 20 GB SSD disk, 25 GB NAS, 1 TB BW and a 200mbit port. The price is $40/mo without any promo codes.

When you setup your VPS plan you get the choices of:

  • SSD Configuration: 60,000 4kb Random R/W IOPS, 400-500MB/s Sequential or
  • SSD Configuration: 100,000 4kb Random R/W IOPS, 600-900MB/s Sequential

So you can get the extra disk speed if your site needs it. They take $5/mo more for the best speed.

On their pages they say that they will never put more then 10 users on 1 node, so you will never share the server with more then 9 others. This can be one of the reason why there servers is so fast.

Service/Support

I have had two support tickets in this period. The first one was about my port speed being lower then 200mbit, and the second one was about downtime on my VPS.

They replied back within 14 minutes of my first ticket, and only used 3 minutes before they replied back on my second ticket. So to be an unmanaged host, they do reply fast on tickets.

The quality of the reply has also been good. The port speed issue was past on to their DC, that fixed it pretty fast. The downtime was also a DC issue.

Network/uptime

I have only had one outage my first 30 days, but it was a “huge” one, over 40 minutes of downtime. And when my VPS did go down, GridVirt.com pages, including support page also did go down. So there was no way to create any support ticket. The outage was caused by a power distribution unit, and after 40 minutes GridVirt was placed on a backup power distribution unit, and their sites and my server was up again.

More info about the Coloinseattle Tukwila Datacenter power outage can be found here…

Beside this my network is working very good, and i get my 200mbit port speed.

Benchmark

Read my latest benchmark of my VPS at GridVirt.com here…

Conclusion

GridVirt delivers what they promise, incredible fast VPS plans with really high disk performance. And all this for $40/mo. I glad I’m a customer and will stay for a long time. The only drawback for me, is that they only offers servers in USA.

Edit 2014:

Have reduced their numbers of points because they are not selling service anymore.

Benchmark – geekstorage.com – Xen 2048 Promo

Here is my benchmark test of my Xen 2048 Promo plan at geekstorage.com. Thank geekstorage.com for providing me with this VPS.

Server location: Chicago, USA
*Xen 2048 Promo* – $80 / mo
Plan info: XEN/Cloud – 4 GB RAM, 80 GB , 3200 GB BW
Disk info: Seagate Cheetah® 15K SAS HDD’s

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Benchmark – gridvirt.com – 1 Node plan

Here is my benchmark test of my 1 Node plan at GridVirt.com, that provided me with this VPS for free. Thank you. I have to say that it’s the best VPS I have tested so far. IO speeds of 837 MB/s is insane. And their UnixBench score is whopping 2716. And that for only $40/mo.

Server location: Seattle, US
*1 Node plan* – $30 / mo
Plan info: KVM – 1.5 GB RAM, 20 GB SSD , 1000 GB BW
Disk info: Multiple Intel® Solid State Drives

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Benchmark – hosthatch.com – Hatch-VPS 1GBIT NL #4 plan

I asked to test a higher plan at hosthatch.com since my first benchmark was quite low. And they have now optimize their hypervisors, and all of their customers now benefit from this test. Since I wanted to test a bigger plan, they did set me up with their Hatch-VPS 1GBIT NL #4 plan.

Server location: SmartDC, Netherlands
Hatch-VPS 1GBIT NL #4 plan – $150/mo
Plan info: cloud/XEN –3 GB DDR3 RAM, 300 GB SSD HDD (SAN), unmetered BW.
Disk info: SSD SAN

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Benchmark- hosthatch.com – Hatch-VPS 1GBIT NL #2 plan

Here is my benchmark test of myHatch-VPS 1GBIT NL #2 plan at  hosthatch.com

VPS27 –True cloud setup with OnApp and XEN with hypervisor failover and high availability

Server location: Netherlands
Plan info: cloud/XEN –1 GB RAM, 100 GB SSD HDD, unmetered BW.
Disk info: SSD SAN

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