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Virtual Server Hosting? 71

Posted by Cliff
from the be-your-own-root dept.
Eric Anderson asks: "I am shopping around for virtual hosting providers using something like UserModeLinux to allow me to have at least a virtual box to admin for myself. The current two companies that I am looking at are TekTonic and Linode. The price is right for these two companies, but I would like to know of any other suggested companies to look at, and opinions from people that have used these services. I am mostly buying this 'just for fun', but would also be interested in opinions on using these services in a business environment as well."
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Virtual Server Hosting?

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  • JVDS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @08:55PM (#8244233)
    I'm using JVDS [jvds.com] right now and am reasonably pleased. Occasional unexplained reboots (also explained security reboots) aside, their speeds and prices are good.

    You should definitely take a look at webhostingtalk.com [webhostingtalk.com] and read what others are saying about various VPSes. It's how I found JVDS, and a lot of newer (read: potentially flakier) startups offer incredible early-signup bonuses to forum members.
  • Bytemark Hosting (Score:3, Informative)

    by FattMattP (86246) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:07PM (#8244263) Homepage
  • Go with linode.com! (Score:5, Informative)

    by PerlGuru (115222) <michael@thegrebs.com> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:20PM (#8244336) Homepage
    I'm a linode.com customer as a matter of fact. One of the things that impressed me the most initially was the open TOS/AUP... Don't do something illegal and you're fine. The message boards on the site also showed a strong since of community much as many large open source projects have. There's even an irc channel on OFTC [oftc.net] that the owner hangs out in.
  • Liquid Web (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blackknight (25168) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:24PM (#8244370) Homepage
    I work for Liquid Web and we offer VDS and Dedicated systems. You can check out our plans at http://www.liquidweb.com.

    All systems are based on Redhat 9 and include full root access. These systems are great for busier sites that need more cpu/memory than a shared hosting account.
  • by JumpSuit Boy (29166) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:26PM (#8244378) Homepage
    Virtual servers (running on nice enterprise dells) with FreeBSD or some form of Linux (i'm biased I know)
    johncompanies [kuro5hin.org]

    Read about them here in the response to there ad on Kuro5hin
    AD [kuro5hin.org]

    Yes I know the first link redirects through kuro5hin that way they get any cash rev.
  • rimuhosting.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by angst_ridden_hipster (23104) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:28PM (#8244386) Homepage Journal
    I'm hosting a few sites with them, on the cheapest plan, and it seems to be pretty good so far.
  • by JumpSuit Boy (29166) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:29PM (#8244387) Homepage
    O yah I have been lusting after them for a while and finally found an excuse. Wicked fast machines. Fash network, I got over one megabit when pulling some source. The email support seems quick and coherent.

  • by Anchanar (641188) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:38PM (#8244429)

    We at PDXcolo.net [pdxcolo.net] use User-mode Linux to provide virtual colocated hosting. We offer a range of plans from 64MB of RAM through 512MB, with disk space starting at 4GB and bandwidth starting at 30GB/month. Plans start at $20/mo, with additional bandwidth at $1.50/GB and disk at $1/GB.

    We unlike some other providers have a very open TOS/AUP allowing you to do anything you would like that is legal and that doesn't include SPAM

  • Re:rimuhosting.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by KILNA (536949) <kilna@kilna.com> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:41PM (#8244443) Homepage Journal
    I have the $40 or so plan... I have been pleased with their tech support responsiveness, though the machine isn't as fast as I've been used to having my own box. Then again, I don't have to maintain my own hardware. :)
  • by Peterl (39350) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @09:48PM (#8244479)
    I'm also a satisfied Johncompanies customer.
  • Re:Bytemark Hosting (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lionfire (103856) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:15PM (#8244571) Homepage Journal

    I'll second that. Bytemark [bytemark-hosting.co.uk] have been extremely helpful, reliable and competant. They are a tiny bit more expensive than some of the alternatives, but they offer secondary services such as domain-hosting nameservers and backup-MX hosting for free.

    I also really like having my server sitting at GMT. It makes working out time differences really easy :)

  • by vitre0us (103389) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:35PM (#8244625) Homepage
    I too am a Linode customer, and the support is awesome. I have been very pleased.

    --
  • rimuhosting.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by curufin (697683) <sjbain@@@akamail...com> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:43PM (#8244680)
    I've been extremely pleased with RimuHosting [rimuhosting.com].

    The price is right ($19.95 for 64MB ram, 4GB disk space, 30GB transfer), and they have some nice features that cheap virtual servers often lack, such as the ability to 'power-cycle' your machine from their web control panel, in case you firewall yourself or similar.

    They offer RedHat 9, as well as a minimal Debian install, which makes it easy to install just the packages you need. I've found them to be stable (143 days uptime), and the tech support is friendly and helpful.

  • freebsd VPS (Score:3, Informative)

    by JDizzy (85499) on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:49PM (#8244713) Homepage Journal
    you could just use freebsd's jail fraimwork, which doens't require any special usermode-fu crud to mess with. It is simply there in any FreeBSd system, and is chroot on steroids. I simply hate the use of the word "jail" on a linux system as linux doens't have a "jail" command, just a chroot, and a bunch of scripts that sit on top of that which trap() things to handlers. Furthermore, you could simply use the linux compatibility mode in freebsd, which as it turns out is faster than linux itself, and then jail that off. Each freebsd jail can have its' own IP address, its own filesystems, and whatever else any other system has.
  • BSDHosting.net (Score:4, Informative)

    by ibbey (27873) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @10:56PM (#8244767) Homepage
    Check out BSDHosting.net [bsdhosting.net]. They use FreeBSD to provide jailed servers with full root access. I've been with them for more then a year now, and I've been blown away by the level of service. FAR superior to any other host that I've ever used. Their support is provided by serious geeks, and they will go out of their way to solve any problems you may have. Try calling them & asking them a few questions & you'll quickly see just how good these guys are.
  • by FrenZon (65408) * on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:04PM (#8244854) Homepage
    Another vote for JC here; I have one personal and one work server set up with them - the customer support is FANTASTIC, they give discounts to open source developers, and the virtual machines are blazingly fast.

    It is a bit disconcerting, however, when every email you receive from them is signed 'John', no matter what time of day it is :D
  • by d2ksla (89385) <kristerNO@SPAMkmlager.com> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:15AM (#8245480) Homepage
    I've used Linode for about 3 months, and it has worked great for me. No more DSL worries for my servers...
  • I have been using (Score:3, Informative)

    by Korgan (101803) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:14AM (#8245935) Homepage

    Hosting Metro [hostingmetro.com] for a while now and am very very happy with it. To the point where one of my friends has now signed up with them and another is about to as soon as his existing hosting contract finishes. These guys are great.

    You do effectively run inside a virtual machine on a shared server. You can reboot your vhost any time you like from the control panels, you have shell and SFTP/SCP via SSH (obviously) and you get to choose what you want to install. You can install the GNU compiler tools to add your own applications or you can just go with the basics.

    For a bit over $6/mnth you get 500megs of storage, 20gig of traffic, unlimited pop mail boxes, secure SMTP or POP3 before SMTP, MySQL or PostgreSQL as you like, Real Server, (mod_)PHP, (mod_)Perl 5, Apache, full control over your domains and subdomains, including the ability to create and modify all your own DNS records. You can point multiple domains there if you like.

    There are a lot of other features there as well. I liked it enough I signed up for 2 years up front.

    Support is great. Every email question I've ever sent them has been answered quickly and coherently. They work with you until the issue is resolved and don't just say 'its not happening for us' as I've experienced with others in the past. The guys aren't just textbook admins, they definitely seem to know what they're doing from my observations.

    There are a lot more features I cannot begin to cover off here. But definitely check out their options. I'm sure you'll find something there you'll like.

  • Re:rimuhosting.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by jshare (6557) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @02:36AM (#8246420) Homepage
    Oh, and UML servers make perfect backup/failover boxes it you are running an uber dedicated server somewhere else. e.g. see
    Dude, you are seriously suggesting that people use passphraseless ssh keys? Madness!

    Just use keychain [gentoo.org]. Enter your passphrase once per boot. Then you don't have to worry about someone stealing your key. You do still have to worry about the box with keychain on it getting rooted, and leading them to the backup box, of course.

  • by caseih (160668) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @03:27AM (#8246607)
    I also agree. I have a basic linod virtual machine with 3 gb of disk space, soon to be bumped up to 4.5 gb. I've received immediate support help over IRC and can't be more pleased. You can install any distro you want practically on the linode virtual machine. Right now I'm running Fedora Core, because I really don't like debian. The terms of service are very good for most people's needs. In addition, freeswan support is in the linode kernel, as in tuntap support, so I can actually use freeswan or vpnc to connect to a vpn concentrator in my network at work if I needed to for whatever reason.

    Having full root access (and therefore shell access) is very cool. This type of hosting beats all other types hands down, especially for the cost.
  • by Hulver (5850) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:13AM (#8246917) Homepage
    I use JohnsCompanies to run my site [hulver.com]. Root access, 40Gb transfer a month. Free nightly backups and secondary DNS servers.

    Their terms and conditions are straight forward, no hidden legalese.

    It's a good service.

    Plus, because I'm an open source developer, they give me a hefty discount! I'm very happy with them.

    If you do have a problem, their support is all geeks who have no problem answering any question I've thrown at them.

  • Re:Bytemark Hosting (Score:2, Informative)

    by daveewart (66895) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:48AM (#8247020)
    Absolutely agree. http://www.bytemark-hosting.co.uk/ are great. The blokes running it really know their stuff. If you have domains to host, you can manage it easily through their system - DNS updates are totally under your own control. System performance seems to be good, they've got a fast connection outwards too.

    And how many other ISPs or hosting providers will offer to help you configure qmail for virtual hosts, for no charge?

    Don't forget to mention to them that if you are a 'free software developer', you can get a discount.
  • by semanticgap (468158) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @10:59AM (#8248683)
    When they mention the amount of disk space available, that may or may not include the virtual server itself. For example, looking at the linode page, the free space is the space left after the distribution is installed.

    2. Uptime. Providers that claim 99.999% or whatever uptime are simply lying. It's probably the uptime of their network connection, but not individual server - I've had 3 different VPS's over the past two years (Verio, JVDS and Spry), and every one of them has at least once experienced a server problem where it was down for several hours.

    3. Proprietary things. Whatch out for provider trying to lock you into their way of doing things. This may be a complicated xinetd/qmail setup that works well with their GUI panel (which you may not care about). Once you get used to their way of doing things, it would be hard to move to another provider who will probably have a different setup.

    4. Watch out for the price. The vast majority of the hosting companies out there operate as Ponzi schemes - their main source of revenue is the setup and pre-payment fees, but the monthly fee alone isn't enough to sustain their costs. This makes them very eager to keep signing up new customers and not to work hard on retaining them.

    5. Few hosting providers will upgrade their servers, it's just too much trouble. So if you got a FreeBSD 4.3 or RedHat 7.2, it will probably stay this way despite of what the sales guy may tell you.

    6. You don't know what hardware they are using. It is trivial to patch the kernel so that dmesg always reports it's a 2.4GHz Xeon whereas it's really a PII.

    7. Most hosting companies don't like to reveal their inner workings. You can most of the time guess whether it is a FreeBSD jail, a Linux UML (those usually list memory limits as part of the price), a Linux VServer (not a lot of those yet, but it's the future most likely) or a proprietary solution like the ViaVerio crap. What this means is that you don't know what security and reliability measures they have in place, don't ever assume anything.

    8. AUP. A more restrictive AUP is a good thing IMHO. Providers with liberal AUP's are usually winking that they like to host porn. You probably don't want to be on the same machine with a porn site because they will eat all your CPU. Some providers prefer porn customers because they are easy to deal with, always pay on time and don't like to draw attention. Then other providers don't host porn because they consider it immoral.

    9. Make sure that the IP's you get have not been previously spoiled by a spammer. You will find out sooner or later when your e-mails sent from the VPS bounce.

    Well that's about all I can think of right now...

  • Re:Bytemark Hosting (Score:3, Informative)

    by farnz (625056) <slashdot AT farnz DOT org DOT uk> on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @11:20AM (#8248909) Homepage Journal
    And a fourth vote! They are sufficiently competent at the customer service side of things that they'll even e-mail you to say that they've got your problem report and it has them stumped for now. No bullshit, no silly arguments, just a simple, "We don't get it either; we'll have time to do more research on Friday."

    Plus they've got IPv6 support already, if you're looking to the future.

  • Re:JVDS (Score:2, Informative)

    by hellraizr (694242) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @12:07PM (#8249382)
    Another thing is they go against IRC servers; I have no clue why. Why not block public FTP servers, streaming audio or game servers for the bandwidth? Do IRC servers get attacked that often?

    Yes they do. having worked IT security at the largest hosting providers in the world I can honestly say that yes IRC servers basicly paint a target saying "Hack and DDoS Me PLEASE!". alot of hosting providers will even go so far as to setup ACLs on routers to block ident and irc traffic.

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