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Virtual Server Hosting? 71

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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  • by DDumitru ( 692803 ) <> on Tuesday February 10, 2004 @11:24PM (#8245073) Homepage
    I am part owner in a hoster and we run UML for just about everything that we do. Even our in-house mail and web servers are running under UML.

    Pricing UML servers is a strange "artform". In your case, wanting 60G of disk pushes you up into the land of dedicated servers at $79 to $125 per month. This is probably a lot more processing power than you need.

    The best offer that we would have for you is:

    • 15 Gig disk
    • 256Meg RAM (128 Meg core and 128 Meg swap running out of tmpfs space)
    • 40G/month of transfer
    • $50/month pre-pay 1yr + $0 setup or
    • $60/month billed quarterly + $100 setup
    Our servers are available either located in Philadelphia with internet connectivity on Level-3, Verio, or AT&T (your choice), or in Los Angeles with internet connectivity BGP'd between Level-3, Yipes, and Williams. The underlying servers are AMD Athlon XP2200's with 1Gig of ram, Raid-1 80Gig drives, and 100Mbit switched connectivity that is not bandwidth limited. In general, bursting to a couple of megabits from individual connections is pretty easy.

    Our servers are designed to not be overcommitted. We basically cut a server up into 20 increments. Each increment gets 32 Meg of ram and 32 Meg of swap. The swap is run out of a "tmpfs" mount on the underlying host, so it is usually ram as well. Running this way, the only users that have ever complained about performance were running applications that ran their virtuals out of RAM, not the underlying host.

    The servers themselves have an SSH based console that lets you see processes, kill your virtual, restart your virtual, and "become" the virtuals console upon a reboot. This lets you fix filesystem errors and watch bootup, etc.

    We have options for local and off-site backups, multi-patch connectivity for green-screen applications, additional IP addresses, including IP addresses on multiple backbones, local and remote replicated file systems, and a bunch of other stuff.

    In about 2 weeks, we are reworking our website with new UML offerings that are more flexible, allowing users to buy RAM and disk seperately, configure server pairs as hot-backup systems, buy dedicated physical systems with UML pre-configured so you can sell your own UML "sub hosts", and more. Of particular interest to a lot of users will be user-manageable external firewalls, and managed security services so that you don't need to worry about patches, etc.

    Our website is: []

    You can call our offices (yes there are real humans here) at (610) 237-2000 or (800) 470-2756. Our AUP is pretty simple, don't spam and we are happy. Depending on which of our networks you want to be on, IRC servers are allowable, but check with us first so that we are sure they will work for you.

    One last point for people considering getting into the UML hosting business. There is an unbelievable amount of fraud out there. We get >75% bogus orders. There are orders with real credit card numbers with real names and phone numbers presumably coming from Russian or Far East organized crime. We have setup our system to "require" 100% phone authorization before we turn a server on.

    Doug Dumitru
    EasyCo LLC
    610 237-2000 (I get so much spam, a little more can't hurt)

  • by crmurphey ( 319523 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @01:11AM (#8245915) Homepage
    In my experience as a customer, they live up to all the rave reviews about their support and premium bandwidth. It's easy to get spoiled when hardware, network and OS issues are virtually non-existent.
  • How much RAM? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Wespionage ( 751377 ) on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @08:45AM (#8247535)

    It's been a while since I've worked in an environment with so little RAM -- I don't know how/if things will run.

    I see that the base plan for several of these includes 64 MB of RAM, but I see that at least RimuHosting states that Java servlets won't run with 64 MB of RAM, and more is recommended if using a MySQL database [], I don't see anything yet on Linode's site about practical requirements. Does anyone have any experiences with what's necessary/practical. It seems that on the base plan, doubling the RAM from 64 MB to 128 MB also doubles the entire monthly cost []. I'm just interested in using it as a hobbyist, and it wouldn't be high volume.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11, 2004 @05:55PM (#8253523)
    I'm from TekTonic and was just browsing the logs and noticed all the links from SlashDot (imagine my surprise!). The traffic hasn't put a dent in the server :)

    I'm a bit disheartened that none of our users seem to read SlashDot, oh well..

    P.S.: Our web server is running under UML with 256MB of RAM allocated to it.

System checkpoint complete.