Tag Archives: memset

New hosting provider: VPSLink

Thanks to all of the helpful comments people left in response to my last post about hosting. I got some really helpful hints from them — including the one I eventually followed, to VPSLink.

I wound up going with VPSLink. Their prices are amazing and the performance is good, too.

I have to admit — I shot myself in the foot not once, not twice, but three times. The shorewall config I was using on my old VPS (which was hosted under UML) apparently doesn’t work well under OpenVZ (used at VPSLink). By “doesn’t work well”, I mean “blocks all traffic to or from the host on startup”.

So, I had rsynced over everything from my old host to the new, and rebooted the new. But it didn’t come back up. I was pretty sure this was why. I dropped off a ticket to the VPSLink folks asking them to please rm /etc/init.d/shorewall for me.

60 minutes later, they had done it. (And it looks like a bug in their ticket system prevented it from being flagged as “emergency” — they said they would have done it faster otherwise.)

I then tried to fix shorewall, and it looked like it was working, so I put the init script back and rebooted. Same problem! They fixed it again in about 60 minutes. (The ticket still had normal priority)

Finally, I deleted shorewall entirely, then rsynced my old host to the new one. Things looked good, so I rebooted…. and yes, guess what, that rsync brought back shorewall so it got hosed YET AGAIN. ARGH. This was now well into the overnight hours, but they still helped me out.

All in all, I am so far VERY impressed with VPSLink. I heartily recommend them. I’ll be sure to post updates as time goes by.

Regarding Memset, my current provider: Really great company. I heartily recommend them, too. My needs for RAM just wouldn’t be ecnomical under their current plans, but they are usually competitive. I also have experience with JohnCompanies. I used them way back when they only did FreeBSD VPSs, on through the Linux days, and we currently use their services at work. These are also great folks and I would recommend them to anyone. Like Mako’s suggestion of Rimuhost, both memset and JohnCompanies are “quality first” providers — not necessarily cheapest, but their systems work as advertised and are almost never down, and they support you with experienced Unix admins. BTW, Memset’s current plans use Xen and JohnCompanies uses Virtuozzo.

Disappointed with Dreamhost

I’ve been using Memset for many years to host my websites, Darcs repositories, etc. They provide virtual private servers. I’ve been happy with them overall, but as my RAM needs increase, things have been getting slower. As adding RAM to VPS plans is expensive no matter who the provider is, I decided to look for some other options.

I decided to try Dreamhost. They are a web hosting company with a clue. I don’t get root on the box, but they do give me the next best thing. ssh access, a decent suite of preinstalled packages, and clueful admins. I signed up earlier this week and started rsyncing some things over. They have a $10/mo plan which gives 1TB of monthly transfer and 20GB of disk space. Much nicer than the going rate of about $40 for 40GB of monthly transfer and 5GB of disk space for a VPS.

The web side of things worked fairly smoothly, and the system seemed to perform well. Until today, that is. I noticed my site being extremely SLOW this morning. I logged into the system to see if it was some problem with my configuration. It wasn’t, but the system load was — get this — over 100. I watched it for awhile and then fired off a support request. The load had been hovering between 20 and 80. It’s now 9.5 hours later, load is hovering between 11 and 30, things are still somewhat slow, and I’ve not heard back from them.

Then, later today, their server started refusing connections on port 80. Turns out this was a sitewide outage, and seems to have lasted for 30-60 minutes. I signed up to receive an e-mail when it was fixed, but I never got it.

Also, their e-mail hosting has never worked for me. At first, it was bouncing my mail. I sent a support request about that, and the next morning they said they fixed it. Well, it was no longer bouncing mail, but it wasn’t actually *delivering* it either. I told them that this morning, and still haven’t heard back from them.

Now, with my memset account, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had downtime. I’ve had slowness — rivaling what dreamhost is having — but actual downtime is exceedingly rare. And they seem to respond to trouble more quickly.

And the scary thing is that from all I’ve read, Dreamhost is really one of the best web hosting companies out there.

So, what do you all think? Should I continue going the “do it myself” route and host my site with a VPS (either with Memset or with JohnCompanies, another clueful host I’ve dealt with)? Or try to stick it out with Dreamhost? Or are there other clueful web hosting companies out there?

Right now, I’m of the “if you want it done right, do it yourself” mindset. Being able to save money, and also time by trusting someone else to keep the host patched and working only saves me angst if I can actually trust them to do that. Right now, I’m not so sure I can trust Dreamhost — or any other web hosting company.