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Decent Co-Location or Virtual Server Hosting?

Cliff posted about 7 years ago | from the assure-your-place-on-the-internet dept.

Networking 145

gclef writes "Speakeasy announced recently that they're being bought by Best Buy. Despite all the promises to the contrary, I suspect my ability to host servers in my home is going away soon. Does anyone have hints as to where I can get a reasonable co-lo space or virtual hosting? I don't want to outsource the management of my domains entirely, nor will 'webhosting' be good enough, since I like having control of my own stuff (and like running my own DNS, IMAPS, and other assorted network services). Is there some place that will give me a blank box with an unfiltered connection to the net?"

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145 comments

That really depends. (2, Informative)

the unbeliever (201915) | about 7 years ago | (#18618839)

How much are you willing to pay?

A lot of places are running "Specials" right now, giving you a relatively decent piece of iron but very little bandwidth for ~$100/mo

Other places give you less impressive hardware but more bandwidth for about the same price.

I personally host with Cyberwurx [cyberwurx.com], a p4 3.0, 512mb ram, 80gb hd and 500gb bandwidth for $95/mo, and they'll install your choice of Linux on it, or even boot you into a gentoo live cd so you can roll your own.

If you go that route, put "vanamar" in your referral code!

Re:That really depends. (1)

byolinux (535260) | about 7 years ago | (#18619229)

Bytemark [bytemark.co.uk] - UK based, decent service, VMs and Dedicated hosts... really well supported. Been using them for two years.

Re:That really depends. (1)

mashade (912744) | about 7 years ago | (#18620355)

If you're looking to spend less, virtual private servers are the way to go. I've used two hosts and have been pretty impressed with both.

Slicehost [slicehost.com] will give you a virtual box (root access, choice of distro) with decent specs for about $20/month.
TekTonic.net [tektonic.net] (whom I found through www.unixshell.com [unixshell.com]) gives you an unmanaged virtual host for $15/month.

Again, I've used both and have been very happy with the services. Bandwidth hasn't been an issue, uptime and performance have been great.

Re:That really depends. (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#18621059)

I use Pagesgarden and have had awesome luck with them. May be too managed for Topic Starter's wants, but they do not shut down sites based on silly C&D letters (site in sig).
My plan is $125/year for 1 gig disk and 24 gig bandwith/month. You can buy more of either as needed, host 5 domains and up to 50 subdomains, again buying more if needed.
-nB

Re:That really depends. (1)

ari_j (90255) | about 7 years ago | (#18622579)

I was with Superb [superb.net] for a leased server for a few years. I was very pleased with it and only moved on because I decided to colocate a server of my own construction. The trick is to watch for specials. They'll frequently have slightly-underpowered hardware (mine had an 80GB hard drive, a 1.4GHz Celeron, and 512MB of RAM) on special. I paid $80/month for 1,000GB of transfer, and the latency was phenomenally low. Their customer service always treated me well and answered the phone when I called, and when I needed it they have a nice Java KVM setup to give you console access.

EV1Servers.Net (2, Informative)

JLester (9518) | about 7 years ago | (#18618841)

EV1Servers has done a good job on mine so far. They have lots of options available depending on how much storage space, bandwidth, etc. that you need. You have full root control over your server. They recently merged with ThePlanet, but it does not seem to have affected anything.

Jason

Re:EV1Servers.Net (1)

gregRowe (173838) | about 7 years ago | (#18618925)

I'll second that. I've been using ev1 for more than a year now and I've been completely satisfied. The prices are reasonable, the hardware is rock-solid stable, the network is fast, and the tech support is competent. My plan with ev1 includes remote access to the serial port. I've been lazy and finally got around to setting up serial console support but I couldn't access it. I sent ev1 some technical data and they resolved the problem relatively quickly (it was on their end) without questioning the data I provided to them.

Greg

Re:EV1Servers.Net (1)

Dimentox (678813) | about 7 years ago | (#18619007)

I third that.. I used to work at rackspace and know managed hosting. Rackspace has an incredable network but they aqre a bit high. ev1 i have used them for 2 years now and they rock.. plain ol simple.. i have never had an issue there except the ones i cause. One downside is their support is lacking. Upgrading though was a simple thing also. But still if its of high imporntance i would go through Rackspace. They offer top tier support. Their guys can assist with anything for a price and their network is the most stable ive seen. Their backup solutions rock they have private net which you can cluster on non net accesable ip's (for free xfer between servers). So if its business class id do rackspace. If its personal or small business witha budget id do ev1 servers aka the planet.

Re:EV1Servers.Net (4, Informative)

walt-sjc (145127) | about 7 years ago | (#18619261)

Yeah, but didn't ev1 buy a license from SCO, basically helping to fund SCO's assault against Linux? Then after the fact (due to customer / industry reaction) decided that they made a bad move? I'm still waiting for them to do the right thing and sue SCO for fraud (selling a license for IP they didn't own.)

Re:EV1Servers.Net (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619283)

I have had horrible support experiences with them. IME documentation of their interface (at least what I use) stinks, with conflicting or incorrect information about critical functions, and nobody takes responsibility or is motivated to assist. I spend hours on what should take 10 minutes.

I've hosted w/EV1Servers, JaguarVPS, Vaultnetworks (1)

TrumpetX (445716) | about 7 years ago | (#18619923)

The very best of all of these was EV1Servers if you want top notch support. I ended up going with Vaultnetworks due to price. They had a better piece of hardware with more bandwidth, but they're much more "hands off" when it comes to management. This suited me just fine because I'm comfortable rolling out my own patches and fixes (I used cPanel so much of this was done for me anyway).

I've recently "downscaled" my webhosting business to friends-family only, and I was in need of something smaller with the same power. I chose JaguarPC's VPS solution. So far I can say that I'm completely impressed. I ditched cPanel and I signed up earlier in the year for a 1MB unmetered solution and I must say that I "feel" like the server is just as good as the one I paid $130/mo for with VaultNetworks (I'm paying $20/mo with Jag).

Best Support:
EV1: http://www.ev1servers.net/ [ev1servers.net]

Better Value:
Vault: http://www.vaultnetworks.com/ [vaultnetworks.com]

Best Cost/Value for what I do:
Jag: http://www.jaguarpc.com/vps-hosting/index.php [jaguarpc.com]

Waveform (1)

dsginter (104154) | about 7 years ago | (#18618855)

waveform.net [waveform.net]

When I was recently looking, I found these guys and discovered that they are in my back yard (Troy, Michigan).

$50/month to colo 1U (or a mid tower) and that includes 1000GB of transfer. If you are going to be using more than that, then you might want to look further into the unit cost per GB.

Re:Waveform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619041)

I don't recommend Waveform at all. I first signed up with them and made an appointment to drop of my box. The guy was more than an hour late and I was just standing around in the lobby in front of their office (The office isn't much to speak of, and was pretty messy.) I should have just left then and forgot about it, but I gave them a chance.

My box there started to have problems, and it took them more than 3 days to respond to my calls and emails to reboot the box. Same thing happened again a week later and it was an even longer wait. I decided I had enough of it with them, and asked them to ship my server back. It took them more than a week to get it out the door AND they shipped it to the wrong address. They still billed me for service for at least 6 months, and wouldn't respond to my calls when I asked them to stop. It took threatening them to get them to stop billing me and void the previous bills.

There prices might look inticing, and the bandwidth was fairly reliable, but their customer service sucks. There's no way in hell I would deal with them again.

Re:Waveform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619063)

I had a co-located server with these guys and was very pleased with the service and they were very helpful and connectivity was never an issue. I would definitely recommend them to anyone.

Re:Waveform (1)

chill (34294) | about 7 years ago | (#18619271)

If it isn't mission critical stuff, Waveform is good. I have a server over there and have been reasonably pleased. However, on two occasions where I had to call support, they took a few hours -- during normal business hours -- to get hands-on.

They do offer dial-in backup lines, so if things are critical I suggest sticking a modem in your server and having them plug into a POTS line. Then configure your server for providing a terminal on serial via the modem.

I'm not sure if they offer remote reboot. I need to check myself.

  Charles

Personal Colo (5, Informative)

miller60 (554835) | about 7 years ago | (#18618861)

Paul Vixie maintains a directory of services providing personal colo [vix.com] for power users. You might find something there to fit your needs.

Re:Personal Colo (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | about 7 years ago | (#18621427)

I have points at the moment but you've already been modded to 5, so I'm just going to take a moment to thank you. That reference is incredibly on-point in my life at the moment and it is, by far, the most informative and useful thing I've ever seen on the subject.

I can't thank you enough. Bless you.

WebHostingTalk.com (2, Informative)

pci (13339) | about 7 years ago | (#18618873)

I'd recommend reading a site like http://www.webhostingtalk.com/ [webhostingtalk.com] since it has forums dedicated to this kind of question.

Or you could just google for "vps hosting" or "dedicated hosting" and start working through the plethora of results

Netriplex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18618877)

Why are you even asking /.? There are places all over the country that do this.
I use Netriplex. They have racks across the country and they will rent you full
or half racks. You need to supply the computers and a switch but you'll have full control.
They provide redundant pipe and power.

Re:Netriplex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619253)

Why are you even asking /.?
But are they any good? He wants a recommendation. *That's* why he's asking /.

VPSLand (2, Informative)

extremescholar (714216) | about 7 years ago | (#18618889)

VPSLand [vpsland.com] will give you a VPS Linux Box (w/Debian! or something else if you're inclined) or a windows box for fairly cheap. I used mine for a number of things that SBC or AT&T or whatever they are this month won't let me do. Their terms say that you can do anything but run IRC.

Re:VPSLand (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#18618937)

Why no IRC? It seems interesting that IRC would be the only thing they would disallow. Is there something about the traffic patterns or legality of IRC that would make it a problem? What about a server that does the same function, but isn't specifically IRC?

Re:VPSLand (2, Informative)

amorsen (7485) | about 7 years ago | (#18618989)

Why no IRC? It seems interesting that IRC would be the only thing they would disallow. Is there something about the traffic patterns or legality of IRC that would make it a problem? What about a server that does the same function, but isn't specifically IRC?

IRC servers attract DOS attacks. It's better or worse depending on which particular IRC network they connect to, but it's no wonder that the providers find it easier to just blanket ban IRC.

Re:VPSLand (2, Insightful)

mikkelm (1000451) | about 7 years ago | (#18619365)

IRC is a magnet for DoS. Even smaller networks frequently get hammered by random people for various reasons.

Another reason is covering their asses legally. If you have someone hosting an IRC server in your facility and a botmaster decides to stop by on that network and herd his zombies from from there, there are pretty much no limits to what a law enforcement agency could take from the facility. Sad but true.

Re:VPSLand (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#18619447)

Couldn't covering their asses be a problem no matter what type of servers you run? What if you run an FTP Server, Or Bittorrent tracker? There could very well be pirated software on there. I don't think the police are extremely specific as to what boxes get taken as evidence when they're trying to bring one of these sites down. Even worse than IRC could be things like News servers, which contain all kinds of illegal materials. It probably is a situation to do with DOS attacks. You and another poster mentioned the same problem, so that's probably the reason more than the legality reason, which could be a problem no matter what the servers used.

Re:VPSLand (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | about 7 years ago | (#18619673)

It's simply easier to deny IRC. If people want to run IRC servers, there are many easier ways than colo. There are a good number of companies specifically offering IRC server plans out there as it is.

Most anything can be used for evil in some way, but IRC is just one of those things where it'd be easier to just disallow the whole thing.

Re:VPSLand (1)

Mooga (789849) | about 7 years ago | (#18619865)

IRC also has a bad reputation in modern times.
While there are many legal uses for IRC networks, all the main illegal content starts via IRC. Now-a-days most people using IRC are Gamers and Hackers.
Plus, is there really a need for more IRC servers? Most of the big ones can handle them selfs...

Re:VPSLand (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 7 years ago | (#18619965)

A couple people have already said it, but I'll say it again. DoS.

    IRC kids can play very nicely sometimes. When they play rough, they don't hold back on anything. Think netsplit.

    We had some IRC junkies at one place I worked. I was impressed with what the other kids would accomplish. They'd take advantage of any remote exploits they could, just to knock someone they didn't like (for whatever reason) off. Then there's the battles over control of a channel. Read up on "netsplit". It's been a while, but I have heard of tier 1 Internet providers having core routers exploited, simply to accomplish a netsplit. It is (was?) more common to have a lower level ISP get hit pretty hard, but....

    Anyone who's worked with very many publically accessable machines will know all about the bots. Script kiddies will crawl the Internet looking for some box that they can put their own channel bots into, just for the sake of keeping them in channels, or to accomplish less friendly things.

    IRC is a real neat idea, and at times, it's a very cool thing. Sometimes it's a freakin' war zone. Whoever put it into their TOS to disallow IRC specifically is either afraid of it, or has experience there, and knows it can be dangerous.

    Sure, they can do everything in their power to avoid the problems with it, but it's a lot easier to forbid it in their terms of service. You don't *NEED* to allow IRC for a normal hosting service. And sure as heck, if you find a hosting service that lets you run IRC related stuff (bots, proxy, whatever), they'll be rejecting you on it, as soon as it becomes a problem for them.

I like web.com's BSD VPS setup myself (1)

Meorah (308102) | about 7 years ago | (#18618971)

$70/month, up to 50 hosts, root access.
details here. [web.com]

Re:I like web.com's BSD VPS setup myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18622527)

what a rediculously expensive price. I personally host with LayeredTech, and I'd even recommend alphared for colo hosting. I pay 650 a year for a dedicated machine, 1300GB BW monthly, a 250GB HD, and a 2.1 GHz AMD machine

Virtual hosting option (1)

prizrak (23921) | about 7 years ago | (#18618993)

If you consider Virtual hosting - I use KnownHost [knownhost.com] VPS and really like it - you get full access to a Linux instance (albeit on shared hardware) and it's been very stable, customer service is great too.

Linode.com (3, Informative)

Smitty825 (114634) | about 7 years ago | (#18619013)

I'm personally really happy with my Linode [linode.com] For $20/month, I get a UML-based system with 256MB of Ram and a bunch of hard drive space. Granted, it can be a bit slow at times, especially if other users are heavily using your node at the same time. It's perfect for Web/Mail hosting, plus you do have root access, so you can get it to do whatever you want!

Re:Linode.com (1)

rafa (491) | about 7 years ago | (#18619319)

About VPSs, I use Rosehosting.com [rosehosting.com], and I'm very happy with their service. If you find their google ad, you'll get the monthly fee down to $20. Performance has been fairly good so far.

Re:Linode.com (1)

mindbender.ca (875755) | about 7 years ago | (#18619601)

I second this recommendation! I have been with linode for a few years now and other than a few glitches with the data centers where they are hosted, I cant complain. You get a nice web control panel which allows for total control of your vm. And the few times I did need support my tickets were answered promptly. Thanks caker, mikegrb & tasaro!

Re:Linode.com (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 7 years ago | (#18619925)

One more happy Linode user. I have the smallest plan available, and in the 2 years I've had it they've upped my memory by 50% and given me 25% more disk space.

Nother Linode user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18620437)

I've used Linode for a few years now. Can't recall any downtime, fast response to one or two questions very early on, IRC 24x7 that always seems to have one of "them" around. But best of all is checking in from time to time and finding my plan now includes "more"; more memory, more disk space, more bandwidth. It's the only reason they give me to reboot.

Re:Linode.com (1)

ptbarnett (159784) | about 7 years ago | (#18620761)

I'm personally really happy with my Linode.

I'm yet another happy Linode user. I have two: one for personal use and one that I administrate for my employer.

I was a Speakeasy subscriber as well, hosting my personal mail server at home. But, when I switched to Verizon FIOS, the additional cost for "business" service (static IP and no port 80/25 blocking) was significant, and I could rent a decent-sized Linode for less.

I'm actually happier with the off-site hosting, as it's more reliable. And, Linode's administrator interface is just as good as "being there".

Re:Linode.com (1)

2Y9D57 (988210) | about 7 years ago | (#18622377)

Seconded. I've been there since 2003 and I'm very happy with the performance and service.

ThePlanet (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 7 years ago | (#18619021)

They were perfect since 2003, without a glitch. They merged with ev1servers, some support latency problems issued. but it appears that they are fixing these matters. reliable - www.theplanet.com

As a former employee of EV1/TP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619207)

I highly suggest that you do NOT host with them. The company is corrupt to the core and all the good seasoned technical staff have jumped from this sinking ship.

VPS Hosting (1)

Blackknight (25168) | about 7 years ago | (#18619027)

There's lots of hosting providers and I actually work for one. We provide managed servers, unmanaged servers, VPS, and colo services, send me a message if you need more details.

linode.com (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619035)

I moved all of my server stuff to a virtual linux image at linode.com [linode.com].

The cheapest plans are under $20/mo. and provide plenty of what I need for a box that hosts light web, email and ssh trafic. Connectivity is good and the customer service is great for such a cheap option. The only thing I had to do was get over the mental block of sharing hardware, but over the years they keep raising the amount of memory and other resources (and not the cost) so it performs pretty well. Their remote management tools are pretty slick as well. You get X amount of space, and if you want to use that for 5 different distro images that you swap in and out you can.

One caveat though: linode does not back up your server image, so it's up to you to handle backing up your data. I got burned by being lazy in this regard when my host machine suffered a multiple drive failure hosing the raid set with all of the server images (My plan is 16 to 1 contention, so it was at most 16 people affected). I keep hoping they'll offer a backup service as an add-on where they just snapshot my image every night or something, but nothing so far.

But if you just need a well connected linux box (that you have full root control over), linode is a pretty cost effective solution.

Rackspace, 1and1 (1)

raju1kabir (251972) | about 7 years ago | (#18619067)

For the important stuff, I use Rackspace [rackspace.com]. Starts at about $300/month for a decently-specced linux/freebsd box. Network, reliability, and support are top-notch. In the case of major problems like hard drive failures (which are going to happen eventually when you have enough boxes for enough time), they have been incredibly responsive and done everything I could have hoped for in order to get me back up and running ASAP.

For everything else, I use 1and1 [1and1.com]. Starts at about $100/month for a decent linux/freebsd box. I haven't had any real problems (network outages or hardware failures) in all the years I've been with them, but their support is pretty slow to respond to minor stuff so I'm not sure how they'd be with major issues. They provide remote serial console connections so you can even reboot your machine and run it in single-user mode, nice for doing upgrades and recovering from stupid firewall misconfigurations.

RimuHosting (1)

dheera (1003686) | about 7 years ago | (#18619093)

I use RimuHosting [rimuhosting.com]. They are a bit pricey, but they have been unbelievably reliable and their support is actually competent, quick and knowledgeable.

Re:RimuHosting (1)

eakerin (633954) | about 7 years ago | (#18619257)

I have used a Rimuhosting VPS for my personal server for over 3 years now, and I've been very happy with the reliability and performance I've gotten (and that was even before they switched to Xen, after the switch performance got even better!)

I have not used the support staff much, but the few times I've interacted with them they've been knowledgeable and always get stuff done quickly.

John Companies (1)

swamp boy (151038) | about 7 years ago | (#18619111)

I highly recommend "John Companies" (http://www.johncompanies.com/ [johncompanies.com]). I had a FreeBSD virtual private server with them for nearly a year. Reasonable price, excellent service, and no outages. With the VPS, you have root inside a FreeBSD jail. You have full control over your jail.

Re:John Companies (1)

rk (6314) | about 7 years ago | (#18619699)

Seconded. Johncompanies is awesome.

The virtual servers are responsive, and they provide secondary DNS for as many domains as you want to run off it. Linux server with 10 gigs of disk space (which the base OS doesn't eat due to virtual file system trickiness), 75 Gigs/month, $79 on a month-to-month basis, cheaper if you buy in larger blocks. The FreeBSD is cheaper and if you're hosting an open source project on it, they cut a pretty big discount, too. I've got multiple instances of Drupal and SMF running off of it, and it clicks along nicely.

The only restrictions I can recall is nothing illegal (duh), no modern game servers (MUDs are okay), and no IRC servers joined to an IRC network. A local IRC server is fine. You can run 1 domain, or 100, as long as you come in under the bandwidth cap. There's a bigger plan if you need more horsepower and packets, but I've had no need for it.

The tech support is kick-ass. I will email them asking for things on Sunday afternoon and 10 minutes later I get an email back saying "it's done." Note that all of these tech support requests was asking for changes or help because I was stuck on something... nothing has ever broken that wasn't my fault. :-) I don't recall ever having downtime exceeding two minutes and those were few and scheduled a couple days in advance.

I recommended them to my boss for a project here at work, and he liked them so much, he moved his personal project stuff to them, too.

I'm not connected with them except as a very satisfied customer for 4 years now. It's rare one does business with a company that is just delightful to work with, so when you find one, you want to crow about it.

Re:John Companies & rsync.net (1)

ClarkEvans (102211) | about 7 years ago | (#18619969)

I'm also a John Companies customer and am very pleased. I've had 2 other VPS experiences, and I think JC did the best job. They offer email support which is prompt and helpful. They have also gone out of their way on a few occasions to help me with system administration stuff that they really didn't have to do. While I'm at it, I should sing praises to rsync.net, a sister company that does remote file backup space. Having reasonably fast remote backup location has been a godsend...

Re:John Companies (1)

bshensky (110723) | about 7 years ago | (#18622083)

"You have full control over your jail."

Now, tell me honestly, in what other profession can you say something like this with a straight face?

I love IT.

cooplabs.net (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 years ago | (#18619121)

I used cooplabs.net for quite awhile in San Jose and would probably use them again. I paid a little under $100/mo for a 1U rack with 1mbps. They even went out of their way to drive into the colo facilities and check my server when my hardware was toasted (both of my N+1 hot swappable PSUs died at the same damn time!). And when I shipped them a pair of replacements, they had no problem replacing them for me. In fact, I don't think they even charged me for the time and trouble.

The things I require of a colo are that they don't limit my bandwidth. I want to pay for dedicated bandwidth and no transfer limit. Period. I'm not interest in their hardware or their servers or their operating systems. Just slide my chassis into your rack, plug it in and leave it alone.

Sadly, finding such services -- and reliable ones at that -- are very difficult. Everyone wants you to use their servers in their configurations and pay through the nose to do it. Then they want you to share bandwidth with everyone else and pay per gig transferred. Hell, they even charge for how much storage space you use. As if hard drives are at a premium these days or something.

And if you go it alone. Well. You can't. Usually the smallest unit you can rent from HE.net or similar is a half standing locker apartment. That's usually 16U. Sometimes they require a full 32U or more. That's fine if you have $1,000 or more to spend a month just on the space (not counting the bandwidth), but not so much if you just need place for one or two servers.

PowerVPS (1)

theinfobox (188897) | about 7 years ago | (#18619169)

I have been using PowerVPS [powervps.com] for close to two years. In that time, I have not had a price increase, but the specs of my server have gone up. Last year, the hardware node I was on had some stability issues where it would crash every few days. Rather than leave customers on an unstable box, they moved us to a new server with only a few minutes of downtime. When I decided to switch from Fedora as my OS to CentOS, they built a new VPS for me and gave me a week to move. Their Tech Support has been very helpful. When Cpanel gave me some errors when I tried to rebuild Apache, they helped me almost immediately. Am I satisfied with their service? Absolutely.

Re:PowerVPS (1)

WebCrapper (667046) | about 7 years ago | (#18619407)

I'll second PowerVPS. Been going strong for a year and a half. Oddly, I was part of the Hardware node issue as well and was taken care of without even complaining. Support is usually on top of any questions I have within an hour or two and they're willing to poke around your box to fix weird issues that come about.

Re:PowerVPS (1)

deuterium (96874) | about 7 years ago | (#18619913)

Third. Of all the companies that I've used over the years to host various services, PowerVPS is the only one that has been both cheap and reliable. I'm currently running several ASP.NET sites from one of their VPS servers. My only complaint is that (at least when I looked) you can't order more RAM. You have to change plans to get a given amount.

For what I pay, however, having my own server is nice.

Jumping the gun a little? (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | about 7 years ago | (#18619177)

Honestly? Think about it; Speakeasy made their market and sold their services based upon their "geek friendly" attitude. Now, I know that Best Buy really screwed up Geek Squad... but first of all that was a different business model, and secondly Best Buy are AWARE of how badly they screwed it up and I doubt they want to do it again any time soon. Of course, I get a lot of my business as an independent consultant from small businesses who tried Geek Squad and need someone to clean up the mess, so I'm a little biased :D

Seriously though, I host on Speakeasy as well... have done for 7 years. I have always loved their service, and even though I get a 3mb/512kbit connection for free through work, I retain my service with Speakeasy because their service is just that good. It's slower than the 3Mb connection (though my upstream on Speakeasy is better), but it's more than good enough for the light web/mail hosting I do on that connection and it allows me to run an NX server so I can get into my home systems if I need to.

Now, I could be wrong about Best Buy not screwing things up... but I for one am willing to give them a shot. If I'm down for a couple of weeks while I move to a colo facility then it'll have little or no impact to me personally... hell I've done that before and had a redirect that sent all email to my GMail account for a week while I rebuilt my server recently. I'm quite happy to play the "wait and see" game, but I am hopeful that the deal with Best Buy will give Speakeasy the money to keep their lights on while at the same time improving their service... not losing focus.

Maybe give them a chance to surprise you?

Re:Jumping the gun a little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18622007)

I agree . . . in anycase, aren't the other "business class" broadband suppliers about the same price as speakeasy ?

I think business class, 1 fixed IP from RoadRunner starts at around $90/month, with 5 IPs it is about $115/month. The cost of a colo plus the cost of a non-business class connection at home is about the same in the cheapest case, and if you actually have 5 machines then it is very much cheaper. So if speakeasy goes all covad/cox/SBC on you, why not just switch to Road Runner business class ?

I have a Road Runner business class network to my home with 13 fixed IPs. I am a contract sys admin and consultant and programmer for a variety of small businesses, and for some of them I host a mail server or web server or backup host in my hall closet. It pays for itself, but I don't have enough traffic to need anything but the base bandwidth package.

Depending on what you are doing, it may be more expensive than speakeasy. In that case, why not find a couple of other speakeasy refugees, and charge them enough per month to hose their servers that it works out the same again ?

One piece of advice -- I try to get everyone who gives me a server to use an old laptop with a broken screen as the hardware -- it's cheap for them, and I don't have to deal with the noise or as much power consumption, and it has a bit of an additional battery backup built in ( I have everything on regular UPS's as well). Recently I've been looking at the stuff sold at www.ewayco.com, and I might try to standardize on their little 800 MHz thing that takes a laptop harddrive.

Re:Jumping the gun a little? (1)

mr_death (106532) | about 7 years ago | (#18622097)

I'm a Speakeasy customer (both personally and business-wise), and I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude, but I'm on a hair-trigger to move if service tanks. It isn't at all clear to me that Best Buy has learned from the Geek Squad debacle. Best Buy's service, salespeople, and culture are, shall we say, "challenged" (IMHO, they blow dead goats) -- every experience at Best Buy has been suboptimal for me, and I avoid them unless I have no other choice.

Additionally, as a Fortune 100 company, management must maintain an inordinate focus on the next quarter's numbers, which I believe will mean expense cuts at Speakeasy. Speakeasy's current tech support is great, but if those cuts happen, I expect the current support to turn into script-reading droids in a far away land. I also expect network restrictions al la Comcast to decrease expenses by increasing the number of "customers" serviced per unit bandwidth.

I want to be optimistic, but experience tells me that I'm hosed ...

pair Networks is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619193)

I've used pair Networks for several domains for years. (I should say I've used their shared hosting, but they'll give you your own box and I've talked to many in the community who have that service).

They are a smaller, discount hosting company, but certainly not the cheapest. You get what you pay for, of course. They own their facilities, unlike much of their competition which resells space in bigger hosting facilities, and run all BSD and mostly FOSS.

On the upside: They have a long track record (over 10 yrs), an excellent reputation (google around), and run their own facilities. Uptime, including their upstream Internet, is excellent; I've never seen it go down. Servers are well maintained; few problems there either. There's also a knowledgeable, helpful, user community, with newsgroups, websites, etc. And they are very geek friendly, and support the FOSS community with donations, mirrors, etc.

On the downside: Live support is only during business hours; they say they monitor an 'urgent' mailbox 24/7, but thankfully I've never had to use it. They are slow with upgrades, often lagging behind the rest of the industry (e.g., system-wide spam filters (which you may not use anyway)), and just as slow fixing bugs. Support technicians always begin with the 'blame the user'/'we don't support that' approaches; if you push them and jump through hoops though, they have more skill than most phone support (e.g., one was running command line MySQL commands) but are overall not impressive and not a good experience. Finally, their smtp servers often end up blocked as spam relays.

In total, I've stuck with them because I have not found anyone better. For my purposes, uptime is most essential, and their uptime is exceptional. If I could a host find who matched the uptime, and offered better support or faster upgrades, I'd move but for the price, I'm not sure there's anyone better. You do get what you pay for.

I've had good luck with Cari.net (1)

MysticOne (142751) | about 7 years ago | (#18619227)

I've had some dedicated servers with Cari.net [cari.net] for about two years now. While I think some of their setup fees are a little excessive for new hardware (it's reasonable for the initial server setup), their monthly costs are reasonable ($60-$100/month for most machines, though they have other options after that), they have pretty decent support, and they'll install any OS you want for a bit extra in the initial setup cost. After just checking their site, it seems if you'd rather pay more monthly in lieu of setup fees, they're offering that as well.

Anyway, just thought I'd offer my experiences as advice. :)

Johncompanies.com (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 7 years ago | (#18619281)

They're great. They offer the choice of Linux VMs with RedHat or Debian, or FreeBSD VMs. They also support the open source tools that run their stuff by giving discounts to contributors.

Even through I am no longer with them (decided I didn't need a full VHost anymore so I am just with dreamhost.com) I highly recommend them.

http://www.johncompanies.com [johncompanies.com]

Re:Johncompanies.com (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | about 7 years ago | (#18619941)

I found their virtual server platform a bit unstable (unplanned outages happened every 2-3 weeks while I was a customer) and there were tons of changes to /etc files I would have to make..

Frankly, in a virtual host, I want to set it and forget it, except for security patches. If I have to update config files 2x a week because you're continuously tweaking the system, that's annoying.

Plus, if they're still charging $75/mo for a Redhat vserver, that's a bit rich.

Quality Virtual Hosting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619357)

I'm a satisfied Slicehost [slicehost.com] customer. Their hosting is Xen based, screaming fast, and more affordable than anything else I've seen. They don't do any hand holding, but if you know what you're doing they get out of your way.

Superb... (1)

gonk (20202) | about 7 years ago | (#18619489)

This is kind of a silly Slashdot question, just given the fact that you're going to get about a million different answers. Regardless, I'll toss in my vote for Superb[1]. I've had a box coloed there for years without any issues. They have given me a surprising amount of help, even going so far as to connect a KVM-over-IP to one of my servers without me even asking for it after they had exhausted their knowledge of the problem.

Take a look at their network. It is amazingly good:

      http://nsssc.superb.net/information/corenet-info.p hp [superb.net]

robert

[1] http://www.superbhosting.net/ [superbhosting.net]

Re:Superb... (1)

ClarkEvans (102211) | about 7 years ago | (#18620079)

I'm currently not hosting with superb (our company doesn't need alot of boxes in colocation), but when I did, we had great results with them. They were quite tolerant of our idiosyncratic requirements and had very good uptime and response. I'd definitely go with them if I had to rack a few servers. However, I'm not sure if they'd be the best choice for a virtual private server. If you're going dedicated though (not that expensive these days), Superb is an excellent choice.

Re:Superb... (1)

meglon (1001833) | about 7 years ago | (#18620233)

All of the decent Sys.admins have left Superb (apparently wanting to make more than 40k a year as a Unix admin in DC area is a bad thing at Superb/HopOne), and the owner is running half his NOC with no UPS; can get no more power from the building; and is lying to customers about a generator (one that wouldn't power the area he needs power to) being "backordered" when his 100% uptime goes down for extended periods.

They put the KVM up so you could do it yourself, because it saves them money, and half their admins don't have the basic knowledge of how to help you.

Superb used to be decent... when the owner decided to fire everyone making over $38,000 a year, well.. that included all the people that had helped him build that NOC in the first place, and all the ones that actually knew what they were doing.

Colo4Jax (1)

Rinisari (521266) | about 7 years ago | (#18619555)

I've been using Colo4Jax [colo4jax.com], a Jacksonville, Fla. company run by guys who really know what they're doing. I'm using a $30/mo Ubuntu VPS, but they have dedicated hosting as well as a $20/mo CentOS VPS package. I couldn't be happier with the service. I've also almost zero downtime, and when I've noticed that it was down, one email and about a half-an-hour was all it took to get it back up. Read the blurb on its home page, and I'm sure you'll be delighted.

Try a VPS (1)

Pigeon451 (958201) | about 7 years ago | (#18619565)

If you can't afford to get a dedicated server ($100+), try a VPS. I've heard fantastic things about http://www.leeware.com/ [leeware.com] , they have rather generous unmanaged packages starting at $15 a month. Essentially it's a dedicated machine with less CPU and memory, but you have root, can install/remove whatever you want, etc.

There are tons of offers and advice at www.webhostingtalk.com , your question has been asked a million times there already.

Voxel? (1)

casualsax3 (875131) | about 7 years ago | (#18619623)

If you're looking for servers in the NY Metro area I'd recommend www.voxel.net. I've been with Voxel for a few years now, and the experience has been nothing short of stellar. With regard to colocation, they recently opened up another NYC facility just for colocation, and it's sitting on their 10Gbit fiber ring. They don't really have pricing on the site other than their wholesale stuff, but I called and a quick quote yesterday for a half rack and a full rack with 10 amps of power and 10Mbit that was *really* competitive. I have a few servers in their SOHO facility, and my pingtimes and transfer rates from California are seriously comparable to local California vendors.

Tera-Byte (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619681)

I've always loved Tera-Byte. A hosting company out of Edmonton, AB, they'll build you a server to taste, or you can send them your own hardware to co-locate. http://web.tera-byte.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=serv ices.colocated [tera-byte.com]

Re:Tera-Byte (1)

Jeagoss (661909) | about 7 years ago | (#18620579)

I second this. I've been a tera-byte customer for about 4 years now. Very reliable service. And in the oh so rare occurrence of a problem, each time I have called I have reached a person directly. All of this without an automated help line :)

Hurricane Electric (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18619693)

They have a very good reputation, match your specs, and very knowledgeable people answering the phones. They've always been on my shortlist whenever I've had to research hosts (but it's important to say: I've never used them for one reason or another, so my experience is limited). Worth a look, at least: http://he.net/ [he.net]

Eapps.com is not bad (1)

Neumann (240442) | about 7 years ago | (#18619845)

Eapps.com [eapps.com] has plans starting at $10 USD a month. What you get is a VPS, with CentOS as the OS. You have root access, and so have full control. They are pretty quick on the Customer Service side, but its rare that you need Customer Service.

Slicehost (1)

najt (178981) | about 7 years ago | (#18620019)

For a VPS I suggest Slicehost [slicehost.com]. Xen for 20$/month. AJAX-ified management of your account, console access, DNS, great choice of distributions.

Also a great community on the forums and chat.

GrokThis.net & VPS Village (1)

GiMP (10923) | about 7 years ago | (#18620071)

I'm with GrokThis.net which offers dedicated, colo, and (xen) vps hosting. We also have a no-frills VPS brand, VPS Village. VPS Village offers accounts starting from $5/mo. Prices for a VPS from GrokThis start from $20/mo.

The difference is that VPS Village lacks the RAID and backups that provides the reliability and assurance that GrokThis.net customers enjoy. GrokThis.net's VPS plans also provide optionally-hosted DNS and email services, useful for customers simply looking to manage their web services. Both services utilize Xen, which means that memory resources are dedicated, not shared, as they are with many non-Xen providers.

Another option that many customers opt for are our Advanced accounts, from $15/mo. We're one of very few providers that provide dedicated web server processes. Customers get their own managed Apache, LigHTTPD, or Zope instance, with their own private configuration file. This is best for customers that are not looking to manage a server, but simply get their complex web configurations online, quickly and easily.

Mi-Connect.com (1)

rongage (237813) | about 7 years ago | (#18620121)

My company does that - Mi-Connect.com [mi-connect.com] - cheap colocation with good service. $49.95 a month with a 400 gig a month transfer limit for a 1u. $89.95 a month for a 4u. I can also do a dedicated server (my equipment, your control) starting at $89.95 a month. And no, I don't do "VSP" type hosting - too much potential for performance hits by having a single "host" getting popular.

My connectivity is good: 1 gig to level-3, OC-12 (620 meg) to Saavis and OC-3 (155 meg) to UUNet.

Layered Technologies (1)

robpoe (578975) | about 7 years ago | (#18620225)

http://www.layeredtech.com/ [layeredtech.com]

Rock solid for me. I've got a dual Xeon 2.8 / 2g ram / 2x500g SATA (RAID1). 10mb internet connection with 2(something) terabytes of transfer.

Check out their specials.

Re:Layered Technologies (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | about 7 years ago | (#18620501)

They're great aside from their total lack of any sort of decent support... A reload shouldn't take a week and a half, a KVM setup because they fucked the reload up shouldn't take 4 days. They should be monitoring tickets much more actively, I've sent in a reboot ticket with them once that took 3 hours. Basically, they're a bunch of incompetents. I moved all of my stuff over to http://www.softlayer.com/ [softlayer.com] which has a much better support system, much friendlier staff, and much better infrastructure in general. It's pricier, but hey, you get what you pay for.

Re:Layered Technologies (1)

robpoe (578975) | about 7 years ago | (#18621013)

I've not had any of those kinds of things. I ordered on a Friday, got it Monday afternoon. Small technical glitch (which was not a result of their f* up), resolved in a very short time.

Never needed any more than that. I've heard that it used to be a bit slower, but they're really on the ball to get things looked @..

1 suggestion, 1 non-suggestion, and 1 warning (1)

ThOr101 (515492) | about 7 years ago | (#18620547)

I just started with a company called cari.net and their service has been exemplary so far. I have really enjoyed working with them.

I was working with a company called valueweb.net and their DNS took a huge hit, and they came out with the statement "DNS is not a guaranteed service" My opinion of them took a hit.

The cari.net server I just turned up was on an IP address that wasn't on any black lists, but I've been getting bounces like this:
T=remote_smtp: SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection: host mx.west.cox.net [68.6.19.3]: 554 fed1rmimpi01.cox.net IMP X1.X.1XX.XX7 is locally blacklisted (Xs inserted by me)

from Cox.net and a similar message from sbcglobal.com. At least SBC has a way off the list, though I haven't had a reply yet. Tom a manager in the Northern Virginia Cox.net call center told me that my domain was on a CIA Domain Black list. Yeah, whatever. I'm still trying to get cox to unblacklist the domain.

--Brett

Re:1 suggestion, 1 non-suggestion, and 1 warning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18621453)

We need to start a blacklist for people who abuse blacklists.

We would probably need to share it via tor or another anonymous means to stop them from blacklisting us.

We could provide a small snippet of php code that people could put in their web pages, that would say "You are coming from an ISP that refuses our email. Please contact your ISP about this matter." and then redirects them to the appropriate page.

m5hosting.com (1)

_iris (92554) | about 7 years ago | (#18621037)

m5hosting.com is great if you don't mind spending $105/mo. Good service, good connectivity, no discernible botnet traffic.

Go VPS or dedicated (1)

monkeySauce (562927) | about 7 years ago | (#18621161)

Unless the Colo facility is nearby, I wouldn't go that route. How are you going to troubleshoot a hardware problem or what do you do in case of hardware failure?

Anyway, I would go for high end VPS or an entry-level dedicated server. You should be able to get something in the $40-$80 /month range. I have a dedicated server at $50/month, myself.

I too am a speakeasy customer (for now) but I only host secondary dns/mx on my speakeasy line. I'll drop some names now... some of these places I've used myself, some I have not.

serverbeach.com
1and1.com
vpslink.com
sonic.net/sales/colo/1u/
ev1servers.net / theplanet.com
rackmounted.com
gate.com
superbhosting.net
sevenl.net
hostrocket.com

So I listed mostly ded. providers... for more vps hosts, google "vps hosting" and be overwhelmed.

Rackmounted (1)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | about 7 years ago | (#18621265)

Try rackmounted.com [rackmounted.com]. For $50/month, this is what I get:

Budget Server running Linux / FreeBSD
1.8 GHz Celeron Processor
256 MB RAM
40 GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive(s)
8 IP Addresses
200 GB Data Transfer per Month

I don't think they offer this configuration anymore, it looks like the cheapest now is $64/month. They do offer colocation for $55/month. You can get any flavor of Linux or BSD and they have very competent techs. You can even have them host a mac mini or xserve for you. Checkout their network setup [rackmounted.com] and facility details [rackmounted.com]. I've had a good experience with them.

Larger scale? (1)

Tancred (3904) | about 7 years ago | (#18621495)

Anyone have a good resource link for larger scale than this question is covering? Looking for several (up to dozens) of cabinets in multiple locations. Must have multiple gigabit internet access links available. Concerned about cooling and power - cabinets will be dense and I understand some colo sites have had problems in those areas. Cabinet, power and bandwidth pricing are important as well. Not so concerned about location (though U.S. to start), remote hands and so on.

Re:Larger scale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18622241)

I have had pleasant dealings with Herakles Datacenter.

They are a high-end professional colocation facility. You can rent anything from individual slots in a shared rack to a private single rack to your own cage with as many racks as you need. They have top-notch cooling systems, redundant fire suppression systems, 24x7 monitoring. They can lease you Internet connectivity off their own backbone or cross-connect any circuit you need right to your rack/cage.

They have a single location, located in non-seismically active Sacramento, CA, but the facility is rated to withstand a Bay Area Zone 4 sized earthquake. (note: that's from their page, IANA Seismologist)

Not an employee or anything, just a satisfied customer.

linuxvps.org (1)

caluml (551744) | about 7 years ago | (#18621973)

My website is hosted with linuxvps.org [linuxvps.org]. Gentoo or Debian based vservers. They don't use UML or Xen - they use some paravirtualisation stuff, so you don't have access to kernel functions, and hence no iptables, but it is faster than UML or Xen. And there's always tcpd for restricting access to services via IP.

Anybody use cihost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18622135)

I've been admiring their prices on partial and full racks, I've toured their data center, but was generally uninimpressed with their setup. Wondering about their uptime and congestion on their network pipes...

Have you tried Slicehost or Bytemark? (1)

gpuk (712102) | about 7 years ago | (#18622213)

As per the subject, both these companies offer virtual machine instances at close to hosting company prices. You get root access to your own dedicated box, static IPs, a rnage of distros (Debian, RedHat, FreeBSD etc.) and an unfiltered net connection.

I have been a happy Bytemark customer for almost 2 years now - I use their basic VM package and run successfully run qmail, tinydns, pureftpd and apache from it. I have heard good things about slicehost and if I was in the market for an additional VM I would try them as their offerings are based around Xen rather than User-Mode Linux.

www.bytemark.co.uk
www.slicehost.com

do NOT use Layeredtech or SAVVIS resellers (1)

imunfair (877689) | about 7 years ago | (#18622545)

About six months ago I had a dedicated server with Layeredtech. Apparently AOL didn't like some of the posts on a forum I was hosting - so they complained to SAVVIS, calling the forum a "phishing" site. Even the rep who was checking into the complaint saw that it was not a phishing site, and decided to change the complaint to "Other" - filling in "Hacking site" on the report. Now just to clarify, the content they were complaining about was one thread with people discussing social engineering in general, but mostly just bragging about suspending or unsuspending AOL screennames.

This was apparently enough for layeredtech to label the entire forum as a hacking site, and insist that I remove the domain or have my entire server turned off. I didn't even see the email until they had shut off the server (they only gave me a few hours). Keep in mind this is a thread posted on a forum in the ARCHIVE section - threads that hadn't been posted on in months...

Long and short of it, I complained but they refused to change their stance or even be reasonable about it, so I moved my server out of the country to avoid more issues with AOL making unreasonable demands of my hosting providers. I now colo with PRQ in Sweden - and I've had a very good experience with them.

Please don't comment that I must have had illegal stuff on my forum, because I was very careful about removing warez and porn - file uploads weren't even allowed. It was a blatant quashing of free speech because they were asked to by a large corporation.

I like unixshell.com... (1)

mutterc (828335) | about 7 years ago | (#18622641)

... but the last time I checked, they were out of space and weren't selling any more virtual servers.

How about cheap and low-end side of things? (1)

Deagol (323173) | about 7 years ago | (#18623011)

I'm in the market for some dirt-cheap FreeBSD jail virtual hosts. I want to get each of my kids their own domains for their birthdays this year, with the intent of keeping them for at least until they either leave the nest or decide to get their own domains later on. I found this teaser [articlestree.com] article mentioning the possibility of $3/yr, but I haven't come across anything that I want yet.

I found a place a few years ago that was like $20 for a year, but I lost the info I had on them. It was a minimal account-based hosting setup, but it did the job.

I wish domains were cheaper, as it seems like on the really low end of hosting, the domain name seems to be most expensive part.

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