You just can't go wrong with...which VPS provider? ;-)
I've been playing around with some cheap OpenVZ and it just isn't proving fast enough.
My Experience So Far
I'm looking for a VPS to run my personal wordpress, as well as a very small (2 user) mediawiki. The wordpress is no particularly CPU-intensive. There are some plugins, etc. but it's not generating a lot of CPU usage.
Honestly, the requirements are light enough that I could easily host it on a shared account. I just like having a VPS to play with as it gives me a lot of freedom and keeps me familiar with the sysadmin game.
With OpenVZ VPSes, the latency drives me nuts. Sometimes when I login, they respond quickly (in ssh). Other times there's a long lag. Sometimes one page will load quickly...other times there will be a looooong pause in the middle of one graphic or something, and then the rest will finish quickly. Then the next page will load quickly, then the next one will be very slow. Same experience either from my work (a Fortune 500 HQ with tons of Internet connectivity) or home (with my DSL). And same for two different providers. Granted, I'm only paying $6-7 a month with each. I often find that if I actively use the VPS it works at a good speed, but if I don't use it for a while, there's a long pause at that first usage - perhaps swapping in.
Could be different VPS instances fighting over disk or something. Or the services are oversubscribed. It may just be the nature of OpenVZ.
What I'm Looking For
So what I'm looking for is a VPS with...
a small but reasonable amount of RAM. I really shouldn't need more than 512MB. I have yet to see the instance go over 300MB used and it's usually more like 200MB. My normal stack is Apache w/PHP + MySQL. 512MB/1024MB should be fine.
am I right in thinking that Xen is probably a better choice? I really would like consistent performance. Does XenPV vs. XenHVM matter? The typical provider templates (as far as OS images/kernels/etc.) have worked fine.
some disk space but not a ton. I could probably fit into 15-20GB.
probably don't need a high bandwidth cap - most of the packages I've seen have been 500-1000GB which should be more than enough.
unmanaged. A panel where I can reinstall the OS at will is all I need. I don't need cpanel or anything like that.
I run CentOS 32-bit linux and don't really feel like changing.
I'm in the USA, West Coast. It doesn't absolutely have to be here but preferably not Svalbard or something.
backup is a big plus but not absolutely vital. I do my own offsite backups anyway.
...and the #1 thing is very good reputation here on WHT and in general. I really am looking for "you just can't go wrong with..." I'm not hosting a business or anything, but I would really like a hassle-free service (as much as possible) even if it's a little more a month.
I'm thinking I should be able to get this for $15-20 a month? Feel free to adjust that attitude if needed.
One alternative I've been toying with is consolidating all of my online services. I pay $20 a month for Dropbox, $5 for Evernote, a few bucks for Toodledo, and probably $5-10 for other stuff. I could theoretically code some things up to replace these services and host it all myself (e.g., a wiki instead of Evernote with a custom email gateway, rsync for Dropbox, etc.) I would need significantly more disk space to do this, but perhaps at that point I'd be at a better price point? Probably still far below what a dedicated server would cost.
I know you're not looking for OpenVZ, but honestly I think you're just unlucky because I have a couple OpenVZ VPS that are blazing fast and have awesome performance. One of them is hosted at CleverKite and I've received nothing but excellent service from them, and I have honestly tried to find something wrong with them but at the moment I can't really think of anything. If you check the VPS offers, you'll see they have a 30% off your first month deal going on.
If you're still prejudiced against OpenVZ, Linode.com is good like everyone is saying. Also, if you don't mind paying less for less specs, Webbynode.com has some nice Xen VPS as well starting at $10 for a 256mb RAM plan. Like Linode, they have made their own custom CP but their niche is fast deployment environments. Still, it's not a bad deal at all and I've heard only good things about them as well. Also, you may be able to find a coupon for them somewhere.
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This definitely isn't the nature of OpenVZ. It's likely that the nodes were simply overloaded.
Originally Posted by rds100
If the nodes are oversubscribed it doesn't matter much if it is OpenVZ or Xen or whatever - performance will suck.
Yep, exactly that. Virtuozzo (and by extension, also OpenVZ) is not fundamentally inconsistent - but if providers overload nodes and oversubscribe node resources (particularly guilty in terms of RAM which is why you see a tendency towards large figures like 1GB for very cheap packages) stuff will hit the fan.
For one thing this is why it's better to use a provider offering only guaranteed RAM, and for another it's worth remembering that any use of swap is pretty terminal to performance in an virtualized environment: using swap should be avoided in a physical system as you know, but imagine multiplying that problem and running it on some poor RAID 1 array as many providers do!
The virtualization tech isn't the problem. It's the providers running it... (it = any given technology).
I've used Linode in the past, and if you're ok with $20/month and the 200GB bandwidth limit, a Linode 512 in Fremont, CA would be #1.
Otherwise, you could check out Kazila and Lightwave. I've got Xen VPSs with both of those providers. Lightwave would be nice because it's in San Jose, CA, but last I checked they were out of stock. Kazila is in Texas.
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