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  1. #1
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    SSD-powered VPSes: first results

    Hello,

    I was in quest of SSD-powered VPS/DSes. There are several providers available right now. The analysis isn't scientifically precise, but it gives some kind of general feeling about that.

    The task was to find most cost-performance efficient DS/VPS solutions at a cost equal or below 40 USD/month. I was ordering the most cheap solution (hence the result can't be very precise) and run several types of tests:

    1. Copying large files (command used looks like dd if=/dev/zero of=/home/2gb.dat bs=8k count=256k conv=fdatasync, "DD"), measured in MB/sec
    2. Byte UnixBench, "UB"
    3. Running a copy of site using 'heavy' engine such as Drupal ('heavy' in terms of disk I/O requests and computing required, not in terms of overall efficiency)


    Whereas the third option is hard to reliably measure, the first two can be. Here are the results ordered by UB rating decreasing:

    64u.com: UB score 1678, DD speed 352
    infinitie.net: UB 1128, DD 501
    vpsdeploy.com: UB 359, DD 216
    digicube.fr: UB 288, DD 99
    serveraxis.com: UB 251, DD 89

    I haven't tried miniVPS and SSDNodes yet (to be done in the future). If I haven't noticed any other SSD VPS providers able to provide a VPS at or below 40 USD/month, let me know.

    Comments on the providers.

    64u.com. They offer a single plan. Fantastic speed, quick professional setup. I like the first impression.

    infinitie.com. The most DD-efficient VPS I saw so far. The only problem I had were strangely long connection times from my location. I ad even decided to cancel the VPS, but in the last few days the situation changed, I decided to keep the lowest SSD VPS from them and used it for further testing.

    vpsdeploy.com. The general impression of this provider is it's too young so far. The site lacks certain useful information (such as 'About' page), but I will watch its development.

    digicube.fr. I used their only low-end SSD-powered dedicated server. Alas, even though the facility is run very professionally, the DS itself isn't too impressive. I'll watch their news, however, perhaps they will have more interesting things in stock in the near future.

    serveraxis.com: quick, efficient setup, overall feeling is rather positive. I cancelled their VPS, though, to me it's the least efficient (it doesn't mean all of their SSD VPS plans are - if I have time to test 'larger' plans, ratings can change)

    Currently I am using cloud hosting from bluelighthost.com, but if I firmly decide to move to SSD VPS, 64u.com and infinitie.com will be the first candidates, after at least 3-4 months come and I have better impression.

    I would be grateful for more SSD VPS providers suggestions. However, I can't guarantee I will do the comparison quick enough, since my month budget I use to order/test new VPSes isn't endless, and my day is limited by 24 hours.

    If the above results and further studying is of interest to someone, perhaps I'll run a site dedicated to finding and using good reliable inexpensive VPS/DS providers.

    Your suggestions and feedback on the mentioned providers are very welcome.

    I think it's rather unlikely, but if a SSD VPS provider would offer a VPS to run tests and watch overall stability (for a month), or offer moneyback, I will be glad to test that candidate. Most VPS providers do not grant moneyback at all, and in that case I am limited by a set budget I can exhaust.

    SSD-powered shared hosting will be studied later, when there are at least 5-10 reliable candidates.

    Sorry for several corrections of the post, it was really full of typos. This was the last correction.
    Last edited by Master Bo; 05-01-2012 at 07:53 PM. Reason: correction, typos
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  2. #2
    Nice testing.

    But if you care about SSD performance wouldn't it be better to look at random accesses (rather then sequential) and more thorough read-world simulations?

    Look into fio. See Fusion-IO's method to check basics and there is some other useful server patterns in fio's examples folder.

  3. #3
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    I am testing one at dotblock. Their price may be off a bit. So far they seem good. Quick support. Mainly I just want the admin section of WordPress to be instant

    I also have one at Storm on Demand but that one is $75. Like the control panel alot.

    Gonna check out 64u.com now.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavC View Post
    Nice testing.

    But if you care about SSD performance wouldn't it be better to look at random accesses (rather then sequential) and more thorough read-world simulations?

    Look into fio. See Fusion-IO's method to check basics and there is some other useful server patterns in fio's examples folder.
    Thanks for the reference. I used the same sequence of tests I do every time I get a VPS/DS. beyond the usual 'face control' and sanity checks prior to ordering.

    Yes, I will perhaps add more tests to have broader scale of results. My third test is VERY real-life, but save LoadImpact-type of tests it's hard to offer any meaningful figures.

    Talking of LoadImpact, my current host kept the same page loading time in case of up to 200 simultaneous concurrent requests. Not all the providers like the idea of heavy LoadImpact tests (since it's hard to tell from a DDoS)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cape Dave View Post
    I am testing one at dotblock. Their price may be off a bit. So far they seem good. Quick support. Mainly I just want the admin section of WordPress to be instant

    I also have one at Storm on Demand but that one is $75. Like the control panel alot.

    Gonna check out 64u.com now.
    Thanks for the references, adding to queue. When I grow to the above monthly price, I'll test the Storm as well.

    Please tell your impression from 64u.com, it would be interesting to learn.
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  5. #5
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    You will get better result if you use http://www.iozone.org/ .
    .
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    .

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by net View Post
    You will get better result if you use http://www.iozone.org/ .
    No problem, I'll add those tests as well. Thanks.
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  7. #7
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    Do you test IOPs, by any chance?
    A

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    Do you test IOPs, by any chance?
    Shall I?

    The only problem is, testing VPS always gives a generalization. I don't know how really busy is hardware, how real is the promised CPU/etc share. Those tests are for ideal cases, a "spherical ideal SSD in a physical vacuum".

    That means I can run as many tests as possible, but the one I mentioned saved me time and efforts many a time already, when I was looking for a VPS for a particular purpose.
    VPSeer: VPS-related benchmarks, news and how-tos.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterbo View Post
    Shall I?

    The only problem is, testing VPS always gives a generalization. I don't know how really busy is hardware, how real is the promised CPU/etc share. Those tests are for ideal cases, a "spherical ideal SSD in a physical vacuum".

    That means I can run as many tests as possible, but the one I mentioned saved me time and efforts many a time already, when I was looking for a VPS for a particular purpose.
    It would be cool if you added what SSDs each company was using. I mean, we proudly display that we use Samsungs, but I don't think I've seen some of the brands those companies use.
    A

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterbo View Post
    Shall I?

    The only problem is, testing VPS always gives a generalization. I don't know how really busy is hardware, how real is the promised CPU/etc share. Those tests are for ideal cases, a "spherical ideal SSD in a physical vacuum".

    That means I can run as many tests as possible, but the one I mentioned saved me time and efforts many a time already, when I was looking for a VPS for a particular purpose.

    SSD sequential performance is the same in most cases as rotational drives, IOPS / random access is where SSDs shine so by only testing sequential performance you're not really testing the SSD capabilities.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    It would be cool if you added what SSDs each company was using. I mean, we proudly display that we use Samsungs, but I don't think I've seen some of the brands those companies use.
    Yes, that's a point. I'll try to learn what I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWiseOne View Post
    SSD sequential performance is the same in most cases as rotational drives, IOPS / random access is where SSDs shine so by only testing sequential performance you're not really testing the SSD capabilities.
    The third, real-life test, gives the ultimate result.
    However, you're right, for the sake of objective results, I should use IOPS rating as well.
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  12. #12
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    It might also be worth noting not only the drives used (as EndServer suggested) but also what their arrangement is.

    Though this thread is a good reference as to what other providers can generally provide.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MannDude View Post
    It might also be worth noting not only the drives used (as EndServer suggested) but also what their arrangement is.
    I like that idea. Brand and setup.
    A

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    I like that idea. Brand and setup.
    By the way, will your SSD VPSes be only available in 10 days (14 hours, minutes, etc)?
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  15. #15

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by frmok View Post
    Hope to see more detailed results. Really a useful thread!
    I am currently running IOZone tests. After I run them all and gather stats, I'll give a link to the article with all the tests covered.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterbo View Post
    By the way, will your SSD VPSes be only available in 10 days (14 hours, minutes, etc)?
    Possibly sooner, but I really want to stick to the May 13th launch date.
    A

  18. #18
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    I think you need to fix the link you gave to this "infinitie.com" it's been taken down the website so what's the point of having them in the test? I would much rather see SSDNodes reviewed as they are on SoftLayer Network which would be interesting to see the results if anything will outperform it should defiantly be there! I know SSDNodes are using Micron P300's it would be also nice to know if we could be told what SSD's they're using Intel, Micron, etc just my observation...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik Holben View Post
    I think you need to fix the link you gave to this "infinitie.com" it's been taken down the website so what's the point of having them in the test? I would much rather see SSDNodes reviewed as they are on SoftLayer Network which would be interesting to see the results if anything will outperform it should defiantly be there! I know SSDNodes are using Micron P300's it would be also nice to know if we could be told what SSD's they're using Intel, Micron, etc just my observation...
    That's my typo.
    The site is infinitie.net.

    As for SSDNodes, they're in queue.
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  20. #20
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    TWIMC: below is the list of SSD VPS service providers on my list (those not yet included in the testing/reveiwing process):

    miniVPS.co.uk
    VirtualSRV.com
    stormondemand.com
    PieServ.com (their Minecraft servers are SSD-powered)
    SSDNodes.com
    en.edis.at
    quickweb.co.nz
    evoserver.ro
    dotblock.com
    mclayer.com
    avantehosting.net

    Any more host suggestions are very welcome. The actual schedule of VPS testing can vary depending on many a factor. I suppose I'll test them all by mid-summer.

    I also appreciate the offer of VirtualSRV owner, who created a test SSD VPS server to be used for testing purposes and review creation.

    Also, I am constructing a site, vpseer.com, where this detailed review (and other VPS/DS-related topics of interest) will be posted. Look at my signature from time to time.
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  21. #21
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    Are you testing similar VPS sizes? Also, you can add us to the list, we'll be open pretty soon and you don't want to forget about us . What is your budget for each test server?
    A

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    Are you testing similar VPS sizes? Also, you can add us to the list, we'll be open pretty soon and you don't want to forget about us . What is your budget for each test server?
    It's impossible to use the same sizes, in fact. Since the amount and speed of RAM, CPU power etc differ, it's hard to match these parameters.

    For example, 64u.com has the single plan:

    4Gb RAM
    1x Intel i7 2600 (3.4GHz)
    30GB SSD
    300GB SATA

    It would be difficult to match, in fact. This is why I enclose UnixBench rating, it gives relative computing efficiency.

    I spend 100-150 USD monthly on ordering VPSes/other things I test and review.

    No problem adding you to the list, just PM/email me when you open (if I somehow miss the event).
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  24. #24
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    Good to see some comprehensive benchmarks targeted at SSD-based platforms specifically.

    Some things though. Unixbench is mostly a test of CPU power and doesn't provide really any meaningful results on disk performance. Sequential disk IO via dd is also pretty pointless when testing SSDs.

    Testing random IO via various tools is one great synthetic benchmark of different SSD platforms, while real-world benchmark tests on active websites is also great.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orien View Post
    Good to see some comprehensive benchmarks targeted at SSD-based platforms specifically.

    Some things though. Unixbench is mostly a test of CPU power and doesn't provide really any meaningful results on disk performance. Sequential disk IO via dd is also pretty pointless when testing SSDs.

    Testing random IO via various tools is one great synthetic benchmark of different SSD platforms, while real-world benchmark tests on active websites is also great.
    In the earlier thread, I was told that fio/iozone should be used to provide IOPS/idsk efficiency data.

    I agreed.

    Since all the VPS plans differ in terms of resources, and, actually, any benchmark can give different results when run several times (due to the fluctuations due to host machine's load etc), I will provide all the benchmarks: UnixBench to give overall computing power, DD/sequential write, IOZone tests on a large file and fio tests as well.

    Also, I will load a test site imitating an average user site with 'heavy' database and run LoadImpact-like tests on it as well.

    All the mentioned benchmarks will give more or less real-life power of the VPS.
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