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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
    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/ .
    is the place to be.
    .
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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?
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  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.
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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.
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  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.
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  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
    Hope to see more detailed results. Really a useful thread!

  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.
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  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?
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  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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  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    I like that idea. Brand and setup.
    Yes, this would be truly interesting!
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  27. #27
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    You would probably need to setup your own site if you wanted to keep it easily updated and what-not.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndServer View Post
    You would probably need to setup your own site if you wanted to keep it easily updated and what-not.
    If you mean site related, including, to the SSD VPS benchmarks, then it's being created.

    In 1-2 days the site will go live and the detailed benchmarks will appear there. For those impatient I can post read/write IOPS ratings right here in the thread.
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  29. #29
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    Try CleverKite

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerdie View Post
    Try CleverKite
    CleverKite is an interesting cloud provider. Thanks, added it, as well.
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  31. #31
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    I appreciate the offer by Chris of Avante Hosting Services, Inc. - he created a standard performance SSD VPS for me to run tests.

    The tests will be under way shortly.
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  32. #32
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    OK, here we go. The site is up and running (see my signature), and here's the direct link to the chart being built:

    SSD VPS performance chart

    Recently added:
    64u.com

    I'll post updates to this thread as more plans are added.
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  33. #33
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    I have a VirtualSRV & PieServ with the SSD (supposedly) on OpenVZ. If you let me know the exact commands I can do that for your chart/info. They expire soon so please PM me if possible the info so I can do it right away. Hope it helps out.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by doughnet View Post
    I have a VirtualSRV & PieServ with the SSD (supposedly) on OpenVZ. If you let me know the exact commands I can do that for your chart/info. They expire soon so please PM me if possible the info so I can do it right away. Hope it helps out.
    Thanks for you assistance. I suppose I will give all the instructions here, perhaps someone else could be interested.

    I use 64-bit OS (preferably CentOS 6.x or 5.x, as updated as possible), so I suppose you're familiar with that environment.

    Byte UnixBench

    Download it from this page. I give the instructions assuming you've downloaded the file UnixBench5.1.3.tgz from the above link and placed into /usr/local/src/arc

    Also, make sure that Perl module Time::HiRes is installed. On CentOS 6.x, with EPEL installed, this is ensured by running 'yum install Perl-Time-HiRes', on other OSes you could have to use Perl CPAN shell to install it (make sure gcc/c++ is installed). Contact me if there are problems.
    Code:
    mkdir -p /usr/local/src/install
    cd /usr/local/src/install
    tar zxf ../arc/UnixBench5.1.3.tgz
    cd UnixBench
    make
    ./Run
    Now make yourself a good cup of coffee, since it could take quite a time. if possible, stop all the applications on the VPS/DS (Web server, MySQL etc).

    The results will be in results/ directory.

    Iozone

    Open this page, scroll down to "Download Source" and download 'Stable tarball'. In the code below I assume you downloaded iozone3_405.tar into /usr/local/src/arc :
    Code:
    cd /usr/local/src/install
    tar xf ../arc/iozone3_405.tar
    cd iozone3_405/src/current
    Now run
    Code:
    make linux
    for 32-bit Linux OS (run 'uname -a' to make sure you choose the right command), or
    Code:
    make linux-AMD64
    Consult the enclosed doc files if in doubt. After the binary has been built
    Code:
    mkdir report
    ./iozone -O -R -a | tee -a report/auto.out
    ./iozone -O -R -r 4k -s 1m | tee -a report/1m.out
    ./iozone -O -R -r 4k -s 10m | tee -a report/10m.out
    ./iozone -O -R -r 4k -s 100m | tee -a report/100m.out
    ./iozone -O -R -r 4k -s 1000m | tee -a report/1000m.out
    That, too, can be quite slow process. Take the five report files from report directory after all is done.

    fio

    If yum/whatever doesn't know anything about 'fio' (run 'yum search fio'), you can take it from this link. The instructions below are for the case you have to build it from sources. I assume you have the fio-2.0.7.tar.gz file in /usr/local/src/arc (you could require installing libaio-devel package, by the way):
    Code:
    cd /usr/local/src/install
    tar zxf ../arc/fio-2.0.7.tar.gz
    cd fio-2.0.7
    make
    make install
    Now we assume you have 4Gb of SSD space required.
    Code:
    mkdir ~/tmp
    cd ~/tmp
    fio --bs=4k --size=128m --direct=1 --runtime=10 --rw=randread \
         --numjobs=32 --group_reporting --time_based --name=128m | \
        tee -a iops-32jobs-128m-4k-10sec-randread.txt
    fio --bs=4k --size=128m --direct=1 --runtime=10 --rw=randwrite \
        --numjobs=32 --group_reporting --time_based --name=128m | \
        tee -a iops-32jobs-128m-4k-10sec-randwrite.txt
    rm -f 128m.*
    There will be two files remaining in the temporary directory, those contain IOPS results.

    Hope the above will be useful. Of course you could use any other directories/file names.
    Last edited by Master Bo; 05-03-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: correction
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  35. #35
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    Added to the chart:

    Avante Hosting
    Blue Light Host
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterbo View Post
    Now make yourself a good cup of coffee, since it could take quite a time.
    It's brewing... this is very interesting result Konstantin great work I'm subscribed too

  37. #37
    As more and more data is collected, I guess a ranking list can be made.

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Novosibirsk, Russia
    Posts
    1,592
    Quote Originally Posted by Henrik Holben View Post
    It's brewing... this is very interesting result Konstantin great work I'm subscribed too
    Thanks Henrik, In fact, this research/testing is very interesting to me. I have already found a good SSD-based hosting for my main sites - hosting that is both faster and less expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by frmok View Post
    As more and more data is collected, I guess a ranking list can be made.
    I think yes. So far the following providers have at least one of their plans covered:

    64u.com
    avantehosting.net
    bluelighthost.com
    digicube.fr
    infinitie.net
    virtualsrv.com

    CleverKite and VPSDeploy are currently in process. Also, I was asked to run the same benchmarks for Amazon EC2 instances. Will that be of interest to anyone here?
    VPSeer: VPS-related benchmarks, news and how-tos.
    "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who haven't lost important data yet, and those who do regular backups."
    Network and Server Monitoring Tool - uptime and performance monitoring

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    181
    Add PieServ to your list. I'm doing the tests right now while I go to work (take long)

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Novosibirsk, Russia
    Posts
    1,592
    Quote Originally Posted by doughnet View Post
    Add PieServ to your list. I'm doing the tests right now while I go to work (take long)
    PieServ is already on the list, thanks.
    It would be interesting to see the results.
    VPSeer: VPS-related benchmarks, news and how-tos.
    "There are two kinds of people in the world, those who haven't lost important data yet, and those who do regular backups."
    Network and Server Monitoring Tool - uptime and performance monitoring

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