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  1. #1

    Question Looking for a Hybrid provider (dedicated + VPS)

    I'm responsible for the operations side of things for an existing web application. Our traffic isn't incredibly heavy (maybe 3-9 requests/second), but the size of our data set is growing rapidly (though it's still not big by any stretch). We're on EC2 currently, but are in a state where it's time to re-evaluate that decision, as we're not making use of the auto-scaling features like we thought we would. We knew the performance wouldn't be great per dollar, but found it to be a little worse than expected.

    What we're looking for is a reliable and affordable un-managed hybrid provider. We'd like to kick our DB servers out to dedicated machines, and potentially our web application servers, but run the rest on cheaper VMs (which we don't want to maintain the host machine for). The specifics aren't too important, but the gist of it is that we want to be able to spin up/destroy VMs immediately to complement an initially small handful of dedicated machines.

    Important to re-iterate on: We don't want managed servers. We've got a good deal of administrative experience in-house, and have our house in pretty good order. We're a small business, so the expense for managed servers is super hard to justify given that we're perfectly capable of managing things ourselves.

    On the dedicated server spec side, I don't anticipate our DB server will need more than 4-8 GB of RAM for a while. Probably closer to the 4GB side than the 8GB. We'd prefer a multi-core machine. Drives could be small, though we'd want a RAID'd pair. We've got good backup/restore systems in place, so as long as we have our failover machine, we're not incredibly concerned about hardware failure there.

    We've had a surprisingly hard time finding reputable services that actually list their pricing, so our preference would be a service that does. I don't have the desire to sit through sales calls or ask for quotes.

    A few that we've looked at:
    • SoftLayer - Seems super expensive, but I'm sure it's of good quality at that price.
    • DataShack - Seems interesting. Website seems a little shoddy, but I've heard good things on here about them. Not sure if their management pane will allow the quick provisioning of VMs.
    • Rackspace Dedicated - We don't want/need a managed service. Seems woefully over-priced at the lower end.
    • OVH US - I was a bit wary after hearing that they cut you off without notice if you get DOS'd. I think the plan was that they'd eventually add VMs to their offerings in the US, but I see that the inactive link has vanished recently.


    I'd love to hear some more ideas. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by lslh; 10-29-2013 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Forgot to mention this, but we're located in the US on the east coast. We'd prefer a provider on the east coast or central US.

  3. #3
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    Try check superb.net, leaseweb.com (US location) too. Both could offer cloud and dedi at once.
    Rustelekom LLC Dedicated server since 2002, RIPE NCC member, LIR, AS51168

  4. #4
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    Why don't you just go with 1-2 dedicated machines and virtualize it yourself for the web applications?
    Would that be a solution or doesn't it have your preference?
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by 24x7group View Post
    Why don't you just go with 1-2 dedicated machines and virtualize it yourself for the web applications?
    Would that be a solution or doesn't it have your preference?
    It would be possible down the road as our manpower and operating capital expands, but right now it'd be a bit more than we'd want to get into. We've got redundancy at every level of our stack, so we'd basically need to operate two separate larger dedicated servers at minimum to do that (in addition to the rest of our dedicated server fleet).

    If the provider handles that aspect of things for us, we can just spin up and destroy VMs as we go without worrying about the state and capacity of our theoretical 2+ dedicated VM hosts.

  6. #6
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    It might also be interesting to put it all on 1 machine, virtualize it and for example put your MYSQL on an SSD disk for better performance and host your web applications on another virtual machine on a SATA drive.

    If saving costs is the most important factor, it might be more interesting than to go for 1 dedicated and 1 VPS (cost-wise).
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rustelekom View Post
    Try check superb.net, leaseweb.com (US location) too. Both could offer cloud and dedi at once.
    I've peeked at LeaseWeb, and it does seem like they've got very reasonable pricing for VPS and dedicated. Does anyone have any experience with either or both sides of them? The pricing for the KVM VMs in particular seems to be really solid.

  8. #8
    Any opinions on LeaseWeb vs OVH US? OVH US sure is cheap, but it seems like they have quite a few network issue compared to most. Maybe part of it is that they're still getting established up there.

  9. #9
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    The SSD database you could place on a SSD Cloud instance initially, that will likely give faster throughput and I/O then a small dedicated server (unless you want a very large database server).
    Swiftway.net Your Business deserves our Quality - Experts on Hand since 2005. Europe & US locations, we operate our own network AS35017
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  10. #10
    Try reliableservers.com or reliablesite.net. There are many providers on the east coast. Best is to look in the Dedicated offers section.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by alons View Post
    Try reliablesite.net
    Thank you for the recommendation!
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    The SSD database you could place on a SSD Cloud instance initially, that will likely give faster throughput and I/O then a small dedicated server (unless you want a very large database server).
    For about $100, I can get a dedicated server that is a lot more consistently performant than a copmarable VPS. Also, an SSD VPS has to contend with its neighbors on the host, and if we're hitting the disk frequently on a DB server we're hosed anyway. Postgres does a really good job of interacting with the disks in the most efficient way possible.

    I sure would like to hear some opinions on LeaseWeb vs OVH US. Any thoughts, anyone?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lslh View Post
    For about $100, I can get a dedicated server that is a lot more consistently performant than a comparable VPS
    A good $10,- to $25,- per month SSD cloud instance will outperform that $100,- / month dedicated server when it comes to IOPS.
    $100,- / month will give you a dedicated server with 1 maybe 2 SSD drives and a write speed of up to 100 000 IOPS and a read speed of up to 200 000 IOPS in RAID-0 and half that write speed when using RAID-1.
    Well setup SSD storage arrays can do 3500 000 IOPS write and 7000 000 IOPS read, even shared amongst other instances the instances on such storage arrays will outperform single dedicated servers with 1 or 2 SSDs and this solution is far more scalable in the process, as you can resize the Instance from 1 core to 64 cores and from several gigabyte ram to 256GB ram or more, the scalability, reliability and performance from a well setup SSD cloud will be the best solution in this case.
    Once a client needs ~500 000 IOPS+ read performance then choosing a dedicated server will be more cost effective solution.
    Swiftway.net Your Business deserves our Quality - Experts on Hand since 2005. Europe & US locations, we operate our own network AS35017
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by swiftnoc View Post
    A good $10,- to $25,- per month SSD cloud instance will outperform that $100,- / month dedicated server when it comes to IOPS.
    $100,- / month will give you a dedicated server with 1 maybe 2 SSD drives and a write speed of up to 100 000 IOPS and a read speed of up to 200 000 IOPS in RAID-0 and half that write speed when using RAID-1.
    Well setup SSD storage arrays can do 3500 000 IOPS write and 7000 000 IOPS read, even shared amongst other instances the instances on such storage arrays will outperform single dedicated servers with 1 or 2 SSDs and this solution is far more scalable in the process, as you can resize the Instance from 1 core to 64 cores and from several gigabyte ram to 256GB ram or more, the scalability, reliability and performance from a well setup SSD cloud will be the best solution in this case.
    Once a client needs ~500 000 IOPS+ read performance then choosing a dedicated server will be more cost effective solution.
    If you're hitting the disk heavily with Postgres (or most RDBMs), you're going to be slow. Hitting the disk is a LAST resort, as even an SSD is something to the tune of 32x slower than RAM.

    For a DB server, the answer is more RAM, not disk. I can get a lot more RAM per dollar going dedicated. Right now I can keep our entire data set memory resident at that $100 figure, so disks don't come into play in any meaningful way.

    I don't really want to argue with you on this, I'm not putting a DB server on a VPS, SSD or not. Do you have any input on the two providers I mentioned?

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