*not* just another blog ;)

Reviewing Wishosting's "KVM SSD Plus LA" VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Here we are again, reviewing yet another VPS from Wishosting, this time its their "KVM SSD Plus LA" plan, which has the following specs:

  • 4 vCPU cores Intel Xeon E5-2650
  • Unlimited CPU cores 2.4GHz Turbo
  • 16GB ECC RAM
  • 80GB SSD
  • Linux/Windows OS
  • Bandwidth 250Mbps
  • Traffic 8TB
  • 1 IPv4
  • Private networking
  • Location - Los Angeles
  • Setup time up to 24 hours
  • Price: $15.99/month

What I love about Wishosting's VPS is they come with no limits on the CPU usage. You can run ANYTHING and make 100% usage of the resources advertised. I think other providers should do the same, they could learn something from Wishosting.

Apart from that, they have extremely friendly and helpful support - when I speak with Michael he's so damn professional in his ticket etiquette - again, other providers should take a page out of his book!

They use a system which is called OpenNebula which is a breath of fresh air after seeing so many SolusVM hosts. I really like the fact that you can basically treat a VPS as a resource pool. This one comes with 4 cores and 16GB of RAM plus 80GB SSD. I could split this into 4 VMs if I wanted to. It's nice to know those options exist.

Anyway, let's have a look at the performance of this KVM.

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  1999.999 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 16051 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   4 min,       
I/O speed:  275 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.55s
Download 100MB file: 95.0MB/s

:) :) That I/O is nice, 6 second bzip is also nice. But 95MB/sec looks a lot like gigabit speeds to me, and it's only advertised as 250mbit!

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  1999.999 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 16051 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   6 min,       
I/O speed:  506 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 7.79s
Download 100MB file: 103MB/s

Consistent as we can see here, the I/O jumped the second time round which is typical with these benchmarks.

Here's another "benchmark" you may be interested in:

[2018-02-28 12:02:54] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 126.4 133.3 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:02:59] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 101.0 131.3 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:03:04] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 89.6 129.4 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s
[2018-02-28 12:03:09] speed 2.5s/60s/15m 101.6 127.5 n/a H/s max: 145.8 H/s

I thought I'd run that for a minute to see what it's like, the CPU supports AES-NI and this is on 3 of the 4 cores :)

I've reviewed plenty of servers in the past, and a few from Wishosting, but this is the first Wishosting server I've had which is located in LA, which has great connectivity to Australia. I'm happy with the way this performs, I could probably easily justify keeping this server as a web server with the 80GB SSD it's insanely fast.

If you're looking for a speedy, beefy KVM with some kickass specs for a reasonable price, I'd recommend this package from Wishosting.

Cloud resource pools

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I thought I'd write up on cloud resource pools. Some VPS providers offer a pool of resources which you can use to make up multiple VPS for yourself, or to resell. They vary in shapes and sizes, but they're basically the same principle.

I've found that these are incredibly useful for spinning up a quick VPS for testing or playing around.

I'll be looking at one of the resource pools from WootHosting since they're cheap enough :)

The deal I'm looking at can be found here.

For $50/year you get the following:

  • 8 GB RAM
  • 200 GB RAID-10 Storage
  • 20TB Monthly Bandwidth
  • 1Gbps port
  • 6 IPv4 Addresses
  • 300 IPv6 Addresses
  • Deploy Instances in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Chicago
  • Create up to 6 VPS
  • Each VPS has 4 cores (not mentioned anywhere on their site)

We can create up to 6 VPS with this pool, or combine them into 1 massive VPS. We're given a control panel where we can add "users" and create VPS easily. Keep in mind that these are allowed to be resold too, and the control panel is white labelled, meaning there is no WootHosting branding or anything like that - nobody would know.

Today I'm going to focus only on setting up a single VPS with all of the resources combined, so we'd have a VPS with the following specs:

  • 4 CPU cores (Xeon E5620 @ 2.4ghz)
  • Set up in LA
  • 8GB RAM
  • 20TB Bandwidth (gigabit!)
  • 200GB HDD
  • 6 IPv4 addresses and 50 IPv6 (I'm not even going to use them I don't think, it's just for testing at this stage)

So now that I've built that, I'm going to do a benchmark:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5620  @ 2.40GHz
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  2127.973 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 8192 MB
System uptime:   26 min,       
I/O speed:  134 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 16.54s
Download 100MB file: 99.55MB/s

We can see that the specs have combined, and it's pretty decent :) When you consider the low price, that's a high end VPS!

Since I now have this for a year, I'm going to try to find something for it to do. My thoughts so far consist of either:

  • Running a nice Plex server (LAX has the best connectivity to Australia)
  • Running a web server with VestaCP and making use of those extra IPs
  • 200GB of backups, but then the CPU and RAM go to waste.
  • I could mine on it until I decide (I like this idea, let's try that now..)

Curious to see what hashrate I get here..

Hmm, the CPU doesn't support AES-NI which means mining is not going to work too well, but I'm getting about 50h/sec.

Curiously, WootHosting have a rather large collection of servers in this pool, and I know from past experience that quite a few of their servers support AES-NI which is great!

That's one of the best things about these pools though, if you happen to get a bad IP or maybe a crowded server (let's face it, at this price it will be oversold and Woot are famous for overselling lol) then you can just destroy and create a new one until you get something awesome.

Anyway, I will play around some more with this and see how I go. In a previous article I wrote up about a MONSTER VPS which costs about $30/month and comes with a crazy amount of features. I'm probably not going to renew that, for that price I could get a dedi ;)

If you want to play around with one of these, the deal is here

If you have one and you have found something cool to do with it, please let me know in the comments below or email me dave at this website dot com :)

List of dirt cheap (<$20/year) VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I have added a new section to this website, which lists dirt cheap VPS which are under $20 per year. All providers on that list I have personally used and tested.

Enjoy! :)


A quick look at Alpharacks reseller hosting

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I'm going to have a quick look at an Alpharacks shared hosting reseller plan, as a follow up to my earlier post about their standard shared hosting for 99 cents per year.

Here's the details of the plan:

Reseller Starter Plan 15 GB Secure Disk Space 600 GB Monthly Bandwidth Shared IP Address Create Unlimited Sub-Accounts Create Shared Hosting Accounts cPanel/WHM Control Panel Softaculous Auto-Installer LiteSpeed Web Server Powered CloudLinux Optimized DDoS Protection Included Reseller Resources Tool Instantly Activated $6 per year ORDER NOW

$6/year is an excellent price, you basically get the same as what you'd get for 99 cents, except you can create cPanel sub-accounts to resell, or even to use for your own domains of course.

Basically I signed up for this just to confirm if it's on a different server to their 99 cent shared hosting, which it is not. It's hosted on the same server - their "latitude" server which I looked at in my last review.

TL;DR: It's great value, network is excellent, but the stats that cPanel report show ~20 load on 8 cores/threads and a 97% full disk. No noticable slowdowns or downtime.

I would recommend this over Woothosting's offers, if you need something semi-reliable. I'm not claiming it's a replacement for a $10+/month service from a bigger company, but for the price there's hardly any reason to complain :)

I recently signed up for a shared hosting package from Alpharacks which has the following specs:

Shared Hosting Special #1: - 15 GB Space - 200 GB Monthly Bandwidth - 1 Hosted Domain - Shared IP address - cPanel Control Panel - Softaculous Auto-Installer - LiteSpeed Web Server Powered - CloudLinux Optimized - DDoS Protection Included - Instantly Activated - $0.99/year (you read it right, 99 cents per year, price never goes up, there is no catch! Perfect plan for those looking to start a website) ORDER NOW

99 cents.. wow!

I'll be honest, my expectations are extremely low at this point. But for less than $1 what the heck, I'll try it out, even if I never use it.

After my experiences with Woothosting's cheap servers, I'm a little skeptical about anything cheap. So, the first thing I did was log into cPanel and look at the server stats.

Here's a screenshot: Vital stats from cPanel

Key points:

  • 21 load on an 8 core/thread server means it's about to go into meltdown.
  • 40% memory usage is actually very reasonable.
  • Swap is 100%... wait.. why are they swapping when there's plenty of RAM available.. hmm..
  • The disk is 97% full (or is that 3% empty?)
  • At least the tmp folders have room to breathe.

Okay, so we could pick on the server due to it's stats, but in practice that's not a reliable indicator of real world performance.

I have performed a few tests to see how it actually handles.

  • I installed Wordpress (which is pretty resource hungry, exactly why I don't use it on this blog) and it actually works great! I have had no issues loading it up by installing themes and plugins galore. I didn't expect that to work as well as it did to be honest!
  • The server seems to be hosted in LAX, which means I should be able to get a decent speed from here in Australia.
  • I'm able to max out my 100mbit NBN connection both uploading AND downloading. Here's the test file I uploaded if you want to check it for yourself.

No complaints really, it actually seems stable!

I'm hosted on their "latitude" server, which seems to be dedicated to this particular cheap offer. I can see the server is well used (and abused) but it's solid. It actually defies logic.

For 99 cents a year it'd be an absolute bargain even at twice the price.

Would I host something critical like a business website? Probably not.. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who is running a small hobby site where potential downtime isn't an issue.

Compared with Woothosting, this is amazing. Check out my review of Woothosting's shared hosting for reference.

If you want to get in on this Alpharacks deal, click here.

Proxmox allows a lot of powerful options when it comes to shared file systems, but nothing could be simpler than using sshfs and adding the directory to Proxmox as a storage option for backups, VMs and ISOs.

In my case, I have 2 Proxmox servers and a 3rd server running Ubuntu which I would like to store backups on.

I my 2 Proxmox servers which are an i5 and an i7 from SerweryDedyKowane.pl which are both hosted on the same network in Poland, and the backup server is an i5 V-Dedi from Wishosting which is hosted in Canada.

Here's what I did:

First, I set up sshfs to point to the storage on the backup server.

In this example, I have set up sshfs on both Proxmox servers. So, on each Proxmox server there is a folder called /mnt/remotebackup which is where I'd like to store my backups.

In the Proxmox UI, we need to click on Datacenter then click on Storage. From there, we need to Add a Directory.

  • I gave mine the ID of remotebackup
  • For Directory, I put in /mnt/remotebackup which if you're following this example, feel free to change to what you're using.
  • For Content, I have selected VZ Dump Backup File which allows me to store backups there. I have not tried using it to store anything else, but I plan to test that out at some stage.
  • Nodes are set to all, Enabled set with a tick, same with Shared.
  • I have set Max Backups to 5, but you can change that as you wish. This is the number of copies of the backup it will keep before it starts deleting the old ones to make room for new ones.

Now that we have that set up, on BOTH Proxmox servers (In my case, it actually copied across by itself so you may only need to do it once, but if not, do it on all the other Proxmox servers) - we can start using the storage.

To verify that backups will work, I will select a VM, and then go to the Backup tab and click on Backup Now - on this screen make sure that Storage is showing the new storage we made, in my case it's called remotebackups

Go ahead an make a backup, it'll take a little while depending on the size of the VM but it will be stored on the remote server.

Neat eh?

Setting up SSHFS

- Posted in Quick Tip by with comments

Today I will be setting up SSHFS, which will allow me to mount a remote folder as a local folder by using SSH.

In this example, I will be creating a folder called remotestorage which will link to a remote folder on a remote server.

First thing we need to do is install SSHFS:

sudo apt update & apt install -y sshfs

Then we need to create the local mount point, just like this:

sudo mkdir /mnt/remotestorage

Now, we can manually mount the remote folder:

sudo sshfs -o allow_others [email protected]:/ /mnt/remotestorage

Log in as requested, and you should be able to see the contents of your remote folder.

If you want to unmount, we just need to do this:

sudo umount /mnt/remotestorage

It's possible to have it automatically mount when the system starts, but it's a bit of a security risk and I wouldn't recommend it.

Remove a node from Proxmox 5

- Posted in Quick Tip by with comments

I have a Proxmox cluster set up using a few dedicated servers on the same network. I have decided to downsize my cluster and remove 2 of the nodes, leaving only 2 behind.

Normally, to remove a node from Proxmox it's a simple matter of shutting down the node to be removed and then on one of the Proxmox cluster members, removing it like this:

pvecm nodes

That will list the nodes in the cluster

pvecm delnode <nodename>

Which will remove it from the cluster.

However, when I went to do that I was given an error:

cluster not ready - no quorum?

Ruh roh! A simple fix is to let Proxmox know that there are only 2 servers left in the cluster, therefore the number of "votes" the quorum needs to do things will be set.

pvecm expected 2

Then try pvecm delnode again:

pvecm delnode testnode3

The output you will see if succesful will be similar to this:

Killing node 3

To remove them from the web UI, we need to delete the folders like this:

rm -rf /etc/pve/nodes/nodename

And we're done :)

I have a solution for the annoying issue you may encounter when using a Raspberry Pi with a USB mouse (both wired and wireless) where the mouse movement seems either jerky, laggy, erratic, slow, laggy etc.

What you need to do is take the SD card out of the Pi and put it into your main computer, and then open the BOOT partition, then look for a file named:


You will see a line in that file, what we need to do is add the following to the END of that line. NOT on a new line. It must be at the end of the line:


Save, and safely unmount or eject the SD card. Pop that back into the Pi and boot up, you should have nice mouse movement now :)

A quick tip so that I don't forget this again. By default, VestaCP will set directories to disallow listings, for example, example.com/files would show a 403 error instead of listing the contents.

Sometimes, though, it's desirable to have a list shown to the user, so all we need to do is create or modify the .htaccess file in the top level folder.

For example, in /home/user/web/example.com/public_html/files/

nano .htaccess

Add the following to ALLOW listing:

Options +Indexes   


Options -Indexes   

Hopefully this also helps someone :)