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Reviewing a KVM VPS from Shock Hosting

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I will be reviewing a VPS from a company called Shock Hosting. They have 2 DC locations to choose from, 1 in New Jersey and the other is in Los Angeles. They have recently updated their plans and I will be looking at this offer:

  • 2 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 30 GB of RAID 10 SSD storage
  • 2 TB of bandwidth
  • 1 x 3.4 Ghz E5-1680 v4 core
  • DDoS protection is also included
  • $7.49 with 25OFF coupon (Normally $9.99/month)

There is also a plan for $4.99 with 20 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM and 1 TB of bandwidth if you think that would be better.

There is a 25% discount promotion which brings the price down to $7.49 for the 2 GB plan and $3.74 for the 1 GB plan if you use the coupon "25OFF"

Now, let's have a look at some benchmarks:

----------------------------------------------------------------------
CPU model            : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1680 v4 @ 3.40GHz
Number of cores      : 1
CPU frequency        : 3399.996 MHz
Total size of Disk   : 30.0 GB (1.8 GB Used)
Total amount of Mem  : 2000 MB (58 MB Used)
Total amount of Swap : 511 MB (0 MB Used)
System uptime        : 0 days, 0 hour 31 min
Load average         : 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
OS                   : Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
Arch                 : x86_64 (64 Bit)
Kernel               : 4.4.0-31-generic
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I/O speed(1st run)   : 1.0 GB/s
I/O speed(2nd run)   : 928 MB/s
I/O speed(3rd run)   : 1.1 GB/s
Average I/O speed    : 1026.1 MB/s
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Node Name                       IPv4 address            Download Speed
CacheFly                        205.234.175.175         104MB/s       
Linode, Tokyo, JP               106.187.96.148          20.4MB/s      
Linode, Singapore, SG           139.162.23.4            5.50MB/s      
Linode, London, UK              176.58.107.39           6.90MB/s      
Linode, Frankfurt, DE           139.162.130.8           4.60MB/s      
Linode, Fremont, CA             50.116.14.9             9.17MB/s      
Softlayer, Dallas, TX           173.192.68.18           45.4MB/s      
Softlayer, Seattle, WA          67.228.112.250          42.2MB/s      
Softlayer, Frankfurt, DE        159.122.69.4            5.97MB/s      
Softlayer, Singapore, SG        119.81.28.170           9.00MB/s      
Softlayer, HongKong, CN         119.81.130.170          9.28MB/s      
----------------------------------------------------------------------
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1680 v4 @ 3.40GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.996 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 2000 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  1.1 GB/s
Bzip 25MB: 3.74s
Download 100MB file: 105MB/s
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1680 v4 @ 3.40GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.996 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 2000 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  956 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 3.62s
Download 100MB file: 106MB/s

Pardon the pun, but that I/O is shock-ingly fast! I've never reviewed a VPS that fast! The 3.4ghz CPU core along with that crazy awesome SSD setup makes this VPS feel snappier than a hungry crocodile! 30GB of this awesome SSD is enough to store plenty of assets for your projects or applications. The 2GB of RAM is a nice bonus. I'm honestly really impressed with this!

The network speed is excellent, considering I'm testing this during peak time. Being in the LA datacenter, this has excellent connections to Australia compared with other parts of North America.

It honestly feels like a dedicated server, this is a very well set up server indeed.

I'm going to install Plex and see how it handles transcoding 1080 down to SD, which I find seems to set a good server and an excellent server apart.

plexmediaserver_1.9.4.4325-1bf240a65_amd64.deb                      100%[==================================================================================================================================================================>] 102.82M   110MB/s    in 0.9s    

2017-11-02 05:36:21 (110 MB/s) - ‘plexmediaserver_1.9.4.4325-1bf240a65_amd64.deb’ saved [107815492/107815492]

Off to an excellent start!

Plex is installed and I'm transcoding a 1080 film to SD and it's flawless. Not a single stutter or skip! I did something I don't normally do, I ran another bench while it's transcoding:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1680 v4 @ 3.40GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.996 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 2000 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  687 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 7.86s
Download 100MB file: 73.5MB/s

This CPU is a monster! It only took a small hit (the Bzip time) down to a very respectable 7.86 seconds which is still very good.

I can honestly say this is the fastest VPS I've had to date, and I even reviewed an i5 dedicated server and this outperforms it!

I highly recommend this VPS to anyone looking for something with huge power, a very generous 30GB of shocking fast SSD on a budget.

Click here to order it, and don't forget to add the 25OFF coupon in the checkout :)

Reviewing woothosting web hosting

- Posted in VPS by with comments

A few months ago I came across an offer from woothosting which looked too good to be true, and being my first experience with woothosting, I thought I'd give it a try:

Spring Reseller Hosting 200GB:
200GB Storage Allocation
2,000GB Monthly Bandwidth
Shared IP Address
cPanel/WHM Control Panel
Unlimited Sub Accounts
Softaculous Script Installer
Free Website Migration
24/7 Technical Support
Instant Deployment
FEATURE: Advanced DDoS Protection Included!
$9.00 Annually

$9 per year is insanely cheap for web hosting, plus it's a reseller account meaning you can create and even resell accounts which is cool to play with.

When I signed up, I was given an option to double the disk space for $7 and add an SSH Jail for $1.50 - which brings it up to 400gb of space for $17.50 per year!

So, I set up my website (this one) on there and things started to get a little bit strange. The control panel (cpanel) usually never loaded properly, and neither did my website! It's a simple, flat html website which shouldn't be a problem for even the smallest server to handle.

Fast forward by a week and I get an email from them saying they have issues with their server and are migrating to another node, which was fine, but my other website didn't work correctly (uses lychee) and after a few tickets back and forward, they fixed up the issue on their server.

About a week after that, one of my "reseller customers" websites was terminated by them because a few media files were on the server. I understand if it was several GB, but it was only a handful of mp3s. If this were one of my customers, I'd have egg on my face. Luckily, it was one of my test accounts and I was using ampache which is one of the scripts they allow you to install to play music, so go figure.

Not long after this, I set up a downtime monitor with uptimerobot.com and I would be getting emails left, right and centre, telling me my websites are unavailable! This is beyond a joke.

In cPanel, you can see the server stats. This is the stats for the actual server hosting the websites. I couldn't believe it to see that of the 8 cores available, it had a load average of 40!! That means that the server was heavily overloaded and couldn't handle it.

Woothosting definitely oversell their services, which is a shame really because it was promising. I doubt it's a sustainable business model, but there are probably many people who don't even use it, just another impulse purchase perhaps.

I wouldn't be able to recommend their web services to anyone who is seriously considering hosting their clients there, which I intended to do from the start, but I'm so glad I didn't!

If you're looking for cheap web hosting for a side project, or to play with cPanel and make websites for friends, etc, I could probably recommend them with caution. You definitely get monkeys when you pay with peanuts!

In summary, I'd probably give them a 5/10 only because it's a great deal, but points lost for it being practically impractical to use for any remotely important purpose.

Reviewing a 6GB RAM VPS from TNAHosting

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Today I will be looking at a VPS that falls in 2 categories - storage VPS and high RAM VPS.

Here's a deal from TNAHosting:

  • 6GB OpenVZ - Chicago, IL
  • 1 IPv4 [IPv6 available]
  • 2x vCPU
  • 200GB HDD
  • 2TB Bandwidth
  • $5/m - Order Here

200GB HDD with 6GB RAM and 2 cores is a pretty sweet deal for $5 per month. Let's see what it looks like under pressure..

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5420  @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  2500.020 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6144 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  434 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.88s
Download 100MB file: 42.8MB/s
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5420  @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  2500.020 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6144 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB 
I/O speed:  470 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.03s
Download 100MB file: 53.2MB/s
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5420  @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  2500.020 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6144 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  483 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.00s
Download 100MB file: 52.1MB/s
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           L5420  @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  2500.020 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6144 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB 
I/O speed:  506 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.87s
Download 100MB file: 43.2MB/s

We're getting 2x 2.5ghz Xeon cores and 6GB of RAM, no swap (but with 6GB of RAM why would you want to swap it to HDD?) The I/O speed is impressive, it could be cached by the looks of it, but that's a very good result! And the CPU is fast! Navigating the system through SSH feels very responsive and things happen quickly.

Here's a different perspective:

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
CPU model            : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5420  @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores      : 2
CPU frequency        : 2500.020 MHz
Total size of Disk   : 197.0 GB (0.7 GB Used)
Total amount of Mem  : 6144 MB (37 MB Used)
Total amount of Swap : 0 MB (0 MB Used)
Load average         : 0.12, 0.09, 0.03
OS                   : Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS
Arch                 : x86_64 (64 Bit)
Kernel               : 2.6.32-042stab123.9
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I/O speed(1st run)   : 498 MB/s
I/O speed(2nd run)   : 513 MB/s
I/O speed(3rd run)   : 496 MB/s
Average I/O speed    : 502.3 MB/s
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Node Name                       IPv4 address            Download Speed
CacheFly                        205.234.175.175         43.6MB/s
Linode, Tokyo, JP               106.187.96.148          461KB/s
Linode, Singapore, SG           139.162.23.4            1.12MB/s
Linode, London, UK              176.58.107.39           2.16MB/s
Linode, Frankfurt, DE           139.162.130.8           1.21MB/s      
Linode, Fremont, CA             50.116.14.9             1.60MB/s      
Softlayer, Dallas, TX           173.192.68.18           4.27MB/s      
Softlayer, Seattle, WA          67.228.112.250          2.47MB/s      
Softlayer, Frankfurt, DE        159.122.69.4            1.19MB/s      
Softlayer, Singapore, SG        119.81.28.170           913KB/s       
Softlayer, HongKong, CN         119.81.130.170          1.57MB/s      
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Disk access is incredibly fast on this VPS, this looks like the perfect VPS for Plex Media Server!

A good test is to see how well Plex can transcode a 1080 movie and stream it to me here in Australia - not all providers can achieve this due to CPU/RAM restraints or network issues. This VPS, being in Chicago, by default doesn't have a great connection to the Asia/Pacific region, which is true for most providers.

I have installed Plex and can happily report that I was able to successfully transcode and stream a 1080 movie to my place in Australia. This VPS is excellent value for the price, I highly recommend it to anyone who needs a VPS to do more than just idle away!

From what I understand, there is limited stock on this so take action now and order it if you're looking for a good VPS.

I have also added this to my Storage VPS list.

Benchmarking a time4vps storage VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

Time4vps have been providing high storage VPS for a while now, and they're one of the popular providers for storage.

Here's an offer from them in their datacenter in Lithuania, Europe.

  • 1x1.7ghz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD (RAID, 200IOPS limit)
  • 10TB bandwidth
  • 100mbit network
  • OpenVZ
  • Hosted in Lithuania, Europe.
  • 5.99 EUR/month

This looks like a good storage deal for the price, there's plenty of bandwidth too. The 200 IO/s is an interesting limit, meaning 200 I/O operations per second. Let's see what it looks like with a benchmark script:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2603 v4 @ 1.70GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  1698.052 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap: 512 MB
I/O speed:  66.4 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.85s
Download 100MB file: 11.4MB/s

That's not too bad, the CPU seems to be fairly available and the 100mbit connection capped out.

Here's more..

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2603 v4 @ 1.70GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  1698.052 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap: 512 MB    
I/O speed:  57.3 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.81s
Download 100MB file: 11.4MB/s
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2603 v4 @ 1.70GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  1698.052 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1024 MB
Total amount of swap: 512 MB
I/O speed:  65.9 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 6.75s
Download 100MB file: 11.4MB/s

I think the IOPS cap is coming into play here, being a storage server it's probably a good thing to avoid noisy neighbours from making the disk unstably slow.

It runs nextCloud fine, although a little slow when loading pages, it's not as snappy as some other providers. The fact that it's openVZ really, in my opinion, disqualifies it from being useful to me (I love KVM and encrypted LVM volumes for my private data)

If you need cheap storage, consider this offer from time4vps.

I came across this cheap NAT KVM Storage offer from wishosting recently and I thought I would do some benchmarks on it to see how it performs. Here's the deal:

  • 1 vCPU core i7-3770
  • Unlimited CPU core 3.7GHz Turbo
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD RAID-5
  • Linux/Windows OS
  • Bandwidth 250Mbps
  • Traffic 2TB
  • 1 IPv4 NAT
  • DDoS protection
  • Location - Germany
  • Setup time up to 24 hours
  • $4.99/month (paid quarterly)
  • $5.00 one off for a dedicated IPv4

I decided to make my life a little easier and got the IPv4 upgrade. The KVM is in Germany, and the IPv4 is in France, it does some crazy proxy trickery but it works perfectly! A couple of hours later, Michael from wishosting had my account set up and even helped with some questions I had. I must say, he's very professional in his ticket etiquette!

Here's some benchmarks:

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 988 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
I/O speed:  447 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.16s
Download 100MB file: 89.5MB/s
CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 988 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB    
I/O speed:  478 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.15s
Download 100MB file: 87.3MB/s
CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 988 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB  
I/O speed:  459 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.84s
Download 100MB file: 91.2MB/s
CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 988 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB    
I/O speed:  527 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.12s
Download 100MB file: 91.0MB/s

This is a very speedy KVM service! It feels very snappy, sometimes servers feel a little slow but this feels like I'm the only user on the node which is amazing! I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great value KVM with 1TB of storage!

Looking at a 400GB KVM from LETbox

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I found this great little KVM from LETbox on the lowendtalk forums and thought i'd do some benchmarking on it.

  • 2048MB Dedicated RAM
  • 2x vCPU @ 3.20+ GHz
  • 400 GB Dedicated HDD space (Raid10 SAS)
  • 10GB x SnapShot Backup
  • 3TB/Month @ 1 Gbps burstable
  • 1x IPv4 Free 5 Minutes Server Monitoring + Blacklist (Email and SMS alert)
  • Free SMS Unpaid invoice Alert
  • IPV4 rdns Management
  • 20Gbps DDoS-Shield Mitigation
  • KVM/Proxmox
  • $5.95/month / $65 /Yearly
CPU model:  Common KVM processor
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  3300.022 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1996 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   2 days, 20:46,       
I/O speed:  92.0 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.94s
Download 100MB file: 87.0MB/s

The server is on Proxmox, has a lot of different ISOs to choose from and is quite fast. Support are fairly helpful, and downtime is minimal but it has happened before. They reimbursed my account for a small downtime without even asking, so this is pretty good.

This is perfect for a < 400GB nextCloud or Plex setup. Mine recently exceeded this amount, so I've moved onto a different option from another provider, but my time with LETbox has been great!

List of Storage VPS (100GB+)

- Posted in VPS by with comments

If you've ever wondered which storage VPS to get, then you will love this list I've made!

I will do my best efforts to keep it updated, but if you have any to add, please let me know!

The list can be found here or at the top right corner of the site in it's own page.

After falling in love with the other V-Dedi from WISHOSTING, I decide to test out another one. This time it's an Intel Avoton C2750-based box.

Here's the features:

8 CPU cores Avoton C2750
Dedicated CPU cores 2.4GHZ
7GB RAM
800GB HDD
Linux/Windows OS
Unmetered traffic
Best effort 1 Gbps bandwidth
1 IPv4
Location - France
Setup time up to 24 hours
[$14.99/month][2]

The differences between this package and the other one is this is $5 per month cheaper, has gigabit instead of 100mbit, but we trade off with an 800GB HDD instead of 1.8TB HDD and 7GB RAM instead of 15GB RAM. The big thing that I noticed is the 4 extra cores - 8 in total. I just had to benchmark this and see how it performs.

And here's some benchmarks which I will add to later:

CPU model:  Westmere E56xx/L56xx/X56xx (Nehalem-C)
Number of cores: 8
CPU frequency:  2399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6971 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   7 min,       
I/O speed:  252 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 12.49s
Download 100MB file: 96.1MB/s
CPU model:  Westmere E56xx/L56xx/X56xx (Nehalem-C)
Number of cores: 8
CPU frequency:  2399.998 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 6971 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   5 days, 19:32,       
I/O speed:  43.7 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 13.57s
Download 100MB file: 87.8MB/s

The Bzip time is almost 4 times higher, meaning it look 4 times longer than the i5 based system - expected behaviour for an Atom processor. The I/O is great and the network is gigabit, which we can see from the results.

It's a great deal, but the other package I have looks better for the extra storage and RAM. I will set this up for a month with nextCloud and Plex and see how well it handles those tasks. At this stage, I can't see it replacing the other V-Dedi from WISHOSTING.

Stay tuned, I'll update this as I go along.

UPDATE: So I've had this for close to a week now and I've been testing it, and it's a very capable dedi for the price. It's nice seeing the 8 cores in htop. I admit, I am struggling to find something else to love about this. Compared to the i5 server they have on offer, which is much noticeably faster than this atom server, coupled with the 1TB loss in storage, I feel like this server wouldn't suit my needs. Also, the extra 100ms in latency did give me some issues streaming plex during peak times, but that's what happens when it's 300+ms from France to Sydney.

I recently decided to get this Hybrid Dedicated Server from WISHOSTING:

4 CPU cores i5-2400
Dedicated CPU cores 3.1GHz
15GB RAM
1800GB HDD
Linux/Windows OS
Unmetered 100Mbps bandwidth
1 IPv4
DDoS protection
Location - Canada
Setup time up to 24 hours
[$19.99/month][2]

This is my first time with a dedicated (or Hybrid in this case) and I'm extremely happy with it. I have the one that's located in Canada (Montreal) on OVH which is $19.99/month, there is another one that's the same specs but $17.99/month hosted in France (unsure of details). I went for the Canadian one since it has less latency to Australia than France does, especially during peak times.

Here's a benchmark:

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3092.972 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 14681 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   3 days, 9:55,       
I/O speed:  73.0 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.39s
Download 100MB file: 11.2MB/s

That is 100% dedicated to my use, a massive 1.8TB of HDD space 4 cores and 15GB RAM is awesome. From what I understand, this is hosted on a bare metal dedicated server but instead it uses the KVM platform to make it much easier to manage. This means the resources (CPU, IO, network, HDD, etc) are all used only by me, and you can really feel the difference!

This thing replaced a lot of my other VPS, I can now run nextCloud, Plex, and more off the dedicated server and it still has plenty of capacity left. Beforehand, I had 3 different VPS to serve those needs, and now they're all on the one server and it actually costs less this way.

I tested with Plex, and I can easily transcode at least 5 1080 movies at the same time without slowing down anything else, which is perfect for my needs. I could probably have tried more but I decided to only test 5.

Here's some more benchmarks which I will add to over time:

CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3092.972 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 14681 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   3 days, 10:01,       
I/O speed:  94.3 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.05s
Download 100MB file: 11.2MB/s
CPU model:  Intel Xeon E312xx (Sandy Bridge)
Number of cores: 4
CPU frequency:  3092.972 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 14679 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   6 days, 16:07,       
I/O speed:  79.0 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 4.26s
Download 100MB file: 11.2MB/s

If you're looking for a great value dedicated server, I highly recommend this one, it's blown me away!

Testing an IntegralHost VPS

- Posted in VPS by with comments

I was looking for a cheap VPS with a dedicated IP in Canada to use as an Iodine DNS tunnel for an upcoming project. I was browsing Low End Box and I came across this deal from IntegralHost:

– 128 MB RAM – 1x vCPU – 5 GB HDD space – 100 GB transfer – 1Gbps uplink – 1x IPv4 – /64 IPv6 – OpenVZ/SolusVM – $8/year ORDER NOW It's located in Canada, which is perfect. $8/year is a bargain.

Here's some benchmarks:

CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1620 v2 @ 3.70GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  3699.893 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 128 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   2 days, 3:21,       
I/O speed:  47.7 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 5.63s
Download 100MB file: 90.1MB/s

For running Iodine, this will be perfect! They also allow you to use TUN/TAP and PPP which is great if you'd like to use it for Iodine or VPN.