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Thread: Looking for new VPS home (in ZA)

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for new VPS home (in ZA)

    Hello!

    I can't see this question asked previously, so here goes. I've been a very happy customer of www.spinup.co.za for the past two years, but they've announced their intention to close in May of 2012. SpinUp has offered very high performance VPSs at a reasonable price.

    What I'm looking for is based on what Linode offers in the US where I pay ~R150/month for a 512MB VPS with 20GB of storage.

    I'd be happy with
    - Price of R150-R200/month for a 256MB-512MB VPS.
    - Medium traffic requirement (5GB-10GB per month)
    - Distro: 32-bit Slackware

    So far, I have identified the following companies:

    http://www.elitehost.co.za/vps
    http://www.afrihost.com/site/product...osting?src=nav
    http://www.clickworks.co.za/products...virtualservers
    http://www.virtualservers.co.za/local-vps-servers

    Elitehost seems to offer exactly what I need, but based on my questions to their sales, they seem to be uninterested in answering my questions about the distros they can offer. Follow-ups with the ticket number has come to naught which has shaken my belief in them providing good customer service.

    Afrihost has an amazing offering with serious capacity on their entry level VPS, but just a tad too high at R290/month. I'm a little worried about their NAS-based storage which can be dog-slow for a VPS.

    ClickWorks offers a "nano" VPS at R99/month (128MB RAM) and a "micro" at R299/month (512MB RAM). Nothing in between.

    VirtualServers offers a small VPS at R99/month (384MB RAM) which is really good value for money. Only issue for me is that they are in CapeTown. The reason for me getting a ZA VPS is to have low latency access to it over my DSL link.

    So far, the guys from VirtualServers look to be the best bet and they support Slackware out of the box, just like Linode does.

    Any opinions on VPS providers out there or those listed above?

    --deckert

  2. #2
    Super Grandmaster Tinuva's Avatar
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    Cape Town only roughly adds ~30ms to the latency, which in most cases is still more than enough, unless you are hosting a game server on your VPS in which case I can see why you would want it in Gauteng.
    Few people can see the genius in someone who has offended them.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, you won't notice a difference between a Cape Town and Jhb VPS.

    Elitehost hosts at the Mweb Data center in Rosebank.
    You should consider checking out their website though.

    Quote Originally Posted by http://elitehost.co.za/vps
    CentOS 5 or 6 (64bit or 32 bit)

    Fedora 14 or 15 (64bit or 32 bit)

    Ubuntu 8.04, 9.10, 10.04, 10.10 or 11.04 (64bit or 32 bit)

    Debian 5 or 6 (64bit or 32 bit)

    SUSE 11.3 or 11.4 (64bit or 32 bit)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickster View Post
    Why is everyone going ape **** over this car, it looks like junk and the performance must be too.
    Quote Originally Posted by KSINGH View Post
    Oh no you didn't

  4. #4
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    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by froot View Post
    Yeah, you won't notice a difference between a Cape Town and Jhb VPS.
    I'll definitely see a difference - my application is latency sensitive. RTT from me to CT is ~38ms while RTT to Jhb is ~12ms. That's almost 4 times higher.

    Quote Originally Posted by froot View Post
    Elitehost hosts at the Mweb Data center in Rosebank.
    You should consider checking out their website though.
    You mean, like the links I posted in my original post? ;-)

    Yup, I checked out each offering very carefully. Elitehost, while tempting, is just so unresponsive I don't know if they want new business or not. But the real reason for posting here is to get some feedback from guys that actually use these VPSs and what experience they have. Or to see if there are any other companies than the above 4 that I should research.

    I'll be hosting (among other things) email on my VPS, so it will see more inbound traffic than outbound traffic - something that MWeb's hosting has an issue with. We'll see how that pans out.

    --deckert

    Edit: my spam filtering was trashing their responses... they were actually responding quickly!
    Last edited by Deckert; 19-03-2012 at 06:27 PM. Reason: New information

  5. #5
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    Yeah, replying to my own post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Deckert View Post
    Elitehost, while tempting, is just so unresponsive I don't know if they want new business or not.
    So, while they did not reply yet, I see they have added a whole bunch of extra distros to their list and the one I want is there. I've signed up with Elitehost and will let you know how things go.

    --deckert

  6. #6
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    It's closer to three times higher, but I struggle to understand how 26ms can be a problem for an application. Even real-time monitoring won't freak out under those circumstances.

    Yes, Mweb has 2:1 ratios of upload:download but have no idea how/if these are passed onto Elitehost. I know Elitehost has a rep on MyBB, maybe ask him, or give them a call.

    Edit... you posted when I did.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickster View Post
    Why is everyone going ape **** over this car, it looks like junk and the performance must be too.
    Quote Originally Posted by KSINGH View Post
    Oh no you didn't

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by froot View Post
    Yes, Mweb has 2:1 ratios of upload:download but have no idea how/if these are passed onto Elitehost. I know Elitehost has a rep on MyBB, maybe ask him, or give them a call.

    Edit... you posted when I did.
    Yah - I'll man-up and just add that Elitehost has been responding the whole time, but their emails have been landing in my spam-bin every time. Bogomilter rated them almost 1.0 for some reason. I've now white-listed them.

    Looking forward to see how well the VPS does in comparison to what I had with SpinUp.

    --deckert

  8. #8
    Super Grandmaster cavedog's Avatar
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    Please let us know how the VPS is performing. I'm also keen in getting 1 of these VPS but its quite pricey. So would be nice to see since the bandwidth is unlimited how the speeds are up and down and how uptime is generally ect ect.
    Get 50% off your first bill @ Afrihost. 50% Off

  9. #9
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    I just got a VPS overseas at virpus, for $4 it has 20GB space, 1TB bandwidth so its not bad. I saw padigram (just google it) has some good local prices here starting at about R100 for more or less the same. Not sure how they are but take a look and let me know

    http://www.paradigmsolutions.co.za/linuxVPS.asp

    here, R69 not bad..
    Last edited by koeksGHT; 18-03-2012 at 12:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog View Post
    Please let us know how the VPS is performing. I'm also keen in getting 1 of these VPS but its quite pricey. So would be nice to see since the bandwidth is unlimited how the speeds are up and down and how uptime is generally ect ect.
    Well on the regular Mweb VPS's (1000Mbps)
    International is capped (speed-wise) although sometimes you do get nice speeds.
    They are capped (speed-wise) in comparison to one of our Rackmounted servers (10Gbps connections) at Mweb.

    Local
    http://www.speedtest.net/result/1841210341.png
    Intl (London)
    http://www.speedtest.net/result/1841214651.png

    I usually get better download speeds from intl though (Maybe 1MB/s).

    Just note that you have to be very careful of what you do with the bandwidth... torrents or any grey-area downloads will get you in hot water.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickster View Post
    Why is everyone going ape **** over this car, it looks like junk and the performance must be too.
    Quote Originally Posted by KSINGH View Post
    Oh no you didn't

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deckert View Post
    Hi,



    I'll definitely see a difference - my application is latency sensitive. RTT from me to CT is ~38ms while RTT to Jhb is ~12ms. That's almost 4 times higher.



    You mean, like the links I posted in my original post? ;-)

    Yup, I checked out each offering very carefully. Elitehost, while tempting, is just so unresponsive I don't know if they want new business or not. But the real reason for posting here is to get some feedback from guys that actually use these VPSs and what experience they have. Or to see if there are any other companies than the above 4 that I should research.

    I'll be hosting (among other things) email on my VPS, so it will see more inbound traffic than outbound traffic - something that MWeb's hosting has an issue with. We'll see how that pans out.

    --deckert
    Hi Deckert,

    Apologies for the issues with our ticket emails. Our team has been communicating with you over this weekend and the server has been setup with Slackware as requested and the required kernel modules installed as well. There should be no issues with inbound/outbound traffic. Please let me know if you have any questions.
    UNLIMITED LOCAL HOSTING - Unlimited Storage and Traffic only R35/Month - more info?
    Elitehost.co.za | Professional Web Hosting since 2005

  12. #12
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    Default Elitehost VPS

    Quote Originally Posted by cavedog View Post
    Please let us know how the VPS is performing. I'm also keen in getting 1 of these VPS but its quite pricey. So would be nice to see since the bandwidth is unlimited how the speeds are up and down and how uptime is generally ect ect.
    Well, I've only had my Elitehost VPS for around 36 hrs so far. But here are my first impressions:

    I'm used to the Xen environments of Linode and SpinUp, so some things were a bit strange to me (like the interface name is not "eth0", but rather "venet0" and it looks the same as a PPP interface). But otherwise, the setup was fairly straight forward. The performance is very good (good disk I/O, see below) and the network connectivity is excellent. Low latency to all major ISPs (typically <3ms for Gauteng and ~22ms for Cape Town) and ~11ms from my DSL connection at home. Throughput to various places (e.g. mirror.ac.za, ftp.is.co.za, my Linode in the US, my DSL line) is excellent and well above what I expected them to be.

    For example, the Slackware image is very minimal and I had to do a lot of package installation - I set my repository to point to mirror.ac.za and speeds far exceeded 50Mbits/sec (in other words, more than enough).

    In all, this VPS is comparable in performance to my Linode and Spinup VPS. Elitehosts specifies a "0.6GHz" CPU for the entry-level VPS. The actual CPU performace (tested using 'nbench') is just very slightly lower than what I have with SpinUp, which tells me that the 0.6GHz figure is probably a minimal performance figure and that I can burst to whatever is available. One physical CPU is presented to the kernel.

    I chose Slackware as my distro - Elitehost added it specifically for me (at midnight, I might add). The installation was quick and effortless. They do offer a console (so you can access your box if you messed up your network config) and you can reboot/shutdown/start your box form a control panel.

    I also used the IPIP and GRE tunneling modes with SpinUp, but the config was missing from the kernel at Elitehost. One support ticket later and they added it - excellent support, I'd say.

    Disk I/O stats:

    Code:
      tva@hedron:~$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/data bs=1M count=1024
      1024+0 records in
      1024+0 records out
      1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 8.70463 s, 123 MB/s
    There are a few mysteries to the environment though: It uses a strange file-system called simfs, which appears to be an OpenVZ specific thing. It has all sorts of parameters around quotas and the like. I have no idea what the underlaying filesystem is like or how robust it is.

    In terms of uptime, we'll have to see how it goes. They quote a 99.9% uptime figure on their site, which allows them to have a maximum downtime of just under 9 hours per year. Of course, only time will tell how real that figure is. I also don't know how loaded my host is, how many "neighbours" I have or how taxed the host might become.

    --deckert

  13. #13
    Super Grandmaster Tinuva's Avatar
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    If you have a "venet0" network card, sounds like you are on a VPS using OpenVZ, which runs directly on the host, not 100% virtual as in Vmware ect. The benefit is, your VM can run at physical hardware speed. Typically performance is much better on this vz Xen ect.
    Few people can see the genius in someone who has offended them.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by koeksGHT View Post
    I just got a VPS overseas at virpus, for $4 it has 20GB space, 1TB bandwidth so its not bad. I saw padigram (just google it) has some good local prices here starting at about R100 for more or less the same. Not sure how they are but take a look and let me know
    here, R69 not bad..
    Hm, not too bad, but they do not actually state that their servers are in South Africa. I suspect they sell overseas VPSs. They also call it a "budget VPS" and that their budget VPSs are all oversold. Don't expect too much in terms of performance then?

    --deckert

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuva View Post
    If you have a "venet0" network card, sounds like you are on a VPS using OpenVZ
    Yup, they state very clearly that they use OpenVZ:

    http://www.elitehost.co.za/vps

    --deckert

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