I’m currently deciding where to get a Xen DomU hosted. It will be used for a new project that I’m about to start which will take more bandwidth than my current ISP is prepared to offer (or at least they would want me to start paying and serious bandwidth is expensive in Australia). Below is a table of the options I’ve seriously considered so far (I rejected Dreamhost based on their reputation and some other virtual hosts were obviously not able to compare with the prices of the ones in the table). For each ISP I listed the two cheapest options, as I want to save money I’ll probably go for the cheapest option at the ISP I choose but want the option of upgrading if I need more.
I’m not sure how much storage I need, I think that 4.5G is probably not enough and even 6G might get tight. Also of course it depends on how many friends I share the server with.
Quantact has a reasonable cheap option for $15, but the $25 option is expensive and has little RAM. Probably 192M of RAM would be the minimum if I’m going to share the machine with two or more friends (to share the costs).
VPSland would have rated well if it wasn’t for the fact that they once unexpectedly deleted a DomU belonging to a client (they claimed that the bill wasn’t paid) and had no backups. Disabling a service when a bill is not paid is fair, charging extra for the “service” of reenabling it is acceptable, but just deleting it with no backups is unacceptable. But as I’m planning on serving mostly static data this won’t necessarily rule them out of consideration.
It seems that linode and slicehost are the best options (Slicehost seems the most clueful and Linode might be the second most). Does anyone have suggestions about other Xen servers that I haven’t considered?
XenEurope seems interesting. One benefit that they have is being based in the Netherlands which has a strong rule of law (unlike the increasingly corrupt US). A disadvantage is that the Euro is a strong currency and is expected to get even stronger. Services paid in Euros should be expected to cost more in future when paid in Australian dollars, while services paid in US dollars should be expected to cost less.
Gandi.net has an interesting approach, they divide a server into 64 “shares” and then you can buy as many as you want (up to 16 shares for 1/4 of a server) for your server. If at any time you run out of bandwidth then you just buy more shares. They also limit bandwidth by guaranteed transfer rate (in multiples of 3Mb/s) instead of limiting the overall data transferred on a per-monthly basis (as most providers do). They don’t mention whether you can burst above that 3Mb/s limit – while 3Mb/s for 24*7 is a significant amount of data transfer it isn’t that much if you have a 200MB file that will be downloaded a few times a day while interactive tasks are also in progress (something that may be typical usage for my server). Of course other providers generally don’t provide any information on how fast data can be transferred and will often be smaller than 3Mb/s.
Also if anyone who I know wants to share access to a server then please contact me via private mail.
|ISP||RAM||Disk||Bandwidth (per month)||Price $US|
|Gandi.net||256M||5G||3Mb/s||$7.50 or E6|