[conspire] Re: Linux hosting

Eric De Mund ead-conspire at ixian.com
Mon Feb 14 20:02:42 PST 2005


Patrick Killelea <p at patrick.net>:
] Was there a consensus as to a good Linux hosting service with ssh
] access? He.net seems good, but they don't have a posted price list,
] and I remember once inquiring and being shocked at how much they
] wanted (hundreds per month).


    Web Hosting at Hurricane Electric - Features List & Pricing Guide

for he.net prices. linode.com looks reasonable, price-wise, but my
concerns are:

    - what's their reliability? (It's a one-man-show, but "caker",
      Christopher S. Aker, the owner, carries a pager at all times.)
    - how many customers do they have? (Approximately 1,000.)
    - how long have they been in business? (This summer will be two
    - how well (timely? effectively?) do they respond to problems? (In a
      couple of hours. His customers on <irc://orion.oftc.net/%23linode>
      [read: #linode] seem happy enough.)
    - is it possible for me to install an OS of my own choosing, e.g.
      Debian 3.0 r4 or FreeBSD 5.3 or SunOS 5.10? The web page:
          Linode Plan Matrix
      only lists CentOS 3.1, Debian 3.0r1, Fedora Core 2, Fedora Core 1,
      Gentoo Linux 2004.2 (09.14), Mandrake 9.1, Red Hat 8.0, Red Hat
      9.0, Slackware 10, Slackare 9.0, and Ubuntu 4.10 as being (their)
      available Linux distributions. (Answer: Christopher S. Aker would
      be willing to set up another Linux distribution image if it was a
      dealbreaker. As he's running UML, Linux distributions are all
      that's possible.)

    Additional information gleaned from an IRC conversation with the
    linode.com owner:

      <caker> ead: I also offer a 7-day money back deal, if you'd like
        to take it for a spin
      <caker> you're free to do whatever inside your deployment. Even
        upload your own distro
      <ead> caker: what is the host OS, here? what distribution do all
        these run under? and what version of UML are you running?
      <caker> ead: the host OS is irrelevant to the operation of your
        node, but they're all a minimal RH9 install.
      <caker> ead: I'm pretty involved in UML development, so I offer
        the latest and greatest stable releases of UML... all SKAS mode

    See <http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net/skas.html> to find out
    what SKAS [Separate Kernel Address Space] mode is and why it's su-
    perior in both performance and security to the old mode, now called
    tt [Tracing Thread] mode.

I've been looking at pair.com, even though linode.com's virtual server
implementation looks temptingly cool, because of pair.com's:

    - fairly reasonable cost,
    - "known entity" factor,
    - and some 80-160k customers (they host 160k web sites, so 80-160k
      is my number-of-customers estimate), indicating high reliability
      and high levels of customer satisfaction

However, my conversation just now with the owner of linode.com, and a
review of their prices compared to pair.com's, along with one customer
testimonial in channel, in which the customer left a dedicated server
ISP and returned to linode.com because of poor reliability with the
former, and also his happiness with linode.com's Internet connectivity,
have me back to considering them.

Notes forwarded FYI,
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly
stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be twenty-one, I
was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." --Mark Twain

Eric De Mund              |   Ixian Systems, Inc.   | cell: 650.303.4336
email: <ead at ixian.com>    | 650 Castro St, #120-210 |  fax: 240.282.4443
http://www.ixian.com/ead/ | Mountain View, CA 94041 | Y!IM: ead0002

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