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Testing VPS solutions

I am trying to see if I should move from my own hardware sitting in a data center in Milpitas to a VPS. My main criteria is that I need at least 4 decently fast cores and at least 8G of memory. I also need about 500G of storage and low ping times from home in Silicon Valley. I was originally just trying to figure out how much faster DigitalOcean's optimized droplets were compared to the standard and posted that to Twitter. Scope creep happened and I ended up testing 10 different providers.

For the lazy, my verdict for all 10 is right here (with a couple of referral links). For the full details including CPU, disk and network tests along with more detailed observations and screenshots, read on.

DigitalOcean         referral - get $10 credit
$40/month 8 GB 4 core 160 GB SSD + $50/month 500GB Volume in SFO2
make 34m38s 2nd try 4m39s, disk write 350MB/s, read 1.8 GB/s(!), net 2 Gbits/s

The provisioning process is amazing. Fast and responsive. Support is quick and effective. I was a bit disappointed by the performance of the standard droplets, especially the first one I tested, but the $80 8GB/4 core/50GB SSD optimized droplets absolutely scream only being beat on PHP compile time by a bare metal Vultr box.

Vultr         referral - get $10 credit
$40/month 8GB 4 core 100GB SSD in Los Angeles
make 3m,16s, disk write 306MB/s, read 200MB/s, net 2.5 Gbits/s

A serious competitor to Digital Ocean. I would use this. Especially if they brought block storage to the west coast. Price and performance is great and the Web UI for provisioning and managing instances is clear and easy to use. Even without the block storage, the bare metal instance with the 2x240 GB SSDs has adequate space. Since it is bare-metal I assume I would need to mirror the two drives for redundancy so it is still not close enough to my 500GB target.

Linode          referral
$40/month 8GB 4 core 96GB SSD + $50/month 500GB volume in Fremont,CA
make 4m15s, disk write 634 MB/s, read 355 MB/s, net 1.1 Gbits/s

Everything just worked and performance was acceptable across the board with the only exception being block volume reads. I found those to be a bit too slow. The price/performance ratio is good. At the common $80/month price point you get 12 GB of ram, 6 cores and 192 GB SSD. If the block volume reads performance is improved, I could use this.

GCP (Google Cloud Platform)
$88/month 8GB 4 core 10GB SSD + $20/month 500GB HDD in Oregon
make 4m8s, disk write 159 MB/s, read 98 MB/s, net 1 Gbits/s

With the lower-cost HDD block volume storage, GCP is interesting. But I had some performance confusion testing HDD vs. SDD and for $88 it would be nice to get a larger SSD. On the wrong side of the price/performance ratio for me.

Upcloud         referral - get $25 credit
$80/month 8GB 4 core 70GB SSD + $110/month for 500GB in Chicago
make 2m22s, disk write 481 MB/s, read 420 MB/s, net 438 Mbits/s

Good price/performance ratio and if they would bring their cheaper class of block volume service to the U.S. this would be an option for me. As it is right now, I would have to pay $110/month for the extra 500GB of space I need on top of the $80/month for the VPS and that puts it out of my price range.

AWS Lightsail
$80/month 8GB 2 core 80GB SSD + $50/month for 500GB in Oregon
make 4m23s, disk write 249 MB/s, read 130 MB/s, net 140 Mbits/s

Decent performance for a 2-core VPS. I couldn't figure out how to provision a 4-core one. Probably user error on my part, but I did try for a while. I only have so much patience for large complex Web UIs. Lightsail also didn't have Debian 9 as an option at the time. Debian 8 only. $80/month for a 2 core VPS with average performance is on the expensive end of the spectrum, so not for me.

$28/month 8GB 4 core 100GB nvme SSD in Los Angeles
make 3m11s, disk write 286 MB/s, read 335 MB/s, net 830 Mbits/s

Excellent price/performance ratio and the provisioning process was fast and efficient. But I can't use it since there is no way to add extra storage.

$35/month 8GB, 4 cores, 100GB SSD + $42/month for 500GB Volume in Beauharnois, Canada
make 4m18s (2 core only), disk write 550 MB/s, read 260 MB/s, net 100 Mbits/s

Terrible provisioning process. The Web UI is atrocious and some things simply didn't work. When I finally did get my VPS, it worked well though, so that one-time hassle shouldn't discourage you. Since I didn't find a free trial, I tested a cheaper 2-core option with no block storage, but it performed well. If they had a west coast POP it could be an option, but without that it isn't viable for me.

$133/month 4 core 60GB SSD in West US 2 (Oregon?)
make 3m34s, disk write 23 MB/s, read 16 MB/s, net 1.23 Gbits/s

This one was painful. Yes, I have a bit of a Microsoft aversion, but I tried to keep an open mind. Read the full description of my Azure adventure. Expensive, apparently no IPv6, slow disk IO, and I couldn't figure out block storage options. Definitely not for me.

$11/month 12GB 4 core 300GB SSD somewhere in Germany
make 3m47s, disk write 144 MB/s, read 308 MB/s, net 88 Mbits/s

I like Contabo. It took perhaps 20 minutes to get my VPS and there was packet loss on the network, but that was resolved. For $11/month this is an outstanding deal. Being in Europe with no N.American POP I can't use it as my primary VPS, but I will probably keep this one just to have a personal box in Europe to play with.

Continue reading "Testing VPS solutions"
Last modified on 2018-01-23 16:09

megasync for Debian 9 Stretch

Like most of my posts here, this is mostly a note to myself so I don't forget how I did it.

I Moved to Debian 9 on my desktop box at home and everything works great except I occasionally use and they don't provide a Debian 9 build. It would be great if they just provided a statically linked generic Linux binary, but they don't. So, to make it work, grab their Debian 8 .deb file.

Continue reading "megasync for Debian 9 Stretch"
Last modified on 2016-03-03 01:33

Upgrading PHP on the EdgeRouter Lite

After nearly 7 years of service I retired my Asus RT-16 router, which wasn't really a router, but a re-purposed wifi access point running AdvancedTomato. In its place I got a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter Lite. It is Debian-based and has a dual-core 500MHz 64-Bit MIPS CPU (Cavium Octeon+), 512M of ram and a 4G removable onboard USB stick for < $100. The router is completely open and, in fact, any advanced configuration has to be done from the command line. The Web UI has been improving, but there are still many things you can't do in it. In other words, exactly the type of device I prefer.

Continue reading "Upgrading PHP on the EdgeRouter Lite"
Last modified on 2016-01-24 22:38