Linode has been a dream-come-true. I pay only a few bucks more a month than I did for my Tier-4 plan at Webfaction. Plus, I'm back to managing my own server and no longer have to deal with all the Apache port-forwarding weirdness, local profile software installs, etc.
I've used other VPS hosting companies in the past, but Linode blows them all out of the water. Their VPS infrastructure is very well engineered, and fast. Nobody can touch their price/performance ratio. EDIT: BTW - I am excluding OpenVZ-based VPS's which come with a number of issues that I don't care to deal with.
1. Proper provisioning. They aren't the cheapest option in the market, but they actually provide what you're paying for. I've never had CPU, disk, or memory contention issues on my Linode because they packed too many instances on a host.
2. Great peering. Their network guys know what they're doing, and it shows in the low latency I've seen on my server hosted there, even coming from Japan.
3. Great staff. I wanted to set up my DNS with a wildcard MX record for subdomains, so that I could route mail without having to manually add MX records for every new account. The RFC for DNS allows this, but the Linode DNS management interface didn't... until I contacted them and asked for it. Initially, they gave the 'sorry, but we don't support that' line, but after I pointed out the relevant bit in the RFC, the feature was added within two days. I have never had a hosting provider respond like that.
I don't know about nobody, but it seems very good. I downsized one of my machines from a dedicated server at Softlayer costing $234 a month to a ~$40 a month Linode and.. it's doing fine! (Though it's not like I was maxing out the dedi.)
I now have several Linodes, a couple in London, all the rest in Atlanta (which, by my research, seems to be the best US data center for them).
Disclaimer: Linode advertise on my Web site now, but I pay for my hosting and chose them independently - no deals :-)
I´ve been in South America for a few months, and I found out that my bank card (visa) expired a little over a month ago.
"Hmm," I thought. "I sure hope that my linode is all right. But it´s been less than two months. They will turn it off, but that is all."
So I checked my email. Part of the joy of my style of travelling is not checking email for a month at a stretch.
They deleted my linode. It´s completely gone.
I feel a little sick ... it was just for personal use (for now), and I have all of the git repos on my local machine as well, but I´m not yet to the point where everything I do on the server is in a repo somewhere. Poof, hundreds of hours of server mangling, gone forever.
Literally, if you forget to check your email, they delete it in 20 days. If your bank card expires while you´re out of touch ... for some strange reason ... anyway, instead of warehousing your data for even a few months, they kill you.
I like linode. I just feel sick right now.
On the one hand, I´m an idiot.
On the other hand, 20 days?!?!?! When you know how precious a customers´data is in this context, and it´s purely a question of temporary storage, why?!?
I need a drink. Oh, yeah, Go Linode!
edit: okay, I´m over it now. Leaving the original, melodramatic writing because, darn it linode, someone from Slicehost posted that Slicehost did it differently, and my reaction is relevant to your business.
I lost my credit card and got a new one, so the charges from slicehost were bouncing because they had my old number. They sent me several e-mails about it but I wasn't checking the e-mail account they were sending it to, so this went on for about 2-3 months past due. Eventually I logged onto the e-mail account and found out about it -- I hadn't even noticed anything was wrong because they kept my VM running. I just logged on, payed the $60 or whatever it was in back payments and that was it.
(I don't know whether this is their normal policy or not, so don't use this post as an excuse to try it.)
But I have to say, I still feel that this kind of behavior would be a sane policy.
No one´s saying you should hold onto data forever. But having a dedicated pool of dead storage that´s capable of storing the data for a few months of non-payment, or even longer -- that seems like a very good idea.
The running VMs are so many, many times more expensive than a block of dead storage of equivalent size. Probably orders of magnitude more expensive.
Then when you consider the business benefit to having the softer-and-fuzzier policy ... well, there´s always the "avoid 'high maintenance' customers" theory.
Maybe another option would be to charge the customer an (optinal) up-front deposit and say "when we shut you down, we'll upload this to S3 with the following credentials" or something. That'd be some programming work, but it'd result in better outcomes. hmm.
I'm not associated with Linode; I don't even host anything there, but I can see things from their perspective on this.
With a service like this, you'll sometimes see people who never cancel a service, they just stop paying for it. Maybe their card expires and they decide not to renew, maybe their business closed, or any number of other things.
If I were in their position, I'd certainly reach out to you- I'd warn you it was ending soon, and I'd remind you to renew. For one, it'd be the decent thing to do, and for another I'd want to get the renewel revenue! As the expression goes, 'It's easier to keep a customer than gain a new one.'
That said, if the time came and you hadn't renewed, I'd have a decision to make.
I want to keep you as a customer, but from my perspective, I have no indication you want to stay as a client- You haven't sent me any email about it, and you're not paying me anymore.
I'd probably archive off the data for a while, and shut it down.
My mental thought process would be akin to "I'll turn it off, and keep the files around for a few weeks. If he's using the site, then he'll notice when it gets shut down, and pay to stay with us. If not, Good luck in the future!"
From my perspective, it looks like that's exactly what Linode did. They gave you 20 days; That's nearly 3 weeks of the server being off, without you even writing them an email to say "Hey, Noticed it's off and I'm not paying you, could you please give me a few more weeks?"
I understand it's very frustrating for you, but I really can't blame Linode at all.
The other thing I'd touch on briefly is that you really should have backups.
I don't want to harp on it, because I know it must feel like kicking you when you're down, but servers fail..
What if Linode's datacenter caught fire? What if they were bought out by a company who wanted to convert them all to Windows servers? ;) Who knows. Things happen. Having the service turned off for nonpayment is among the smallest of problems.
If you were running a nightly backup job at this point, you'd be very frustrated that you had to copy everything back, but you'd have not lost anything.
In any event, I'm sorry that things didn't work out, and hope that your experiences with Linode (Or whomever you use to replace them) are more positve going forward.
How long should they keep a backup of every user's virtual machines, after they stop paying? 20 days is reasonable, a month would have been better (If only since it's more predictable) but they really didn't do anything unreasonable.
Keep in mind, even if it's only $2/month (After redundant backus, etc), if you have had 10,000 customers, that really adds up! Keeping files forever "Just in case" isn't a sustainable business strategy.
People have suggested that 37signals would suffer from their attitudes towards implementing new features or crap like Gantt charts in BaseCamp, but I don't see them suffering for it, despite the ongoing rants and raves by "high maintenance" potential customers.
I've been mocked for my opinion on this before, but ... well, why the hell not?
Storage is no longer expensive, and we're talking about not large amounts of data per instance, in an archival situation -- where disk bandwidth isn't an issue and compression is totally doable.
So, why not store a copy of deactivated images for 3 months? If anybody's confused about how to do it, they might ask Backblaze....
The concern, of course, is one of privacy. If the feds come knocking with a warrant, if I have the data, I'll give it to them. If I overwrote it, then I can't.
There´s an easy backup option now. A year ago, when I first signed up, the only things I could see were the options to use some of my storage space to make a backup image -- which you have to think of at the get-go, and make your image half or less the size of your storage.
I think all my monit and nginx stuff -- the per-project stuff -- is fine, as I keep in in the project repo. It´s just ... other stuff. Lots and lots of other stuff.
One of the biggest things I taught myself on my last server (teaching myself to be my own sysadmin) was monit.
Now, it looks like I need to go the rest of the way and learn Puppet, too. Or something like it.
Got any reccomendations?
They answered my questions like they deleted my linode: as fast as possible. :(
I had no idea my bank card was going to expire while I was down here; I´m kicking myself.
The only thing that bugs me is that their support emails said that they DO warehouse some linodes, if there´s "some indication" the person will pay.
Wah? Gah! It´s an expiration. For personal accounts, there has got to be data out there that shows that expirations are sometimes a surprise to the CC holder, like when they happen on vacation.
Meh. I´ve got my repos. I´ll probably even set up at linode again.
I see they´re advertising their backup service on their home page. Hmm.
Unfortunately, we don't have any word on future pricing at the moment, but we are aware of Linode's recent price drops.
Tim - Slicehost Support
There are three incidents listed in the past two weeks of packet loss, routing issues, and so on for 1-3 hours. There were other issues in May, I don't know where those are listed now.
Yes, it's only going down for a couple of hours at a time. Considering I'm using the server for images for a medium traffic website - an hour or two is VERY noticeable to my customers, and as noted, it adds up to more than the downtime on my Slicehost account (St. Louis).
Slicehost sells themselves on having superior support. (Now, I don't know if Slicehost support is /actually/ that much better than Linode, but if it is, the price difference could be a reasonable price to pay for the customers who need the most help.)
I just checked my email. In the last year, I've had three incidents with Slicehost, all connected to issues experienced when migrating VPSes. All were resolved in minutes.
Not to knock Linode, or Rackspace Cloud, or EC2, or whatever, but none of them have ever been in the foxhole with me at 3 AM when the server was down and got it back up before customers noticed.
The pain point for me at slicehost was bandwidth - they charge a lot, linode charge a little. Also far more options on linode etc etc once I moved that all added up to a better experience.
I've been with Linode for over a year and never regretted it. This RAM upgrade and a disk space upgrade earlier certainly help!
I, for one, prefer to use VPS that is cheaper than that, offers more traffic and I believe will still be good enough.
One of my local competitors recently, proudly, informed me that they were about to launch a new hosting service supported by Rackspace. I smiled, and congratulated them, and started planning the marketing campaign I'd like to run when Rackspace goes down and takes my competitors' clients with them.
> Rackspace's downtime just makes more noise because lots of well-known sites are hosted there.
Not as many as there used to be.
I don't mean to be a jerk, but it's one thing when my site goes down because I did something dumb, and a whole 'nother thing when a site goes down, these days, because a data center is having a problem. I just don't understand why someone would assume that downtime was inevitable and not choose to minimize that risk as much as possible.
(of course, if you take that route, you probably want to go with two different low-cost providers.)
And, oddly, according to your link Rackspace Cloud Dallas has 100% uptime which 1) I don't think is true and 2) doesn't seem to support your point.
That said, I've never got the impression Linode was giving me anything less in terms of service than similar outfits.
This price difference is pretty tempting. Does anyone that's made the switch from Slicehost to Linode care to tell us about their experience?
New prices: http://www.linode.com
Additional 1 GB Disk Space - (add $2.00/mo)
Additional 2 GB Disk Space - (add $4.00/mo)
Additional 3 GB Disk Space - (add $6.00/mo)
Additional 4 GB Disk Space - (add $8.00/mo)
Additional 5 GB Disk Space - (add $10.00/mo)
Additional 6 GB Disk Space - (add $12.00/mo)
About 20 times higher than Amazon EBS.
Anyone have a referral code they would want to me use?
Please and thank you.
I have a dedicated server (in Softlayer) with Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X3220 @ 2.40GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB (which I only use 5 or 6, so it's not an issue) and 2000Gb transfer. Price is 189$ a month.
Is it worth to switch to Linode's 4GB ram plan? I was thinking in getting a new server in softlayer with 12-16GB ram.
tl;dr: is it worth switching from a dedicated to a vps with similar specs?
Does this mean that a 512 host has 40*512MB = 20GB of physical RAM? If it is less than that, then where does the 512 figure come from?
Or, they're fibbing a bit by using that "on average" language, and they actually have more like 42 or 44 nodes, but wanted the nice round numbers for the marketing copy.
Edit: Oh, I didn't check the username. I imagine you'd know better than I.
They might give you four "virtual cores" but its not a direct comparison to a xeon server. In everything else, memory space and transfer, you are better off moving.
a part from this, linode service and facilities (such as instant backup and restore) are great, don't know about softlayer's
It's disk I/O where VPSs start to really suck.
I've heard from others here that Atlanta has been a very reliable LN data center for them as well.
If you click on any of the Linode links, you can see when outages occurred, how long they were, and usually an explanation of the outage (if Linode provided one to me)
When they got the UK data center, that clinched it. I had been hoping to someday expand to UK, so when Linode did that, I changed over that day.
Depends if you need ram/disk/transfer though.
What I've found is that this is not what many customers assume. Many customers assume that if they buy a larger, more expensive VPS from you, that they will get a higher level of support, even if ram/cpu/disk is deeply discounted on that large VPS vs a small VPS. So from that point of view, adding in a 'bulk discount' doesn't make any sense, because you end up spending just as much money supporting one large (and very demanding) customer as many tiny, undemanding customers, so from that point of view, Linode is doing the exact right thing.
Now, I've tried to tackle this by being more explicit about the "you are paying $4/month for support." bit. I'll be opening orders for large customers again later this month, I hope, and we'll see how well that works.
Another possibility is that Linode sees support costs as fixed... in many ways, they are. You need to acquire a good team, train them in customer service, and then have enough of them that at least one is on line at any time (I'm not quite to that last part yet, which is part of why I need to insure that my prices fly beneath Linode's.)
You need to have enough people to handle peaks, and support is very peaky, so unless you queue it up (causing latency and customer dissatisfaction) much of the time, many of your support people are going to be idle (or working on non-support stuff)
even so, the greater your customer's support demands are, the higher your peaks will be and the more support people you need, so I think the former is far more likely than the latter.
If their setup is the way I think it is, your 1024MB instance will have twice the cpu 'weight' as each 512MB instances, so, /in the case of contention/ the 1024MB instance will have twice as much cpu time as the 512.
Of course, my experience has been that cpu usage rarely goes above 50% on most VPS servers, so it makes less difference.
Do you know why slicehost doesn't just make their private API key a link in the slice manager? I'm also curious what extra level of security the API key buys. If I lose my phone people can still mess with my slices.
I thought the iphone app was a slicehost product - but are you saying you just developed the app as a customer? That's mighty generous...
Yes, all this probably change when Chunkhost goes stable.
200GB of traffic included seemed good at the time, but it doesn't already. I'm seeing (and using) more offers lately that have much more traffic included.
$0.10/GB if purchased in advance, $0.15 retrospectively.
Also, if you have multiple linodes your bandwidth is pooled.
The difference is that they sell their boxes with prices proportional to memory so that doubling resources costs double (25.6MB RAM per dollar), whereas at prgmr, you charge a flat $4-per-guest fee and then charge linearly for space on top of that (64 MB per dollar).
Bonus fact: If you both were to offer a 173 MB size, the costs would be almost the same (~$6.70/mo).
That's great! My 720 just went to a 1024. Thanks, Linode!
-- happy Linode customer