Found their machines to be faster than Slicehost, the service to be superb, they have datacenters around the world that you can select to be your location (I chose London, UK as my users are here), and recently they upgraded the RAM for free in all VMs they run.
Hosting with them has been a delight. Slicehost are a very close 2nd in my opinion, but Linode are #1 currently.
What I do use:
1. VPS from a quality hosting company. I use RimuHosting and people I know also like Linode. I like the extra level of managed server support for backup, maintaining RAID devices, etc.
2. AWS - love AWS. Some people have problems with performance of SimpleDB and SQS but these services handle queries in parallel so, for example, for a web app that needs to access a lot of data to render a page, queries can be done all at once. (Same comment on AppEngine's datastore)
3. AppEngine - great if your application is a good fit for the platform. Watch out for long loading request times: I use Java with Objectify, and I can keep loading request times down to about 1 second. (Non-loading requests are obviously a lot faster).
4. Heroku - for Rails apps. Love it.
* Intel Core i7-920 Quad-Core with Hyper-Threading
* 8 GB DDR3 RAM
* 2 x 750 GB SATA-II HDD (Software-RAID 1)
* 5 TB transfer; €6,90 for an additional TB
* 100 GB backup space for free, nice control interface (incl. reboot), NS control, good support
For DNS: Dnsmadeeasy.
For low latency content delivery: Akamai
For dirt cheap makeshift content delivery: several servers from 478east
For servers that need lots of RAM(>24GB) on the cheap: webnx
http://dyn.com/dynect is supposed to be pretty good too.
Before that, everything was running off a fast desktop machine sitting behind a Business DSL line at Sam's house. I'd highly recommend that option, since it's so cheap compared to VPS and you get to use as big a box as you like (and as many too). You only really outgrow it when your bandwidth starts to max out the line, which is a lot later than you'd expect.
Twiddla survived it's first few Reddittings in that garage. It was only for SXSW and the simultaneous TechCrunching, RRW'ing, LifeHackering, and Mainstream Pressing that followed that forced our hand in moving it someplace a bit more professional.
You run the same risks hosting at home as you do in a datacenter. Things can go down and it's your job to put them back up. There's no greater chance of the ISP cutting off a Business DSL line that happens to point to a residence than to a business downtown.
Your home net connection may be reliable, now, but if something bad happens it could be down for days, not hours.
But let's be realistic. Plenty of real businesses host their public site from their own office. At least, several of the startups I've worked for have their own server closet. Many of them don't have redundant internet connection nor redundant power.
It's OK to be a little bit flaky. Look at the poster-child for flakiness (some microblogging service that seems to be popular among, well, everybody), and you'll notice it's still pretty successful even with it's weekly tech-blog-worth downtime. Your average little startup probably doesn't need five nines from the word go. What it does need, though, is a backend setup that only costs $50/month. Hosting from your home-office will give you that.
Might not be a problem if you can pick up the server and relocate it to another DSL terminal (and re-point your DNS). Indeed a home based server might be more robust, line goes down or electric is off then move the server. YMMV a lot.
I've got about a decade of experience as a sysadmin, and I can vouch that their staff definitely knows what they're doing.
I'm interested in cloud hosting like Amazon EC2 or VPS like SliceHost, especially because I want to have my servers in more than only one country but so far all the solutions I found were not as great and/or cheap than the ones I use.
Here are some links for specific low cost servers:
http://www.kimsufi.co.uk/ks/ - OVH, great and cheap little servers!
http://www.ovh.co.uk/products/rps_offers.xml - OVH, great too but no disks, they use iSCSI which is better because it removes hard drive failure risks but with bad disk performance costs.
http://www.online.net/serveur-dedie/comparatif-des-offres-de... - Online.net, the other good french hosting company for dedicated server.
BTW until now most of my servers were hosted at my home but I'm moving to another country, this will not be possible anymore, too bad! Independence is one of my top priority so I don't want to be stuck with any hosting company if I find better somewhere else, like in my next basement!
I've heard that their customer support can be less than cordial.
I've experienced their customer service as friendly and competent.
If it's Python: App Engine
Anything else: Linode
- Heroku (Node.js beta)
- Joyent Smart Platform
- JGate on AppJet
You get both App Engine Admin Console and Django Admin Module => Double Win!
Worked pretty well so far.
The pricing can't be beat for static content and I haven't noticed any problems with uptime.
What are the solutions everybody is using for Load Balancing and Security.
I like the Slicehost admin system more than Linode's, but Linode got servers in Europe which is a big plus - and Linode have better specs than Slicehost as well.
As a server management company, we get a chance to see the support side of many hosting companies.
Softlayer is still the best for dedicated server in our opinion.
For example, Linode does not disclose the type of disk drive they use nor slicehost disclose theirs.
Hosting compaies always have a thing or two to hide. And trust me if it is cheap there may be something hidden out of plain view.
I use http://www.servint.com and they are really transparent. They use RAID 10 SAS 15K RPM disk drives, and run their VPSes on Dual Xeon Quad Core processors. Free cpanel, free daily backups. Linode can beat them in pricing but guess what? Check the server specs. I asked Linode what kind of disk they were using in an email and they said they cannot disclose the information!!! Servint is open and they show you everything they use. Free cpanel, free backups. What else do you want.
Lots of this hosting companies, have those as addons, and you end up even paying more. People concentrate too much on base pricing. Please get the addons you will need then calculate final price.
Btw, I ran the feature team that built the APIs that powershell and Visual Studio use. So if you don't like those, that's probably my fault. :)
Its also VERY annoying that only 1 Live account can have permission to sign in and manage the Account and Services. Yes, I know you can do some stuff with the certificates to allow others to deploy, but its a huge pain. Especially for a startup with a few people who are trying to learn and manage our account.
Used to be on VPSLink (was one of their first customers) but they sold recently and everything quickly went to shit. Don't think I'd recommend them anymore.
I've used Heroku for smaller Rails and Sinatra apps.
For my Windows Dedicated running some .NET apps and a Linux VPS for a few Wordpress blogs, I use Liquid Web. I feel they are better than most hosts as far as speed, support, and reliability but not yet a Rackspace.
I use Amazon Cloudfront for content delivery and S3 for backups for all of these sites.
For their smallest plan (512MB/$19.95 a month), there are an average of 40 Linodes per box. So, on paper, you are "guaranteed" 1/20 of 4 cores. In reality (according to Linode staff), most host boxes are for all intents and purposes idle most of the time, so if you need to, you can max out those 4 cores.
I've used my primary domain to variously host standard HTML/php, a perl-based wiki/blog, a ruby on rails blog, and most recently a django blog.
I've also use it to host a private git repository, do ssh tunneling, etc.
Not bad for $8 a month.
You can even do this for MX records with Linode, thanks to their excellent support staff adding the functionality to their DNS interface when I asked for it. :)
At Fantastic, we recently moved from Slicehost to The Rackspace Cloud. We're pretty impressed with them so far.
I've also been waiting for prgmr.com to have more available slots so I can give them a try.
For more control, I have a VPS on linode. But usually I just publish on webfaction.
The service is superb, instant activation and the speed made me jump ship.
I've no problem with questions like "What's the best..?" being asked again and again. If the answer never changed then fair enough, but thankfully the answer does change and we benefit from discovering what others are doing now.
I've been using Unix for 3 decades and at this point I see any time spent administering or setting up servers as time wasted when I could be adding value to the product. App engine gives me all the administration and half of the scalability solution I need, so I spend my time adding value.
I am amazed that so many of you have root. I'm guessing it comes because you value the control, and don't mind spending time on system administration?
The admin interface has an export option too, if memory serves.
Fastest there is, cheap, and they have an API.
Plus no contract.