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Linode turns 8; Disk space +25% (linode.com)
200 points by gmac on June 16, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 90 comments



This is why I love Linode ... they do stuff like this, once a year or so and its so fantastic ... they upgraded me from a 328MB linode to 512MB last year for free ... now this ...

I wish more companies would follow suit. It inspires loyalty in very subtle ways ... I was going to get a 512MB linode anyway, but with the money I saved, I added their backup service for $4.95 a month ... I couldn't imagine going anywhere else for my vps hosting.

However, my apartment complex has jacked up my rent on me, even though I've lived there and paid my rent on time for 4 years now.


I'm certainly happy with how pricing has gone there: start out half the price of slicehost, then add RAM and disk space every 6 months!

It's a competitive industry, though. I could see how price of a given allocation of computer resources tends to go down, like we're used to seeing with hardware.


It's not like you have a fixed-rate mortgage on that apartment. You don't expect your landlord to let you rent at below-market rates do you?

I guess what I'm saying is if you want to lock in a low rent you need to negotiate for a longer lease.


Linode has never reduced how much I pay for my vps either, so I don't understand where you get the idea that I'm angling for them to lower my rent.

All I'm saying is that some token of appreciation would be great and lock in my loyalty. I pay for a garage ... a free month of that maybe?


The cost of disk space and memory decreases over time as technology progresses. Property cost usually does not. Certain building materials do not (sometimes it gets more expensive). Labour certainly doesn't.

If you're going to compare apples to oranges, you can't start complaining that apples should have more vitamin C. Linode can afford to give away these loyalty bonuses. Your landlord probably can't.


You were complaining about them raising your rent (not about them not throwing in things to please). The cost of everything goes up over time. Get over it.

Also your rent over the last four years was lowered by a little thing called inflation.


The cost of everything goes up over time.

--------------------------

Except server costs and bandwidth, apparently ;)


Or house prices (oh wait that has direct relevance to rental unit costs)


Rental prices didn't go up much during the bubble, and they are not coming down much while it is bursting.

No reason they should - after all, price to buy incorporates the speculative value of a house while price to rent does not.


I absolutely love Linode. I made the HORRIBLE mistake of using vps.net for over a year (from September 09 to September 10) and it was honestly the worst hosting experience of my life (and I keep an eye on them, still as bad as ever) so when I switched to Linode I was expecting more of the same, in over 8 months I have never had a problem, I've submitted 1 support ticket and that was because I needed help enabling backups (the host machine was disallowing it) and that was resolved in 5 minutes.

Linodes pricing isn't the cheapest but it's well worth it. I have 6 servers with them at the moment.


VPS.NET was the worst VPS service I've ever tried. By far. It's hard to convey how bad and unreliable they were. Friends who tried VPS.NET had nothing but headaches as well, so it wasn't just me.


They still manage to out-do themselves daily, yesterday for example they had "planned maintenance" that took out all customers in one location, the problem is they didn't email any customers before hand all they did was post on their status blog (status.vps.net, which is pretty well hidden already) ... but it gets worse, they DIDN'T post on their status blog until AFTER everything went down, then they altered the date to say it was posted BEFORE the outage. So not only are they negligent, they try and cover it up...

How they're still in business is beyond me. Edit: Here is what they posted as an explanation http://i.imgur.com/OgCzx.png


Couldn't agree more. I thought I was an outlier when I signed up for VPS.net and for the first 4 days experienced and outage every day and eventually one that took the site down for 2 days. The support was garbage as well, constantly going through the whole Level 1/Level 2 transitions which is almost unusable for such a technical service.


They were super helpful with an iptables question I had (I locked myself out of the server as well as took down several services I had running). I honestly expected them to say "you signed up for a VPS you should know this... it's not covered by our support."


When I asked Linode support my 1 question ever in 2 years of business, the person really outdid himself in contacting me - followup, additional tips, checkups, etc. Really nice.

For the iptables issue, did you try connecting to the server from lish? Same as with slicehost, when you're locked out the Ajax console can provide you with a shell on your server. Linode has lish too, though, which is an SSH connection to your server's host system. Connecting through there bypasses your iptables setup.


Yes, I used lish. The iptables answer they helped me with allowed me to restore ssh after I got in with lish.


Oh, I see. Guiding you to lish and through fixing iptables sounds like great service.


Congrats on the anniversary. To provide a balanced perspective on this thread, let me share our experience. We (Visual Website Optimizer) are hosted on Linode since beginning but have experienced degradation of service lately particularly around network availability. There is at least one minor outage every month in their Newark data center (planning around network outage is much harder). While their support is responsive, these regular outages affect our business in a very significant manner. Every time we contact them, their staff just says these outages _happen_ and unavoidable and I cannot believe they are okay with it.

Maybe it is to do with their increased customer base, but earlier these outages were much less frequent and we enjoyed the service.

We own 25+ servers with them and have lately given thought of moving to some other provider. It's their responsive customer service and the pain of migrating everything that has kept us sticking to Linode.


I notice a few blips now and then, too - it's visible on my graphs. Sometimes they can be as long as an hour or two. But then, I'm not getting any user reports in these times which makes me just wonder about the monitoring.

I was having some major problems with a server that would flip out under heavy load. Turns out it was the specific kernel I was using. Linode support was quite helpful once I actually contacted them about it.


I also get the blips which are visible on my graphs.


If you have 25+ servers, aren't some of them in other data centers and configured in some sort of high-availability setup? What's your technology stack?

(FYI, I'm asking purely out of curiosity)


We have a backup set of servers at a different data center as well. But routing traffic via DNS change to different data center isn't the best approach as some ISPs cache DNS and would still send traffic to old data center. A solution to this would be to have a round robin DNS to different data centers but that is still plagued if one data center develops a network issue.

The only real solution to this is BGP routing which is complicated to setup and VERY expensive (only big guys do it). Here's some excellent answers on SO: http://serverfault.com/questions/153576/global-high-availabi...


But routing traffic via DNS change to different data center isn't the best approach as some ISPs cache DNS and would still send traffic to old data center.

All resolvers cache records for the TTL (or SOA minimum for negative lookups) specified by your authoritative servers.

A solution to this would be to have a round robin DNS to different data centers but that is still plagued if one data center develops a network issue.

If the clients are web browsers they will try the alternative addresses in a record set if the one they pick doesn't respond.


Forgive my ignorance, but isn't it normal to cache the DNS for 24 hours or so by default? I think it's typical (though I've never done it, so I'll apologize again if I'm talking out of my ass here) to drop the TTL down to basically nothing well ahead of the migration so that when you flip the switch, everyone will notice almost immediately, and then you can push the TTL back up to normal on the updated record.


Huh. I have a number of our pre-launch hosting customers on a web server in the Newark center; I get a text message within a few seconds of an outage, and haven't received any notifications in quite a while (unless it was due to my own error).

Maybe it's something on your particular rack or node? Have you tried setting up new Linodes in Newark and migrating to those?


Which data center do you use? I have not experienced any outages with my linode server(s).


How regular and how long? They don't provide 100% uptime guarantee. A few hours a month of downtime is what 99.99% uptime. That's not bad at all.

I personally haven't had issues with the network in the Dallas DC.


There are 30*24 = 720 hours a month. If a "few hours" is 2 hours, then that is 718/720 = 99.72% uptime. This means 0.28% downtime vs 0.01% downtime. IOW, almost 30x worse than a 99.99% uptime promise (if that's even what Linode promises).

Math FTW!


ok.... seems like I can't enter numbers into irb ;p you are right 99.99% would be about an hour a year.


Network outage for us even for couple of seconds can be bad because we are serving about 1300 requests/second at peak which can mean a number of users getting affected.


The Internet itself is inherently unreliable. Your users will traverse multiple hops (many networks) before connecting to your servers at any provider, as will any external monitoring systems you put in place. Brief issues along the paths between them and your servers can and will occur. While the Internet as a whole is designed to route around problems, this doesn't happen instantaneously in most cases, although it can happen very quickly.

This is not to say that internal network issues won't happen at any provider on occasion as well, because they certainly will. No network is perfect, least of all the massive system of interconnected networks known as the Internet, and you need to accept and plan for this. To believe or expect otherwise is simply unrealistic.


We use the Newark data center and monitor our server with Nagios. In the past 90 days I have not received an alert because the connection was down.


My Linode in Newark has not had network issues since last year. Acquaintance has a large deployment there with 100.0% availability. Positive this is not problems with your stack or monitoring?


No, it isn't. In addition to using Pingdom, we are continuously monitoring availability from multiple different locations (these scripts also do DNS switching). Every time we detect an issue, we contact Linode and many times they confirm network issues (sometimes internal, sometimes upstream).

Just two days back they confirmed one internal outage. See this screenshot: http://imgur.com/jYzuD

Almost every time we contact them about an outage, we get this drup response: "Apologize for inconvenience" which is okay, but they should at least upgrade their infra or take steps to avoid it.

Maybe your acquaintance is not monitoring the deployment with higher frequency. We monitor our stack multiple times every minute.


I am pretty happy with Linode for the most part and haven't experienced many issues. However when we have had issues, diagnosed the issue and filed a ticket we get always get told it is a known issue and "Apologize for inconvenience".

Why do I have to contact them to be told they are having an issue? Why can't they let me know asap so I can mitigate any problems they are having.

The last issue we had was their backup system was failing and by the time we discovered it, it had been broken for days.


You can check their status page at http://status.linode.com/ or drop by irc.oftc.net in the #linode channel. They also usually tweet as well.


None of which they had done. And their backup system isn't exactly something straight forward to setup monitoring of to notice there was an issue.


Pingdom is notoriously unreliable and I base this on personal experience and experiences of others. False positives are the norm and it is garbage.


Maybe, but we do monitor using our scripts as well.


I've been using Linode for about 4 years now for dev and [small] production servers. They're such a joy to use. I agree that I could probably get VPSs cheaper somewhere else, but ... meh. And, though I rarely need support, Linode's support is second to none and it's a real help with something's going wrong. More than anything, I'm happy to pay a bit extra to support quality products and services.

So, joining the chorus: happy birthday!


> I agree that I could probably get VPSs cheaper somewhere else...

A couple of people have brought this up in this thread, and all I can think each time is that they must not place any value on their time or hassle when it comes to dealing with the cheaper providers.


It depends on what your using the vps for, I have a vps with prgmr and it really isn't that much of a hassle, even starting fresh with debian is a 5 minute or less process with the centos recovery.


I'm extremely happy with my Linode VPS. Never had any problems and the performance seems great.

Getting a VPS was my first real foray into Linux and I've learnt so much since I started by just messing around. The Linode library has also been a great source of help.

I recommend anyone who likes to spend hours perfectly configuring services they will likely never use, because it's fun, should get one to hone their terminal chops.


I would recommend the same thing for the same kind of people, but only after you do it on a virtual machine (VirtualBox) on your local machine. It's a much cheaper alternative (free), and you'll have a better idea what you want and what to do when you move to Linode.


Congrats to Linode, 8 years that's a long time. Which makes me wonder, was Linode the earliest or one of the earliest VPS hosting provider? I'm guessing in 2002 it wasn't that mature a market or was there already a few big players hovering about by the time Linode stepped in?


They were one of the earlier ones, but not the earliest. If my memory serves me right, a VPS as a viable option first gained publicity with Johncompanies.com, who were one of the early sponsors on kuro5hin.org following the famous DOS-attack on it. From the domain name registration it would appear that Johncompanies have been around since 2001, while linode.com was registered in 2003.


Yes, at least one of the earliest. It's much older than slicehost. When I signed up for them some years ago, there weren't alternatives.


What is so great about Linode that I would pay 3 times as much as on german hoster http://www.hetzner.de/hosting/produktmatrix_vserver/vserver-...

Sure the website is in german, traffic is not unlimited but I have used them for more than a year now and service is totally fine.

Edit: Prices include VAT, so the 1024 comes out to 15 USD without taxes, which is 12% more than a third, but still.


Website is available in English. You should have no problem communicating in English with their customer support, as well. Also, it's KVM based, in case anyone is wondering.


Well, my experience with Linode started well: good price, great interface, etc. Until somebody unrelated to me sent spam containing a URL pointing to one of my web sites. A recipient complained to Linode. Linode opened a ticket around 2am. At 6am, they simply shutdown my VPS becasue I didn't answer the ticket! I got the message a few hours later when I woke up.

I f you want to take any website hosted on Linode down, you know what to do...


For the record, we do allow more than 4 hours to respond to this form of abuse.


I'm guessing there was more to this story than just a spam complaint OR they gave you more than 4 hours


If you don't want your Linode taken down, you know what to do. Reply to abuse tickets!


Disk space was the one thing that made Linode feel a bit cramped, for me. Yay! Thanks, Linode.

Incidentally, for those looking for an easy way to free up a little extra disk space on your VPS, look into localepurge. On Debian, it's a piece-of-cake install, and it automatically removes unneeded language and locale files from packages every time you run apt.


I'm using 2/16GB (2/20GB now I guess) on my Linode. RAM is always the pain point for me.


I have an account with Linode and loves their service; however, given the competition from AWS and AppEngine, I don't know whether I should stay. Light traffic static website can be run in AppEngine for free. AWS has some very competitive pricing for VPS. Linode's yearly $240 fee is less and less appealing.


I'm so satisfied with Linode. You can't beat the prices and performance, in my experience.

Thanks guys!


I love you Linode! Best host ever.


happy birthday from satisfied customer!


Wow! The timing couldn't be better! I was regularly hitting 98% and 99% full, having to purge files here and there. I was just about to increase my space.


linode you continue to rock my socks


Hrmm, 25%?

I purchased the Linode 512 package a while ago... and installed an Archlinux image and had it use 100% of the storage capacity. Now, Linode's manager is reporting that I have 80% full... (instead of 75%, as this post would have it)


If you had x disk space before, now you have 1.25x. That means your current usage is x / 1.25x = 0.8.


Yep, that was a math fail by me. I realized shortly after posting that - but not in time enough to remove the comment. Sorry.


Nope - 80% is correct.

20 GB + 25% = 25 GB

20 GB / 25 GB = 80% used.


Why are bigger linodes relatively more expensive?


Except for the fact that the amount of transfer doesn't keep increasing past 2000GB after the 8GB plan, they're not. (If that's what you were referring to, my apologies)


There's that, and that 19.95*2 = 39.90. Sure, it's not much more expensive, but why is one 1024 linode not cheaper than two 512 ones? Surely there is some overhead in running 2 instances on one piece of hardware instead of one. Also, do you get CPU proportional to the RAM? That is, if I get two 512 linodes do I get more or less CPU than with one 1024 linode?


My understanding is that the 1024 server will be on hardware shared by half as many VPSs as a 512. On both of them you get as much CPU as is available proportioned to each VPS. But with the 1024, you have half as many competitors for that CPU. You also have half as many competitors for IO. Disk space and Ram are the only things that are handed out in fixed quantities.


I see. In practice I'd expect the others on a node not to make full use of CPU, so you're getting more CPU for the same money on a 512 (unless they artificially limit it).


They don't limit it to any extent besides giving you access to 4 cores of the host instead of all of them


thank you Linode, and happy birthday


I like Linode and use them. But 25% is almost an insult. Storage is absurdly expensive at Linode: literally 10x what Amazon charges for EBS stores (a little less, as Linode storage is local and there are no usage charges).

I really wish they were more competitive. Right now I have a tiny instance running my personal email, but everything else I do looks more attractive on EC2 or Rackspace.


Storage is expensive at Linode ($1/gb/month as compared to $0.10/gb/month on AWS EBS), but you'll note that data transfer prices are comparable. Linode may be pricing storage to discourage you from using Linode as a storage service. If I were running a VPS-only shop with no real storage "product" and no desire to get outside the niche-in-which-I'm-crushing-it, I might do the same.


I emailed them about that once, they said that those prices are intentionally so expensive to encourage you to move to higher VM levels where there's less contention on the server.

Upgrading your VM entirely is actually cheaper per GB than just getting more space.


It costs more but it's important to remember that compared to ebs the performance are way better(1).

(1) check every benchmark performed on both platforms


Linode storage comes bundled with a virtual machine! The more you pay, the more RAM, network transfer quota, and better CPU contention you get - without any extra costs. It's hardly an apples to apples comparison.


No, that's not correct. EC2/EBS and Linode are actually almost the same pricing model: you get a base configuration with some amount of cpu/memory/storage, and can add extra storage on a per-GB basis. Amazon just happens to bill by the hour instead of the month for this stuff.

EC2 and Linode instances are actually pretty comparable in capability and price. But storage is way out of whack: again we're not talking about Linode being a little more: it's a full order of magnitude more. That's just not acceptable to me.

I used to have my camera archives on Linode until they outgrew the 20G instance. At this point they're going onto EBS (or S3, if I'm willing to write some code) as soon as I get the opportunity to do it. I don't see any value beyond inertia to staying with Linode.


Isn't Rackspace Cloud more expensive? Or are you just talking about storage?

I think for many people, RAM and CPU become an issue long before disk space.


Unlike Linode, Rackspace Cloud decouples the server pricing from the bandwidth pricing. A base server on Rackspace is cheap and it remains so if you use very little bandwidth. If you calculate the Rackspace cost using the maximum bandwidth bundled with a comparable Linode VPS then Rackspace is indeed more expensive.


Uh, I think one of us is confused.

A base server on Rackspace Cloud is already more expensive than a comparable Linode VPS, even before you factor in bandwidth charges.

1GB Rackspace Cloud is $43.80/mo plus bandwidth. 1GB Linode is $40/mo and it comes with 400GB transfer.

http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/server... http://www.linode.com/index.cfm


Yes, it appears I was using Slicehost prices rather than Linode prices because I'm in the process of migrating from Slicehost to Linode. I did the Slicehost to Cloud Server comparison because Slicehost is forcing migration to Rackspace in the next few months. A 1GB Slice is $70 vs. the $43 for a 1GB Cloud Server. Sorry for the confusion.


Don't forget the flat $100/mo account fee for any month you have servers active too. Based on my reading of this fee, having a single server means you're paying several multiples of what an equivalent account with Linode would be.

http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/server... " In addition to the hourly service fee of 12ยข/hour per server, a $100 flat, monthly account fee will be assessed when at least one server on the account is active. The account fee is not reflected in the above pricing as it is not a per server charge but an overall account fee no matter how many servers are active on the account."


I'm pretty sure that fee is only for managed servers (meaning you are paying $100 for full support) and isn't charged just for your instance usage.


I think the overall value is very high in terms of CPU and bandwidth. However, I agree that the storage is a sticking point for many of my projects.

My solution has been to run my application on Linode, but I push uploaded files into an s3 bucket shortly after upload and redirect download URLs to the bucket url. Since one of my sites is a church with 50 GB of sermons on mp3, this saves a lot of money over getting storage on Linode.


I believe they used to call this "looking a gift horse in the mouth". Almost an insult eh? I hope you never encounter any real insults, you'd likely be traumatized.


How dare Linode insult you by giving you free service improvements for no reason. Damn them.


'Free service improvements' is pretty much what one ought to expect in a competitive market where one of the costs (disk space) halves every year or so.


You would think so but linode is pretty much still the exception with quality vps hosting.

The first year I used linode 2007 there was an insane amount of upgrades, maybe someday soon they will pass more of this on to us but I'm glad they are still doing it.

http://blog.linode.com/category/upgrades/


iirc they have raid10 arrays of 10k disks in all of their machines. Which explains some of their added costs. This review is a little old, but it shows some of the differences. http://danielmiessler.com/blog/disk-performance-slicehost-vs...




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