- cheap prices for lots of power
- everything "just works" (only contacted for questions)
- quick, friendly & to the point support service
- great uptime
- they are eco
- 14 days money back (for root servers)
- bigger latency for US/Asia/...
- you do your own backups
- they bill only after the end of month. had problems when card expired
- virtual private servers (VPS) have a tun/tap device so that you can use the VPS as a VPN server. this is not necessarily common with all hosters
- good speed/connection/reliability
- good hardware for a fair price
- I usually don't need to talk to customer support often, but I rent a managed server and once in a while, they shut it down for a major update. This is totally fine and they even try to do this in the night, but it happened already twice that they couldn't tell me the exact time (in a range of minutes) in advance when they shut it down and they just said something like "server is offline sometime between 7am and 11am". I have paying customers on my server and I want to put the website in maintenance mode to prevent data loss. "Sometime between 7am and 11am" is NOT an acceptable answer. The downtime itself is a matter of 5 minutes, but I would expect an accurate time to shorten the maintenance period.
- They announced a server downtime for "Tuesday night" once. So what is "Tuesday night"? Is it the night from Monday to Tuesday or Tuesday to Wednesday? Guess what, I put my website in maintenance mode in the wrong night. I hope, next time they'll get that straight and announce the correct date and time.
- They stored passwords for their managed server customers in plaintext until September 2011 and got hacked. I hope they learned from that, but still, extremely stupid.
I agree they should be more specific, but most people would reasonably assume Tuesday night to be Tuesday->Wednesday, as Monday->Tuesday is Tuesday morning.
they do offer 100Gb storage space though.
> they bill only after the end of month. had problems when card expired
you blame them when you don't update your payment information? i've been there long enoough to go through several cards, never had problems.
> Great hosters!
And I mean it.
The payment problem appeared after my card expired (the second month of using Hetzner) and the new one didn't arrive. They understood the situation and allowed me to fix the situation in a couple of days.
Apart from that one hicup, it's been very reliable so far.
(this measures the total time to download a static Hello World HTML page 325 bytes in size hosted on IIS from an EX 4S server in Hetzner's DC15 data centre).
CA: just under 200ms
Asia: even +300ms
didn't check Southern hemisphere
I guess if they're not short of space for hardware & cooling then this is a profitable way to put old hardware to use until the demand falls below the running costs. I wonder what the reliability is like?
If they have an affiliate scheme that would make s nice side project
Going by the rave reviews, I ordered the 512 MB vps to evaluate, and was greeted by an email asking for my passport and credit card photograph. I don't feel like doing business with them anymore.
I am a bit uncomfortable about sharing my credit card info. But since I already have shared my card number, I figure I can attach the card photo.
And even if I comply with the ridiculous request of providing a photograph of my credit card, most of the times I use a virtual credit card. My bank lets me creates virtual credit cards and link with my card/account. The card doesn't exist physically and it lets me reset the transaction limit. I reset the transaction limit before making a transaction ensuring I can't be overcharged. They would turn me down because I am concerned about my financial transactions?
No, they would turn you down because you cannot present to them their risk guarantee criteria that enable their low prices.
What kind of risks are they putting up with without a photograph of my credit card?
Stolen cards? People deactivate their cards when the cards are lost. And if people don't, then the thief has an active credit card and can very well send the copy.
I won't make my payments? How does the photo of my credit card help? It makes sure I have a credit card - it doesn't make sure you can make transactions on my card(limit reached, card blocked, payment disputed) etc.
My company provides a free online form service and I've banged my head regarding the abuse that hits the fans: Nigerian spammers using our service to do identity theft, disguised password collection forms, harvester accounts being automatically created on a daily basis and what not. I'd hate to imagine what Hetzner has to put up with.
Ultimately it's their choice to set their abuse verification threshold and their prices, and your choice to accept it or go elsewhere.
> Banks might be less likely to reverse a charge if you have a photo of the credit card and an ID of its holder. [citation needed?]
Yes, citation needed.
Another situation would be you have the photo of my credit card and my ID and you charge me 100x in place of x. What is the bank to do when I dispute the payment? Let it slide because you have the photocopies?
Also, there mail says:
> We are going to save the document submitted for a period of 3 weeks.
So either they are lying(I haven't read the t&c though; quoting from the mail) or having the copies doesn't do anything.
> Ultimately it's their choice to set their abuse verification threshold and their prices, and your choice to accept it or go elsewhere.
Oh they are free to be as ridiculous as they want to be. That doesn't change the fact that I can call the practice ridiculous, irrespective of whether I am doing business with them or not.
Given that you pay for the server in advance, a VPS is essentially zero risk for them. I am also surprised by this requirement.
It is not zero risk, the risk is quite high. A credit card company may reverse a transaction reported as fraudulent unless they perceived the fraud report was incorrect / steps had not been taken to prevent fraudulent card use. Web servers are good resources for uses which are often funded by fraud.
I am still not fully convinced, but this post makes some good points.
The second reason, why a lot of people (especially from Germany) will not be asked to provide a scan, is that they have a credit history in Germany.
It is really common to check your credit history first. The german credit agency they are using probably has no information about you, that is why Hetzner wants to make sure that you are not trying to defraud them.
It can be really tough to buy stuff online in Germany if the local credit agencies don't have information about your credit history.
What bank are you using?
They are the target of people who want to run torrent servers, criminal irc chat rooms, and stuff like that. These are not the customers they want. They also don't' want to incur the cost of setting up a dedicated server for someone whose just giving them stolen credit card info.
Since often stolen credit card info is distributed in text form, the theifs don't have access to the physical card. Showing you have access to the physical card and the physical passport does not prove that you didn't steal both from the rightful owner, but eliminates those people who just bought a list of credit card numbers.
While stolen cards are often cancelled relatively quickly, this can take anywhere from days to weeks to process thru, by which time they will have incurred the real labor costs (that they charge the 150 euro setup fee to cover) only to have those charges reversed because the card was stolen.
One thing that was illuminating for me as an american is the discovery that our banking system is set up very differently from many other countries. Thus things that are easy for us, are not as easy for them. (Taking a credit card is harder for a merchant outside the USA because the credit card system originated in the USA under the US legal structure. This is why shopping online is less common in, say, south america, than it is in north america.) Other things that are hard for us are easy for them-- if you want to give your friend $20, you just log into your bank and send him the money. The entire purpose of paypal was replaced outside the US as a simple feature on bank websites.
Asking for a photo of your passport and credit card is not really out of line. I understand why you would be hesitant to give these things up as an american-- when I first started doing business internationally, I was very hesitant as well. After awhile, though, you realize that trustworthy businesses are trustworthy. The data I'll be putting on hetzner servers is much more valuable than the image of my passport (Which every low paid border agent at a third world country I visit gets a copy of.)
If I can't trust them with my passport image, can I trust them with my data?
not completely true: I'm a south american (Chilean) currently living in the US. Shopping online in south america is not as common because: a) access to credit cards is not as common as in the US b) there's only few companies doing the inter-bank connection and credit card processing, which btw charge some excessive fees, c) because of the previous two things, there's no culture for online payments, although that's changing. Oh, yes... also d) interest rates are stupidly high.
> if you want to give your friend $20, you just log into your bank and send him the money
Totally true: internet banking is so, so much easier in Chile than here in the US, that I really miss it! Back in Chile I could easily transfer money from my personal account to a friend's account instantly and from the bank's web site, with no fee. No wire transfer but seamless inter-bank money transfer. The security while it could improve is very good...
Anyway, just a side comment on comparing online and internet banking in south america and the rest of the world :)
I was a bit angry because they didn't mention this at the time of signing up. It might be somewhere in the t&c but I think this kind of information should be explicitly told viz. we require your passport and credit card photo to sign you up with our service.
I didn't like the callousness with which they request the information. Another commenter mentioned he talked to them and they said only last 4 digits of the card would do for the photo. Now isn't this the kind of information they should be providing along with the request?
I understand I am giving them my card data for payments and the photo of my card contains less data than what is already there with them. But there are legal requirements for storing credit card info on which I can count. There are no such requirements for a photo of credit card exchanged over mail.
> The data I'll be putting on hetzner servers is much more valuable than the image of my passport
I was more concerned about credit card. I did find the passport request a bit weird, but then I had the same line of thought as you - a copy of my passport is with my employer, my landlord, custom offices and a bazillion other places. Identity theft is a possibility but an established business comes very low on the list of threats.
> I understand why you would be hesitant to give these things up as an american-- when I first started doing business internationally, I was very hesitant as well.
I am an Indian living in India. India as a nation is a late entry in online playgrounds, and as a result, most of us are skeptic when dealing online. As I detailed in my parent post, I mostly use my virtual credit card to make the payments with the limit set to the amount I am going to be charged to avoid being scammed(page says x, you charge me 100x). That is not a concern with established businesses though.
It is? Where do you live that this is a normal thing?
Aside from the passport, when I first rented a server there I had to send a ¡PHOTOCOPY¡ of my credit card and send via FAX. That was the truly weird thing :)
I tried everything to not send things via fax, but then I understood that they must receive hundreds of request from fake people with fake id and fake credit card. If they don't have at least the photocopy of those it means that you're probably a fake trying to get a server with someone else data.
In the end I decided to send the data anyway, since it's a huge corporation and they're based in Germany. If it was based in some shady place, I would never send the data.
Not only we have a national ID system (not one, but two systems, both with unique numeric IDs), we are required to photocopy them, along with proof of residence and several other things (for instance, something to prove that you do have an income and how much), in order to perform simple actions such as cellphone purchases (with a plan). You'd have to provide "only" your ID (CPF) with a pre-paid plan.
To be employed at most places, that same info has to be provided, more or less (you don't need to prove income, but you'll probably be required to provide a criminal record).
This is probably because of how trustworthy we are perceived to be. Nothing gets done without at least a proof of identity (sometimes, even using check or credit card purchases at regular stores). Not to mention the fact that we are..."advised" to carry ID papers everywhere, and the police will be somewhat displeased if they decide to take an interest on you and you have nothing with you to prove who you are, even though I am not aware of anything resembling a "Stop and Identify" law. I was never asked to provide ID, though. Were I black and poor, my guess is that it would have happened several times already, along with random street searches.
All that said, I've never had to provide my passport to anyone, anywhere, except US embassies. Most brazilians are not required or even expected to have one (and is not required when travelling inside Mercosul).
When I joined my first job, my employer asked for my passport(id proof), college mark sheets(unless you score x, you aren't eligible for the job), high school mark sheet(10th and 12th grade - some employers require a min of x grades to be eligible) etc. It's quite common for the employer to ask for the id proofs and grade sheets for the first job. I held only one job, that too fresh out of college; so I can't tell what documents are required when you change jobs.
As far as landlord goes, there is a legal requirement that landlords know the identity of the tenants. For their own safety and to fulfill legal requirements, landlords ask for some sort of id proof. It need not be passport though.
Unless you were looking for something more specific.
Is that common practice in India, are are your circumstances unusual?
This is quite possibly one of the oddest things I have read all day, and what, the 5th time the patriot act has come up in this thread? What in the world does the Patriot Act have to do with credit card transaction authorizations? You also seem to imply that credit reports are used to authorize individual card transactions, please provide a citation as I have never heard of this.
Your post very nearly hit on exactly the issue, but was clouded by this first paragraph.
So, let's make it clearer: the reason for asking for a scanned copy of the credit card is to prove the person who made the transaction had a physical copy of the card with an impressed number on it. This is used as a means of reducing the chance of loss in the case of a chargeback as online transactions do not require swiping a card through a POS terminal which normally proves the presence of the card by reading the magnetic stripe. An impression or image of a card is one of the most important means of reducing your liability as a merchant during a chargeback. The scanned copy of the passport is just further validation. We do the exact same for any transaction initiating from a country where we have received a heightened rate of chargebacks from customers based in that country.
Your confusion about the Patriot Act seems to not differentiate the idea of an individual transaction from setting up a transaction account. Perhaps you should read up on that more. The Patriot Act anti-money laundering aspects are not about validating every single transaction through a government database, but about validating the identity of a person requesting to open a new account. 
Hetzner prices are great for any software engineer. Having that powerful server waiting for my projects is one of the reasons that I had the chance of succeeding. I used to say that this is our profession and having a dedicated server is a mandatory thing.
Even with one server from hetzner I was able to virtualize it into 8 machines and create a real production environment that made it easier to scale. After you learn XEN it's faster than going through amazon interface.
From my past experience I always worked with people who wanted to use amazon or google appengine. I was always against it and said that the prices were ridiculously expensive. My colleges said that they didn't wanted to manage servers and the cost of appengine was only $2 per day, etc. This is a real story and when the time of high traffic came the $2 became $50 and now we pay $1500 in something that could be handled with ONE $100 hetzner server. After using hetzner I would NEVER advise appengine and I would only advise amazon if you must have the servers in the US.
For those who say that the site would have too much latency if it's in hetzner: just use a cdn for static content, http://www.maxcdn.com is very cheap and probably much better than just hosting in the US.
Their 2GB plan is 3x cheaper than Linode…and you get over 4x the data transfer! Does anyone know how the performance compares?
Another thing to note is that the new 64gb instance trucks a hexacore (6) core CPU and includes hyper-threading. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this means you can run 12 virtual cores in your XEN/KVM instances with this, instead of only 1 which is provided by the Hetzner VPS's. That's quite a difference.
With my 32gb box (which is a quad core with hyper-threading) my XEN instances can spin up to 8 virtual cores, according to the (h)top utility.
Also, running 3 dedicated servers for redundancy still isn't expensive when you compare it to traditional VPS/EC2. However, you do have to do everything yourself of course. Tbh I feel that people always tend to worry too much about "downtime" or "failing boxes" while the reality is that most people don't ever experience huge downtimes. If the app is really _that_ important then you're likely making some good money to justify paying for more expensive solutions and there wouldn't be a reason not to do that.
Edit: Leaseweb (who are on a VMWare stack) also offer something similar via Vmotion
The hyper-threading technology is a pretty cheap way to add more virtual cores to your VPS's which is great. One thing is for sure and that is that Linode provides you 4 virtual cores and not 12 per VPS. But, that of course doesn't mean their CPU is better or worse. But, if you can run 6 cores at 3.8ghz, or 12 cores at 1.9ghz then I wouldn't worry too much about not having enough CPU power for your virtual private servers.
If your typical load is actually at 100% CPU for the majority of the time, I'll go out on a limb and suggest that VPS might not be the best bet anyway.
If you're after any specific benchmarks give me a yell and I'll see if I can provide one for you.
Edit: Came across a review of VQ19 (2GB VPS) vs EQ4 @ http://code.google.com/p/catz/wiki/DedicatedOrVPS
Any other specific questions?
They're far more expensive than e.g. Rackspace there for some reason.
Whilst this might not sound like an enormous issue, DRAM errors are surprisingly common in real deployments and can result in scary things happening to your data.
If you're using a machine without ECC memory make sure you're prepared to deal with any possible issues that might arise, especially if it will impact your core business.
 DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~bianca/papers/sigmetrics09.pdf
See this Stanford ee380 talk: http://stanford-online.stanford.edu/courses/ee380/100922-ee3...
The part about DRAM errors is about 57 minutes in.
Abstract here: http://www.stanford.edu/class/ee380/Abstracts/100922.html
Also, AFAIK most hosting providers don't even have ECC ram as an option for servers, e.g. Amazon.
Given that they list both the standard memory and GPU memory next to each other, but only put ECC next to the GPU memory, it seems relatively likely to me that the standard server memory is not ECC.
On the other hand, the fact that https://forums.aws.amazon.com/message.jspa?messageID=203167 has never been answered suggests they do not, as they would answer affirmatively if it was true surely. Of course they may use a mixture.
EDIT: Interesting that James Hamilton is on their team and thinks they should use it http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2009/10/07/YouReallyDONeedE...
The costs involved were a lot higher 3-5 years ago than they are today.
Lots of things can happen, you should have a higher level of replication such that you can handle a whole server going poof, not just a single bit going poof.
The cost of ECC at Hetzner-- the cheapest provider out there- is about half an additional server. So, buy three servers without ECC for the price of two servers with ECC, and replicate your data three times (and triple your bandwidth, horsepower, etc.)
This is not hard with platforms like Riak which are distributed homogenous clusters of nodes.
And if your service isn't built like that, then really it should be. (IMNSHO, of course.)
Whenever data is read, you read from more than one replica, and then compare them. If one of them has been corrupted, its hash won't match and you'll know it. You can then write out the correct data to the node with the error. This is very easy in systems like Riak.
we have several servers at hetzner since 2009. The performance has been stunning. Biggest upside is probably the ability to buy 1 TB of bandwith for 6.90 €. What amazes me is the fact that they can provide such great service and still be highly profitable. Turnover in the fiscal year 2010 was 29.68 Million € with post tax profit being 8.925 Million €.
Just noticed they also added "1 Gigabit-Port" under "Additional Options" at only 39 EUR, along with an additional 15TB bandwidth increase (You get 100Mbit by default), and only 6.90 EUR for additional TB's of traffic. Pretty sweet if you're doing some kind of video/stream hosting. Of course it has it's downsides compared to S3 but when you compare pricing in "TB" to S3, you'll see how redonk the S3 pricing is. Now, if only Hetzner was also located in the US and Asia that would complete me.
Remember, comparing "x TB of storage" to S3 is silly. S3 is designed to replicate your file to multiple datacenters (their site promises ELEVEN nines of durability!), provides things like a BitTorrent tracker for your files, etc.
Their tech support is pathetic though, and the worst thing is that it takes them quite a while if any hardware fails - you could be out for days, with no possibility to even pay a premium fee for emergency repair... But of 5 servers I've had with them, only 1 (the cheapest) had issues (hanged on reboot)...
If you're from outside the EU you'll probably even get the servers without having to pay the 19% VAT.
Companies never pay VAT anyway, usually professional services display mainly prices without it.
That seems like a pretty awesome deal, if you're doing something where you might need the machine for a few months, but aren't sure you'll still need it six months or a year from now. It sounds like a particularly no-hassle version of leasing a workstation. Except that the workstation comes with a hundred-megabit internet connection, and no monitor.
Unfortunately, it's also 250ms away from me here in Buenos Aires. Neither elserver.com nor servilink.com.ar seems to have anything comparable (and ServiLink's web page seems to be full of broken links and encoding errors, which doesn't inspire confidence; if their web team are such pelotudos de mierda, how likely are they to be able to quickly replace faulty hardware?) so I don't know where to turn.
Annual net profits:
2008: 4.077.791,31 €
2009: 4.448.824,49 €
2010: 8.925.128,81 €
2008: 9.030.980,10 €
2009: 13.479.804,59 €
2010: 22.404.933,40 €
- cheap energy + human resources by building custom colocation facilities in regions where cheap cooling+power is available
- cheap self-made servers, no 19" form factor for decicated servers (they have 19" racks for colocation customers)
- hardware has to be refinanced in a couple of months. That's why the charge 149€ setup upfront.
- growing out of cash flow
- CEO and founder still CEO. Sometimes still interacts with customers regarding new ideas in their forum (German only).
see http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/presse/center for corporate press releases.
Particularly through certain resellers, including the own "budget line" (http://www.kimsufi.co.uk/). Not that I'd know anything about nefariousness, 'onest guv.
If not it might just be that they like to quote nice round figures (£14.99 and €14.99 perhaps) - this happens sometimes when the pound and the euro are (or recently have been) near parity.
Not sure if it's still the case, but they also used to have a policy of blocking port 6667.
Get a discount for buying in bulk, calculate your operational cost and failure rate, and go for volume. They have years to make their money back on this..every month their investment in new hardware gets closer and closer to being profitable.
it's linked on: http://www.facebook.com/HetznerOnline
and probably shows: http://www.datacenterpark.de/index_en.html
Here's a list of all data centers: http://wiki.hetzner.de/index.php/Rechenzentren_und_Anbindung...
The same applies in the event that the customer publishes content which is capable of violating the rights of individuals or groups of people, or that insults or denigrates these people. This applies even without an actual legal claim. We are not obligated to review our customers' content.
That basically rules out many user driven content sites.
gem install hetzner-api
How exactly are you trying to setup networking? Bridged, routed, NAT on dom0 vs domU?
These two pages might help you, though both are slightly out of date:
http://wiki.kartbuilding.net/index.php/Xen_Networking#Two-wa... (more out of date, but ideas are correct)
EDIT: ZFSonlinux is worth looking into as it's becoming fairly mature and provides the perfect storage for xen instances.
I wonder if hosting in Germany would affect a site's response time and ranking on Google in the US?
The EX5 is the last one with the old-gen CPU and was kept because in the early days of the i7-2600 it was too expensive to offer high-ram servers like the 4S (which was introduced months later)
This seems prudent when going with a new vendor. Reduce financial risk until you gain trust.
I have two dedicated servers (EX 6 with ECC) they are awesome. Until now I had no issue with them.
I hope they continue this way.
It looks good, lower latency than US East or Singapore, little bit higher than London or Ireland.
The only thing that worries me are the fluctuations between pings:
.. and it goes like this forever - bouncing between 164 and 230.
Linode and AWS are very constant between pings.
Is this something to be worried about?
"Hetzner Online exclusively uses energy from renewable sources to power the servers in its data centers. Our environmental partner is TÜV-certified NaturEnergie AG, a company that generates green energy from 100 percent carbon dioxide-free and environmentally-friendly hydropower. The energy generated by flowing water is, from an ecological viewpoint, considered to be the best form of power generation for the environment."
We considered Hetzner, but were concerned about the potential pitfalls of doing low-level support with a language barrier.
They also answer quickly and document pretty well the problem/reason.
In america, finding someone who knows a foreign language is rare. In germany, finding someone who knows at least some english is not uncommon- and in a company like this, I'm sure (but don't know for a fact) they hire english speaking support people.
If you hosted a party, would you be a "party host" or a "party hoster"?
What's important is the company's track record, and the likelyhood of that record changing, and from what I've heard Hetzner look pretty good in this area.
How would Google know my .com site is UK based?
Their online documentation says that it supports ESXi 5 and they put in a CD when you tell them with your order.
The question is-- can you host in germany and serve a customer base that is primarily in the USA? Our application isn't too latency intensive... but this is my primary concern.
Would it be stupid for an american startup to locate there?
I'd love to hear from anyone who has direct experience.
So, you can either have to implement good data protection so that your users don't have to worry about the FBI snooping in the U.S., or you can run the risk that some country in the EU decides to prop up some failing industry by extracting unreasonable tolls out of your company. Personally, I'd go with the former, but that's just my opinion.
In Australia (where latency to anywhere cheap-to-host sucks) many people use Rackspace CloudFiles because that gives you cheap access the the Akamai CDN. Akamai has multiple points-of-presence in Australia, unlike the Amazon CDN.
For apps aimed at the US market there are a huge number of reasonably priced CDNs.