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This is long overdue, I've been a linode customer for almost 5 years and I moved to Digital Ocean just yesterday, because their offering was just too compelling to pass up.

Looks like their (Digital Ocean's) pricing shook linode's cages a little bit, and that's a good thing.

I too tried moving to DigitalOcean because their offering seemed very compelling. Turned out to be a huge mistake.

After waiting some weeks for Arch to be re-released I finally booted an Arch image. Not a week had passed and some kernel upgrade had already made the system unavailable (no network on vm). I forced nothing, just ran sudo pacman -Syu as I always did on Linode.

Support didn't care. For days I tried responding to the ticket that I opened, talking to them on the irc, via mail. Nothing. I tried to request help to at least recover the files. Nope, nothing they can do.

I did not understand the true value of good support. Now I do. Back to Linode.

They provide virtual hardware, how is it their if fault you can't manage your software using of it? I'm glad I use Debian/Ubuntu. It also sounds like you never took a backup snapshot.

For two reasons: First they created a "supported" image that had no IgnorePkg = linux as it should since they don't support upgrading the kernel. They did this on their Ubuntu image. They failed to it with the Arch image. Second, you have no access to the kernel that is used to boot the system. Even after upgrading system kept booting the old kernel but network was still down. Nothing a user can do at this point.

You can access a recovery image on linode I'm guessing there is no such thing available for Digital Ocean is why he was asking for help in recovering files (even prgmr offers a recover images that you can use to recover files).

The fact that he didn't get any help is a problem that is what support is supposed to do and if he expects a higher level of support than Digital Ocean provides and Linode provides that I see no problem.

No, Ocean provides backups, though they're currently 'in beta'.

I wasn't talking about backups I was talking about a Recovery option which allows you to boot into linux and mount your existing virtual drives to extract data or fix errors/look at logs.

Hmm, I still don't follow you. Does Linode have this? After moving I haven't found any difference in features. Perhaps I just wasn't using this on Linode? What does it let you do that restoring from a backup can't?

(The use case in this thread is backups as voidlogic mentioned.)

The use case I gave was looking up logs to see how something failed and to access files that aren't backed up but still exist on the virtual drive (this can happen when the OS fails to boot). You can also repair the virtual install if you accidentally messed up a configuration file or something like that.

And yes linode has this: http://www.linode.com/wiki/index.php/Finnix_LiveCD_Recovery_...

Ah, thanks.

Well, Arch is not that good for a server because of this reason. I love it as a developer for a desktop system, but for server I'd definitely use Debian.

How is this Arch's fault? The user did the same thing he/she normally does on Linode. This is a case where the Linode ops really understand Arch and everything just works (the 'linux' package isn't installed on the image) but the provide the latest kernels. On DO I also originally ran into this issue but support never gave a clear reason as to why, from digging around it appears to be with the 8139cp/too kernel modules (they don't load). It seems like some kind of version issue but I haven't had the time to play around with this more.

This was not Arch's fault.

This was DigitalOcean's fault, for not supporting changed kernels without providing safeguards against kernel updates.

It was a development box/env. Anyway it was not a problem with Arch. Same set of updates on Linode worked absolutely fine.

I moved over the weekend as well. Even after this update, Digital Ocean is cheaper: 1GB RAM + 30GB SSD for $10 vs 1GB RAM + 24GB disk for $20. Linode offers 8 CPUs compared to Ocean's 1, but the SSD seems to more than compensate in my experience.

The one aspect that has me considering going back: Linode's backups seem much more confidence-inspiring.

Yeah. I was paying $29.99 for a 768MB VPS, with backups which made it about $40. For half of that I got a 2GB VPS with SSD and free daily backups. total no brainer.

Why do you say Linode's backups are more confidence inspiring though?

Backups in DO are free only for now (until June 1st). Price will be 20% of what you pay for your VPS. Plus - snapshots will be 0.02$ per GB. Plus DO bacukps does not happen every day and they are put on randomizer (based on load of backup system). For me every 3rd day is skipped.

wow ... thats good to know. I thought they'd be free forever.

Do you work for digital ocean? how did you get this info?

No, I dont work for DO. I'm just using their VPS to do some testing and to compare it to Linode (I use both). Source: https://www.digitalocean.com/blog_posts/snapshot-and-backup-...

Partly it's the UI. It's hard to tell how many snapshots they promise and what frequency.

Partly it's observations over the past week. I noticed a few days after moving that I had two backups the day I created my account, and no backups for 3 days after. Contacted support and was told they have some 'randomization for load balancing'. Asked what the worst-case frequency could be, and was told it's "usually 24 hours". This is the kind of thing that can bite you when the shit hits the fan.

(And the experience definitely shows what other commenters said about Linode's support.)

"the SSD seems to more than compensate" that really depends. If you are using the server for a web app, disk IO should be minimized and CPU is more likely to be a bottleneck. This assertion largely depends on how well your database can cache its queries. For the web apps I host, I'd rather have CPU over faster disk IO.

Tbh, I actually moved for the RAM and not the SSD, but again if you're running stuff like Sphinx or Elasticsearch (search engines which have their entire index stored on disk and then read into memory as needed), then having an SSD helps.

Also in the case where you're running with swap because you don't have enough memory, SSD comes in handy too, mysql is particularly badly behaved in this respect, it swaps too easily unless you load the entire db into memory by setting innodb_buffer_pool_size equal to the size of the db + a little bit.

long story short, an SSD can help out quite a bit more than you seem to suggest.

If you are hitting swap often, you're doing it wrong. The second any machine I'm running is hitting swap I'm reconfiguring the machine or resizing the machine so that it does not hit swap. MySQL can be tuned to work with the memory you allocate to it such that it does not hit swap. With the doubled memory it will be easier to allocate for query cache hits.

There are definitely some things where disk IO is important, but swapping should not be in that equation unless you have a problem. I prefer better CPUs and Memory to disk IO on servers usually. The database server is the only server I care about having decent IO, and Linode does have decent IO for non-ssd drives (a lot better than AWS).

Depends on the characteristics of the webapp, and how much I/O it needs per request.

On the other hand multiple CPUs only matter if you have a ton of traffic. My side projects do not :) At least for hobbyists Digital Ocean is very compelling.

I'm also looking at moving and was down for an upcloud.com trial later this month precisely because of the fact that Linode had let the ball slip on the quality of their offering.

This does play catchup, and the things that they have had in private beta are pretty nice too... but whether it will make a difference is yet to be seen.

Hosting is far more a retention game than pure acquisition, these changes are long overdue... SSDs are also overdue.

Honestly I don't see this as a reaction to DigitalOcean. If you look at http://blog.linode.com/category/upgrades/ you can see that Linode has a history of passing on the value of faster/cheaper hardware over to their customers. It just seems to be part of their business model to continually upgrade their hardware/features as it becomes economically feasible to do so.

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