The Lane At The End Of The Ocean
are a rather neat VPS provider. The fatal flaw with VPSes has always been I/O performance: You can't virtualise IOPS.
To unpack that a little, an expensive top-of-the-line enterprise disk drive can deliver about 250 I/O operations per second (IOPS). Any SSD can handle tens of thousands.*
So if you throw away the spinning rust and use nothing but SSDs, VPSes actually work. And since all the complexity and expense came from trying to make the spinning rust work, rather than the VPSes themselves, this is actually a very cost-effective approach.
Case in point: A Digital Ocean "droplet" with one virtual CPU, 512MB of RAM, 20GB of storage, and 1TB of bandwidth costs just $5 per month.
My physical servers cost rather more than that - but then again, they have 32GB of RAM, 2TB of disk, and 240GB of SSD (all RAID-1) each. If you need 32GB of RAM, 2TB of disk, and 240GB of SSD, a physical server from a mid-tier provider is still going to be cheaper than Digital Ocean. But if you want to quickly pop a server into existence to try out, say, CentOS 7, a Digital Ocean droplet is hard to beat. Not only is it set up to your specifications in under a minute, but you're billed by the hour, up to a monthly cap - so if you only need something for a few hours, you only need to pay a few cents.**
Except that they are not - at least yet - in Australia. San Francisco, New York, London, Amsterdam, Singapore. Singapore isn't a terrible location to reach from Sydney, but it's not great either.
If only there were a provider in Australia that offered similar SSD-based VPSes -
That were priced as low as -
That was run by someone I'm familiar with, like the people behind Mammoth -
isn't as polished as Digital Ocean (yet), but they're a lot more flexible; you can select the number of CPUs, amount of memory, disk, and bandwidth all independently, and you can adjust them at will after the fact as well.
The one downside is that this being Australia, bandwidth is STILL FUCKING NIGHTMARE EXPENSIVE with the basic $5 plan with 200GB of bundled bandwidth turning into an $85 monster if you want the 1TB that Digital Ocean offer. Though it wasn't that long ago that I was paying that much for bandwidth out of a second-tier provider in the US.***
Oh, and they're in Brisbane, which means a 30ms ping instead of 15ms I got for my old Sydney-based VPS.
provide a similar service at a similar price with nodes in Seattle, Los Angeles, Dallas (where we are currently located), Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, New Jersey (where our backup server lives), London, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt (currently sold out), Tokyo, and Sydney. (Yay!) Their configurations aren't as flexible as Binary Lane, but their worldwide scope is a big plus. Going to give them a try as well.
Update: I've now tried out Digital Ocean, Binary Lane, and Vultr. Digital Ocean is the most polished; Binary Lane the most flexible; Vultr the fastest and the best for global distribution. So far all of them have worked flawlessly, and they all offer amazing value for money.
Linode have also jumped into the SSD VPS market, with competitive pricing to the three mentioned above.
Then there's Amazon and Google, with page after page of pricing tables. Meh.
* Sustained random write performance is a fraction of the burst speed, but over the past five years that's improved from "a small fraction" to "a substantial fraction" and is no longer a problem for 99% of users.
** Literally - their VPSes start at 0.7c per hour.
*** Never mind that, I can remember when bandwidth cost me $30 per gigabyte, which rather puts $100 per terabyte in perspective. Come to think of it, excess bandwidth on my mobile phone still costs $30 per gigabyte.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at
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