Sunday, December 22


The Vultrs Are Circling

I wanted to try out the new system on something closer to a deployment environment, but didn't feel like committing to another dedicated server.  Then I noticed that Vultr has rolled out their "high frequency" nodes worldwide - 3.8GHz CPUs and NVMe storage, starting at $6 per month.

I spun up a $24 instance (about 4¢ per hour) and loaded everything up, and set it to running the test suite.

And it immediately turned in performance 3x faster than the dev environment, which does run at 2.6GHz, yes, but has twice the cores and twice the RAM.

Turns out it's that NVMe drive that makes all the difference.  Write latency is typically between 200 and 300 Âµs on my dev server, but it's consistently 80 Âµs on the Vultr node.

Given that performance and the low pricing, this looks like a good option for production.

I'll try configuring one with ZFS and see how that goes; the default install is EXT4.  Since Vultr provide free full-server snapshot backups and fairly generous storage (the standard $20 server has 80GB of space; the $24 high frequency server has 128GB) ZFS isn't critical if it proves irksome.

(ZFS is brilliant for the dev environment though. because spinning up a whole new virtual server uses about 3MB of disk space, so long as it's the same version of Linux as an existing virtual server.  ZFS can both compress files automatically and merge identical files.)

Update: Thumbs up for Vultr.  Installing a custom ISO couldn't be easier; they even have a list of ready-to-go installers that do a standard setup that will work with your Vultr VPS but let you customise your filesystems.

Update 2: So I ended up spending the afternoon moving my dev environments over to Vultr, because I'm getting around twice the CPU performance and three times the I/O performance.  It will probably work out somewhat cheaper too, since I can make do with a smaller server. 

I hope.  It's configured with 4GB RAM and 16GB of swap, because there's a lot of stuff that gets used maybe once a month, and the idea is it will get swapped out to that nice fast NVMe storage and then swapped back in when it's needed.  If I do need to go for the same memory size as before it will end up costing more, but will also be faster and have more disk space.

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