Linode.com 1 year Xen-based VPS review

1Linode.com sells unmanaged VPS servers based on Xen virtualisation technology.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and it means one phisycal server is split into smaller parts and every "part" gains his own IP, disk space, CPU and IO resources. You are sharing server resources with other VPS-es, but have much better isolation and customisation than shared hosting supports.

Off-topic note: Besides there's management panel for Linode you should know Linux/Unix administration very well to make use of "unmanaged VPS". If you are not advanced administrator better stay with shared hosting or buy "managed VPS". It will save you many headaches later. VPS (like dedicated server) is not a "piece of cake" for novice webmaster. You've been warned.

It's a review written after one year use of Linode services for one of my customers, Cartalia.com.

Plans

Linode is not the most expensive VPS provider out here. Plans start from 20 USD/mo for 360 MB of RAM that is sufficient for many typical web applications.

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I selected lowest plan, Linode 360.

Panel

4Linode uses developed in house, powerful VPS panel that allows:

  • start/stop/reboot VPS
  • manage DNS records
  • manage disk space (make, resize partitions), etc.
  • see statistics (IO/net/CPU usage)
  • manage support tickets
  • buy add-ons (additional IPs, memory, disk space)
  • pay for services (by credit card)

You can also create many user accounts and assign them permissions (for example to manage one DNS domain). It's very useful if you want split administration between many persons.

DNS record management is intuitive. Of course you can check your assigned IP addresses and set Rev DNS for your server.

Very interesting option is a Lish console. This mechanism allows you to login your VPS after you messed up with firewall settings. You can compare this access channel to have physical keyboard and monitor attached to machine. Lish comes in two forms:

  • AJAX web-based console
  • SSH server

Personally I prefer SSH access (faster). Access to Lish console can be set using passwords or public keys (RSA for instance). Key-based login eliminates password entry every time you want to access machine.

Ticket system is very simple, but effective (and the most important: someone's behind and responds fast). I used it very occasionally:

  • switch billing scheme from montly to hourly
  • 1 issue with panel (missing IO graph)
  • 2 issues with VPS (not accessible)

All requests were resolved quickly and I'm satisfied with the service.

Platform

It's a Xen, so:

  • your filesystem is exclusively yours (no inode limits as in OpenVZ)
  • memory assigned is truly yours (no burst/fake ram on swap partition as in OpenVZ)
  • dedicated SWAP is present

Linode offers 32-bit guest systems, that means: lower memory usage than 64 bit. You can safely stick to 32-bit version if your memory requirements are lower than 4 GB (If they are bigger why bothering with VPS-es?).

Linode offers the following locations (I bolded out locations that are best for Europe customers):

  • London, GB, UK (new)
  • Newark, NJ, USA
  • Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Dallas, TX, USA
  • Fremont, CA, USA

I'm using Newark and Atlanta locations (London was not available one year ago). Both seems to be pretty stable.

Reliability

It's accessibility measured by site-uptime.net of one of websites hosted with Linode (details).

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As you can see availability is really good.

Summary

I rate this service "A" grade.

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One Response to Linode.com 1 year Xen-based VPS review

  1. They definately seem like a great company. I use a number of VPS for my site (especially for tools like the DNS propagation checker!! Might have to give them a go, thanks for the review!

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