[Pdx-pm] hosting recommendation

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Mon Jan 30 15:46:41 PST 2006

On Mon, Jan 30, 2006 at 10:47:19AM -0800, Chris Dawson wrote:
> Does anyone have any recommendations for server colo?  I need a linux
> server, they would provide the hardware.  Preferably debian based, I
> loathe administering redhat, but can do RH if it is a good deal.  I
> want to use a company in the local Portland area.
> Thanks,
> Chris

May I suggest virtual co-location?  I use a virtual colo running under
Xen at rimuhosting.com, a New Zealand company with a physical presence
in Dallas.  I am using an RHEL image, but they also offer Debian.  This
costs me $21/month, which is the base cost plus a dollar extra for a
second IP.  I am on a 16-way share IIRC.  The "machine" is controllable
from a web page, so you have almost the same physical control as on-site
hardware.  This can be handy if you crank up iptables a little too
strong, for example.  I host 9 web sites, including Mailman lists,
multiple Kwikis,  and a Subversion server.  Plone soon.  It is very
much like having your own machine on a 10Gbps pipe.

A Portland-based alternative is vcolo.com, aka pdxcolo.net, which offers
a similar service.  I used them for about a year, but switched because
they were unable to offer 24x7 maintenance, and a lot of things broke
when they changed their control panel.  Previous to the change, I was
able to move partitions around, for example - it can be really handy
to keep a an "active spare" partition ready to swap in place when 
experiments render the main partition useless.  Perhaps they have their
control panel fixed by now.  About the same pricing.  

Note that ping time to Dallas averages 75 msec, while ping time to 
Portland is 35 msec, through all the switches from my Comcast connected
office.  At the speed of light in optical fiber, "local" is a large area.

For 2X-5X more dollars per month, there are local companies that will
lease a 1U Cobalt or comparable.  Slower hardware (even relative to
Xen time sharing) and more expensive, but sometimes there are reasons
to control a physical box.  That said, I can't think of any offhand,
unless you need the full capabilities of a fast (and expensive) box.
I hope to give a presentation to PLUG about using Xen-based virtual
colocation as an outside server, perhaps in March or April, then
repeat the presentation at Linuxfest in Bellingham on April 29.


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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