Linode at Week Three

april 30, 2009

It has been about three weeks since I moved everything from Dreamhost to Linode.  I just wanted to write up something quick about my experience so far.

So far, Linode has been fantastic.  The two tickets that I filed (not related to downtime or major issues) were taken care of within 20 minutes of being reported.  I am impressed by the turnaround time of the support team at Linode.

The community around Linode is very active -- especially the IRC channel.  There always seems to be someone from Linode in the IRC channel ready to help answer questions.  The forums are active and people there are happily answering questions also.  There is a general feeling of community with the Linode team and customers.

My virtual private server has only had a couple of minutes of downtime and that was not Linode's fault, it was my own fault as I did not tweak things correctly.  The virtual private server is screaming fast -- especially for the small stuff that I do (host email and my blogs).  Based on the dashboard for the host that I am on, the host is idle most all of the time, so I get whatever CPU cycles I want.  I have not noticed any slow down on my VPS since I signed up.

The network connection is speedy.  There is no rate limit for inbound traffic.  There is rate limiting for outbound traffic, set at 50Mbps.  The 50Mbps limit can be lifted by request, but I don't see any reason for anyone to have more than 50Mbps outbound.  When I tried out the network (bittorrenting Ubuntu 9.04), it was really fast and steady.  Very impressed.

Linode has a history of giving out free upgrades to customers as thank-you presents.  I got one within the first month of being with Linode -- my 12GB storage got boosted to 16GB.  Pretty cool, I have not see this kind of thing from any other VPS provider.

The management page for VPSs is pretty comprehensive and it includes features like resizing disks, shutting down a VPS, rebooting and off-band console access (for those times when you "oops" yourself out of your system).  They have a programatic way of accessing statistics about your VPS which lets people have a way of turning off services if they are nearing their monthly limits.

Also included is DNS service through a pretty easy to use DNS page -- the DNS servers are fast and responsive.  I have since moved all my DNS records from GoDaddy over to Linode.  There is an API for accessing my DNS records (still need to poke around with the API).

So, while Linode's package costs more than Dreamhost's "one" package, the extra cost is well worth it.  Sure, I don't get the "unlimited" storage or bandwidth like Dreamhost offers, but the trade off is a stable environment in which I control most everything.  No more bounced mails which I cannot fix and I have total control of mail filtering.  No more downed websites because of something that I cannot fix myself.  Linode, unlike Dreamhost, does offer an SLA:  "99.9% uptime, or your lost time is refunded back to your account."

At the three week mark:  Thumbs up for Linode.

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