I’ve been moving my blogs and the other’s I host through a lot of transitions lately after having a HORRIBLE experience with GoDaddy and then Compute Cycle concerns with Mosso.com.

Mosso’s new compute cycles are heavily counting WordPress and other DB driven site hits.  5 relatively low hit blogs, ~150,000 TOTAL hits, were taking up as many Compute Cycles as one of my non-DB driven sites getting > 2,500,000 hits with lots of graphics.

I still like Mosso and most of my sites are still using email on them, but a bit more predictable monthly bill is nice.

So I happened to run across SliceHost.com yesterday… The site is simple and clean and I was impressed at the speed of their own website. Some of the hosting providers I find while searching around have sluggish sites, which really makes me question their server/network capacity and so on.

Here is their basic blurbage from the front page of their site.


We’re just like you. Sick of oversold, underperforming, ancient hosting companies. We took matters into our own hands. We built a hosting company for people who know their stuff. Give us a box, give us bandwidth, give us performance and we get to work. Fast machines, RAID-10 drives, Tier-1 bandwidth and root access. Managed with a customized Xen VPS backend to ensure that your resources are protected and guaranteed.

  • No contracts, no setup fees.
  • Upgrade, downgrade, add a slice or remove a slice anytime.
  • Billing is monthly, cancel at anytime.
  • Payments of $240 or more receive a 10% credit.
  • Full root access and rebooting
  • Choice of Linux distro
  • Dedicated IP address and Tier-1 redundant bandwidth
  • RAID-10 disk storage
  • Reserved RAM
  • Guaranteed CPU share and more when available
  • 4-core servers running Xen virtualization instances
  • Slicehost management portal for reboots and software installs
  • Mobile management portal for smartphones
  • Ajax console access
  • Bootable rescue mode
  • Machines running with fixed usage limits, below full capacity

So I decided to go ahead and give them a try and signed up for a 256mb Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy “Slice”.  That slice is a virtual machine running on a nice large powerful server.  For $20/mo I get a VM with 256 RAM, 10GB space, 100GB bandwidth.

Some may think that’s so little, but it’s plenty to run a quite a large handful of decent sized WordPress blogs or other similiar CMS systems.  10gb is plenty for people who aren’t uploading massive uncompressed images, videos and other media.  100gb is also good especially if your web server is using mod_deflate to compress output.

Provisioning only took like 5 minutes, it was assigned a static IP and a default (hard) random root password that I went in and changed to my harder password.

I ran the apt-get install commands I used to get the lighttpd setup running on it like in my post back in April.

Basically in about 30 mins I was setup, I went ahead and moved over claytond.com here and then 5 of my other friend’s blogs and am in a “testing phase” now.

Back to SliceHost…

I really like their control panel, it is very simple and sweet and has pretty much everything you need to manage your VMs.  The backup is very simple and can be automated to daily as well as a weekly. These backups are FULL VM snapshots to take your entire machine back to a previous state.

A Unique feature is an AJAX powered console to your server.  I don’t think it really full supports CTRL functions and stuff, but it’s enough to change some permissions, delete some stuff, create new folders, etc.

If you outgrow the 256mb/10gb/100gb Slice, you can scale it up, without losing data and minimal downtime, up to a 4096mb/160gb/1600gb Slice, which is 16x the power/space at only 14x the cost.  ($280)

There are also nice stats to show CPU use, CPU time, disk I/O, and network I/O.    You can do soft/hard reboots as well plus much more.

A few months ago, I had a VM of about the same size at GoDaddy running CENTOS 4 (only Linux option at the time) and it was horribly sluggish and had all kinds of “default” crap on it.  This Ubuntu install on SliceHost is virtually a base install allowing me much more flexibility over what goes on it.

The performance of it was also generally lightning fast.  I’ve used Ubuntu directly on a powerful server and it appeared just as responsive both in the console running commands and hitting the sites remotely.

Network speed was excellent as well… Got 16mbps uploading some files to it, which again, isn’t bad for a VM.

One last thing.  SliceHost is running out of St. Louis.  After pinging it from a web-based “multiping” site, it got excellent low latency from all parts of the country, as compared to hosts I’ve used on either the left or east coast, due to it’s central location.

More updates will follow as more is experienced.  I think I’ve finally found a long term home for my Linux sites.


If you are interested in signing up, click here!