I used to share a root server with some friends of mine. This allowed us to use a high performance server at a relatively low cost. I use to pay a share of € 40 a month, which is quite a lot. So we decided to move to several small virtualized servers. With VDSL 50, it was possible to host stuff at home, so I wanted move some stuff to my home server and save some money.
Because I don’t want to be limited by some provider’s stupid limitations, I searched for a virtualized server. To avoid any unnecessary costs, I wanted a traffic flat rate too. My personal limit was € 20, if the server was performing nicely according to my expectations. I stumbled upon Keyweb, a hosting company with a really outdated, but still serious enough looking design. They offer two kinds of virtual servers, one kind is called “VRS” and the other “rootDS”. So what’s the difference between these two? Well, a rootDS has a guaranteed CPU speed whereas the VRS don’t. Because the rootDS prices start at € 25, I decided to get a VRS, so I ordered “VRS Start” for € 13 a month. Included in this price is a 10 Domain Plesk license, 256 MB guaranteed RAM and 2 IPs. Perfect, I thought, everything I wanted.
I ordered it one week ago and got it this Friday, that’s 3 days more than their promised delivery time. On top of that, I needed to call them several times. Just to clear things up, after my first call, the server was delivered within 2 days, but my order wasn’t processed at all before. Anyway, after getting the server, I found it running with Plesk 8.01, the worst possible version of Plesk. So I tried to update it, but it somehow crashed and Plesk wouldn’t start anymore. I didn’t know why, so I used the “Reinstall VRS” feature of Virtuozzo. It was a bad idea as it turned out to be messing things up even more. First it didn’t delete everything and then the fresh installation wasn’t working at all. Opening an Emergency Support Ticket solved my problem within 2 hours on Saturday 1:00 am.
So after I got the server running, I started migrating my websites with Plesk, but it always failed because Plesk went out of memory while decompressing the files. How can that be? I only got Apache running and that’s not taking 256 MB RAM away. A closer look with “top” showed me that the system has 2 GB of RAM, but Virtuozzo shuts the system down whenever the RAM usage goes above 384 MB, which is pretty stupid. The system and other processes takes out way too much RAM because it thinks there is still enough available. A lot on the QoS Alerts in Virtuozzo shows the idle system between yellow and green zone. Doing anything small causes the system to jump into the red zone. Uncompressing files will take you straight to the black zone, making Virtuozzo cancel any new memory request from the any process. This again causes processes to crash or freeze, where freezing will leave your system in the black zone, killing your own server just like a DoS-attack.
So in the end, the “VRS Start” virtual server can’t really be used at all, but Keyweb offers bigger virtual server for € 20 a month, called “VRS Premium”. I have immediately upgraded because I don’t want my server dying from a few web site requests. Upgrade was done 10 minutes after I ordered it. All in all the VRS seems to be pretty fast and stable from Keyweb and I hope I won’t have any more problems with it.