Buying cheap Virtual Private Servers can become quite addictive. If you’re like me and end up mostly idling them, or if you need them for projects and experiments, then you’re probably spending quite a bit of money on them.
If you do not require a managed service, and can handle the VPS yourself in an unmanaged package, then you can save yourself a lot of money by using budget providers. Budget is often seen as inferior, which is quite often the case. However, a few providers do manage to have reasonable prices with excellent performance. This is usually harder to find in OVZ plans in contrast to KVM plans.
The subscription model is also important here, a yearly commitment is generally much cheaper than a monthly billing cycle.
Today’s Low-End Provider – AlphaVPS
Today, I will be reviewing an OVZ server in Germany and a KVM server in London from a provider called AlphaVPS. I found them through LET (LowEndTalk) and decided to give them a try. Both servers have 2GBs of RAM and 2vCores. Both claim to have SSD storage.
For the benchmark, I will be using nench – you can find it here on GitHub.
OVZ: Germany: 15EUR/year
- CPU: 2vCore (Shared). [you actually get 4 unless you abuse them.]
- RAM: 2.00GB / 0.00GB Swap.
- DISK: 25GB SSD.
- NETWORK: 1Gbit Port & 1TB Monthly Bandwidth.
- TUN/TAP support.
------------------------------------------------- nench.sh v2018.04.14 -- https://git.io/nench.sh benchmark timestamp: 2019-01-18 12:55:03 UTC ------------------------------------------------- Processor: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1275 v5 @ 3.60GHz CPU cores: 4 Frequency: 3600.030 MHz RAM: 2.0G Swap: - Kernel: Linux 2.6.32-042stab134.3 x86_64 Disks: Filesystem Type Size Inodes /dev/simfs simfs 25G 13M CPU: SHA256-hashing 500 MB 4.606 seconds CPU: bzip2-compressing 500 MB 6.103 seconds CPU: AES-encrypting 500 MB 1.291 seconds ioping: seek rate min/avg/max/mdev = 95.4 us / 525.9 us / 41.6 ms / 1.06 ms ioping: sequential read speed generated 3.12 k requests in 5.00 s, 779 MiB, 623 iops, 155.8 MiB/s dd: sequential write speed 1st run: 133.51 MiB/s 2nd run: 133.51 MiB/s 3rd run: 127.79 MiB/s average: 131.61 MiB/s IPv4 speedtests your IPv4: 185.168.8.xxxx Cachefly CDN: 75.70 MiB/s Leaseweb (NL): 71.46 MiB/s Softlayer DAL (US): 13.85 MiB/s Online.net (FR): 32.36 MiB/s OVH BHS (CA): 3.99 MiB/s
As you can see from the results above, the CPU performance is quite nice. The disk performance is about average, nothing impressive but not bad in any way. The network performance is also solid. Not a bad deal for 15 Euros a year!
Do however keep an eye out for the kernel version… since this is an OVZ 6 setup, the kernel is (very) old. This means no docker support, and can present some challenges. Since OVZ 6 is reaching End Of Life soon – AlphaVPS told me that they plan to migrate their customers to OVZ 7 when the time is right. So that’s a good sign!
KVM: London: 25EUR/year
- CPU: 2vCore (Shared).
- RAM: 2.00GB / 2.00GB Swap.
- DISK: 15GB NVMe SSD.
- NETWORK: 1Gbit Port & 2TB Monthly Bandwidth.
- TUN/TAP support.
------------------------------------------------- nench.sh v2018.04.14 -- https://git.io/nench.sh benchmark timestamp: 2019-01-18 13:00:56 UTC ------------------------------------------------- Processor: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1270 v6 @ 3.80GHz CPU cores: 2 Frequency: 3791.994 MHz RAM: 1.9G Swap: 2.0G Kernel: Linux 4.15.0-43-generic x86_64 Disks: vda 15G HDD CPU: SHA256-hashing 500 MB 3.228 seconds CPU: bzip2-compressing 500 MB 7.224 seconds CPU: AES-encrypting 500 MB 1.195 seconds ioping: seek rate min/avg/max/mdev = 14.2 us / 105.0 us / 26.4 ms / 444.3 us ioping: sequential read speed generated 25.3 k requests in 5.01 s, 6.19 GiB, 5.06 k iops, 1.24 GiB/s dd: sequential write speed 1st run: 116.35 MiB/s 2nd run: 576.02 MiB/s 3rd run: 598.91 MiB/s average: 430.43 MiB/s IPv4 speedtests your IPv4: 130.185.251.xxxx Cachefly CDN: 92.76 MiB/s Leaseweb (NL): 65.91 MiB/s Softlayer DAL (US): 11.57 MiB/s Online.net (FR): 52.28 MiB/s OVH BHS (CA): 12.50 MiB/s IPv6 speedtests your IPv6: 2a04:92c7:2:xxxx Leaseweb (NL): 78.56 MiB/s Online.net (FR): 58.98 MiB/s OVH BHS (CA): 1.06 MiB/s
The CPU performance here is slightly better than the OVZ server, which was already quite excellent.
Now… see that disk performance? That’s the power of NVMe storage! If you do anything that needs disk performance or heavy I/O operations, this is a godsend! Network performance is also slightly better. All of this for 25 Euros a year. Feels like stealing at this point! 🙂
Since this is a KVM server, the kernel version is reasonably up-to-date. You can run docker or whatever you please here. The isolation from your neighbors in the node should also be better here. You can even request AlphaVPS support to install any ISO you want, even Windows!
SIGN ME UP!
If the price to performance ratio above is making your mouth water, then you probably want in on these deals 🙂 . Your experience may vary, but taking a look at the LowEndTalk forums frequently is a good way to catch these deals. Do avoid “summer hosts” or those that oversell.
If you want to snag one of the boxes above or something similar, then head over to AlphaVPS here.
Click Services, Order new Services and select Holiday 2018 / Blackfriday 2018. From there, you will be presented with the different packages they offer. The ones reviewed here are the 2G – KVM and 2G – OVZ packages.
Do let me know if you have any questions. Don’t forget to secure your brand new VPS from SSH brute-force attacks once you get one! Or perhaps use check out how to use it as a personal VPN instead of idling it! 😀 Just don’t get addicted to ordering obscene amounts of servers you’ll never use!
I’ll also be interested to know about your experience with AlphaVPS and how it worked out for you. If you know of some provider that has some sweet deals, post that as well!