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9 Aug 2018

The search for hosting continues…

I’m looking into a new hosting provider.

With a grateful hat tip to Surpass Hosting for putting up with me for the last decade, it’s time for me to look for new territory to hang out.
A secondary hat tip to the folks over at Scaleway is due, as well.
Both teams of folks are outstanding in their own ways, but my needs have changed.

Wherever I go, I’ll need the following:

  • A monthly bill of $10 or less.
    •  This one’s non-negotiable. I’m wanting to consolidate my web hosting solutions into one host. I’m currently paying about $8 each month.
  •  50 GB of storage.
    • Gotta have storage space for my email, because I’m ready to tell Google to Go Ogle the brown eye somewhere else. It doesn’t have to all be in the same machine — hell, separation of machines would be nice, really.
  • SSH access.
    • There are just some things I find easier to do via SSH, like download and install things. Occasionally, a torrent would be seeded. It also ties into…
  • Permission to run programs like ZNC and Deluge.
    • Not every host allows users to run persistently connected applications like an IRC bouncer or torrent client. While I really only sort-of need-want this, I have a couple of places I hang out on IRC where this is the easiest solution.
  •  Payment processor in the USA preferred.
    • Note: Preferred. It’s easier to pay someone in the USA than it is out of the country — I have to put money on a Bluebird card to pay Scaleway, because it’s a right pain in the ass to pay them otherwise thanks to most banks in the USA.

This pushes me into VPS land, but it makes things tricky.

I really like DigitalOcean as a company, but their pricing is higher than what I’m willing to pay for what I’d get.
While I can get 50 GB of storage and a monthly bill within my willingness to pay, I’d only get one vCPU if I didn’t spin up two separate machines with 25 GB of storage each. I’d still have two machines with a single core.

Linode and Vultr offers are much the same as DO, but:

I could spin the smallest Vultr instance with 1 CPU, 20 GB of storage, and half a terabyte of monthly bandwidth for $2.50.
This would be sufficient for hosting mail. A separate similar machine for my IRC bouncer would be nice, but it’s that last bit for hosting that leave me a bit shy — I’ve been putting off spinning up my own Mastodon instance, and I wouldn’t want to do it on a single core machine, which would be all that’s left in the budget if I went to Vultr.

I’ve been perusing Low End Box for suggestions.

BigFootServers seems appealing up front, though their VPS cannot run Docker.
At $49 (4 cores) or $99 (8 cores) for a year, though, the price feels like a steal.
After being screwed by CloudAtCost, though, I’m wary of a deal that seems this good — I could spin four or eight separate instances with the plan design they offer, which for the 8-core machine would let me do a single core IRC box, a dual core mail box, and the rest of the cores could go to web hosting and Mastodon. I’m just afraid that I’d get settled in, and when the year is up, the renewal cost of the plan would be three times that.

HyperExpert could also work, in theory: I could have two machines, which means Masto would have to live with the rest of the web stuff separate from email. I haven’t finished reading their ToS, though, because that’s important: I need to know that I’m not going to have trouble because I have adult furry artwork posted.

UMaxHosting also seems interesting, particularly with the yearly prices posted up, but my earlier worries are still present: How temporary is this low price that would entice me to pay for two machines, even if it gets me KVM instead of OpenVZ (which seems to cause issues with Docker)?

And that’s just the tip of the reading iceberg that’s had me stuck for a week while I try to find what I’m willing to risk.
I just want a replacement host that I’d be happy with for five or ten years, is all I’m asking for.

It just feels really difficult to pick now, and whatever decision I make affects this blog.

 

Augh.

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