Hoster review part 1 – 1&1

Since I’m using virtualized system across two hosters on the net I wanted to share a little of my experience with them.
I’ll be also throwing in some experience with two more hosters used in my current employment, while a third hoster we use there is also one I’m using for myself, so that overlaps nonetheless.
The first part is about 1&1.

1&1: VPS - Dual Quad-Core AMD Opteron Processor 2352
cores 0-6 omitted
processor       : 7
vendor_id       : AuthenticAMD
cpu family      : 16
model           : 2
model name      : Quad-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 2352
stepping        : 3
cpu MHz         : 527.444
cache size      : 512 KB
physical id     : 1
siblings        : 4
core id         : 3
cpu cores       : 4
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 5
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx 
fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall nx mmxext fxsr_opt pdpe1gb rdtscp lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni monitor cx16 popcnt
lahf_lm cmp_legacy svm extapic cr8_legacy altmovcr8 abm sse4a misalignsse 3dnowprefetch osvw
bogomips        : 4218.80
TLB size        : 1104 4K pages
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 48 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management: ts ttp tm stc 100mhzsteps hwpstate 

At 1&1 I’m using a VPS for my own purposes. This website and others are hosted on that machine e.g. Also I’m using it as a postfix and dovecot mailserver, configured to use with mysql. Speed so far is usually fine, it can handle all things I’ve required until now, but then again my sites aren’t high traffic sites where I’d need a CDN for my media files and more system resources. The VPS comes with 512 MB RAM, burstable to 2GB where needed, and 20GB HDD. A `cat /proc/cpustats` shows the cpu details you see above, with all 8 cores. The virtualization used is a Virtuozzo container.From time to time, though not too often, maybe once every three months or so, the server’s not responsible and seems down. Once it’s reachable again, an uptime shows indeed it has been down, unannounced, and usually there’s no mail afterwards either if it was an error, a hardware fault or anything else, which is annoying. Currently however the machine’s running for 110 days.

The admin panel is what you’ve come to expect from 1&1, packed full of stuff and initially throwing you off and getting you lost across the menus. Once you get the hang out of it, it’s fairly usable though. But even then, I wish I could just simply deactivate a few menu items etc. which I won’t need to simply get a better overview of my used items. No 1&1, I’m not interested in annoying 1&1 marketing material on my website, so please stop displaying these links in the admin menu, thank you.

So far I’ve used their customer service around three or four times, responses are fairly decent timed, up to 3 hours. Since it was nothing urgent, it’s alright. My last contact was a few months ago, enquiring when 1&1 will update their available OS versions for their VPS, since the current ones available are partially quite old and also don’t offer much variation. These are:
– CentOS 5 with Plesk 9 (64 bit)
– CentOS 5 with Plesk 8.x (64 bit)
– openSUSE 10.3 with Plesk 9 (64 bit)
– openSuse 10.3 minimal system (64 bit)
– CentOS 5 minimal system (64 bit)
– Debian 4.0 (etch) minimal system (32-bit)
– Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (64 bit)

Now what if I wanted Debian 5.0 64 bit, or Ubuntu 10.04 LTS? No chance. Upon asking their CS when it’ll be available, they do not know anything yet regarding further options. A simple OS update can’t be done myself either, since their virtualization doesn’t allow a kernel update. This is one of the major reasons why I’m considering moving to another hoster sooner or later, but a move is unavoidable. While I don’t use 1&1 cloud servers, I reckon it won’t be much different there either, since they also only offer the above OS for their cloud servers.

If however you’re fine with Debian 4.0 for example, 1&1 should be fine for you.
Their datacenter is in Germany however, so if you need for whatever reason a British IP (or wherever you are), 1&1 can’t help you there.

I ran an openssl speed test during a quiet time, the result which is below. It’s of course not likely 100% correct for all time, it provides an insight into its capability.

OpenSSL 0.9.8g 19 Oct 2007
built on: Wed Nov 17 18:48:57 UTC 2010
options:bn(64,64) md2(int) rc4(ptr,char) des(idx,cisc,16,int) aes(partial) blowfish(ptr2)
compiler: gcc -fPIC -DOPENSSL_PIC -DZLIB -DOPENSSL_THREADS -D_REENTRANT -DDSO_DLFCN -DHAVE_DLFCN_H -m64 
-DL_ENDIAN -DTERMIO -O3 -Wa,--noexecstack -g -Wall -DMD32_REG_T=int -DMD5_ASM
available timing options: TIMES TIMEB HZ=100 [sysconf value]
timing function used: times
The 'numbers' are in 1000s of bytes per second processed.
type             16 bytes     64 bytes    256 bytes   1024 bytes   8192 bytes
md2               1989.45k     4125.97k     5590.70k     6199.64k     6376.11k
mdc2                 0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
md4              35101.02k   112446.83k   296845.31k   499495.21k   628389.21k
md5              26450.97k    83783.45k   207084.35k   333685.86k   400594.24k
hmac(md5)        28835.51k    91782.76k   217838.17k   337404.59k   401812.14k
sha1             26254.76k    72624.28k   156869.12k   219339.78k   248651.78k
rmd160           20114.78k    51374.70k   101736.54k   133196.03k   146590.38k
rc4             133519.72k   143168.79k   144606.12k   145490.60k   147838.29k
des cbc          39161.99k    40682.84k    40944.21k    41152.17k    41145.07k
des ede3         15322.82k    15489.98k    15652.95k    15706.45k    15709.53k
idea cbc             0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
seed cbc             0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
rc2 cbc          26898.93k    27903.45k    28291.60k    28130.99k    28308.82k
rc5-32/12 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
blowfish cbc     74748.22k    79489.43k    80575.40k    80995.68k    81232.31k
cast cbc         57417.51k    60034.69k    60490.92k    60833.79k    60659.03k
aes-128 cbc      90647.31k    94798.21k    96972.97k    96438.95k    97446.57k
aes-192 cbc      79501.12k    82332.84k    84791.38k    84951.38k    84921.92k
aes-256 cbc      70912.83k    74501.67k    75442.52k    75679.40k    75915.26k
camellia-128 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
camellia-192 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
camellia-256 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
sha256           17398.81k    39804.37k    70127.45k    87554.39k    94535.68k
sha512           11995.42k    47636.63k    80090.28k   116851.03k   136131.93k
aes-128 ige      92059.70k    97478.87k    97646.34k    98255.87k   100237.31k
aes-192 ige      78219.81k    82415.71k    84138.84k    86212.61k    87484.53k
aes-256 ige      72613.44k    75602.43k    77223.34k    78083.94k    77187.15k
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa  512 bits 0.000274s 0.000017s   3648.8  58344.3
rsa 1024 bits 0.000929s 0.000044s   1076.8  22965.3
rsa 2048 bits 0.004630s 0.000125s    216.0   7993.9
rsa 4096 bits 0.027397s 0.000386s     36.5   2588.3
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
dsa  512 bits 0.000171s 0.000178s   5851.7   5604.8
dsa 1024 bits 0.000400s 0.000468s   2500.5   2137.2
dsa 2048 bits 0.001134s 0.001361s    881.6    734.8