Hoster review part 4 – ElasticHosts

Part 4 of my personal hoster review

ElasticHost: Virtual cloud server
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 23
model name      : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E5420  @ 2.50GHz
stepping        : 10
cpu MHz         : 2500.004
cache size      : 4096 KB
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 13
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 ss syscall nx lm constant_tsc up rep_good pni ssse3 cx16 sse4_1 lahf_lm
bogomips        : 5035.22
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

The last one in the list currently used is ElasticHosts. At some point I was busy identifying a potential new cloud hoster to move some of our current servers at Flexiscale to. In the course of doing so, I came across ElasticHosts, which offered a 5 day trial to all new customers to play around with their control panel and also create a live server, coupled with a video tutorial how to exactly use the panel. After trying out the trial for myself, I was convinced that ElasticHosts is the provider to switch to. A unique feature so far is that upon creating your own server with them, you also create a hard disk. However you can assign that hard disk around to any other server if you want / need to. Equally you also can only create a virtual hard disk without having to create a server, and attach it to an existing server.

Compared to most providers, where you buy set pieces of RAM, HDD space and amount of CPUs, you can set the very MHz for your server’s speed with ElasticHosts by buying the exact amount of MHz you want, the exact amount of RAM in MB, the exact amount of GB for your hard drive(s) as well as the exact amount of GB for your bandwidth you know or think you’ll use for the month. I.e. if you want a server with funny numbers such as 3654 MHz speed, 341 MB RAM, 123 GB HDD, you can have that. There’s a minimal amount you need to purchase, but you can assign that to as many servers as you can create. It’s an interesting and useful feature.

Initially they block the ports 25 and I think 22 and 23. If you need these unblocked, you need to contact their customer support, and usually you’ll get a reply fairly fast from ‘Anna Griffiths’. However I believe that’s just a name made up and used by the entire support team, since Anna Griffiths cannot reply to mails 24/7 all by herself, as I’ve gotten multiple replies over days and evenings weekdays and weekends all by her.

<Update 24th November 2010>
I’ve been made aware of by ElasticHosts that Anna is indeed a real person.
So, Hi Anna. 🙂
</Update 24th November 2010>

Reverse DNS settings you need to set up through mail to the customer support as well, whereas Rackspace and Flexiscale (if I remember correctly with latter) you can do it in their control panel. Since we usually set the reverse DNS for each server, that means a new mail everytime you set up another server.

We’re over half a year now with ElasticHosts and in that time I cannot recall any of our servers going down due to a fault.

Being quite impressed with their services so far I decided that my page Freelancer-team.com should be hosted there as well. Initially I had it running for a few weeks on my 1&1 VPS, but I wanted a separate box for it sooner or later anyway.

This machine I have now since about two months, however just recently a hardware fault in the datacenter where the machines are located affected my rented machine, and was unreachable for a short while, until the hardware has been exchanged. The server itself did not go down, it carried on. This downtime did not affect the machines used in my workplace.

Same with Flexiscale and Rackspacecloud, they charge per hour for the same reasons, being able to scale up and down your resource use on the fly.

IPs are bought separately and then allocated to each machine per your choice. If you want to use more than one IP address for a machine, you can however only allocate one IP per machine via the control panel, the primary IP for eth0. Further IPs for that machine need to be configured by yourself using NIC aliases, such as eth0:0 etc.

This can cause confusion on the control panel which lists the IP addresses and each server has the IP assigned listed too, as recently a colleague saw one IP not assigned to any server on the control panel and assigned the seemingly free one to a new server. However that one was already assigned via alias to a different machine.

Creating a new server you have the choice of a pre-installed system, self install from CD, boot from live CD or custom, meaning you can upload your own iso and install that. You’ll need to connect via vnc in any case for the initial set up, at least setting a password for root and creating a new user for you to ssh into your box with that user.

The offered distributions are, all 64 bit:

Pre-installed:
– CentOS 5.5
– Debian 5
– Ubuntu 10.04

Self-install from CD:
– CentOS 5.3
– CentOS 5.4
– CentOS 5.5
– Debian 5.0
– FreeBSD 7.2
– FreeBSD 8.0
– Knoppix 6.0.1
– OpenSolaris 2009.06
– Fedora 10 Live or Install CD
– Fedora 11 Live or Install CD
– Fedora 12 Live or Install CD
– Fedora 13 Live or Install CD
– Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS Server install
– Ubuntu 9.10 Server install
– Ubuntu 9.04 Server install
– Ubuntu 8.10 Server install
– Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server install

Boot from Live CD offers same list as Self-Install list.
Apart from this, you can also chose to boot a new server from an already existing hard drive of yours.
ElasticHosts uses KVM as their virtualization system of choice.

Below is an openssl speed test taken on the freelancer-team box, which has 2000 MHz allocated for its cpu and 1024 MB for its RAM.

OpenSSL 0.9.8o 01 Jun 2010
built on: Thu Aug 26 17:00:49 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 
-DOPENSSL_BN_ASM_MONT -DSHA1_ASM -DSHA256_ASM -DSHA512_ASM -DMD5_ASM -DAES_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               1533.25k     3141.84k     4410.79k     4893.28k     5008.04k
mdc2                 0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
md4              45372.94k   148323.50k   366041.26k   506113.20k   675155.05k
md5              35391.04k   106443.73k   248863.49k   366282.07k   410831.55k
hmac(md5)        34195.38k   100568.47k   241969.32k   361283.98k   423534.59k
sha1             36263.79k   101847.42k   219307.61k   306496.17k   355214.98k
rmd160           23947.25k    60555.93k   118653.86k   152309.08k   162574.21k
rc4             288737.54k   308245.60k   315791.86k   312219.99k   320591.19k
des cbc          46896.31k    47354.05k    47763.76k    48033.11k    48087.04k
des ede3         17902.17k    17641.95k    18400.41k    18646.02k    18183.51k
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          24100.87k    24760.79k    24814.93k    24177.32k    23301.99k
rc5-32/12 cbc        0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00         0.00
blowfish cbc     78645.16k    82457.71k    85820.96k    86133.76k    86523.52k
cast cbc         63750.81k    68517.65k    69404.94k    68159.15k    63433.39k
aes-128 cbc      86688.35k   134881.56k   162097.58k   168429.57k   169123.84k
aes-192 cbc      79698.17k   120163.33k   136115.46k   137562.58k   142060.20k
aes-256 cbc      70039.56k   106674.28k   112977.41k   117973.36k   113371.82k
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           26821.54k    59663.27k   110696.28k   136516.27k   148094.98k
sha512           18961.10k    67699.74k   132513.27k   200219.49k   227209.79k
aes-128 ige     129987.13k   144361.66k   146980.82k   130825.14k   145642.84k
aes-192 ige      92688.92k   124375.15k   121082.09k   128715.09k   130784.32k
aes-256 ige     102719.21k   104618.07k   112141.65k   113096.02k   114649.64k
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
rsa  512 bits 0.000136s 0.000013s   7341.4  79665.8
rsa 1024 bits 0.000658s 0.000036s   1519.0  27670.5
rsa 2048 bits 0.003994s 0.000119s    250.4   8380.4
rsa 4096 bits 0.029184s 0.000561s     34.3   1783.8
                  sign    verify    sign/s verify/s
dsa  512 bits 0.000151s 0.000135s   6625.7   7381.9
dsa 1024 bits 0.000345s 0.000390s   2901.5   2560.9
dsa 2048 bits 0.001155s 0.001404s    865.9    712.2

3 thoughts on “Hoster review part 4 – ElasticHosts

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