Hosting Providers – You get what you pay for.

A tale of two hosting providers

I had to change away from my old hosting provider, cloudatcost. They were not keeping up with their promised service, and lots of user have complained about them. Despite 4 support tickets and 5 months of complaints, service is unchanged (more on that later). Due to this, I have switched over to RamNode (ramnode.com), and so far the difference is night and day (or perhaps 3G and gigabit).


Apples to Oranges

Always a good idea to say more than just “it’s better”, hard numbers help make decisions in a price/performance market. A great place to start is Serverbear.com. You can download and run a standardized set of Linux tests on any server, and automatically see the results online. Below we can see that although CloudatCost provides just slightly higher benchmark performance, it suffers by 2 orders of magnitude or more in all other categories. This test was done several times, and we can see that CloudatCost is consistently under-provisioning both the network hardware and the disk resources of their instances. On one of the support tickets I had with them, they claimed a “faulty router in the network”, but no improvements were ever seen.

SVZ - Hosting Providers

Cloudpro - Hosting Providers

Raw performance stats in a snapshot are ok to start, but how do you test reliability of service? pingdom.com. Though pingdom has recently cut back on the services they offer for free (gotta make a living), they still offer a very good way to track server outages and issues. Here we can compare historic data to see how often a service goes down, how fast it responds, etc:

cloudatcost uptime of 96%, outages every week. - Hosting Providers
cloudatcost uptime of 96%, outages a few times every week.

And here is a zoomed in view of the last few days:

Notice a Difference? - Hosting Providers
Notice a Difference?

Looking at the second graph, if you had to guess, when did I switch over providers? Fairly obvious, when the response time became smooth and fast, and the outages stopped.

One more quick note, a good online tool to hammer your website with simulated load to test for issues: loadimpact.com

Self Regulation (sorta…)

After more than 5 months of support tickets and public complaints, nothing changed. Cloud at cost never hit advertised up times, speeds or performance, though they do have a (mostly working…) online interface, so that is nice….

Here in Canada, we have the Better Business Bureau, a group dedicated to helping customers and business establish and report on breaches of trust. I submitted a formal complaint to them about the lack of service. This is what I got back after a little while:

Complaint Case: 1329069
Business Name: Cloud at Cost

BBB has made several attempts to contact the business regarding the above referenced complaint. We regret to inform you that we have not received a response from the company. The case has been closed as will be reported as UNANSWERED.

Despite all this, cloud at cost continually run “80% off sale” “Black Friday Sale” (all emailed to my account) and get new customer sign ups.

As much as I love to support local businesses, their service at this point is essentially a scam, as they deliver a fraction of the promised service.

DO NOT USE!

 

  • Disclaimer: I have not been paid by anyone, nor received any benefit from this info. This is just my own info gathering, done using my personal funds.