Monthly Archives: September 2009

now hosted on


this site is now hosted on my nodes at, personally i noticed a big speed improvement, hopefully using Aegir Drupal Hosting software helps make my drupal site management easier and more pain free along with getting more resources available to do more here 🙂

i hope the readership (i think its just me!) enjoys the improvement, hopefully this means real content will start adorning these pages soon, need to talk about my studies at some point!

if you are thinking of getting, i can wholeheartedly recommend it, in fact if you do decide to get it, help a student out by using my referral link: Thoughts and review (kinda)

ok so this is kind of a review but not, i hope you stay with me, there are many excellent reviews of and what it does out there and i dont want to rehash that. if you want a full review of what does then i can wholeheartedly support this review over at GetOnTheCloud:
i will rehash there pricing bit to put it in perspective for UK pricing, sorry for the copy and paste Mr Cloud Man 🙂

Pricing / Packages

A single node at VPS.NET starts at £15 GBP per month for your first node with additional nodes getting cheaper.

There is a maximum of 18  nodes per account costing £162 per month (£9 per node).  This gets you a whopping 4608MB RAM, 180GB Storage, 4.5TB Bandwidth and 7.2GHz CPU.

The most popular configuration is 6 nodes. This costs £66 per month (£11 per node) and provides you with 1536MB RAM, 60GB Storage, 1.5TB Bandwidth and 2.4GHz CPU.

You can allocate a single VPS to all your nodes or you can run multiple VPS’s across your allocated nodes to create your own VPS network.  VPS.NET also have daily burst nodes.  Burst nodes are used to increase your computing resources when you know you are going to need it.  They can be automatically scheduled to come online and only cost £1 per node per day.


VPS.NET offers a number of extras that can be payed for by the month.

  • Backups- £4 per month per VPS.  Includes scheduled daily, weekly and monthly backups and manual backups.  This backs up your entire VPS image so it’s ideal for disaster recovery.
  • Storage Nodes – An extra 25GB of storage costs £7.50 per storage node per month.
  • IP Addresses – External IP addresses are charged at £1 per address per month.
  • dotDefender – This web application firewall product is licensed at £10 per VPS per month.
  • Pro-Active Managed Support – Let the experts manage your entire VPS infrastructure from only £69 per month per VPS (£30 setup fee).
  • CDN (Content Delivery Network) – Pay as you go pricing starting at £55 for 1TB Bandwidth or monthly pricing starting at £35 for 1TB Bandwidth.  CDN plans get cheaper with more bandwidth purchased.

while the maximum number of nodes you can purchase at any 1 time is 18, i dont actually think there is a limit to the number of nodes you can have assigned to a VPS, while there is the physical limit of the hardware meaning that the maximum number of nodes assigned to a VPS is 60 whereby you basically have pseudo dedicated server with full redundancy, i have yet to think of a single server instance where you would want so much processing power and RAM, in every case i can think of it would always be more efficient to break that VPS into several smaller nodes and implement some form of clustering or load balancing.

the beauty of VPS nodes are that they get cheaper the more you buy, also i believe although unadvertised you can get a 10% discount if you pay a whole year upfront rather than monthly billing, if you know you are going to use all the nodes your purchase pretty much immediately then this is probably a viable option, for most use cases like myself its probably cheaper to gradually increase the number of nodes you have.

i originally took the plunge to test DNS for personal use as i was a bit concerned about some of the issues with my current webhosting one of which some of my sites were hacked by FTP (hooray that none of my drupal sites were touched!) and with performance and occasional lack of access for some users (DNS issues of some sort). i also am looking at for hosting VPS’ for the company i work for rather than renting a dedicated server.

the signup process was smooth and i signed up for a free cannybill reseller account straight away (just in case) after that i hit my first hitch, for some strange reason i was unable to create a VPS with my 2 nodes. i flagged this straight away with support and amazingly i was surprised when someone got back to me within 3 minutes YES 3 minutes, at 10PM in the evening. i dont even get that kind of response from a company we host a managed dedicated server with!
once i got on my way i had one or 2 issues that again support came up trumps with. there was one issue that i felt the delay in response compared to the other issues i felt was a bit disappointed, i did tweet my issue to the world and was surprised to have @ditlev respond to me personally within a few minutes asking me to email him and he dealt with the issue himself and had it resolved within 20 mins. this is great service.

one or 2 other challenges i faced that i think need sorting out on’s end soon is the fact that if a tech support agent needs to login to your account to try and solve a problem you have to provide your login details, this means you should change your password everytime this is done, this can be a tedious task for an end user, having to think up different passwords to use each time and then remember them, i have been assured by Carlos and Ditlev that this is in hand and will be solved soon

one other minor niggle although not an issue is to do with IP’s and resetting a VPS to template state. there is currently no way of resetting a VPS to template (or other template if you fancy a change) withoug deleting the VPS and starting again, this process is long winded due to the verification that you really want to remove your VPS, also if you dont recreate quick enough and you were unlucky enough that someone else was doing the same thing in your cloud region at the same time then chances are you wont get the same IP back, which is a pain because of having to change DNS or if you have IP based licenses (like ISPmanager Pro or Cpanel) what would be nice is if your IP is held for 15 minutes from VPS deletion so that you can comfortably recreate a VPS if needed without it being reassigned somewhere else, this would save the heartache of having to change IP in DNS and having to wait for it to propogate in most cases.

the biggest thing i liked about was the ability to effectively recommision nodes to new usage in under 5 minutes, this was brilliant and takes virtually all the hassle out of reconfiguring servers

overall i have nothing but praise for the crew there support is absolutely awesome! even the guys leading the teams are proactive and involved in the community which is brilliant yet again. in basic speed tests and the like the server is very noticeably faster than my old hosting, drupal performs a charm on there and i can tweak and maintain to my hearts content.

it does however leave me with a dilemna, my current hosting costs me £5 a month and is adequate (except for the occasional DNS issues and speed) my current setup (at this moment temporary) is 2 nodes on and costs £28 a month but is great for expansion if i were to move more of my sites there i would most likely have to add a node (or 2) to it to maintain reliable performance. as i am a part time student and working part time, i am not sure i can merit spending the costs on without working out some possible business case whereby i can earn at least a portion of my costs back, if anyone has suggestions about this or would like some simple and secure web hosting with proactive support please contact me

so marks out of 10 for… 12 🙂

So… whats all the big fuss about Snow Leopard?

So Apple released there new operating system a couple of weeks ago now it was labelled as Leopard only better so if you want a direct comparision from microsoft for example windows 7 really should be named Windows Snow Vista or Windows Vista 2.0.

i have had great joy in being able to test both these systems in the last couple of weeks, i have had my gaming machine running the Win 7 RC for a couple of months now just because Vista x64 just was so unstable on my rig, i can say it is a positive improvement, it almost makes me glad i upgraded from Win 98 all those years ago!

so Snow Leopard, what is all the fuss about? for most users you wont reallt notice any difference except for the default desktop image being just that little bit cooler (yes i still have the default desktop image) for the most part from a general perspective, SL feels much snappier than Leopard did which is really helpful as programs such as tweetdeck load in a reasonable time now. there are one or 2 bugs still to be ironed out, proof of which is the fact that Apple released 10.6.1 not even 2 weeks after launch is testiment to that(mind you MS probably would have had Security updates out within days!).

it was quite nice to save a good chunk of hard drive space, but i felt cheated that it was partially due to the change in numbering for hard drives from Base2 (the computing standard) to Base10, the hard drive manufacturer standard to say they have more space than they really do. i am still in 2 minds about this. I am all for reducing user confusion but at the same time i want things to be right and quite simply, computers still speak in Base2 which means that things that relate to that including space calculations should be done in the same format to be consistent, so really the hard drive manufacturers should come into line not the software vendors.

the next point of contention i have seen in various places on the internet is the 64bit debate relating to SL, firstly SL Server runs the 64bit kernel by default while the client runs the 32bit kernel by default, while you can launch SL client in 64 bit kernel mode by holding the 6 and 4 keys down while booting, it really actually isnt a huge deal for most users, you can do everything in 32bit mode still as before and SL will still address more than 4GB of RAM as before, there has been a huge storm in a teacup about this but quite simply, Apple got this right, not every developer will have brought out 64bit drivers for hardware yet (including printer manufacturers) meaning that if you boot 64 bit mode you cant use those devices, where as the most common setup of an xserve or mac mini running SL Server is quite literally more often than not is just the power cable and a network cable plugged into the machine, occasionally external storage via Firewire or USB or even Fibre Channel for the more expensive ends of the spectrum, drivers of which are provided already by Apple (as they design and build all mac hardware) i cant wait until Apple decide that 64 bit kernel should be the default and issue an update setting this, because in my most basic of tests, many applications open even faster than in 32 bit.

i have yet to test OpenCL or Grand Central Dispatch which is supposedly there new graphics processing (or more precisely making use of the graphics card when its not busy playing games to make other stuff run faster) mainly because i haven’t found anything taxing enough on a mac that Leapord struggles with to test on SL, with the exception of huge mailbox processing in mail.

there is still the odd niggle with SL but all in all it has done exactly what Apple set out to do… Refine Leopard and improve the performance, it has done this well, to much hoo hah and the expense of PowerPC users, which is a sensible approach seeing as they stopped selling powerPC machines in 2006, guys i really think you need to upgrade if you want to have the latest software.

SL makes me happy to use MS Word 2008 and spaces at the same time whereas it was unusable before, i can tweet at speed using my favourite program now and i have reclaimed some valuable space for my music collection and for photos. all in all it makes me happy and at £25 an upgrade… Absolute Bargain! 5 Stars from me!

hopefully less geeky stuff next time – i think i need to talk about Jesus stuff a bit more!