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My Playground Server

Hi everyone!! This is my first post in this blog and I want to make this post a place where you can find out what server I am using to test, play, run some Linux commands, and build a working server to host a website.

There are many server providers out there vary in storage, bandwidth, CPU access and RAM specs they are offering. And of course, the price is also difference.

Talking about my playground, the specs I was looking for are:

1. It must be a VPS
Reason: Normally a virtual server is cheaper than a dedicated one.

2. The price is cheap
This is obvious and just don’t ask my reason. However, cheaper is better for me.

3. Great hardware specs
A server must have great hardware specs ensuring to perform well as well as delivering reasonable speed. In this case I was looking for servers with SSD (Solid State Drive) storage than the traditional SATA drive.

4. Fast Network
Just like what Google says: The Web Should Be Fast!!

5. Reliable with great uptime
It would be daunting and frustrating if you can’t access your server, right?

I was creating a long list contains which providers are having the criteria above but then two come at my top choice are: RamNode.com and DigitalOcean.com. Both offering cheap price and both using SSDs.

But then my decision is DigitalOcean.com because it is a cloud hosting and it is having following advantages:

Cloud hosting describes a method of configuring servers in a flexible way
to allow for the most affordable, scalable, and reliable web infrastructure.

1. Simple
the UI is pretty nice and easy-to-use.

2. Affordable
the price is really cheap than others

3. Scalable
ability to expand or reduce servers in seconds.

4. Reliable
that’s obvious.

5. Customizable
it lets users to customize almost all aspect each time building a new server including server’s processing power, location, RAM and operating system. Remember that the time took to build a new server happens in just few seconds. They claims the process is less than 55 seconds but according on my opinion the time is vary, sometimes quicker and a bit longer but still mostly under 1 minute.

So I took my time to spin up with them and here’s what I can tell you:

I never found the simplicity like DigitalOcean.com (DO) in other providers. Signup process is so simple. All I have to do simply entering an email address and password. That is it; No first name, last name, phone number, etc and there is no phone verification process. While many providers use WHMCS as their main management app, DO develops their own billing and management software making complex infrastructure simple. That’s what I like.

The best part, I also found a working coupon code to get $20 credit in my account which is enough to run a server with 512MB RAM for 4 months there.

For my playground, I currently use a cloud VPS with 512MB located in Amsterdam. I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on this Droplet.

Update 1: Jan 30, 2013 destroyed Ubuntu and rebuild a new one this time I installed CentOS 6.3 x32 on this droplet.

FYI: DO called a server a user builds as “Droplet“.

server spec

However I will not stick with current specs as it is a cloud hosting infrastructure, I can simply scale it to upper spec with ease (if needed). Yet, I can also destroy that server and build a new one with another Linux distro because DO allows me to do that within seconds.

So if you ask me: What server is you are using? What OS, how much RAM?

My answer is simple: It depends.

I can simply destroy current Droplet and create another one with different operating system as well as different RAM spec in another server location. Yet, I can simply destroy that Droplet while I’m too busy so I don’t have time to play with my server and share it here with you. The fact is, I won’t be charged if I destroy my Droplet. Powering OFF a Droplet is still reserving a server hence it may still be charged. Of course I did create a backup (snapshot) first before destroying my Droplet hence I can simply restore it with same / exact configuration, and that happen in few seconds as well.

Stay tuned here in my blog to read more update from me.

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