Hosting recommendations ... ?

Hey gang ...

Looking for a reputable (i.e., no hosting of spammers or other ne'er-do-wells) hosting provider with possibly a global footprint. If not, US is #1 desire; EU #2.

Requirements, more or less:

* Desire to host 2-3 hypervisors, probably running something akin to Proxmox ...

* ~5-10TB storage with the possibility of expansion ...

* 1G hand-off / 100 Mbps or less commit ... i.e., low BW, but burstable.

* Bringing my own IP space and need to be able to peer BGP with vendor.

* Cross-DC redundancy or mirroring or somesuch desirable.

* Backups are of interest, although I can do my own if need be.

Any recommendations that are non-Amazonian? Feel free to reach out off-list if you prefer.

#1 requirement ... the reputability part ...

Thank you all in advance!

    - bryan


You should clarify what sort of hosting service you're looking for. A
normal cloud service won't see you running your own hypervisors. A
server farm will see you deploy your own hardware with whatever
storage you choose to install. Only a "bare metal" cloud service would
meet both of your listed requirements, where you lease both the
equipment and hosting service from the provider. However, combined
with your BGP requirement your options are very limited and expanding
storage usually means "lease a different one of our servers."

Bill Herrin

I’m kind of confused when your concern is the reputability and yet you’re providing your own IP space.

It sounds more to me like you want to put 2-3 boxes in a data center. For that pretty much any decent sized data center in any state would work for the US.

I'm kind of confused when your concern is the reputability and yet you're providing your own IP space.

Hi Josh,

I'm not above discarding announcements with a "bulletproof" hoster in
the AS path. Are you?

Bill Herrin

Fair questions -- answers in-line ...

I'm kind of confused when your concern is the reputability and yet you're providing your own IP space.

I care about the hosting environment's upstreams' opinions of the downstream.

That is, I don't want to be in a situation where some jamoke (or jamokes) does something which affects me from a collateral damage standpoint.

It sounds more to me like you want to put 2-3 boxes in a data center. For that pretty much any decent sized data center in any state would work for the US.

I would like to stop personally dealing with bare-metal. That's what I'm doing now.

Hi Bryan,

Cloud = you get virtual servers with virtual storage, generally
adjustable to meet your needs. You manage the operating systems and
storage within the virtual environment. You DO NOT manage the host
operating systems or hypervisors.

Bare metal = you lease physical equipment. You manage all software on
the equipment including any hypervisors needed to run virtual servers.
You DO NOT deal with hardware break/fix, that problem belongs to the
service provider.

Colocation = You lease space in a data center. You provide physical
equipment in your custom configuration.

With this terminology, at least one of your requirements is unmeetable
for contradicting the others. So I ask again for clarification: which
of these do you seek?

Bill Herrin

Perhaps I'm missing something, but in your #1 example "Cloud", what prevents me from running a Proxmox ISO (which is more or less Debian) vs. a "standard" Debian install on the provider's virtual server?

If I can, I've succeeded. That is the sort of hosting provider I'm looking for, if they exist.

#2 would be suitable, but it seems to be that if leased bare-metal dies, it will be some time for ETR. Less desirable, but I'm open to ideas.

#3 I do now. Trying to move away from that.

I’m not sure spammers and AS paths really go together.

I would assume that anyone providing a dedicated server has the means to facilitate timely hardware replacements. Ask for their SLA on that.

For #1, are you trying to do “Cloud-ception” e.g. running your own proxmox virtualization on top of an already virtual machine, so that you’re basically two layers deep?

For #2, of course you need to be able to survive a hardware failure (using RAID1 or some flavour of DRBD for example) but having to think about such things is the “trade-off” of having access to the bare-metal layer… it does have advantages, for example if you want to install your own virtualization layer without any involvement from the hosting provider. You’d usually have agreements with the hosting provider about how/when hardware replacements would be done.

Best regards,

It's worth pointing out that nested virtualization is a thing these days, and some providers might even support it! That means you could buy one large instance and sub-divide it yourself into multiple VMs if you want to.

In practice, unless you need that flexibility to dynamically spin the VMs up and down with various specs AND don't want to or cannot use a provider's API for that, I'm not sure why you'd want to if you didn't have to for some crazy reason.

You make an excellent point, Martijn ... (and I suspect this is what Bill was pointing out ...)

Virtualization on top of virtualization is inherently not the best idea.

I guess I'm looking for flexibility in the sense of being able to spin up additional VMs at my leisure. In which case #2 could be suitable in the right environment.

... in which case SLAs would be tantamount to success ...

So ... that said, any recommendations? :slight_smile: or Hivelocity.

I'm very curious about your assertion:

Is nested virtualization really a thing?

I mean, I'm not exactly trying to render Pixar's latest movie ... just trying to push some bits around (light web-sites, some e-mail ...)

It just seems inherently prone to issues.

Could you back this up with any white-papers or documentation on the subject? I'm genuinely interested ...

    - bryan

Except for the problem that you pay a premium for larger vm's. you can't compete with t instances on aws, for starters.


Maybe this will help:

I use vultr. I have also brought my own address space and am announcing it to them from one of their instances (vm’s) with BGP. They are set up such that you can use a private AS if you don’t have your own and are ok with them announcing this from their AS (after they strip off the private as).

If you told me right this second that you needed a Ubuntu Server spun up, I could be logged into the interface, select a location/size and have it running within 60 seconds - with the complete Ubuntu install done. Most of my instances are running under their $5 plan which is 25GB of disk space, 1 CPU, 1G of memory, and 1TB of transfer. Oh, and one or two are on the $6 plan which has slightly more disk and is on a faster CPU. They obviously have various options that go up from there all the way to dedicated servers. In a couple of locations, they also have a smaller IPv6-only server for $2.50.

I haven’t found anything I need anything larger than their $5 or $6 plan for, but I also am not running any heavy workloads. Basically a static webpage, a ticketing system, a couple of DNS servers, and the like. I’m currently testing voip(Asterisk) on the platform as well, and based on testing so far will likely be moving it into full production in the next few weeks.

I used ubuntu as an example, they also have all of the mainstream linux distros and the BSD’s and I think in some locations windows available. They also have a pretty good selection of preconfigured applications (aka common CMS’es, eCommerce platforms, etc). All of these are in the ~60 seconds to spin up category. You can also upload your own ISO or use a pre-uploaded one from their library of less commonly used applications/operating systems.

I’ve been running on the platform for about a year after having enough of a shared hosting provider for some of the stuff and running on my own metal in a datacenter for other stuff. So far I’m very happy with them.

If you want to try them out, I noticed as I logged in to look up what the $5 service includes that they’re running a a “refer a friend and they get $100 to test the service” promo. I normally don’t pass on referral codes but I figured if you’re evaluating this you might want the $100 credit (for up to 30 days of service). If so, the link for that offer is .

Hi Bryan,

I haven't used Proxmox but from a 60 second glance through Google that
looks like you're asking for nested virtualization. If it works at
all, you'd take a double-hit on everything that wants to run in ring
0, a double-hit on virtualized I/O and a double-hit for OS overhead
making the result more than a little sluggish. Kinda has "bad idea"
written all over it.

As I understand it, you can "cat /sys/module/kvm*/parameters/nested"
in one of the service provider's VMs and if the answer is "1" or "Y"
for the CPU type which matches the exposed CPU then what you're asking
for will probably work. For some definition of work anyway.

I use Vultr for my primary BGP exit and have found it largely
painless. The VMs I have there DO NOT support nested virtualization.
They do claim a bare metal offering but it's currently listed as sold
out in all of their data centers. They also claim to provide mountable
block storage for compute instances up to 10TB per, but I haven't
worked with that feature, I presume it only applies to virtual
servers, and it looks like it's only available in one of their data

Bill Herrin

Proxmox specifically isn’t much more than a wrapper for standard Linux KVM, which can support nested virtualization. In my limited experience with nesting, it doesn’t work half bad as one would expect, but I haven’t used it in a stressed environment with anything substantial running that way.

KVM, at least, and I think Xen as well, have some features for "shunting" I/O and hypervisor calls through to the bare-metal hypervisor where possible and avoiding double processing and trampolining. It's not nearly as bad as you might think in terms of performance as long as the hardware supports it (nested page tables being the big one). The little I've played with it mostly has proven to be an administrative hassle rather than performance.

I would not recommend mixing and matching hypervisors (e.g. Xen on KVM or vice-versa), though. I'm not even sure you can do so meaningfully, though I bet someone's working on it.

I would look at forums and specifically the “Dedicated Hosting Offers” forums for providers and deals.