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BuyVM are very well known and shouldn't need much of an introduction, having created one of the most popular plans in the LEB world, the $15 a year 128 MB OpenVZ, they recently started providing KVM servers and are shaping up to be a great KVM provider. Today I'll be reviewing the $25 a year KVM equivalent of their OpenVZ plan.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with BuyVM as staff. I am however a friend of Fran and half-op on their IRC channel (but am not official staff). This review was performed on a standard VPS and is written to be as unbiased as possible.
Basics: The VPS plan is based in San Jose, California and comes with 128 MB of RAM, 500 GB of bandwidth (monthly) and 15 GB of disk space. The plan costs $25 a year. KVM plans are managed by BuyVM's own Stallion panel (with SSL) and include every operating system imaginable (seriously). Torrenting and IRC is allowed and the IPs are assigned as Canadian, making them less of a target for DMCA takedowns/complaints. See their thread here for more information on available features (listing them here would make this seem like a marketing pitch :P).
Support: Setup took about four months as they seemed to be out of stock constantly(they have a huge demand) but once paid the server was activated in about half an hour. The welcome email contained all information necessary to get up and running with the VPS but did include plain text passwords, a security flaw in my view. Support is hit and miss, some days tickets will get resolved very quickly and some days it'll take up to half a day (the support isn't 24/7). I do however believe you get what you pay for and the support is usually fairly decent, resolving most simple issues (excluding some issues that never seem to be resolved or ignored).
Setup: Once my VPS was setup I proceeded to install Debian 6 as normal (installing nothing but the SSH server). After it was installed I used Minstall to clean out any unneeded packages and to set up SSH login protection. The setup went smoothly and very quickly!
Defaults: This section is obsolete as my setup process involves cleaning the server, resulting in the same results everywhere.
Basic Information: /proc/cpuinfo showed a processor matching the plan description:
root@buyvm:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 42 model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz stepping : 7 cpu MHz : 3192.748 cache size : 4096 KB fdiv_bug : no hlt_bug : no f00f_bug : no coma_bug : no 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 rdtscp lm constant_tsc up pni pclmulqdq ssse3 cx16 sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt aes xsave avx hypervisor lahf_lm bogomips : 6385.49 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management:
/proc/meminfo showed some standard results:
root@buyvm:~# cat /proc/meminfo MemTotal: 124880 kB MemFree: 38352 kB Buffers: 60616 kB Cached: 12956 kB SwapCached: 0 kB Active: 62416 kB Inactive: 14236 kB Active(anon): 3096 kB Inactive(anon): 100 kB Active(file): 59320 kB Inactive(file): 14136 kB Unevictable: 0 kB Mlocked: 0 kB HighTotal: 0 kB HighFree: 0 kB LowTotal: 124880 kB LowFree: 38352 kB SwapTotal: 242680 kB SwapFree: 242680 kB Dirty: 0 kB Writeback: 0 kB AnonPages: 3096 kB Mapped: 3816 kB Shmem: 116 kB Slab: 5816 kB SReclaimable: 2820 kB SUnreclaim: 2996 kB KernelStack: 368 kB PageTables: 180 kB NFS_Unstable: 0 kB Bounce: 0 kB WritebackTmp: 0 kB CommitLimit: 305120 kB Committed_AS: 8924 kB VmallocTotal: 897028 kB VmallocUsed: 5396 kB VmallocChunk: 884344 kB HardwareCorrupted: 0 kB HugePages_Total: 0 HugePages_Free: 0 HugePages_Rsvd: 0 HugePages_Surp: 0 Hugepagesize: 4096 kB DirectMap4k: 12276 kB DirectMap4M: 118784 kB
Inode allocation was excellent (As it always is on KVM):
root@buyvm:~# df -i Filesystem Inodes IUsed IFree IUse% Mounted on /dev/vda1 969136 16799 952337 2% / tmpfs 15610 3 15607 1% /lib/init/rw udev 14499 443 14056 4% /dev tmpfs 15610 1 15609 1% /dev/shm
vmstat showed low system activity:
root@buyvm:~# vmstat procs -----------memory---------- ---swap-- -----io---- -system-- ----cpu---- r b swpd free buff cache si so bi bo in cs us sy id wa 0 0 0 38308 60620 12968 0 0 302 27 112 44 0 1 97 2