Dedicated server: So you Start (OVH) vs. Leaseweb
So you Start (OVH subsidary) offers very attractive prices on their SYS series dedicated servers. How does their quality of service, support and acceptable use policy compare to those of Leaseweb?
I've been using a dedicated server from Leaseweb with my partners for our hobby projects for several years now. We've recently upgraded to the new server with the following specs:
Dell PowerEdge R210 II
CPU: Intel Quad Core Xeon E3-1220
RAM: 4GB DDR3 (*expandable)
Disk: 2x500GB SATA2 (*expandable)
Traffic: 100Mbps Unmetered (Volume network)
€ 39 /month, free setup, discounts for long term contracts (e.g. 10% for a year), VAT not included, but non-EU customers don't pay it.
Leaseweb is offering two types of network connections for their servers: Volume network (cheaper) and Premium network (more premium-priced). We've been using Volume network and found it outstanding. Quality of service was great, too, without failure. Support was quick and understanding: I am a very amateur system administrator, and when I migrated our sites from an old to a new server, I used the opportunity to learn new things. As a result, I screwed up and needed to file a ticket to reinstall a lot, maybe 20 times? After that, I learned to install a base system with virtualization and proceeded to set up virtual machines, so I only screwed up virtual machines, which I can easily reinstall myself. I was worried that they'll tell me this amount of Support's involvement is not included in the price of budget servers, but they responded to all of my tickets promptly and without complaining.
There were some limitations. Foremost, why do you think I needed to file a ticket to reinstall a system? There is an option to reinstall a system yourself in the control panel, but my server, which has two hard drives, came with OS installed on one and the second was unused. I thought it would make sense to have RAID 1 by default, but no, that was not an option for me, so I had to file a ticket, they would start an installation and let me control it over VNC, so I could use the custom partition layout. It was a nice learning experience for me, and all worked out nicely in the end, after I figured out how to do it right. There is an option in their control panel to reinstall the OS with a custom partition layout, but the installation failed me every time and I had to file a ticket; after I figured that it never works for me, I started just filing a ticket in the first place. Recently they implemented a self-service reinstallation with a IP-KVM tool in their control panel, but they don't make it available to the budget line of servers I was using. Nevertheless, support engineer did offer me to use an IP-KVM, but it never worked for me: I couldn't connect to it from any of the browsers and computers I have access to, so they offered me KVM. With regard to acceptable use, I remember them confirming that they are ok with adult sites. I asked just in case to know in advance what our options are (we're running various projects in virtual machines, and who knows what we might need to run one day) but we never actually hosted anything like that. Also, Leaseweb used to host Pirate Bay a while back, so I hoped they would not be one of those hosting providers who are trigger-happy to fire their clients at the sign of the slightest inconvenience.
Now I saw here at LowEndTalk that people are discussing dedicated servers that provide much more for the money, but I was content with my choice: we had a great experience with Leaseweb, I felt that the offer we took advantage of recently is still a good deal, and I didn't want to risk transferring my and my partners' projects to some unproven and just maybe problematic hoster. However, recently I noticed this offer from So you Start, an OVH subsidary:
SYS-E32-1 Intel Xeon E3 1225v2 4 c/ 4 t 3.2 GHz+ 32 GB 2 x 2 TB SATA SoftRAID 200 Mbps 1 Gbps €35.00
^ this one is currently sold out
SYS-E32-3 Intel Xeon E3 1245v2 4 c/ 8 t 3.4 GHz+ 32 GB 2 x 2 TB SATA HardRAID 200 Mbps 1 Gbps €45.00
^ but this one is available. 8 threads, hardware RAID, wow!
Setup €49.99, for 12 month contracts - free, plus bonuses on renewal.
SYS-E32-1 offers CPU one generation newer, 2x network bandwiadth, 4x disk capacity and 8x RAM than we get from Leaseweb, for pretty much the same price (So you Start is marginally cheaper, but has a setup fee, which is waived on a yearly contract, while Leaseweb doesn't have setup fee and offers discounts on long term contracts, on the other hand SyS has cheaper IP's (€2 vs €2.5). I call this a tie)
SYS-E32-3 is a bit pricier at €45/mo., but has even more powerful CPU and hardware RAID. At Leaseweb similar upgrades will push the cost of your server well over €100/mo, nevermind the discounts.
It's one thing if some obscure hosting provider comes out and radically undercuts the existing players, but OVH is a huge and well-known one, of the same tier, if not greater, than Leaseweb. Is there any hidden catch in the quality of service, support and acceptable use policy of OVH compared to those of Leaseweb or am I simply leaving a lot on the table going with Leaseweb?
I am very interested to know, how would your experience with SyS compare to what I have described about Leaseweb?