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Dedicated server: So you Start (OVH) vs. Leaseweb
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Dedicated server: So you Start (OVH) vs. Leaseweb

NickolaiNickolai Member
edited May 2014 in Providers

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

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CPU: Intel Quad Core Xeon E3-1220

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RAM: 4GB DDR3 (*expandable)

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Disk: 2x500GB SATA2 (*expandable)

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Datacenter: DE

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Traffic: 100Mbps Unmetered (Volume network)

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€ 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.

This offer is still available.

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?

Comments

  • Just stick with Leaseweb.

  • @jeffreywinters Thanks for the advice, but could you share your particular negative experience with SyS/OVH? Exactly what was wrong with them?

    Thanked by 1daxterfellowes
  • @Nickolai said:
    jeffreywinters Thanks for the advice, but could you share your particular negative experience with SyS/OVH? Exactly what was wrong with them?

    1. Basically NO support.

    2. Not a very good network, it's not terrible I guess.

    3. It's OVH.

  • It's OVH.

    So OVH got bad reputation? I don't knwo about them; I just notice that they are huge and get mentioned a lot, so I figured they must be an established hoster and probably good.

  • edited May 2014

    @Nickolai said:
    So OVH got bad reputation? I don't knwo about them; I just notice that they are huge and get mentioned a lot, so I figured they must be an established hoster and probably good.

    Depends, I personally have had a bad experience with them. Others may have had better.

    Their not-so-good reputation may stem mainly from the kinds of customers they attract and accept. (booters, spammers, carders, etc..)

    http://lowendtalk.com/discussion/26632/so-you-start-network-performance#latest

  • CltcamCltcam Member
    edited May 2014

    OVH Is great. As long as you can manage your own server, they're perfect. They only provide good support if there is an issue being caused by them. Other than that, they have a great service. My servers have been up for over 2 months. Great DDOS protection as well.

  • ElliotJElliotJ Member

    I've used both. Here's my take on things.

    OVH are geared up for near 100% automation, I'm guessing this is one of the (many) reasons why they're able to offer lower prices than most. With OVH, you'll be able to re-install via a control panel - It's fully automated and doesn't take too long to complete. The complaints about support should be taken with a pinch of salt; I've never needed to contact them. They also have pretty damn good free DDoS protection if you need that.

    LeaseWeb on the other hand aren't. I remember having a budget server with them in 2009(ish), and it'd take a couple days for a reinstallation to get pushed through support. I do feel your pain. Their staff were always great to deal with, so it wasn't too bad I guess.
    That being said, from my experience LeaseWeb had the superior network which was crucial when running game servers. OVH's network isn't bad for the price at all, and has improved significantly in the last few years - IIRC the reason for them only accepting customers within the EU is that their bandwidth was fairly crap outside of it, however now they've expanded into North America and have global PoPs, things have changed for the better.

    Interestingly, you're in a fairly good position to switch things around very quickly and easily. You could theoretically order a new server, throw the virtualised container onto the new server and be up and running less than an hour after the server has been delivered if your keyboard-fu is up to scratch.
    If it wasn't for OVH's setup fees, I'd recommend you switch over purely because of the superior hardware offered. Instead, I'll be a pain and point you towards Online.net for yet another similarly priced E3 in France.

    Online.net are owned by Free.fr - They're a pretty big deal in France as an internet, TV, landline and mobile network provider. They also own their own data centres, and automate nearly everything. Bonus points for having no setup fees!
    Similarly to OVH, they have their own DDoS protection, but I genuinely have no idea how well that shapes up in reality. Their network was rock solid though, and whilst running a Tor relay I was pushing out 200mbps constantly without any problems.

    Well that ended up being a little bit long winded, hope it's helpful though. Loads of people on here have servers from OVH (and maybe Online.net) so hopefully they'll be able to chime in and share their experiences.

  • Yep, stay with leaseweb because of support which will help in most cases to you but with ovh you'll get zero support for managing your server.

  • OVH is okay, as long as you don't need support you should be alright.

  • NickolaiNickolai Member
    edited May 2014

    I think I can manage my own servers, especially after I cut my teeth at migrating to a new server recently, I think I can manage to transfer it again pretty quick.

    I think I will only need support if something isn't working the way it's supposed to. All the cases I have contacted support at Leaseweb, sans a few where I was clarifying things, were when something didn't work:
    1. Server with more than one disk didn't come configured with RAID. Clearly an oversight on their part; wouldn't be needed if the server came configured as RAID.
    2. Reinstallation or recovery mode didn't work through control panel; locked me out of the server.
    3. Server hang up and failed to boot due to hardware failure (that's an old one, which we are migrating from)

    If everything that's supposed to work automatically, really does work automatically with OVH then I would be fine, I think. Leaseweb is a big hoster too, and they try to automate everything that's possible, the thing is, their automation doesn't always work as it is supposed to. That's where the support is invaluable to be able to actually use their service.

    @ElliotJ, dide your OVH server came with RAID and LVM enabled? Most of the effort I spent on my new Leaseweb server so far, I spent on installing base OS on RAID1 over LVM, which IMO should be enabled by default, but it my particular case it wasn't. I thought the server with 2 hard drives will come with an option to select how to use them (JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1) but it didn't; maybe more expensive servers with hardware RAID or more drives do, I don't know.

    Interestingly, you're in a fairly good position to switch things around very quickly and easily. [...] If it wasn't for OVH's setup fees...

    There's no setup fees on a 12 month contract, and they offer a bonus on renewals to boot. The thing is, I must be pretty sure that their server will work well for me, to commit to a long term contract. We were going to go with yearly contract with Leaseweb anyway.

  • OVH has a very fine network & excellent hardware & network related support.They're totally an unmanaged provider but you're given a management interface where you can pretty much perform all basic functions like setting rdns, reinstallations, licences etc
    Their DDOS protection is also one of the best in the world.But it is very unfortunate that some people will themselves use a provider but scare others off from the same provider.

  • @Nickolai said:

    One big warning about OVH is that on their CentOS PXE (auto-reinstall) template, they use a custom kernel and custom local sources.list ; which really screws up many Virtualization and other kernel modules ( to the point where you just kernel panic on boot.)

    And with OVH's full automation... if your server fails to boot, they'll just reinstall it. Wipe all files and all, I've had bad experiences in the past with that on a personal server and would never recommend OVH to anyone.

  • CltcamCltcam Member

    OVH also owns all their datacenters, another reason that they're very affordable

  • @GoodHosting said:
    And with OVH's full automation... if your server fails to boot, they'll just reinstall it. Wipe all files and all, I've had bad experiences in the past with that on a personal server and would never recommend OVH to anyone.

    With more than 0.7 Million customers that OVH have, it is possible that a few people didn't have good experience.Regarding the custom Kernel, you can select while installing if you want to use native or OVH's custom Kernel.A few months ago one of my budget servers(mSP, now being sold at SYS with a different name) was not booting, so they conducted an intervention on it & it was backup with 20 minutes but booted with an OVH kernel.And they mentioned in the ticket not to use native Kernel until reinstall since the native kernel got corrupted due to some instalations performed by one of my friends.But since I didn't want to use OVH kernel, I backed up my date & reinstalled with native kernel.So, it is possible you didn't have good experience but overall OVH are good.

  • georgegeorge Member

    @Cltcam said:
    OVH also owns all their datacenters, another reason that they're very affordable

    So does LeaseWeb. I could be wrong on this one, but from what I've heard LeaseWeb's network is "far" more superiour compared to OVH's.

  • CltcamCltcam Member

    @george said:
    So does LeaseWeb. I could be wrong on this one, but from what I've heard LeaseWeb's network is "far" more superiour compared to OVH's.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ar7_tSoe5TXYdE1zV3ZzQ0JrZ01wMzY1OWNsSTllenc&authkey=CKWAt9YO&hl=en&authkey=CKWAt9YO#gid=0

    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1022239

  • georgegeorge Member
    edited May 2014

    That's about 3 years old thread you just linked there.

  • MonsteRMonsteR Member
    edited May 2014

    Personally I prefer leaseweb due to better, More reliable support and really good bandwidth and network.

  • AmitzAmitz Member

    How do Leaseweb and OVH look like in comparison concerning their transcontinental network performance?

  • ElliotJElliotJ Member

    Nickolai said: @ElliotJ, dide your OVH server came with RAID and LVM enabled?

    From what I remember you can set your partitioning scheme via the panel when you're reinstalling. I'd check for you however I no longer have a box with them :(

  • If you know much about system administration - you should go with OVH.
    If you doubt - go with leaseweb.

  • @ElliotJ said:
    Online.net are owned by Free.fr - They're a pretty big deal in France as an internet, TV, landline and mobile network provider. They also own their own data centres, and automate nearly everything. Bonus points for having no setup fees!
    Similarly to OVH, they have their own DDoS protection, but I genuinely have no idea how well that shapes up in reality. Their network was rock solid though, and whilst running a Tor relay I was pushing out 200mbps constantly without any problems.

    Everyone seems to say they have a crap network, not sure which side to choose now!

  • MintyMinty Member

    @linuxthefish said:
    Everyone seems to say they have a crap network, not sure which side to choose now!

    You can test their network for like 10 Euros a month on one of their atom servers...I'd say try it for 3 months and see. Worst that happens is you are out 30-40 Euros.

    Thanked by 1linuxthefish
  • FlorisFloris Member
    edited May 2014

    @linuxthefish said:
    Everyone seems to say they have a crap network, not sure which side to choose now!

    Their network has been great to us and all of our clients.

  • AmitzAmitz Member

    We are talking about the online.net network now, right?

  • MintyMinty Member
    edited May 2014

    @Amitz said:
    We are talking about the online.net network now, right?

    I was and the comment I replied to was I think.

    Give Floris/BeastVM is Canada, he isn't. I think.

    Thanked by 1linuxthefish
  • NickolaiNickolai Member
    edited May 2014

    @GoodHosting said:
    And with OVH's full automation... if your server fails to boot, they'll just reinstall it. Wipe all files and all

    Without asking the client? That would be madness.

    @GoodHosting said:
    they use a custom kernel and custom local sources.list

    Why would they do that?

  • Nickolai said: Why would they do that?

    They tweak kernel to work correctly with their servers. It includes some tweaks, which can be done with software, but not all of users do this. So they do it for users.

  • I am no admin expert but I can get by and I have a mSP server (now sold as a SYS) and a small Kimsufi (both OVH) for about 8 months and have had no problems with either. I have never had the need to contact support over anything technical on the servers.

    I admit I am not running anything heavy duty on the servers just a few web sites with big databases.

  • wychwych Member

    SYS give a small number of additional IP if you were planning on selling VPS off them.

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