[Review] SSD Nodes
After a year of patchy uptime on shared hosting, I decided to take my blogs to a VPS. After all, there were new competitive offers coming up each day. I had setup a VPS on Linode for a friend of mine and even though I had to redo the node after a KVM upgrade, I enjoyed the experience. LEB had a great offer from SSDnodes - 4GB RAM, 40 GB SSD space, 4 vCores and 4TB bandwidth for an amazing price of $48/year. I decided it was time.
I usually check reviews before buying and this purchase was no different. All the reviews I read were positive and I knew I was making a good choice. Sign-up was a breeze. Orders are reviewed before provisioning and I got an email in less than an hour that my VPS node was ready. A quick side-note, some other reviews indicate that orders may be marked as fraud when the sign-up IP and Billing address aren't in the same location. I didn't have any such issues though I was on a VPN which would indicate my IP to be somewhere in New York.
Your welcome email contains the IP for your node, the link to find your root password. BTW, I chose the Montreal data center.
Once you login, you get the WHMCS panel listing the products you have with SSDnodes. The VPS is under the services section. You specify an OS to install when you sign-up, but if you change your mind, reinstalling another flavor is a button away. You can re-install an OS of your choice - CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian (you know.. the usual suspects). I chose the CentOS 6.5 Minimal. The root account is created with the same password as before. If you are worried about the root password being openly stored on your WHMCS panel, disable remote root login through SSH and create a new user in the super user group.
The control panel also has links to Restart/Shutdown, which I think is pretty much standard now. The one feature I would like to see is if they would have some turnkey images such as a webserver with everything pre-installed along with the OS. Purists might argue that it takes the fun out of setting up your VPS and I wouldn't argue too much other than a prebuilt image would save time.
As of this writing, my node has been running for 31 days now and haven't really seen any major issues. There are some numbers I would like to share though
Network speed through wget gave me mixed results. A 100mb download from cachefly clocked 83.2 MB/s
2016-08-09 23:57:00 (83.2 MB/s) - '/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]
Another 100mb from Linode's Atlanta server managed only a 3.45 MB/s speed
2016-08-09 23:52:01 (6.94 MB/s) - '/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]
I tried another approach and tested the website load speed through pingdom. From New York, the site performed better than 84% of sites they tested. From San Jose, the site dropped down to being faster than only 23% of tested sites. So, in terms of network speed, I would say the jury's out on this one.
Disk I/O gave a decent 131 MB/s (I couldn't find a good benchmark, some users boast speeds of 300+MB/s, while complaints are for 11MB/s), but the number is out there for those interested.
Customer support is amazing. Soon after sign-up, you get a mail from Matt, the owner asking you how things are. I replied back asking him his opinion on OS setup and I got a reply within an hour (I hadn't actually expected such a quick response). The same goes for the Support Tickets. When I had issues in connecting to my node, my ticket was responded to within 3 minutes. A more recent ticket that had nothing to do with the hardware, but an application issue was responded to in an hour (I had marked the ticket as Low Priority). The response was also well written (not copied text from some Google result) which shows the team knows exactly what they are doing. If a company shows such dedication to connecting with their customers, I think it speaks volumes.
At a fraction of the price of other SSD VPS, SSDnodes gives amazing value. I would recommend this host.
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