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BuyVM 256 MB KVM VPS Review
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BuyVM 256 MB KVM VPS Review

iKockaiKocka Member
edited September 2011 in Reviews

For the last few months I have been reading only good reviews about BuyVM, so I bought my first 256 MB OpenVZ VPS in July. On 23rd of August I grabbed the last 256 MB KVM VPS. Setup was not instant as advertisted on WHT although I passed fraud check long time ago.

10:37:11 up 13 days, 20:41,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

There was no reboot yet. OpenVZ VPSs have good uptime too > 30 days.

             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:        253944      65192     188752          0      11780      28720
-/+ buffers/cache:      24692     229252
Swap:       496632          0     496632

With Debian 6 + Nginx + MySQL + PHP installed VPS uses about 24 MB of memory.

processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 6
model name      : QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.9.1
stepping        : 3
cpu MHz         : 2493.748
cache size      : 32 KB
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : no
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 4
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 syscall nx lm pni hypervisor
bogomips        : 4987.49
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
power management:

VPS comes with 2 cores of L5420. L5420 is far from "monster" as E3-1270 beats it in dual mode.

Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1              30G  783M   27G   3% /
tmpfs                 124M     0  124M   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                  120M  112K  120M   1% /dev
tmpfs                 124M     0  124M   0% /dev/shm

All disk space is here.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync && rm -rf test
16384+0 records in
16384+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 25.7089 s, 41.8 MB/s

With Virtio enabled I/O speed is low. It seems like it isn't possible to achieve 180 MB/s advertisted by Fran.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync && rm -rf test
16384+0 records in
16384+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 9.88993 s, 109 MB/s

They do however use hardware RAiD controller with cache which improves I/O speed.

# wget -O /dev/null && rm -rf 100mb.test
--2011-09-07 10:46:36--
Connecting to||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `/dev/null'

100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 11.9M/s   in 9.3s

2011-09-07 10:46:45 (10.8 MB/s) - `/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]

Their "Gbit" port is actually 100 Mbps.

Integer Score:                2367 |||||||||
Floating Point Score:         3867 |||||||||||||||
Memory Score:                 1463 |||||
Stream Score:                 1531 ||||||

Overall Geekbench Score:      2627 ||||||||||

Considering this is a dual core system benchmark score is low. I'm getting 5124 on Hostigation's single core VPS.

I tried to host my personal WordPress blog (no CPU intensive plugins) on this VPS, however it was opening for 10 seconds. On other VPS it opens in less than 2 seconds. I thought it was because of network, but I'm able to download their 100 MB test file with more than 1.2 MB/s from Europe. I have only opened 1 support ticket so far which was answered in few minutes. Fran and all other staff members are extremely friendly, however their VPS performance didn't satisfy me and I'm thinking about canceling it at the end of the month. Maybe I simply had too big expectations.



  • Nice in depth review :D

  • XeoncrossXeoncross Member
    edited September 2011

    @iKocka, you get a point in my book just for your work formatting the above information into a nice, readable review. You even used spacing correctly.

  • You have to change the Realtek Virtual NIC driver to use the Gbit port.

    I haven't tried it myself yet.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    You're using RTL8139 for the NIC ;)

    You should swap up to the E1000 driver as it'll get past the 100Mbit cap that RTL8139 drivers have. We don't advertise 180MB/sec disk writes, the boxes likely get fairly busy since they get a lot of resources. The Virtio IO driver does help a lot and depending on the time of day we do have people that can hit upwards of 160MB/sec.

    The CPU's are L5420's so the ~2500 score is about accurate for it all :) E3's are work horses for sure! At some point we'll likely replace the L5420's with 55xx's or E3's, but we'll see how demand goes.

    I should add this, the KVM offerings have been more of a test into the market to see what interest people had in them. The nodes are made up of older equipment that we decommissioned from our OpenVZ offerings since we wanted more drives in the arrays. The boxes are still good workers, but if you were working with very thread intensive applications, the 55xx+ family XEONS are designed for HVM (what KVM is) work loads.

    If you're having any quirks (like the long load time thing), you should drop by IRC or drop a ticket addressed to 'Francisco' and I can look at it. If you're running on a stock apache for instance, there's a lot of quirks in the stock configuration.

    Thanks for the review! :)


  • @Keith: My bad. I was using Virtio NIC which was 100/100 Mbps. I have now upgraded to Intel's PRO/1000 and results seems to be better.

    # wget -O /dev/null && rm -rf 100mb.test
    --2011-09-07 14:11:29--
    Connecting to||:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
    Saving to: `/dev/null'
    100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 32.2M/s   in 3.1s
    2011-09-07 14:11:32 (32.2 MB/s) - `/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]
  • Again... Again!!!

    The E3 are Sandys, and they get obscene scores in Geekbench because they have a better memory controller and DDR3.
    The raw performance for calculations isn't really affected, except for the clocks, because that sandys are about 3Ghz

  • iKockaiKocka Member
    edited September 2011

    @yomero: It's better in all aspects, not only memory.

    @Francisco: I should have noticed before that clock speed is 2.5 GHz :P I'm using same configuration (Debian 6 + Nginx + MySQL + PHP) on 10+ VPSs and never seen something like this. Will reinstall OS and try again this week.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    @Yomero - Which is good :) The E3's are awesome CPU's and i'm happy I introduced Tim to them since he's now hooked on them like crack.

    @iKocka - The virtio_net driver shouldn't be capping at 100/100, that thing is rated for 10Gbit...... The E1000 driver is pretty good, but the virtio is supposed to be the best (when it works fully).

    How could you not review us for the additional features in Stallion? :P

    Either way, thank you :)


  • @Francisco: Virtio driver works strange. Sometimes you get less than 10 MB/s, sometimes 16 MB/s, sometimes 24 MB/s and finally got once 35 MB/s. It seems to me that Intel's PRO/1000 performs better.

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    @iKocka Good to know :) I'll for sure research into it more. It's quite possible the virtio shipped with CentOS 5 (what our HN's run) is just outdated at this point.


  • Francisco said: i'm happy I introduced Tim to them since he's now hooked on them like crack.

    Top shelf crack too!

  • @iKocka Yes, is better, but not extremely better, and the big boost in the scores is because the memory.

    @Francisco Yep, I want a Sandy for my desktop u_u

    And, I don't get it, that "virtio" stuff, is for the host? Or is for the guests?

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    @yomero virtio is para-virtualized drivers, meaning the VPS it aware that it's a VPS and gets assisted by the node in processing. Virtio can give you pretty close to bare metal IO performance. It's supposed to do the same for networking but it's possible the CentOS 5 edition of it is too old to perform smoothly.

    @mitgib :)


  • Yes I have read the pros about it, but I don't understand, ahm... I have a KVM VPS, I need to install something in it?

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    Hi Yomero,

    It depends :) Windows + Virtio is a pain in the butt so we're working on something to help with that. For Linux, debian & ubuntu both include the virtio drivers so you just have to get it enabled (if you're with us on KVM you can do it in your client side).

    RHEL based distro's (centos 5 & likely anything fedora) will require you to re-roll your initrd to support virtio.


  • I'm in a strange mood. Some guy pissed me off at the library.

    Hey, can I run a Mac OS on it? :D

  • @Fran No, I have a KVM with bitcable lol. For me is performing very nice, but if I can do something to enhance it...
    If I do an lsmod, it says

    $ lsmod | grep virt
    virtio_balloon         12744  0
    virtio_blk             12754  3
    virtio_net             17482  0
    virtio_pci             13015  0

    So is enabled I guess. Then is something that is executed fro the host node right? Like enabling the tun module (example).

  • @yomero, yup it's already enabled. host must enable it, and guest must have virtio driver installed (kernel module) so it can recognize the virtio devices CMIIW.

  • @drmike, afaik KVM is able to support most of the OSes today. However, I believe there's licensing issue if it's MacOS - the node needs to be an Apple hardware.

  • the node needs to be an Apple hardware

    Oh like that would actually stop folks around here.....

  • @yomero We get everyone on virtio devices :)

  • Bitcable said: @yomero We get everyone on virtio devices :)


    I am just a newbie about this topics :P

  • @Francisco, I have met the same problem, somehow the network is not working as well as the OVZ boxes. With the Intel E1000 as NIC, I can get up to 4x mb/s in and no more than 10mb/s out, mostly less than 5mb/s, while the $15 box can easily reach up to 1x mb/s out. I've submitted a ticket regarding this issue and Anthony told me it would be solved when your new router is up, but actually it's the same now.

    And about the I/O speed, with Virtio and ext4, I can easily get a result around 160mb/s to 180mb/s, ext3 is obviously slower.

    Since I've decided to ask for termination & refund for all my current services (according to Aldryic's words partial refund is not possible and I don't really want my money to turn into credit Ticket #780134), I have to say your KVM service is good but it can be better. :P

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider
    edited September 2011

    I'm thinking it might just be that we're running a .18 kernel on the HN side and that's just not up to snuff. We have some KVM stuff running on a newer KVM build and a .35 kernel and we can blast 60MB/sec no problem.

    The I/O would only be higher if we moved the arrays to something bigger. The current KVM offerings are a test to see what people think/want in the service. If it turns out to be a big thing for us, we'll likely replace everything with either E3's or some more 5520's :)

    We did the same with our OVZ offerings.

    I'd offer to check into your networking some but since you're just going to get some refunds I'll leave it. If you do want me to check it out then just lemme know in a PM!



  • Francisco said: replace everything with either E3's

    Do it! E3s are magical :D

  • FranciscoFrancisco Top Provider

    We have an E3 in the racks and it runs like a beast :P

    It's on the TODO list so get us feedback people ;)


  • @Francisco I've changed my mind to transfer this tiny box to one of my friend who's interested in the kvm thing, so I can keep my ovz box now. :P

  • Francisco said: It's on the TODO list so get us feedback

    Since you are only heavily invested in the L5520 and re-purposed old gear for KVM, I would probably wait for Ivy Bridges which is due next quarter since the E3 has a financial limitation of 16gb, which is a killer when the CPU and IO array have plenty of room to deliver more. By the time 8gb UDIMM hit the market in qty and price to make the E3 more popular, it will be a bargain line CPU, but how much of a bargain if you can stick 96gb into a dual Ivy Bridge with 8 disk array.

  • miTgiB said: but how much of a bargain if you can stick 96gb into a dual Ivy Bridge with 8 disk array.

    Awwwww! That sounds... delicious n_n

  • miTgiB said: how much of a bargain if you can stick 96gb into a dual Ivy Bridge with 8 disk array

    Won't that kind of setup exhaust the disk I/O easily?

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