Linode reviews

Review by: dandv (2008-12-18)

Intro: see my review of slicehost for a good background on VPS prices. At $20 for 512MB of RAM, Linode is the best serious VPS provider offer I've found so far. Price-wise, the only contenders are the amateur servebyte and the little known OVH?.

Linode vs. Slicehost

Compared to Slicehost, Linode offers an array of features, while Slicehost is pretty barebones (DNS, slice reimaging and reboot, AJAX console and that's pretty much it).

Here are some of Linode's advantages over Slicehost:

  • CPU, Network and Disk I/O graphs (24-hour and 30-day)
  • e-mail alerts when CPU usage, disk I/O rate, traffic or transfer quota reach thresholds
  • can manipulate multiple disk images from the web UI: create image from OS distribution, create/delete/resize disk image, boot different images. The operations take very little time - under 1 minute.
  • can clone one Linode to another
  • can buy additional RAM, disk space, or bandwidth - this has been a gripe with Slicehost. If you wanted just more RAM, you had to upgrade to the next slice level (which means double the price). With Linode, you can buy RAM in 90Mb increments, disk space in 1GB increments, and transfer in 100GB increments. You can also buy extra IP addresses.

Disadvantages vs. Slicehost:

  • (minor to trivial) some of Linode's IPs may have been blacklisted. My initial Linode IP (75.127.72.158) was deemed suspicious by ezinearticles.com and whocallsme.com. Editing Wikipedia while not logged in works, however (Wikipedia blocks Servebyte's ISP, Limestone). A support request to swap the IP address fixed that.

The Linode experience

Support is EXTREMELY RESPONSIVE. I put in a request to have my IP address changed because it had been in a range of blacklisted IPs. The request was handled in one minute. Next, I requested to be migrated to the Fremont data center, which is geographically closer to me. That was handled in 20 minutes. Finally, a few minutes ago I updated both tickets saying that I'm very happy with the handling and letting Linode that they could be closed. They were closed within 4 minutes.

Update 2010-November

I've been hosting my Catalyst site with Linode for over two years now and never had a problem. Fast and rock solid. In the meantime, RAM was increased from 360MB to 512MB without any announcement, but that's not something to complain about.

Update 2012-January

Rock-solid still. My MojoMojo wiki has been running on Linode for two years no, with no problems. For the past half year, I've also been running a MyBB forum on the same machine, with a few hundred users and moderate traffic.

In the meantime, I see that Linode has added a Node Manager, but I simply didn't have to go on their website - the experience with Linode is of the "set it and forget it" kind.

Comment by: Richard Jones (2008-01-06)

Rating: 5/5

I've been running static and mod_perl enabled sites on both of those [Linode, Slicehost] for a while. I rate both host providers highly. I haven't run Catalyst applications on either yet, but have done development work on Catalyst applications (using the Catalyst http engine) on both. Obviously if you have root access you can install whatever you need.

One thing I have noticed with both is that there are periods of degraded performance on mod_perl applications. I set a process running which uses HTTP::Request to generate a simple search using my application every 15 minutes over 24 hours, running under both mod_cgi and mod_perl, and the script execution time was measured using Time::HiRes?. I found mod_cgi response time was relatively constant throughout the day - around 180ms, but the mod_perl timings varied between 16ms and over 3000ms.

This also reflected my experience using the site for real - at times it felt very unresponsive under mod_perl, and noticeably slower than when run under CGI. I ran the same apps at home on my own (very modest spec) server and they were way faster under mod_perl, but then nothing else was running there. There is probably a latency issue as well, as I access from the UK, but the poor mod_perl performance was put down to variations in disk I/O with other shared processes running on the VPS.

But overall I have been happy with both Linode and Slicehost, both have good tech support and helpful communities, and the favourable pound/dollar exchange rate also helps. But I can't (yet) say how successful hosting a Catalyst app. would be, given my experience with mod_perl apps I suspect there will be some issues. I've recently upgraded the RAM allocation from 256 to 450MB on the Linode, and reduced the contention ratio.The upgrade seems to have improved response time when using the site for real (though I've not repeated the academic timing excise).

I would highly recommend trying out both for a month or so, then see which best meets ones requirements.

Comment by: Matt Rosin (2008-01-05)

Rating: n/a

I have watched Linode for a long time, and I had an awesome chat with its owner caker, who periodically adds new resources to your account for free, and it seems they have more offerings, including upcoming HA failover across linodes it seems. Anyway both have neat looking communities and possibly slicehost has newer technology but it's a tossup to me, as linode also is not standing still. Finally they have multiple data centers including one at Hurricane Electric which I also had watched for a while. Getting a linode at HE which is 50-100ms closer was also a big plus. Add to that a very personal vibe I got from caker, which decided me.

My own decision was to start off with a single Linode and also get a baby account on Hostgator, which also was top in reviews. I got it for some family sites and to hold heavy content like film. Possibly catalyst might even work in their environment but I am planning on using the linode for that. Probably the Linode will have to be upgraded with memory. I have not had time to play with it yet so I can't report on the result, but so far it looks nice and inexpensive.

Since I joined in fact I have gotten a free upgrade already. Granted VPS companies have to keep up with the market, I left my old one due to incompetence and overcharging. Possibly Slicehost may have difficulty keeping up but I wish them all luck and wouldn't mind getting a slice too some time to try out. Both Linode and Slicehost give you a choice of distros and root access which should make catalyst installation easy.

Comment by: Michele Beltrame (2007-10-22)

Rating: 4/5

I recently migrated a couple of web sites from VPSLand to Linode, and have been very pleased with the new service. The usage graphs are great!! The only thing I notice is that there seems to be no customizable backup system as the one Slicehost provides. On the other hand, connection to the Internet seems to be way faster than Slicehost's.

Comment by: J. Shirley (2007-08-10)

Rating: 5/5

I've used Linode for several months now and have been extremely pleased. They have a responsive IRC channel for basic support requests, and a trouble ticket system. Tickets are responded to usually within several hours, and in many cases resolved. They have datacenters around the country, so you can pick where you want (with a trouble ticket filed). Excellent VPS snapshots to choose from, and great traffic/utilization graphs. Would highly recommend Linode.com to anybody looking for a VPS. Availability is the only gripe, but tat just means they don't oversaturate their servers!

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