BudgetVM Review – Chicago Xen VPS

BudgetVM Logo

BudgetVM, known also as their parent company Enzu, was founded in 2005. Enzu also operates their own website, operates the BudgetVM website and also operates the brand RapidXen.

For this review, we’re going to focus on the BudgetVM offer of Xen VPS services in Chicago at their location at 350 Cermak, which is one of the world’s largest data centers, according to BudgetVM’s Chicago network information page.

I have an older legacy plan that is a 256MB VPS. 1GB plans start off at $4.99/mo which is a great deal for a Xen VPS.

I feel the size of the plan doesn’t matter as it’s the same VPS on the VPS node with other larger plans which are more I/O intensive than my network testing VPS which I sometimes use as a proxy/SSH tunnel.

The VPS node I am on has 1 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 0 @ 2.00GHz CPU with 15mb of cache. Not a newer v2 or v3, but at least it is an Intel Xeon E5 series CPU versus E3 or the E/X/L series of Xeon processors.

The uptime is 15 days.

I checked the lastlog and the service has been reboot a few times since May with respective uptimes of 63 days 17 hours, 82 days 17 hours, 38 days 22 hours, and 15 days 11 hours since May. 60-80+ days of my uptime  Some older Xen installations have a bug where VMs refuse to boot, requiring a reboot of the node versus locking the node to put new orders on a different node while the existing node is reconfigured.

I have similar uptimes on my Miami Xen VPS from BudgetVM.

The results of the Unix Bench benchmarking program are located here. The test was ran Oct 15th 2015.

Hardware / Performance Summary- not bad at all compared to other “low end” providers however BudgetVM/Enzu has “low end” prices targeted to that market but has a large infrastructure, their own network in some of their locations and their own IP assignments which low end providers do not have.

The network, according to the Chicago datacenter info, is a blend of 1x10Gb Cogent, 1x10GB Zayo and 1x10GB nLayer giving the facility 30Gbps.

Home test:
Testing from my Comcast connection in Florida, the connection goes down to Miami which is normal with Comcast routing and gets handed off at NOC Of The Americas (NOTA) then gets on Cogent’s network to go all the way up to Atlanta, then Chicago and finally 350 Cermak. I’m receiving anywhere from 46ms as the best latency, 52ms as the average and 76ms as the worse.

Compared to Ubiquity Hosting’s Chicago location, I get Zayo from the NOTA in Miami handoff to the final destination. A big deal? Not entirely, just an observation. I also decided to run a MTR from OVH, which has almost identical numbers, and this seems perfectly acceptable for home connectivity.

Testing from Zayo- I was able to connect overseas to the IP address completely on Zayo through multiple US and EU locations. I checked from OVH to the IP address of the VPS and it exited the OVH network in Chicago, got on Level 3 for a second, then onto Zayo within Chicago to finally the VPS which is how it’s supposed to work.

Testing from nLayer/GTT- On the overseas EU locations, I was unable to connect to the VPS from overseas in EU over the nLayer/GTT network. The service would make a few hops on their network and then get handed off on Cogent’s network. I get similar results checking from Seattle, San Francisco, and other looking glasses that didn’t have a SSH2 connection error.

Network summary- if you’re looking for a quality network, seems like you’ll get Zayo in US and EU but for nLayer/GTT you might not be too lucky.

More information about BudgetVM / Enzu’s ASN located via looking up AS18978


I am very satisfied with the uptime in the Chicago location with the occasional downtime.

I understand the Xen VPS is shared resources on a VPS node where I know Xen virtualization isn’t perfect where one customer can run a node’s I/O into the ground to force a reboot. I also know some older Xen nodes have older installations and older bugs which may require a reboot from time to time.

I feel BudgetVM/Enzu is a solid choice for a Chicago location at the Steadfast facility.