HostUS One Year Review

I’ve been a customer for over a year with HostUS and currently have five active 768mb OpenVZ services with them.

Let me go ahead and say that I’m absolutely 100% satisfied with their services over the past year.

I use 3 of those 5 services for a cPanel DNS Only cluster which has worked absolutely great. This cluster is used for my primary cPanel server for my customers. If I had any issues with the cluster, it would impact my customers and my websites which it did not.

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BudgetVM / Enzu Dallas Migration

I just got this in my email:

We are happy to announce that we will be migrating all servers in our Dallas location to an upgraded facility. The migration will take approx. 45 minutes per server group. We will move only a small number of nodes at any one time to prevent a large simultaneous outage and allow for troubleshooting of a small pool of servers if needed.

With this upgrade we are happy to report that, our customers will enjoy an upgraded hosting experience. Our new facility will feature several enhancements including redundant power and network improvements within the Infomart datacenter. These new features will be provided at no additional cost to you. At BudgetVM, we are investing a great deal of resources into improving our infrastructure to better serve our customers.

This maintenance window will begin at 2000 EST on October 18th and continue through 0100EST on October 19th.

We will ensure a graceful shutdown of all nodes to ensure the integrity of any data at that time. We will also be taking this opporunity to introduce software upgrades and security improvements on the nodes themselves.

If you have any questions regarding this migration please let us know. We thank you for your business and look forward to serving you on our improved infrastructure!

One additional notice will be sent on October 18th once the maintenance begins as well as when it completes.

CatalystHost Review – Dallas Texas VPS Hosting

Howdy!

This is one of my first reviews after the Hurricane Matthew situation. I have 2 active CatalystHost services with their 1 vCPU, 256mb RAM, 10GB disk, and 333TB bandwidth plan which is an amazing $12 per year.

What makes this an even greater value is the service is on a 1 Gbps or greater connection so you receive excellent speeds with this service when you do speedtesting. Both of my services are on the “Dallas Two” node and according to my LibreNMS monitoring setup, I have not received any downtime or gaps in the snmp based monitoring.

CatalystHost review speedtest
An example of the speedtest from Cachefly for CatalystHost. Blazing fast.

I ordered one service awhile back and the latest one recently so the uptime is 205 days with the oldest service ordered and 35 days with the recent service. 200+ day or longer uptime on OpenVZ services is unheard of by “low end” industry standards.

I am extremely satisfied with the quality of the service which is why I will continue to renew the services. By comparison, for slightly more per year, I can get a HostUS service with 768mb RAM and less bandwidth in a Dallas location also. However the network connection with CatalystHost is blazing fast as you can see with the speedtest above.

CatalystHost Support:

With CatalystHost, the service is reliable with unmanaged support so in the past 6-7 months with being a customer of the company I’ve only had to file one ticket.

The ticket was with the new service I ordered was giving me an error when I attempted to set reverse DNS. I’m assuming when I signed up for the second account, I added something in a username field which “didn’t link the services under my account” and gave me the error. I fiddled with it for some time and after 10-15 minutes I figured I exhausted my attempts.

I filed a ticket and Ryan, the owner, responded. I even clearly provided the record I was adding in the ticket thinking maybe there was a known issue or the technical support would set it then send me on my way. With my experience in technical support, you have to do it but balance out that you’re not spoonfeeding customers who expect this to be done when the service is unmanaged but the client area provided what most customers need to self-manage their service.

When Ryan responded, he explained how to do it and there was some back and forth where eventually at the end he figured out the services weren’t under my account. The back and forth could had been easily macro’d or added into a knowledgebase article as I can see this being an issue with people ordering more than one service.

I’m not disappointed at the support, it’s just I think this known issue could be documented better to prevent unnecessary tickets and allow smoother operation.

Conclusion:

CatalystHost is an excellent service with their 256mb RAM / 333TB bandwidth OpenVZ service in Dallas, Texas for $12/year. The excellent uptime and awesome network connectivity make this an excellent value for any high bandwidth uses. The CatalystHost team are active on forums like LowEndTalk and are well reviewed so you cannot go wrong as far as I’m concerned with choosing this company for your VPS hosting needs.

I mean who doesn’t have the budget of $1 per month prepaid for a year?

I don’t think I could spend $12 in a bar so it’s definitely within most people’s budget. However you must know this is completely self-managed so if you’re trying to do something where it’s possibly not enough memory you’ll have an issue if you request support. I knew this signing up and have been extremely satisfied with the performance, reliability, stability and value of this service.

HostUS Review – My cPanel DNS Only Cluster

I’ve been a HostUS customer since December 2015 with their $10/year and $12/year 768mb RAM OpenVZ plans.

I have services in Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington DC (Ashburn, VA) and London, UK. I can’t really say I have one location preference over another but I will say all four of these locations are solid. I even have a monthly VPS in Atlanta which I’ve been extremely satisfied with that I use as a VPN.

LibreNMS graph from the LA DNS server
LibreNMS graph from the LA DNS server

The Los Angeles location has over 39 days of uptime since I deployed the cPanel DNS only software on the service. This service is located in Psychz’s LA location. The network at this location is DDOS protected and 20Gbps of complimentary DDOS protection is offered at no additional price when you sign up.

LibreNMS graph from the Dallas DNS server
LibreNMS graph from the Dallas DNS server

The Dallas location has over 39 days of uptime since I deployed the cPanel DNS only software on the service. This service is located in Psychz’s Dallas location. The network at this location is DDOS protected and 20Gbps of complimentary DDOS protection is offered at no additional price when you sign up.

LibreNMS graph from the WDC DNS server
LibreNMS graph from the WDC DNS server

The Washington, DC (Ashburn, VA) location has over 39 days of uptime since I deployed the cPanel DNS only software on the service. This service is located in Psychz’s Ashburn, VA location. The network at this location is DDOS protected and 20Gbps of complimentary DDOS protection is offered at no additional price when you sign up.

As you can see with the graphs, where the LibreNMS installation is running on an OVH VPS #1 instance, that the network with HostUS is reliable with only one network gap in the Los Angeles graphs over the 39 days of the DNS cluster running.


The low cost of running this DNS cluster is what attracts me to the service.

For $12/year for the Los Angeles, Dallas and Ashburn location you cannot beat $36 per year for running a DNS cluster in the United States especially with how reliable it is. I know there are some providers offering similar or more generous resources for less than $12/year but with this you get the 768mb of RAM, 2TB of network transfer on a 1Gbps port and the 20Gbps free DDOS protection in the Psychz locations of Los Angeles, Dallas and Ashburn.

Some providers only offer DDOS protection in the location they have it at but HostUS provides it at all their US locations. The only exception that I know of is there is a Dallas #1 and Dallas #2 location, with one of the locations not having Psychz protection, so if it’s required you can add it to the order notes and/or open up a sales ticket when you submit your order stating that you need the Dallas DDOS protection on Psychz’s network otherwise there is a possibility that you won’t get the deployment in that location.

If running DNS isn’t your thing, you could easily host static files with a type of content delivery network (CDN) using nginx, rsync and the generous 20GB disk space provided on each service. Maybe toss in some free Rage4 geolocated DNS for good measure.. there’s tons of potential and not much limitation with the resources except the limitations of your imagination.


Conclusion:

I am very satisfied with Alexander’s service he offers with HostUS.

The technical support is responsive for what you are paying for- you’re not going to get top premium support at this monthly price but I’ve had response/resolution times that I felt were very adequate and sometimes it’s been faster than “better known” providers. I think customers who complain about technical support might not understand to explain, in detail, the issue and submit the ticket but submit a vague issue, add in the support ticket delay, then complain that it’s taking too long.

However I’ve filed 6 tickets in my client area- 3 tickets wondering about activation, one ticket requesting sys_time to be enabled so I can use NTP on the DNS cluster to set the system time, the outage at the UK location which they moved to another UK facility in response to the DDOS attacks, and a ticket wondering about the Dallas DDOS protection.

With just 6 tickets filed, I would say HostUS is definitely smooth sailing and an enjoyable experience.

I have LibreNMS installed so I can easily see if I have any network/connectivity issues which I have none. There was that minor outage in Los Angeles but the third party monitoring I use on top of my LibreNMS installation didn’t indicate anything so I figured it was some temporary network connectivity issue with HostUS in Los Angeles and OVH VPS #1 at the BHS location.

BudgetVM Review – 242 Days Uptime in Dallas, Texas

I know there’s not many Xen VPS reviews, but I found an “old” Xen VPS that I almost forgot about with BudgetVM located in Dallas, Texas. The specs aren’t exactly the highest end specs on most VPS services but at one time, I was using the service as a cPanel DNS Only server for a cPanel DNS cluster.

BudgetVM has an excellent location in Dallas and I cannot recall any network interruptions recently as I do monitor all of my VPS services from both a LibreNMS installation and also from NixStats also.

Dallas Xen VPS hosting is starting to become rarer with providers now offering Dallas KVM services but if you’re looking for a Xen VPS in Dallas, you’ll be fine with choosing BudgetVM.
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