Happy to be here

Feel free to delete this if it's posted in the wrong place.

I have been managing a small LAMP stack for the past 12 years. Not because I enjoy it - but because I've needed various web services to support a small business (Apache, custom node.js server, MySQL, CouchDB, Redmine, Gitlab, subversion, PartKeepr, forums, you know the usual small business stuff).

I started out as a SliceHost customer, renting a shared virtual unmanaged shared un-dedicated server. The host worked great for our small application set, and their tutorials were incredibly helpful. They were purchased by RackSpace within months of when we signed up, and subsequently prices doubled and the quality of the shared environment became very poor. New management wanted to make money. More and more users were squeezed onto nodes. After complaining, Rackspace iinformed me that there were other users on the node that were hogging resources. They went through a "three strikes" warning process, but as soon as one bad actor was moved off the node, another one would show up. At the time, I didn't have a budget for dedicated resources. We finally decided that we were being lost in the acquisition shuffle and weren't important to Rackspace, so it was time to go.

We moved our services over to CloudLayer (a lot of work for a small, solo LAMP stack guy), this time signing up for unmanaged dedicated cloud resources at around $150/mo. And here we go again... shortly after we got our services moved over, CloudLayer was acquired by IBM. Prices quickly doubled, and we found ourselves paying over $300 for a shared dedicated cloud server with only 8GB and 4 CPU's and a 100GB disk. Business was doing well and we didn't want to deal with the hassle of moving services to a new host, so we just kept shelling out the money. But... eventually the reliability of the datacenter in Dallas got worse... and worse.. and worse, until eventually there were always 4 or 5 open events going on at the same time directly affecting our server. Their control panel was always horribly slow to access (some sort of back-end issue they could never resolve) and despite cleaning up, patching, and optimizing our server, we hadregular random hangups, burps, reboots and generally weird problems (think memory corruption or constant rebooting type issues). Eventually, the softlayer control panel was running so poorly, the API failed to even let us hard reboot the server, and the control panel no longer would work to give emergency access to the console. The only way to reboot or access the console was to call or write support and ask them to reboot the box or write commands into the console for you over the phone (true story - and completely ridiculous).

We tried twice unsuccessfully to migrate our services to a different host (too much work). Eventually, we stopped patching the box and malware hijacked the whole box. So we had no choice - we took all our services down, put up the firewall, and rented a host at Vultr.com and started manually moving our services over one-by-one (rebuilding, importing, upgrading).

We are currently at Vultr on a $45/month shared un-dedicated instance, 4GB and 2 CPU's, a weekly back-up service, CPanel license, on CentOS 7. Did I mention it's ridiculously dirt cheap at $45/month? We accidentally selected the Atlanta data center when we signed up, but who cares - Dallas is haunted anyway (our last two hosts had us in Dallas).

We've been on Vultr.com for about a month. The control panel has been quickly accessible every day, support wrote back almost immediately in the middle of the night on a weekend, and all of our services seem to be screaming along fast, even at just 4GB and 2 CPU's on a shared, non-dedicated host. When we came over I figured, what the heck, let's try the cheap $45 shared option first and see if we get lucky.

So far we've been lucky. Hopefully Vultr.com does not get acquired by some giant, lousy conglomerate in the next 12 months, like what happened to me the last two times I changed hosts. Hoping I'll still be here in 5 or even 10 years. Knock on wood.
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