Review: Slicehost Virtual Private Servers

It was almost a year ago that I was in search for a VPS solution provider. I had been hosting a dedicated server of my own on a co-location rack with my employer. However, I was changing jobs, and wasn’t wanting to pay for dedicated server hosting. So I searched for a bit, and came across Slicehost.

Slicehost (http://www.slicehost.com) is a fully owned subsidiary of Rackspace Hosting Inc. The first feature that attracted me was the price – A “256 Slice” (256Mb Ram, 10Gb Storage, 150Gb of bandwidth per month) is only $20 per month (See all of their pricing plans).  Every slice also is provisioned with a private IP address to allow inter-slice communication that is completely un-metered, can be provisioned with a huge list of 64 or 32-bit Linux distributions, and can be upgraded or downgraded in-place at any time.  I will say this, despite the features, slicehost slices are not for everyone – when you purchase a slice, you are provided full root access.  No fancy cPanel/Plesk to manage the different services on your box, just a good, old-fashioned shell.  Quite honestly, this is what ultimately reeled me in.

With that being said, slicehost does have a pretty slick, simple interface for managing your slice.  Once you log in, you’re presented with a list of all of your slices, and right on this list you can view both public and private IP addresses for each of your slices, the size of the slice, your current bandwidth usage (available bandwidth is also pooled across all purchased slices. )  After selecting a slice, you can re-provision, re-boot, configure backups, and even gain console access to your slice should you not be able to get in via SSH.  You can also view various statistics and troubleshoot your slices from the control panel.

Management Interface:

Slicehost Slice List

The slice management page:

Slicehost Management Interface

Another important aspect of any hosting provider is its support team.  Slicehost offers email support (as well as forums and other online methods), and I’ve never had any complaints about the response time on a submitted ticket.  Actually, I’ve only ever put in one ticket – to request permission to review the services.  In almost a year, I’ve never had to interact with Slicehost’s support team.  My slice has never been down (other than my own mishaps, of which I was able to log in via the web console and correct the issue.)  I’ve never had any performance issues.  I simply have not had the need for support – and that’s saying something for a hosting provider.

Conclusion:

Without a doubt, if you’re looking for a flexible VPS solution – Slicehost is the way to go.  Ease of use, flexibility, pricing, support, features – They are truly a unique service.  You truly cannot go wrong with Slicehost… so give them a try.

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