Feedback on Gandi hosting?

November 16th, 2010 by lucas

For the last few years, I’ve been a mostly happy customer of Sivit (now bought by Nerim). But recently, technical problems have become more frequent, and today, for the first time, a crash made me lose some data which was rather painful to restore from backups. Also, they are still stuck on with an ancient 2.6.16 kernel.

So, I’m looking into alternatives, and a promising one is Gandi hosting, based on virtual machines like Sivit.

  • Would you recommend it for a mission-critical server?
  • What’s your uptime? When was the last time your server had an unscheduled outage?
  • When was the last time you lost data because of Gandi?
  • What are the limits due to the Xen-based hosting? Can you run your own kernel (like the squeeze one)? Can you build additional modules (like tun)?
  • What else should I know?

Thanks!

15 Responses to “Feedback on Gandi hosting?”

  1. Alexandre Dupas wrote on 11/16/10 at 6:58 pm :

    * Would you recommend it for a mission-critical server?

    I don’t know, never had critical stuff to host.

    * What’s your uptime? When was the last time your server had an unscheduled outage?

    My uptime is 15 days but this is really my fault since I tend to restart my server from time to time to upgrade to newest kernel.

    * When was the last time you lost data because of Gandi?

    Never lost any data on gandi virtual server.

    * What are the limits due to the Xen-based hosting? Can you run your own kernel (like the squeeze one)? Can you build additional modules (like tun)?

    I follow the Debian Testing distribution on this server so yes, you can have your own kernel. And it goes the same with modules. They propose some modules to interact with the administration web interface, but I never bothered to keep theses modules around.

    * What else should I know?

    Today they were under DDoS attacks and some of their services were down
    but my server was still responsive.

  2. Elessar wrote on 11/16/10 at 7:05 pm :

    I do not use such a hosting platform, but I see a clear limit: network bandwidth. Maybe because of a software limitation, they apply strict network bandwidth sharing, that is, if you have 1/20 of a server with 100 Mb/s, you are permanently capped to 5 Mb/s, even if nobody else on the server is consuming bandwidth.

  3. Lucas wrote on 11/16/10 at 7:11 pm :

    Oh, there’s no burst mechanism where you can use more for a few seconds before being capped?

  4. Simon Josefsson wrote on 11/16/10 at 7:12 pm :

    I used virtual machines on Gandi a year ago or so and was unimpressed enough to cancel the contracts. Can’t point to anything concrete though, but it was a combination of many small factors. At the time we were also using Linode.com and Slicehost.com, which we are still using. Today I’m also using rackspacecloud.com, bytemark.co.uk, vps.net, rimuhosting.com, ipeer.se and glesys.se but I can’t say that I can recommend any of them over Linode/Slicehost. Linode has slightly better web admin console than slicehost, has more data centres and lower prices, but if none of those factors are important, I would recommend Slicehost.

    /Simon

  5. Riku Voipio wrote on 11/16/10 at 8:51 pm :

    * depends on definition of mission criticality.. Currently using gandi on nothing really important
    * uptime 29 days, during one year of usage 2-3 outages from gandi side. certainly more often reboots due to kernel security upgrades, sigh
    * no dataloss observed
    * I believe xen does impose some limits, but so far haven’t hit any
    * I have no experience of other hosting providers. Overall I’ve found gandi (with one slice) to be on the slow side but very reliable.

  6. Dmitrijs Ledkovs wrote on 11/16/10 at 9:13 pm :

    I’m using gandi for DNS only right now and their own hosted webapps. I didn’t by a server from them yet. Interaction with gandy was excellent so far, and if need will arise I will buy hosting from them. On the otherhand I use Amazon EC2 infrequently already….

  7. Servilio wrote on 11/16/10 at 9:31 pm :

    Hi Lucas!

    I have been running a Gandi VM for almost two years now using a small group of friends (though nothing we would tag “mission critical”), and the uptime has been excellent. They are not in the cheap side of the spectrum in VPSs IIRC, but their support is very responsive and the VM infrastructure is very well designed (they have all the info in their site, take a look). The admin UI is very well crafted and intuitive and useful. Though it might not be clear from their pages, it is possible to independently change the CPU, memory, and disk. Bandwidth is not possible ATM, but is the second most voted feature in the wishlist[1].

    Also, they let you test drive a server[2]

    Good luck,

    Servilio

    [1] http://www.gandi.net/hosting/wishlist/
    [2] https://www.gandi.net/hosting/trial/

  8. nona wrote on 11/17/10 at 8:50 am :

    While I love Gandi for their services other than hosting and their no-bullshit approach, I quickly discovered it made a lot more sense (from 3 shares onwards) to take dedicated servers at, for instance, hetzner (http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produktmatrix/rootserver-produktmatrix-eq/) where you get a lot better bandwith and hardware.

    But that’s just me.

  9. Anonymous wrote on 11/17/10 at 10:46 am :

    > Would you recommend it for a mission-critical server?

    Yes, absolutely. I use it for my personal server, hosting all of my email, IM, git repositories, etc.

    > What’s your uptime? When was the last time your server had an unscheduled outage?

    I only ever remember one unscheduled outage during the 2 years I’ve had the server. (I’ve brought it down a couple of times *myself*, usually intentionally. :) )

    > When was the last time you lost data because of Gandi?

    Never. And I haven’t seen any reports of data loss either. But I do regular offsite backups of critical data anyway. :)

    > What are the limits due to the Xen-based hosting? Can you run your own kernel (like the squeeze one)? Can you build additional modules (like tun)?

    You can’t run your own kernel, but they have several kernels to choose from (from 2.6.18 to 2.6.32, and an x86-64 2.6.32), and you can build and attach your own system disk images. You can build additional modules if you want; they have modules turned on. They already have tun, though. :)

    I’ve found the Xen-based hosting quite excellent, and Gandi provides a very manageable interface on top of it. The ability to attach and detach disks and scale storage has proven handy.

    > What else should I know?

    If you want fast disk bandwidth, go elsewhere. I’d suggest Rackspace. (Just checked: 31.2MB/s sequential read at Gandi, 257MB/s sequential read at Rackspace.)

    However, if you don’t care about high disk performance and you want *great* manageability, go with Gandi. Also, if you care about having piles of unmetered bandwidth like I do, go with Gandi; don’t underestimate the value of never having to think about your bandwidth usage.

    Don’t forget they do domains as well; I love having my domain with Gandi.

  10. marc wrote on 11/18/10 at 11:06 am :

    No real problem… I’ve never lost any data. hotline is a bit strange though.. Sometimes, they answer very quickly, sometimes not… I remember once, I attached a new disk to my VM and in the next few seconds a reboot was triggered “magically”. I complained about it, and their answer was “not our fault, you must have triggered the reboot from the command line”.

    Last year, they offered one month (nothing to pay to get the VM working). Then they changed to the possibility of a refund after one month. That could help if you want to test by yourself :)
    The only thing I don’t really like is that I’m stuck with 256MB because it’s a bit expensive to add more memory.. :(

  11. federico wrote on 11/20/10 at 6:35 pm :

    I’ve been using a VPS on Gandi for two years. It had a couple of unplanned shutdowns due to power, network or disk failures.
    The speed has never been impressive. I’ve switched to linode and I’m much happier.

  12. Lucas Nussbaum's Blog » Blog Archive » Feedback on Gandi hosting? | Hosting wrote on 11/24/10 at 4:32 pm :

    [...] Visit link: Lucas Nussbaum's Blog » Blog Archive » Feedback on Gandi hosting? [...]

  13. Sune Vuorela wrote on 11/25/10 at 1:14 am :

    I’m a slicehost customer and a linode customer, and I happily recommends linode to my friends.

  14. Loïc Minier wrote on 12/10/10 at 7:58 pm :

    Hey

    I’ve been using a Gandi vm since december 2008, almost 2 years now.

    I don’t use it for anything critical.

    I haven’t been impressed or disappointed by the service. The vm is a bit slow in CPU and I/O, and memory remains a premium, but it works.

    Uptime 53 days, but I think I passed 150 days of uptime once.

    I probably had between 5 and 10 days where things were not working well, e.g. connectivity issues or a reboot.

    My overall feeling is that it might not be a competitive pricing anymore given that online.net sells *dedicated* servers starting at 18 EUR/m with 2 GB of RAM and plenty of CPU and storage.

    The virtual machine image I was provided with had many issues when I got the vm, but they probably remastered these in the mean time.

    Cheers,

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