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We’ve done it again! More resources at no additional cost

We’ve been busy provisioning new nodes and more SSD storage. While we were at it, we noticed that we wanted to give more RAM to our clients. When it came down to discussing pricing, we all concluded on the same thoughts. Free!

As of today, all existing clients will already notice the new resources on their server(s)!

Micro VPS

Goes from 128MB of RAM to 256MB

Small VPS

Goes from 128MB of RAM to 512MB ! (This is huge), we upped the port speed from 10mbit to 100mbit as well.

Medium VPS

Goes from 512MB of RAM to 1GB. We also increased the port speed to 250mbit from 100mbit.

Introducing the Nano VPS

While we were at it, we wanted to create a plan that’s perfect for developers to get started on our platform. We’ve introduced the new Nano VPS plan with 3GB of storage, 10GB of monthly bandwidth transfer and 128MB of ram (with 128MB vSwap). All for $15 /year! Our cheapest plan yet!

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How SSD Storage Makes Your VPS Faster

Samsung 840 PRO SSD on OpenVZ Servers

There has been a lot of buzz in the industry lately about SSD storage, the benefits to I/O speed that it brings relative to it’s cost is something that makes it an attractive investment for both business and personal use.

This post should clarify the common questions you’re faced with when deciding if the added cost of using SSD based storage is really something they should invest in.

The image below is a very simple (and standard) benchmark test used to see what the sequential write speed of your filesystem is. Typically speaking anything above 80-120 MB/s on this test is an indication of a filesystem powered by something more powerful than the typical 4 SATA drive RAID10 setup. In this case, the test below was the result of a two drive RAID1 setup with Samsung 840 PRO SSD drives. The theoretical maximum write on these drives is about 450 MB/s.

IO Test on Samsung 840 PRO

So what does this do for you? Well, knowing the read and write performance of your underlying file system can help solve problems and plan for future growth of your website, applications and or database performance. I/O is often the most commonly over looked parameter when sizing up a server to run in a production envoronment. The typical CPU, Memory & Disk Space are the common 3 factors that are used to determine a comparison in price point amongst hosting companies. Unfortunately, not many will post the I/O performance of the disk space that is sold.

Common Questions to Ask

  1. Are you running a web application that requires the use of a Database?
  2. Do you require a lot of storage space?
  3. Does your application or task do more reading or writing to disk?

Generally speaking, if you don’t need hundreds of gigabytes of storage space and you are using some type of database, SSD based storage will make a noticeable difference immediately. Most times, if you are on older hardware with SSD real world performance can actually greater than state of the art hardware that is experiencing an I/O bottleneck.

At OpenVZ.ca, SSD storage can be added to any existing or new plan at an additional cost of $5 /month. It will require a migration to another physical node setup with SSD storage, but this migration is seamless and results in no downtime.

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New LowendBox.com Exclusive VPS Plan Coming Soon

It’s was time for us to submit a more updated offer to the lowendbox.com community. All users that have the OpenVZ.ca LEB Exclusive plan have been automatically migrated to the new plans features/resources. The price is exactly the same.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for being our customer and giving you a sneak peak at the resources available on the new plan before it is published.

Unfortunately we can’t share the info just yet, but we have been told that it will be posted on lowendbox.com in the coming days.

Update

Posted April 27
http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/openvz-ca-7month-512mb-openvz-vps-in-montreal-canada/

  • 512MB RAM
  • 256MB Swap
  • 2 vCPU Core
  • 20GB Raid1 Diskspace
  • 500GB Bandwidth
  • 200Mbps Port Speed
  • 1 IPv4 Address
  • 1 IPv6 Address
  • OpenVZ/SolusVM
  • $7/Month | Order Link
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vSWAP Replaces User Beancounters

Since the release of CentOS 6, OpenVZ has modified the memory management model, replacing User Beancounters. This new method is called vSWAP and is what we will be offering to all new customers as a new standard.

It eliminates a lot of confusion between Guaranteed/Burstable memory models in the old system, and allows your VPS to behave in a more predictable way (more like a dedicated server).

Most of our customers have been migrated to the newer CentOS 6 nodes and vSWAP has already been implemented. If you have been migrated, the guaranteed RAM is what you will now see in your SolusVM interface and the burstable RAM will now show as SWAP within your VPS.

You can view how much SWAP you have allocated by typing the command:

# free -m

This is the official description for vSWAP provided by the OpenVZ Wiki:

New RHEL6-based OpenVZ kernel has a new memory management model, which supersedes User beancounters. It is called VSwap.

Now you can set two primary parameters: physpages and swappages, while all the other beancounters become secondary and optional.

  • physpages
This parameter limits the physical memory (RAM) available to processes inside a container.
The barrier is ignored and should be set to 0, and the limit sets the limit.
Currently (as of >= 042stab042) the user memory, the kernel memory and the page cache are accounted into physpages.
  • swappages
This parameter limits the amount of swap space which can be used for processes inside a container.
The barrier is ignored and should be set to 0, and the limit sets the limit.

The sum of physpages.limit and swappages.limit limits the maximum amount of allocated memory which can be used by a container. When physpages limit is reached, memory pages belonging to the container are pushed out to so called virtual swap (vswap). The difference between normal swap and vswap is that with vswap no actual disk I/O usually occurs. Instead, a container is artificially slowed down, to emulate the effect of the real swapping. Actual swap out occurs only if there is a global memory shortage on the system.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this post, please contact us or post a comment below.

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Ubuntu 11.10 CPU at 100% on Boot (Init Process) Bug

There is a bug in Ubuntu 11.10 running on OpenVZ that causes the CPU to spike to 100% shortly after booting.

To fix this issue without asking for assistance by an administrator, type the following commands as root:

# apt-get install python-software-properties
# add-apt-repository ppa:jammy/upstart.fix-880049
# apt-get update && apt-get upgrade
# reboot

Once your VPS has been rebooted the bug will go away.

This only affects Ubuntu version 11.10.

If you have any additional problems, or if this doesn’t fix the problem, please open a support ticket.

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Hosted DNS as a Service Now Available as VPS Account Addon

In order to support the demand for DNS hosting requested by our customers over the previous months, we are pleased to announce the availability of two packages that can be added on to any VPS server.

  • DNS10 – Ability to host 10 domains and up to 100 records. ($2.50 per month with any VPS account)
  • DNS20 – Ability to host 20 domains and up to 250 records. ($5.00 per month with any VPS account)

This service can be added on to all current VPS accounts by creating an upgrade order from the ePortal. The web interface to control all DNS records is seamlessly integrated with the SolusVM web console.

If you have any questions regarding this service, please email sales@media-hosts.com.

Sincerely,
Media-Hosts Inc.

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IPv6 Addresses now available on all OpenVZ VPS accounts at OpenVZ.ca

IPv6 addesses are available on the Medium, Large and Extra large VPS accounts at no additional cost.

There is a one time setup fee of $19.99 to activate IPv6 addresses on the Small VPS package.

For more information on IPv6 click here

We are proud to announce, that our IPv6 network is now online. We have connectivity to the following upstream providers as of today:

  • Cogent Communications (AS174)
  • NeTELLIGENT Hosting Services (AS10929)
  • Hurricane Electric (AS6939)

If you are a current customer looking to add IPv6 connectivity to your existing VPS, please open a support ticket.

Note: While these IP addresses do not have a monthly per-unit cost. Justifications are still required for larger amounts of IP addresses to be allocated. Please refer to the ARIN policy regarding the exact policy that we follow.

IPv6 Addresses now available at OpenVZ.ca on all OpenVZ VPS servers

IPv6 Addresses now available

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SolusVM Migrations Completed

We are happy to report that all of the migrations to the new SolusVM platform and Hardware Nodes has been completed successfully.

At this point, all customers should have received an email for each VPS they have with us with instructions on how to access the new panel. If you have not received an email from us please open a ticket with support.

We hope everyone enjoys the added benefits this control panel brings us.

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SolusVM Control Panel Coming by September 2011!

SolusVM VPS Control PanelDue to the increasing number of requests we get to migrate to a newer control panel, we have decided to go with SolusVM as the control panel for all of our VPS servers going forward.

What does this mean for existing customers?

Between now and September 2011, you will get an email with instructions on how to login to the new web control panel. The Legacy HyperVM web interface will continue to be active until all VPS accounts are fully migrated to the new system.

Will there be any downtime as a result of this upgrade?

Absolutely NOT! One of the benefits of OpenVZ virtualization technology is the the ability to “live migrate” virtual servers. Your VPS will be moved to the new nodes with the SolusVM software enabled live. Nothing will change with your configuration.

When your VPS is fully migrated, you will get an email to confirm.

Why are we migrating?

One of the benefits to this migration, is that you will be able to see all of your usage graphs (CPU, Load Average, RAM, Network) from within your ePortal (secure.media-hosts.com).

In addition, these extra features will also give us room to grow in the future:

  • API Access for use with iPhone applications and other 3rd party programs.
  • Simplified web interface that makes much more sense.
  • Ability to add other types of virtualization (KVM, Xen PV & HVM). I know we are OpenVZ.ca but Media-Hosts.com will be offering other virtualization technologies as a result, and it’s much easier for us to manage one system instead of two.
  • SSH console built into the ePortal and Web Portal.
  • Tun/Tap will be user installable with one button.

If you have any questions regarding this new feature/migration please email us directly: support@media-hosts.com

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Setup a Tun/Tap OpenVPN Server on OpenVZ in Under 5 Minutes

How can I install a VPN server on my VPS in order to access the internet through it? If you want to skip the background and methodology behind the script, skip to the section called “Installing OpenVPN on OpenVZ.”

One of the pre-requisites to run common PPTP and IPSEC VPN protocols is PPP. Due to the nature of OpenVZ virtualization, it requires it’s own custom version of the Linux Kernel to run. As a result, ppp is not available for us to use.

So, OpenVPN is the simplest way to get a VPN server running on your VPS since it utilizes the TUN interface /dev/net/tun and creates a tunnel to your client software running on your PC. Then, using simple IPTables rules, you can masquerade or NAT your traffic to your public interface. Sounds complicated? to a degree it can be (depending on your linux knowledge level).

So we have come up with  a script that will allow you to install a “simple” version of OpenVPN server and allow you to download the appropriate configuration file (.ovpn & certificate) to import into the OpenVPN client software. This requires no configuration from your side other than running the script and answering some questions in the wizard.

Installing OpenVPN on OpenVZ

The following script will do the following things:

  1. It will check to ensure tun/tap is enabled. If it isn’t you will need to contact your support department and have it enabled before continuing.
  2. It will download and install the RPMForge Repository for CentOS (where OpenVPN packages are located)
  3. It will use YUM and install all the required packages (openvpn openssl openssl-devel)

Once the required packages are installed the script will create a sample easy to use configuration for OpenVPN and put the required files you will need for your Client to connect in /root/openvpn-keys.tgz

It will set OpenVPN to run on boot and create the necessary iptables NAT rules to route your traffic to your primary Public IP address and save it so it will remember when iptables is restarted.

Installation Steps

Download the following script (tested and supported on CentOS 5 32bit) and run as root:  OpenVPN Install Script

or

Type the following commands as root:

cd ~
wget http://www.openvz.ca/scripts/install-openvpn.sh
chmod 700 install-openvpn.sh
./install-openvpn.sh

Wizard Instructions:

  • When asked to enter a “Passphrase” do not enter one, leave it blank and just press “enter”
  • When asked for Country Code, Province, City… These do not have the be accurate. Any values will do.
  • When asked if you want to build/sign the generated certificates enter yes (y).
  • It is normal for it to ask you two times for the same information (Since you are generating both client/server keys)

The final step is to download the /root/openvpn-keys.tgz archive, unzip it on your PC and import the .ovpn file in your OpenVPN Client (you can download it here if you haven’t already). This will create a simple button in your client and allow you to quickly establish a VPN connection to your VPS whenever you need it.

Questions? Contact Us or post a comment on this blog so we can clarify anything not mentioned.

pre-requisites

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