Rails Hosting: Slicehost vs. Rimuhosting

I know similar topics have been covered before, but I'd like to get a
more up-to-date Ruby developer's opinions. (Please note that I've
read similar threads in this group and read a lot of hosting
comparison sites, even contacted both companies and am still having a
hard time making decisions. )

After reading about limitations with shared hosting plans, I decided
that VPS is the way to go for me. I've narrowed it down to Slicehost
and Rimuhosting after reading other threads in this forum. (If anyone
thinks other VPS is way better, I'd like to hear about it!)

Here are my questions.
(1) What are your more recent experiences with these two hosting
companies, support-wise? (Were they helpful when you needed
installation/configuration help? How was the response time?)
(2) Which plan do you use? (MiroVS2 from rimuhosting, 256 slices from
slicehost ...etc.)
(3) What's your skill level (if you don't mind)? (developer, developer
+a bit of system admin, expert system admin..., etc. I'm a developer
with a bit of system admin experience by necessity.)
(4) How easy was it to get your rails app up and running? How long
did it take? Any major hiccups?
(5) Anything else you can think of that may help a newbie make a
decision?

Thanks a lot in advance!
Kumi

Slicehost +
Guebs ++ Shared Hosting

I use Mosso instead of slicehost. With a bit of sysadmin skills you should be able to get your rails app up and running very quickly. The documentation are more then adequate. They own slicehost so you dont get anything different, just a slightly cheaper price. I am yet to find any hosting company that provides a good reliable support, so you can forget support on whoever you go with. Reality is you are on your own and have the forums to help you.

and Rimuhosting after reading other threads in this forum. (If anyone
thinks other VPS is way better, I'd like to hear about it!)

I've never heard of rimuhosting before, the one people ask about on the slicehost irc channel a lot is linode. So if you don't want to make a decision quite yet, add them to the consideration...

I've never used anyone but slicehost and they have been great.

Here are my questions.
(1) What are your more recent experiences with these two hosting
companies, support-wise? (Were they helpful when you needed
installation/configuration help? How was the response time?)

I've been with SH for a year or so.. emailed them some sales questions friday night about 7pm PST and had a response in about an hour -- keep in mind this was to *sales* not tech support. In that year I've never needed their support. And my slice has always been up. I've noticed that people do need it from time to time (I hang out in their irc channel) and they are very responsive. I also know that a couple of times folks have lost net connectivity, but who hasn't?

(2) Which plan do you use? (MiroVS2 from rimuhosting, 256 slices from
slicehost ...etc.)

I have a 1024 slice and run a bunch of stuff on it (more than just a single site)

(3) What's your skill level (if you don't mind)? (developer, developer
+a bit of system admin, expert system admin..., etc. I'm a developer
with a bit of system admin experience by necessity.)

developer and sysadmin. Both. Either.

(4) How easy was it to get your rails app up and running? How long
did it take? Any major hiccups?

Well, with SH you get a bare bones install of one of several linux distros. The rest is up to you. So it takes a little while to install all the software you might want. But you can install whatever you want as well so that's nice. One thing I like is that their base installs are *bare*. Just enough to get you connected via SSH. So you don't have to deal with say ruby 1.8.4 and rails 1.2.6 being in the way...

(5) Anything else you can think of that may help a newbie make a
decision?

Hop on to each's irc/chat channels and see how friendly people are. The SH one is excellent. Lots of help from other users...

+1 slicehost.

-philip

Developer In London wrote:

I use Mosso instead of slicehost. With a bit of sysadmin skills you
should
be able to get your rails app up and running very quickly.

Good to know. Mosso looks interesting, but I've never tried it. FWIW,
I love Slicehost; never used Rimuhosting.

[...]

They own slicehost so you dont get anything
different, just a slightly cheaper price.

Not quite true. Certainly Mosso and Slicehost are now both owned by
Rackspace, but my understanding is that Mosso is cloud-based whereas
Slicehost is a VPS service. Quite different.

I am yet to find any hosting
company that provides a good reliable support, so you can forget support
on
whoever you go with. Reality is you are on your own and have the forums
to
help you.

Again, no. I have used Rackspace on (non-Rails) projects for clients
and been *extremely* impressed by their level of support -- quick,
comprehensive and capable. Slicehost had a reputation for great support
even before Rackspace bought them, so while I've never had to deal with
their support staff, I would expect their support to be excellent as
well.

You're not really on your own with support if you have a good host --
they won't do everything for you, but they can be very helpful.
Slicehost/Rackspace is definitely a good host.

Best,

[...]

They own slicehost so you dont get anything
different, just a slightly cheaper price.

Not quite true. Certainly Mosso and Slicehost are now both owned by
Rackspace, but my understanding is that Mosso is cloud-based whereas
Slicehost is a VPS service. Quite different.

I've not used Mosso, but was just looking at them the other day. Seems they are now Rackspaces "Cloud Server" provider. This page suggests they are not a true cloud... and some questions asked on a couple of forums said they are just like Slicehost (xen based...)

http://www.mosso.com/cloudservers_compare.jsp

For what it's worth...

I have used rimuhosting for several years. The support's always been
great; no real downtime; they're happy to set up your basic Rail
environment for you; they're cheap.

I currently have a dedicated host with them, split into a couple of
VPSs.

They usually get back with support queries pretty sharpish, though
I've only made one of two over the years.

Their VPSs are just default Centos installs by default, so there's no
real difficulty getting the stack set up. But I've got a fait amount
of sysadmin experience.

Overall I would recommend them, but I've never used other providers so
I can't really say how they compare.

-Matt

Here are my questions.
(1) What are your more recent experiences with these two hosting
companies, support-wise? (Were they helpful when you needed
installation/configuration help? How was the response time?)

I've been using slicehost for a few months now and have had no
problems so far.

(2) Which plan do you use? (MiroVS2 from rimuhosting, 256 slices from
slicehost ...etc.)

I use the 512 slice for one Rails app plus MySQL - again, no problems
there.

(3) What's your skill level (if you don't mind)? (developer, developer
+a bit of system admin, expert system admin..., etc. I'm a developer
with a bit of system admin experience by necessity.)

Developer plus intermediate system admin. I do my own sysadmin, and
I'm happy enough with my work.

(4) How easy was it to get your rails app up and running? How long
did it take? Any major hiccups?

Nope.

(5) Anything else you can think of that may help a newbie make a
decision?

Slicehost have great articles explaining how to configure their
servers. I found the one on setting up the email services/DNS stuff
especially useful as that guff had always confused me. The articles
are written about the specific distributions Slicehost use, but they
are freely available (http://articles.slicehost.com/) so I suppose you
could use a different host, follow their articles and deal with any
surprises on the way.

I've only every used one other VPS service, and they were pretty
dreadful (VPSLand).

Developer In London wrote:

I use Mosso instead of slicehost. With a bit of sysadmin skills you

should

be able to get your rails app up and running very quickly.

Good to know. Mosso looks interesting, but I’ve never tried it. FWIW,

I love Slicehost; never used Rimuhosting.

I was also with slicehost. I had both slicehost and mosso at the same time and the servers run on the same datacentre with same subnets and even same default names. I cant speak for the whole Mosso company but from my experience they are EXACTLY same as slicehost. Most likely they inherited slicehost’s infrastructure when they bought them.

[…]

They own slicehost so you dont get anything

different, just a slightly cheaper price.

Not quite true. Certainly Mosso and Slicehost are now both owned by

Rackspace, but my understanding is that Mosso is cloud-based whereas

Slicehost is a VPS service. Quite different.

I saw both of them to be Xen virtual servers. Mosso has a different product ‘Cloud Sites’ which runs from full cloud. Yes they are different, but you cant compare an apple with a banana. Mosso’s Virtual servers have zero difference with slicehost.

I am yet to find any hosting

company that provides a good reliable support, so you can forget support

on

whoever you go with. Reality is you are on your own and have the forums

to

help you.

Again, no. I have used Rackspace on (non-Rails) projects for clients

and been extremely impressed by their level of support – quick,

comprehensive and capable. Slicehost had a reputation for great support

even before Rackspace bought them, so while I’ve never had to deal with

their support staff, I would expect their support to be excellent as

well.

Again, yes. I have used rackspace myself, their ‘fanatical support’ is only covered if you sign up for the managed service. But then you cant get it on VPS, you have to get a full dedicated server, and then yes they will set things up for you if needed. From the mosso version of support, you get as much help as they can provide through chat or phone, but they will not login to your server to investigate anything. Neither will slicehost. I speak all of this from my own personal experience. Their knowledge of SysAdmin is somewhat limited, I spent hours chatting to them on the phone or chat to troubleshoot a problem only in the end they would give up and leave it to me to sort it out on my own. This has happened on numerous occassions. So I am sorry I DO NOT BELIEVE there is good support from ANY hosting company for VPS. I can do better support then them myself being a programmer.

You’re not really on your own with support if you have a good host –

they won’t do everything for you, but they can be very helpful.

Slicehost/Rackspace is definitely a good host.

You ARE on your own if they cannot solve your problems by asking you to try a few standard things they have. If a problem is critical and they cant solve it they will leave you in blue water. I had to spend days learning about sysadmin to get myself upto speed to sort out my issues.

Only way you can get around this is if you get a fully managed dedicated server from rackspace with fanatical support, but usually they start from around 50 times the price of a VPS.

As a host all of rackspace, slicehost and mosso are good. But as I mentioned I dont see the point in spending $20/month for a 256mb slice with 100gb bandwidth when most people would only use a few gigs of bandwidth. With mosso’s same exact package running from the same exact location same spec would come to around $14 or less. My maths arent that rusty yet to work out whats the better deal here. :wink: I moved my server to mosso instead of upgrading on slicehost.

Hope this helps.

Nayeem

I have two slices with SH, one 256mb running one site and one 512mb
running a couple of sites. The community section is great and the
articles there will tell you everything you need to know to setup your
slice from scratch. The last one I setup took maybe a couple of hours
from creation to having the site live. Never had call to contact
their support function and absolutely no complaints from me.

Robin

Nayeem,
I'm sorry you've not found a VPS provider that can help you in your
learning curve. I've been amazed how helpful BlueBoxGroup -
http://www.blueboxgrp.com/ has been for me!
Even though I have only one VPS with 1 meg RAM these people treat me
as though we're partners. They answer my questions on the phone or
email IMMEDIATELY and lend a depth to their answers that has has made
me lose my fear of deployment. On this one VPS I've got three Rails
applications and three static sites.
David

khagimoto:
Another +1 for Slicehost.

I know similar topics have been covered before, but I'd like to get a
more up-to-date Ruby developer's opinions. (Please note that I've
read similar threads in this group and read a lot of hosting
comparison sites, even contacted both companies and am still having a
hard time making decisions. )

After reading about limitations with shared hosting plans, I decided
that VPS is the way to go for me. I've narrowed it down to Slicehost
and Rimuhosting after reading other threads in this forum. (If anyone
thinks other VPS is way better, I'd like to hear about it!)

Here are my questions.
(1) What are your more recent experiences with these two hosting
companies, support-wise? (Were they helpful when you needed
installation/configuration help? How was the response time?)

My experience with Slicehost has been really great. Support (what
little I needed) was prompt and courteous. The staff are all top-notch
and their articles cover just about anything you would need to do with
their service.

(2) Which plan do you use? (MiroVS2 from rimuhosting, 256 slices from
slicehost ...etc.)

I have several slices; four 256 slices, a single 512 slice, and a
single 1GB slice.

(3) What's your skill level (if you don't mind)? (developer, developer
+a bit of system admin, expert system admin..., etc. I'm a developer
with a bit of system admin experience by necessity.)

Same. I am an experienced developer, mostly PHP, Ruby, and Java, with
enough sysadmin skills to set up and run my apps. The Slicehost
articles base covers just about every topic that you would need help
or a refresher with:

http://articles.slicehost.com/

(4) How easy was it to get your rails app up and running? How long
did it take? Any major hiccups?

Once you get the server-side stuff set up it is typically an easy task
to get your Rails app up-and-running. I use Capistrano now, but I do
have a couple of apps hosted with Slicehost where I am simply updating
a working copy from an SVN repo. Shell into your account, update to
the latest SVN version, and restart your Mongrel pack or Thin server.

(5) Anything else you can think of that may help a newbie make a
decision?

I've heard some great things about Rimuhosting, but I have never used
their service, so it wouldn't be fair for me to compare them with
Slicehost. But, if you consider that Slicehost is backed by Rackspace
it may help you to make a better decision. It's a matter of taste and
preference, I think.

Good luck with your decision!

BD

Thanks very much for the replies! I took all suggestions/experiences
into consideration, and I must say that I'm now partial to slicehost.
I had expanded my list to slicehost, rimuhosting, linode and
hostingrails (this one came up when reading some reviews), but
slicehost seems like the way to go for me. Thanks again!