Scaleway VPS Review + Easy Guide To Setting Up

Scaleway offers Virtual Private Servers (VPS) at a price which is literally a steal when compared to other cloud VPS providers like Linode, Digital Ocean, Vultr, etc. Let us do a quick review of the pricing and terms and performance of the VPS and also do a quick guide on how to set up the VPS.

Pricing of the Scaleway VPS

Scaleway VPS are available in two variants. The first is the cloud severs. The second is the Bare Metal servers.

While the Cloud servers are regular VPS as are offered by Linode, Digital Ocean and Vultr, the Bare Metal servers are “dedicated servers” on separately identifiable hardware.

The advantage of the Bare Metal servers is that the user will not be troubled by the load created by other users on the node. Also, the user is free to use the VPS to the maximum extent possible without the fear of being pulled up by the server admin for abuse of the resources.

The slight disadvantage of the Bare Metal VPS over the Cloud Server VPS is that the former is powered by ARM processors which are used in mobile phones and tablets. These appears to be less powered as compared to the 64bit Cores used by the Cloud servers.

Of course, in a practical sense, when one is using the VPS for serving web pages, the difference will never be noticeable.

The other drawback of the Bare Metal VPS is that because they are separately identifiable pieces of equipment, the risk of a failure may be higher as compared to the Cloud sever.

The whole idea of a cloud service is to make it a more resilient service and less prone to equipment failure.

Cloud Servers

BareMetal

€2.99/Month

2 x86 64bit Cores
2GB Memory
50GB SSD Disk
1 Flexible public IPv4
200Mbit/s Unmetered bandwidth
€2.99/Month

4 Dedicated ARM Cores
2GB Memory
50GB SSD Disk
1 Flexible public IPv4
200Mbit/s Internet bandwidth
1Gbit/s Internal bandwidth

As one can see, the pricing of the VPS by Scaleway is very aggressive. For just €2.99 which is equivalent to 3.19 US Dollar, we are getting a generous 2GB RAM and 50 GB SSD Disk.

In comparison, Linode charges $5 per month for 1 GB RAM and 20 GB SSD Disk.

Of course, the comfort that one gets from Linode is incomparable.

Review of Scaleway VPS

I have used the Scaleway VPS at Paris and Amsterdam.

Here are the salient features of the Cloud Server VPS at Paris:

I have used the following code to test the performance of the VPS:

 bash <(wget --no-check-certificate -O - https://raw.github.com/mgutz/vpsbench/master/vpsbench)

The results are as follows:

 
CPU model:  Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU  C2750  @ 2.40GHz
Number of cores: 2
CPU frequency:  2393.902 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 2002 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   2:52,
I/O speed:  45.8 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 13.25s
Download 100MB file: 53.8MB/s
```

As one can see, the paramaters are very respectable.

To contrast the performance of the Scaleway, we can see the performance of the Linode VPS and also the OVH VPS using the same test script:

Test of Linode VPS with 2 GB RAM and 30 GB SSD

 
CPU model:  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2680 v3 @ 2.50GHz
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  2499.996 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1997 MB
Total amount of swap: 255 MB
System uptime:   79 days, 12:37,
I/O speed:  310 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: 20.33s
Download 100MB file: 575KB/s

Test of OVH VPS with 2 GB RAM and 10 GB SSD

 
CPU model:  Intel Core Processor (Haswell, no TSX)
Number of cores: 1
CPU frequency:  2399.996 MHz
Total amount of RAM: 1791 MB
Total amount of swap:  MB
System uptime:   1 day, 14:19,
I/O speed:  311 MB/s
Bzip 25MB: /dev/fd/63: line 29: /usr/bin/time: No such file or directory
Download 100MB file: 11.4MB/s

P.S.: The low download speed of the Linode VPS appears to be due to a network error at my end.

Guide to setting up the Scaleway VPS

Setting up a scaleway VPS is slightly different as compared to those with Linode etc because Scaleway insists on SSH Keys being available.

(1) Generate public and private keys with puttygen

Puttygen (not putty) can be downloaded from here.

scaleway vps review

The private key has to be stored on the computer after giving it a pass phrase (password). While the public key is used on the remote device (VPS), the private key is used on the local device (computer). If the keys match, a connection between the VPS and the user is established.

(2) Paste the public key in the scaleway console

The public key has to be pasted under Credentials as shown in the image:

scaleway vps bare metal

(3) Create server with the chosen configuration

scaleway server review

Connect to the server with putty

While connecting putty to a server using SSH Keys, the location to the private key has to be entered in putty.

scaleway vps review cloud

The connection will be in the normal manner except that you will have to enter the pass phrase of the private key to connect.

Create a password for root to use console

This is an important step because if you get locked out of the VPS and need to use the console, you cannot do so unless you have created a password for root.

The password can be created with the command

 passwd 

Built-in firewall

Yet another distinguishing feature between Scaleway and Linode and the other providers is that Scaleway has a built in firewall which blocks some ports like Port 25 (SMTP).

This means that users who want to send emails from the VPS will be prevented from doing so.

According to the FAQ:

To avoid spam, remote mail ports (25, 465, 587) cannot be reached from our infrastructure. If you need to open the mail ports to send e-mail, you can go to the advanced options section of your server and change the security group configuration:

1. On the left panel of the Control Panel, click on “Security”

2. Select the Security group you want to unblock remote mail ports

3. Set “Block SMTP” to No.

4. Reboot your server from the control panel to apply the changes

The solution to this is to create new firewall rules and load that in place of the default security rules.

The system of the scaleway security group is simply an allow/drop rule.

A HARD reboot is required for the new security rules to apply.

Review of Scaleway’s support

It is obvious that services like Scaleway which are offered at rock bottom prices are meant only for those webmasters who know what they are doing and are not dependent on support.

Scaleway offers paid support.

Having said that, I did raise one ticket relating to the opening of Port 25 which was promptly responded to by the support team.

Conclusion

Scaleway offers tremendous value for money. The 2GB RAM with 50 GB SSD for a mere USD 3.19 is too good an option to pas up. The network also is fine and stable. I have had no problems so far and am quite happy with the service.

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