I was looking for a VPS in India and HostVirtual (VR.org) appeared in the short-list.
Host Virtual has a tie-up with Netmagic’s Chennai datacenter and it offers cloud VPS services.
The prices are quite reasonable at $20 for a 1GB RAM VPS. Here’s what you get for that:
• 1024 MB Ram
• 20 GB Raid Storage
• 1000 GB Outbound +
• Free Inbound Transfer
• 1 IPv4 + 1 IPv6 IP Address
While the 1000GB bandwidth appears very generous, there are severe speed limits in place. For the 1GB RAM VPS, the speed is restricted to 10Mbps as compared to 100Mbps in other locations.
Now, the interesting thing is that I discovered the speed limit by accident. I run a website which offers pdf files for download. I send out a newsletter announcing that the file is available and there is a flock of visitors that congregate depending on the popularity of the download offer.
The speed limits are apparently not enabled by default but Host Virtual has a firewall in place which triggers the speed limit if there is a rush of visitors to the site and they are downloading files. Apparently, the firewall assumes that there is a DDOS attack and chokes the traffic.
So, if you are going to be consuming heavy bandwidth in spurts, you should be wary about this.
Host Virtual offers its own proprietary Control Panel which is easy to use. There is no facility for creating a backup.
Host Virtual offers a DNS Control Panel as well. For this you have to go to your domain registrar (e.g. Namecheap, ENOM etc) and point the domain to Host Virtual’s name servers ns1 to ns4.hostvirtual.com. It is very easy to use and ensures that you have the proper records for CNAME, MX, A etc. Alternatively, you can set up virtual hosts on the VPS (see Guide) and directly point the domain to your I. P. address.
Performance: Here’s what the performance of the VPS is like:
Checking the processor used for the VPS
root@server:~# cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 45
model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2620 0 @ 2.00GHz
stepping : 7
microcode : 0x70d
cpu MHz : 2000.000
cache size : 15360 KB
cpu cores : 1
As you can see, the CPU is a 2Ghz with 1 core.
Checking the I/O (Input Output ratio) of the VPS:
root@server:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync
16384+0 records in
16384+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 2.09584 s, 512 MB/s
Checking the download speed of the VPS using wget:
root@server:~# wget cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
--2013-09-29 20:34:24-- http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
Resolving cachefly.cachefly.net (cachefly.cachefly.net)... 22.214.171.124
Connecting to cachefly.cachefly.net (cachefly.cachefly.net)|126.96.36.199|:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `100mb.test'
100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 4.76M/s in 18s
2013-09-29 20:34:43 (5.71 MB/s) - `100mb.test' saved [104857600/104857600]
Checking the Upload & Download Speeds using the python tool:
root@server:~# python speedtest-cli
Retrieving speedtest.net configuration...
Retrieving speedtest.net server list...
Testing from Host Virtual (188.8.131.52)...
Selecting best server based on ping...
Hosted by Vodafone India (Chennai) [1.44 km]: 16.371 ms
Testing download speed........................................
Download: 39.98 Mbit/s
Testing upload speed..................................................
Upload: 8.92 Mbit/s
(this is after the speed limit, triggered by the firewall, was removed, though I am not sure if it has been reinstated)
Support is excellent with Host Virtual. It has a couple of very knowledgeable and friendly support staff such as ‘Mark M’ and ‘Kris’. I raised a number of tickets and all queries were responded to within minutes and in a friendly tone. It was very comforting.
Conclusion: If you are keen on a VPS situated in India, you have few choices. Host Virtual is a good choice because it is located in a reputed datacenter (NetMagic) and has good support. The only irritant is the speed limit. The other contenders are Hostdime.in, Hostgator.in, Ctrls, Leapswitch and go4hosting. Ctrls, Hostgator.in and Hostdime are priced quite high. Leapswitch is very reasonable priced and is located in the Tata Communications datacenter. Their support service is also good. I have not used go4hosting.