lowendspirit.com (from Inception Hosting)

willie

Active Member
I think this is the future of ultra cheap VPS hosting.  I have two of them now and am just having a blast.  For 3 euros (about $4) per year, yes per YEAR, you get a small VPS in UK or NL, with a reasonable hunk of bandwidth.  The catch is you don't get a dedicated ipv4 address.  You get five ipv6 addresses and 20 NATted (high numbered) ipv4 ports, plus they can set up a HAproxy virtual host for you on port 80 of the public ipv4, if you want to run a web server.  It actually works rather well, you can run almost anything that doesn't require pinning to specific port numbers.  It took some technical hackery to make it work, but it's much better than the ipv6-only vps's that never got any traction back on LEB (a few were offered).  I think that except for a few purposes, these are better than the 32MB and 64MB traditional VPS offers that still show up sometimes and cost a lot more.

The signup process is rather humorous.  There are five or so check boxes that you have to agree to, saying you understand there is no support, there are no refunds, there is no support, did I mention that there is NO SUPPORT (you are supposed to use the user forum), tnat there is a 3 euro charge if you file a support ticket for a question that could have been answered through the user forum, and by the way there is NO SUPPORT.  That said, the actual ipv4 address is supposed to be secret (as long as you don't know about nslookup), so you ARE supposed to file a support ticket for that.

The UK server has somewhat more hardware resources but less network bandwidth than the NL one.  So at NL, if I remember correctly you get a 64MB VPS with 2GB of disk space and 500GB of bandwidth, while the UK one has 128MB ram, 3GB disk, and 200GB 100GB bw.  The virtualization is OpenVZ with just a few templates available: stripped down versions of Debian 6 and 7, and some Ubuntu and SuSE templates that I didn't try.  The Debian templates work fine though you end up having to install a lot of stuff by hand, since the templates are quite minimal.  Anthony was emphatically unwilling to offer the full Debian templates since he considers them bloated.  I guess for this type of server, it makes sense.

I have one server at each location, but have mostly been using the NL one, including as a socks proxy for web surfing.  It does fine, US to NL and back, works better than some more expensive domestic VPS's that I've used a similar way.  Ssh'ing into the box, it's nice and responsive, package installs are quick, etc.  The NL server is on quite modest older hardware but still works well as I guess it is being used gently.  The UK one also seems fine (I haven't used it much) though it had a disk failure recently and everyone's VPS got trashed and had to be reinstalled.  So yeah, keep your stuff backed up, which with such low capacity would seem to be pretty easy.  Disk and ram upgrades are NOT available, but if you buy two vps on the same box, you can combine their resources. (You can't do that for N > 2).  Correction: a 2x disk/ram upgrade is available at order time (the mechanism changed from earlier, see the user forum for details). You can also fuse-mount a remote disk so that might be a reasonable way to handle backups.

There is a moderately active user community on the user forum, which has a support section and so forth.  The atmosphere on it is actually not all that happy, since Anthony mentions he's losing money on the project (doing it as community contribution) and people keep asking him for stuff.  I think he should raise prices a bit, so it can be more sustainable, and I may suggest that over there.

Anyway, THANK YOU ANTHONY for running this very cool experiment.

Corrections added per Anthony's post.
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Interesting offer.  Long been keeping an eye on these and waiting for someone to buy and talk about how it works :)

Now I am a tad more interested :)
 

AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
Thanks for the write up willie.

I would just like to clear up a few points though as you did get a few things wrong. :)

1) UK comes with 100GB BW not 200GB
2) nslookup will not do you much good as lowendspirit.com will be on round robin DNS so you could get any IP not always the one for your node.
3) There are also SUSE templates available, the debian ones I stripped down to remove samba and apache2 etc, anyone that wants those by default wants their head examining :)
4) Ram and HDD upgrades are available and you cannot stack servers at all.

Regarding the emphasis on no support .. haha

This is a project paid for by Inception Hosting, it runs at a loss and probably always will, it is not a production grade service, although it beats many of the similar spec supposed production grade services offered by some other hosts, it should not be relied on for anything that is very important to anyone.

I will help people, even via support tickets and created a department especially for that as long as people have shown they have tried to help themselves first, what I will charge for is if you come at me with an "I have tried nothing and I am all out of ideas" attitude, I offer a premium service if that is what people want then they should be buying that.

Many of the answers are already on the forums, this service is great to learn with but is not aimed at beginners sadly as you can probably imagine with the price tag people simply ignore everything else and think I should not only offer this at a loss but work for free on top of that for what works out at
 
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AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
Also I wanted to add, I had hoped other hosts would join in with this project, and the offer to set up a lowendspirit node is always open to any other hosts, I am more than happy to assist, you can bill for it via your own WHMCS etc, it will simply be listed on lowendspirit.com
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Also I wanted to add, I had hoped other hosts would join in with this project, and the offer to set up a lowendspirit node is always open to any other hosts, I am more than happy to assist, you can bill for it via your own WHMCS etc, it will simply be listed on lowendspirit.com
Due to the setup, would this require it's own node or could this be run in tandem on an OpenVZ node with clients that do not use NAT?
 

AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
Not sure I understand how you would accomplish that, I imagine it would be no fun using local and external IP's on the same node via SolusVM, or did I miss something?
 

KuJoe

Well-Known Member
Verified Provider
Not sure I understand how you would accomplish that, I imagine it would be no fun using local and external IP's on the same node via SolusVM, or did I miss something?
Oh yeah, SolusVM. I forgot that part of the equation. :(
 

Chronic

New Member
It's an admirable service you're providing, AnthonySmith. I can imagine a lot of people might jump on the bandwagon once you have those US locations set up.
 

HalfEatenPie

The Irrational One
Retired Staff
AnthonySmith is one genuinely awesome guy and his services are fantastic, there's no denying that!  Great write up willie!  

And yeah AnthonySmith, I'm sure for all of us in the industry we've all been there.  Getting "Urgent" tickets that basically say "I need this installed", there's only so much you'd be willing to do for them before you say "Come on man.  Seriously?"  
 

willie

Active Member
Due to the setup, would this require it's own node or could this be run in tandem on an OpenVZ node with clients that do not use NAT?
This sounds like a good place to use nested virtualization (weren't we seeing some drama about that recently, heh heh).  A 2gb KVM or Xen vps with a single ipv4 and a small ipv6 block could host dozens of these LES things.
 

willie

Active Member
Thanks Anthony, I edited the review based on your corrections.  For the nslookup and round robin, I just ran it a few times and then figured out by testing which address was which :D.

There is an interesting feature that I forgot to mention because I haven't tried it, which is high availability proxying between multiple locations.  I don't really understand how it works (does it require its load balancer to be up at all times?) but it sounds unique and worthwhile.  Adding more locations will also be great.
 

AnthonySmith

New Member
Verified Provider
@willie thanks, I will be offering redundant load balancing myself, once all locations are set up I will be intending to centralise the haproxy service rather than only running on each node, this will be hosted in multiple locations with geo-ip which will then give users the options of shortest path (closest), round robin or weighted priority targeting.

I will also be offering CDN zones along with this.

I guess it is going to be a long haul but once I am finished and can concentrate on features rather than locations and fine tuning nodes I will probably be looking to hire in a developer to write a front end for self management of haproxy entries and CDN zones etc.(this could be a year down the line)

Thanks for the compliments in general and HalfEatenPie being staff around here is a good thing :)
 

titanicsaled

New Member
The future plans for this service are great. I'm sure maybe a few more providers will jump on board and provide their support so that your not the only one putting in the tremendous amount of effort.


When I get some more time I will be more active on the LES forums and will help people sort out their problems to give something myself.
 

D. Strout

Resident IPv6 Proponent
I'd heard about this service for a while and finally got around to ordering one. Almost exactly 12 hours payment to setup, but what I wanted to post was that I asked in the order notes for 10 IPv6 addresses rather than the default 5 and got them. It's nice to know those are read and reasonable setup requests are honored. I'm working on setting it up now, will definitely post back with opinions after a while. As others have said, great service @AnthonySmith.
 

mikho

Not to be taken seriously, ever!
I feel ashamed that I haven't already ordered something from lowendspirit...

So I just ordered one in NL and one in UK. now to find a nice project to host on them.
 

vanarp

Active Member
What all ways one can use this LES VPS having just IPv6 address? I mean without opting for the NATted IPv4.
 

mikho

Not to be taken seriously, ever!
What all ways one can use this LES VPS having just IPv6 address? I mean without opting for the NATted IPv4.
you should get the NATted IPv4 either way. 

I haven't decided yet what I will do with it, probably a VPN or some small site that monitors my other stuff.
 
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