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GridVirt: switch to hyperspeed

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SSD-based VPS providers are appearing in quantities the last few months. When I started to compose SSD VPS performance chart, I was just looking for a good inexpensive (in terms of cost-performance) VPS suitable for my sites with their greedy CMS, using DB intensely.

However, the very process of analysing SSD-powered hosting facilities became an interesting endeavour. SSD drives require specific setup; if settings optimal for magnetic drives are used, the efficiency would suffer. This is why I started to use a variety of tests, testing both disk I/O-related tests and other tests, namely from Phoronix suite, to have fuller picture.

CleverKite was a leader in VPS performance for a long time, until I tested GridVirt's VPS. If you browse the chart, you'll see the best random read and write throughput values (IOPS), approximately 135K reads/writes per second. Along with a good amount of RAM (1.5 Gb) and reasonable price (40 USD monthly) the tested VPS can be considered one of the best in cost-performance sense.

Normally, it takes about 3 weeks to make first impressions of VPS and at least 3 months to make an opinion worth a long review. I have not used the VPS for more than a month, yet I have spent some time studying the reviews of the GridVirt's services (on sites such as VPS List). Also, I pay attention to support style and average reaction time. GridVirt is run by a small group of people, yet doing that quite efficiently and with good attitude towards customers.

If you are looking for a budget provider, you came to a wrong place. SSD drives aren't yet too inexpensive to make the price for them comparable wit those for usual SATA/SAS drives. However, if you are looking for a fast, reliable and user-friendly provider, GridVort is a good choice. Note: SSD are used to host entire VPS, not just as a caching media — thus the efficiency.

During the time I had access to the test VPS I spotted no downtime periods, nor I detected significant disk I/O deterioration. Note that if many small-sized VPS are run on a single physical server, do not expect high I/O efficiency, since the overall speed is distributed across many VPSes.

This is the reason to use higher-volume VPSes, since they have to share physical resources with lesser number of co-hosted virtual machines.

Also, GridVirt is using my favourite virtualization technology, namely KVM — that means true isolation of VMs from one another. Unlike popular inexpensive OpenVZ incapsulation, KVM gives more guarantee that a failed VM won't hang all the other co-hosted VMs. I can't test Support to the fullest, since I am using mostly unmanaged VPSes and do not call Support often. Few cases when I addressed Support in case of GridVirt have been handled promptly and to my satisfaction.

Give GridVirt a try. Also, do benchmarking from time to time and let me know of your results. Stay tuned!

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