Must buy a beer for The Planet

I have been having a great deal of grief with a couple of sites using too much international bandwidth. People who host in the USA might not be familiar with this concept, but our New Zealand server comes with 10Gb of international bandwidth, then $10 per gigabyte after that (go on, laugh).

Suffice to say, I haven't been entirely impressed with the last few bandwidth bills that have come in.

The star spangled hosting

So I decided to move these troublesome sites to the USA where bandwidth costs pocket change in comparison. I started out with a DreamHost Private server - this is a system whereby you upgrade your shared server account to have a certain amount of dedicated CPU and memory, and it's pretty smooth. I have been a DreamHost customer for years, and have been really happy with they ridiculously cheap hosting and wicked features (love the free SVN server). But as soon as I started to move sites onto the new DreamHost Private Server, it pegged out and kept crashing, resulting in pretty major downtime.

Moving hosting is never smooth, but it's no fun when you are forced into moving hosting at a time when business is particularly busy. I played around with the Private server settings, bumped up the resources and it just kept pegging out. So I decided to bite the bullet and buy a full server hosted in the USA, and I ended up choosing The Planet.

Hackers!!!

Ironically there was nothing wrong with DreamHost's Private Server at all - I host a number of gaming related forums for some people I met online years ago. One of these forums (which I host for free) had been hacked and defaced, the database had grown to 4 gigabytes with god knows what, and something was eating up all the CPU time on my account. So not really DreamHost's problem at all. If this had happened at any time other than the exact same day I started moving sites onto the PS, then perhaps this might have been easier to diagnose and identify.
Unfortunately I was too busy to give the issue the time it deserved, and I ended up with a whole server that probably wasn't required. DreamHost were pretty cool about the whole thing, and I'm still keeping my shared account with them.

The Planet

So, a brand new server with The Planet. Amazingly, the process was pretty painless. Aside from a lack of appropriate error messages on the signup form (I found out later my card had expired but The Planet's error message was completely non-descriptive), it was pretty easy to choose and customize the server.

It got delivered on time, as promised, and has been working wonderfully since day one. The WHM/Cpanel system is great to use, and by default it's mostly useful - had to do some research to enable openSSL but pretty painless really.

Overall, I'd give The Planet 9 out of 10, the prices seem pretty reasonable, and the server is almost as quick as the NZ one, but with 2Tb of bandwidth available instead of 10Gb.

Isn't it nice when complex things turn out to be easy for a change - usually changing hosting is a royal pain in the arse, but this was pretty painless from start to finish.

I had to laugh when the American guy phoned up a week or so later to verify my account - a phone call from a guy with a right proper Texas accent saying he's from "The Planet". Initially I wasn't sure if he meant Earth or Mars...
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Tags: web hostingthe planetdreamhost