Quick Review: Netcetera

Here's a quick review of Netcetera, based on the budget VPS offered here .

Netcetera is located on the Isle of Man. AFAIK, they're the only ones offering LET style VPSes on this interesting island nestled between England and Ireland.

First, here are some quick bench.sh test results (sorry, I should add more to this script, but it should give you a decent idea):

System Info

Processor : QEMU Virtual CPU version 1.5.3

CPU Cores : 1

Frequency : 2393.984 MHz

Memory : 490 MB

Swap : 1023 MB

Uptime : 1 min,

OS : S

Arch : x86_64 (64 Bit)

Kernel : 3.10.0-123.4.2.el7.x86_64

Speedtest (IPv4 only)

Location Provider Speed

CDN Cachefly 10.9MB/s

Atlanta, GA, US Coloat 1.33MB/s

Dallas, TX, US Softlayer 3.31MB/s

Seattle, WA, US Softlayer 2.80MB/s

San Jose, CA, US Softlayer 3.79MB/s

Washington, DC, US Softlayer 5.28MB/s

Tokyo, Japan Linode 3.16MB/s

Tokyo2, Japan Linode 2.67MB/s

Singapore Softlayer 3.80MB/s

Rotterdam, Netherlands id3.net 9.84MB/s

Haarlem, Netherlands Leaseweb 9.51MB/s

Disk Speed

I/O (1st run) : 230 MB/s

I/O (2nd run) : 232 MB/s

I/O (3rd run) : 226 MB/s

Average I/O : 229.333 MB/s

It looks like we're talking about a 100 Mbps port here. This isn't knock-your-socks off performance, but I think we can agree that it's pretty nice for a couple of quid per month.

I'm seeing <100 ms ping times to most of the east coast of the US and CA; <50ms to western/northern EU; and well under 100 ms to eastern EU and western RU. The rest of the world looks similarly reasonable, with low variance in ping times and no packet loss even to places like SG, ZA, and the far side of RU. (I saw a little bit of loss to NZ.)

I should also add that @JSCL responded quickly to my message here and setup was smooth and quick (except for some weirdness or confusion that I fixed by just resetting the root password). Also note that the recurring discount is applied manually after ordering. There was also an annoying request to ID by sending a scan of a credit card.

So, what's the catch?

First, no IPv6 (although JSCL tells me it's planned).

Second, the Isle of Man is connected to the rest of the world by only one cable (E-LLAN) landing in Blackpool. Essentially, all the traffic goes to London first, which means the connectivity is like having a server in London plus 15-20 ms of extra lag. More importantly, if something happens to E-LLAN (or Netcetera's upstream, which AFAIK is only Sure International—an interesting company in its own right), I assume that Netcetera goes dark. (Maybe JSCL would like to correct me here?)

Having said that, it's pretty hard to complain about what you're getting for the price. It's definitely a viable LET style offering. I'd certainly rather have this VPS than a NAT host in London, for example.

In the end, I think there are a couple of reasons folks might like to host here, beyond it being just another decent LET offering. One is the unique location. Perhaps we could discuss what, if any, non-technical advantages hosting in IM instead of the UK brings. (I'm not convinced there are any, practically-speaking, since all the traffic lands in Blackpool, but IANAL.) But there's also just the cool factor. The other is the "ZeroCarbon Datacentre" pitch, which might appeal to some of you tree-hugging types. ;-)

tl;dr: Buy if you think hosting on the Isle of Man is cool; if you like tofu and granola; or (judging by my very limited experience) dealing with good support is worth a few cents more compared to the lowest of low-end deals.

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