Why I Chose Slicehost over Media Temple

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I have been running my own hardware since early 90’s. Hardware has always been produced by Sun Microsystems. Yes, I am a Sun fanboy. Times change and I am forced to retire my old hardware. So I went for shopping for decent VPS. Tried Media Temple first. Gandi was still invitation only. In the end chose Slicehost. Here are the reasons why.

Download Speed to Europe

I do have a small problem with having my hosting physically located in Northern America. I was worried of getting low download speed to Europe. I tested this from several hosts located in Finland and Estonia. Slicehost was always faster than Media Temple.

Slicehost usually gave between 700-800 KB/s. Not bad. Same speed I usually get from local shared hosting.

$ wget http://sh.appelsiini.net/somefile.mov

Length: 17140878 (16M) [video/quicktime]
Saving to: `somefile.mov'

100%[===================================>] 17,140,878  1019K/s   in 22s    

21:41:45 (758 KB/s) - `somefile.mov' saved [17140878/17140878]

Media Temple delivered between 350-450 KB/s. Still OK but I prefer double speed when I can get it.

$ wget http://mt.appelsiini.net/somefile.mov
Length: 17140878 (16M) [video/quicktime]
Saving to: `somefile.mov.1'

100%[===================================>] 17,140,878   364K/s   in 47s    

21:40:22 (354 KB/s) - `somefile.mov.1' saved [17140878/17140878]

Ping Times

I am old school. I prefer working on shell. Yes color is green over black and I even use tcsh. I said it. Old school. Anyway, working on shell requires decent ping times. Otherwise my brain will have nervous breakdown if there is a delay between keypress and character appearing on screen.

Again Slicehost was bit better.

--- sh.appelsiini.net ping statistics ---
30 packets transmitted, 30 received, 0% packet loss, time 29008ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 132.676/133.293/136.268/0.643 ms

Media Temple was not bad either. Still difference was big enough to make shell window feel bit more sluggish.

--- mt.appelsiini.net ping statistics ---
30 packets transmitted, 30 received, 0% packet loss, time 29018ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 173.426/175.430/178.108/1.365 ms

Plesk is Horrible

I already mentioned preferring the shell. My biggest problem with Media Temple was Plesk. It is horrible. Slow to use. Makes too many decisions by itself. You do not really know what is happening. I understand it might work for other people. It just did not work for me.

Which one Should I Choose?

If you consider yourself developer type choose Slicehost. If you consider yourself designer you might be better off with Media Temple.

UPDATE: Media Temple made a test setup for me to try a virtual server located in their East Coast datacenter. Both ping times and download speeds were much better. Media Temple also noted they developing are developing similar barebone VPS service as SliceHost is providing. It will be geared towards developers.

$ wget
Length: 716881920 (684M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `somefile.iso'

100%[===================================>] 716,881,920  580K/s   in 20m 10s

17:18:31 (579 KB/s) - `solaris.iso' saved [716881920/716881920]
--- ping statistics ---
30 packets transmitted, 30 received, 0% packet loss, time 29009ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 106.092/106.273/106.702/0.212 ms

Related articles: Moved to Linode

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