Pixxa is a new and hip VPS provider offering Linux and Windows VPS hosting. I recently was given the opportunity to check Pixxa out and was quite impressed. The scottlinux review is below!
Like Slicehost, Linode, GoGrid and others, Pixxa provides click to deploy VPS images with an excellent web interface.
Highlights of Pixxa include:
- Linux or Windows VPS
- Xen based
- Hundreds of click-to-deploy Linux template images from dedicated MySQL, tomcat, wordpress, drupal, gallery, general LAMP, and others
- Automated backups included in every plan
- Web based firewall for your VPS
- Click to expand to add more cores and ram on the fly as needed
- Console access, KVM style
- iPhone app in approval stages, with iPad and Android versions coming soon
- API available
- They are in Rotterdam, Netherlands! Need a fast VPS ip in NL? Pixxa is the answer!
Test Server for Review
I deployed an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS LAMP preconfigured image to give Pixxa a spin.
Setting up the machine, you can choose Linux or Windows VPS. The Linux versions available are most all 64bit.
After setting desired options for my server, I was up and running in perhaps 45 seconds. This is quite impressive!
Root is enabled by default on this image, with password given in the control panel web interface. I immediately ssh’d in, created a normal user, and disabled root logins via ssh.
I ran security updates (sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade). The image appeared to be a stock 10.04.1 image, so a few update needed to be applied. Not a huge problem, but having more periodically up-to-date images being deployed would be good.
A HUGE feature is a firewall. While all other VPS providers do not provide a firewall (you are on your own with a software firewall) Pixxa has an extremely user friendly firewall right there in the web control panel.
It is also possible restrict by ip login access your control panel.
Ok so let’s talk about specs and performance.
The 20 Euro ($28US) / month plan gets you two Xeon X5650 cores, 768MB ram, 30GB disk space, and 300GB of transfer. Not too bad!
stmiller@ubuntutest:~$ cat /proc/cpuinfo processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 44 model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5650 @ 2.67GHz stepping : 2 cpu MHz : 2666.760 cache size : 12288 KB fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 11 wp : yes flags : fpu de tsc msr pae cx8 sep cmov pat clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht syscall nx lm constant_tsc rep_good nonstop_tsc pni pclmulqdq ssse3 cx16 sse4_1 sse4_2 popcnt aes hypervisor lahf_lm bogomips : 5333.52 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management: processor : 1 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 44 model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5650 @ 2.67GHz stepping : 2 cpu MHz : 2666.760 cache size : 12288 KB fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 11 wp : yes flags : fpu de tsc msr pae cx8 sep cmov pat clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht syscall nx lm constant_tsc rep_good nonstop_tsc pni pclmulqdq ssse3 cx16 sse4_1 sse4_2 popcnt aes hypervisor lahf_lm bogomips : 5333.52 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management:
Geekbench Score: 3895
stmiller@ubuntutest:~$ df -m Filesystem 1M-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on /dev/xvda1 5040 1113 3672 24% / none 361 1 361 1% /dev none 373 0 373 0% /dev/shm none 373 1 372 1% /var/run none 373 0 373 0% /var/lock none 373 0 373 0% /lib/init/rw
Disk performance is ok but not fantastic:
stmiller@ubuntutest:~$ sudo hdparm -t /dev/xvda1 /dev/xvda1: Timing buffered disk reads: 52 MB in 3.09 seconds = 16.85 MB/sec
Network with IPv6:
stmiller@ubuntutest:~$ ifconfig eth0 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:16:3e:f1:a7:db inet addr:188.8.131.52 Bcast:184.108.40.206 Mask:255.255.255.0 inet6 addr: fe80::216:3eff:fef1:a7db/64 Scope:Link UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST MTU:1500 Metric:1 RX packets:69807 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:16685 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 RX bytes:89832535 (89.8 MB) TX bytes:1306615 (1.3 MB) Interrupt:18 lo Link encap:Local Loopback inet addr:127.0.0.1 Mask:255.0.0.0 inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host UP LOOPBACK RUNNING MTU:16436 Metric:1 RX packets:40 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0 TX packets:40 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0 collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 RX bytes:3290 (3.2 KB) TX bytes:3290 (3.2 KB) stmiller@ubuntutest:~$ cat /etc/resolv.conf #### Automatically generated by OnApp (2.1.RC4) domain nameserver 220.127.116.11 nameserver 18.104.22.168
$ whois 22.214.171.124 inetnum: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 netname: NL-QWEB-PIXXA descr: Pixxa IP space country: NL admin-c: QWEB-NL tech-c: QWEB-NL status: ASSIGNED PA
Apache benchmark from Fremont, California data center:
$ ab -n 1000 -c 5 http://184.108.40.206/index.html This is ApacheBench, Version 2.3 <$Revision: 655654 $> Copyright 1996 Adam Twiss, Zeus Technology Ltd, http://www.zeustech.net/ Licensed to The Apache Software Foundation, http://www.apache.org/ Benchmarking 220.127.116.11 (be patient) Completed 100 requests Completed 200 requests Completed 300 requests Completed 400 requests Completed 500 requests Completed 600 requests Completed 700 requests Completed 800 requests Completed 900 requests Completed 1000 requests Finished 1000 requests Server Software: Apache/2.2.14 Server Hostname: 18.104.22.168 Server Port: 80 Document Path: /index.html Document Length: 177 bytes Concurrency Level: 5 Time taken for tests: 67.364 seconds Complete requests: 1000 Failed requests: 0 Write errors: 0 Total transferred: 453000 bytes HTML transferred: 177000 bytes Requests per second: 14.84 [#/sec] (mean) Time per request: 336.819 [ms] (mean) Time per request: 67.364 [ms] (mean, across all concurrent requests) Transfer rate: 6.57 [Kbytes/sec] received Connection Times (ms) min mean[+/-sd] median max Connect: 163 167 2.2 167 171 Processing: 163 169 14.9 168 339 Waiting: 163 167 2.2 167 171 Total: 327 336 15.4 335 507 Percentage of the requests served within a certain time (ms) 50% 335 66% 337 75% 339 80% 339 90% 340 95% 341 98% 341 99% 412 100% 507 (longest request)
I tested moving an iso from my Fremont data center VPS to Pixxa. I received an average 4.0MB/s sustained for the transfer TO Pixxa. And out FROM Pixxa to my Fremont VPS I received about 3.0MB/s average.
– There is no DNS management or DNS functionality of any kind at this time. DNS management is coming, according to the Pixxa FAQs.
– The web management interface defaults to insecure http. I could manually add in https to get a secure connection, but in the security minded internet world we live in this should all be over https.
– At this time upgrading your plan requires contacting Pixxa support. It would be awesome to have a click to upgrade feature inside the web interface. Not really a downside, but perhaps a wish list item.
– It would be great for Pixxa to have a real time status blog or status page to indicate any maintenance being performed or other information to customers.
I definitely recommend Pixxa for VPS hosting. With included backups and easy web management Pixxa is an excellent VPS service. Check it out!