Pixxa VPS Hosting Review

By | 2011/07/16

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
  • IPv6
  • 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.


Specs?

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

Disk:

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:178.255.198.6  Bcast:178.255.198.255  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 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4
$ whois 178.255.198.6

inetnum:         178.255.198.0 - 178.255.198.255
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://178.255.198.6/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 178.255.198.6 (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:        178.255.198.6
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)

Transfer speeds:

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.


Any downsides?

– 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.

Recommend?

I definitely recommend Pixxa for VPS hosting. With included backups and easy web management Pixxa is an excellent VPS service. Check it out!

One thought on “Pixxa VPS Hosting Review

  1. scott Post author

    Looks like Pixxa is no longer in service. Thanks,

    Reply

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