Bye, Slicehost - Hello, Linode
It's been a few months since my last post around these parts. I've mostly been keeping busy with fitting into the whole West Coast lifestyle and, of course, busy at the job. Although I do miss New York City from time to time, particularly while watching older episodes of How I Met Your Mother, I've really enjoyed my time in the Bay Area. People here are interesting, and tech is such a huge part of the culture. It's been a fun ride.
This post, however, is not about the adventures of a Puerto Rican being thousands of miles from home (although it could certainly make for an interesting story for another day). This post is about me pulling the trigger on something I've wanted to do for a long time - switch my VPS (which is where this very blog is running) from Slicehost to Linode.
To begin, I wanted to state that Slicehost is very, very awesome. I've been a customer of theirs for more than two years, and never had any major issues with them. With the exception of some outages, their service ran smoothly for the most part. This is more than anyone can ask for. So, if Slicehost is so awesome, why didn't I marry them? I was perfectly content in staying with them.
However, as I was experimenting more and more with Ruby, Rails, Python and other languages / frameworks, my VPS - which was the smallest slice available at 256 MB - was obviously starting to suffer under the memory constraints. Since these were mostly experiments, I didn't want to splurge and pay almost double for a 512 MB slice. That's when Linode announced that they would be increasing the RAM sizes of all their slices. So it was either to stay with Slicehost and have my VPS struggle to keep up with my experiments (or pay more per month), or switch VPS providers. After reading all around the Internet about how good Linode was, I decided to go for it.
I opened an account with Linode and instantly had my sparkling new VPS running. I transferred all my files from the old Slicehost VPS and just had to point my domain names to the new Linode VPS. My main concern initially was that Slicehost had really spoiled me with their control panel, especially for DNS management. It was what had initially drawn me into their service to begin with, so leaving that behind was a bit scary. Thankfully, Linode has their own control panel that's equally great to use. I was able to configure and point my domain names to the Linode VPS, and had everything working quickly.
As far as performance, I had been reading for years how Linode has faster I/O performance than Slicehost. Turns out that those tests seem to be true - The VPS as a whole feels much snappier, from logging in via SSH to serving up this very blog.
One of the major issues people had against Linode in the past was that they lacked any integrated backup system, a la Slicehost. They actually introduced backups a few months ago. This wasn't a major concern for me (I'm using Tarsnap, which deserves a blog post of its own), but for those who need this sort of service, know that they have you covered.
Like I mentioned, Slicehost is great, and I wouldn't encourage people to not use their services. I just had different needs that Linode seems to be handling as well as I expected. It's only been a couple of days, but I think I'll be shutting down my Slicehost VPS for good.