While Xen is the new kids in the block in web hosting, there are already many hosting companies setting up Xen hosting and starting to rent out VMs. I will (hopefully) use this space to list and track hosting companies that offer Xen as a VPS hosting platform.

For each hosting provider listed, I am trying to use one provided plan for comparison. There is only one criteria — at least 256Mb physical memory, as it is usually regarded as minimum to run CPanel, a popular control panel application.

Xen hosting providers below are listed in alphabetical order. Please let me know if it is out-dated.

Server Axis

Memory Storage Data Transfer IP Addr Price
512Mb + 1024Mb 20Gb 200Gb 5 $30

Server Axis Homepage I blogged about Server Axis in May about their special deal. Their Opeteron-based servers are in Equinix data centre in Chicago with fast network.

Server Axis has very good price on Xen VDS with higher memory/disk space demands. The plans start at $30/month for a 512Mb with 20Gb storage, and for every $15/month you’ll get another 512Mb and 20Gb added to your VM. Each VM has up to 5 usable IP addresses which is great for setting up web hosting business. However the bandwidth is a bit limiting at 200Gb per month for all plans.

They are pretty much unmanaged as well, but from their website they can do security patches and updates for CentOS.

There’s a favourable review on WHT by some of their customers. However it is difficult to find other reviews on the web as they are pretty new in the Xen hosting arena.

One thing I cannot find is SLA on their servers. They do have 100% SLA on network availability, but nothing is said about the availability of your VM and their dom0.

SliceHost

Memory Storage Data Transfer IP Addr Price
256Mb + 512Mb 10Gb 40Gb 1 $20

SliceHost Homepage I have signed up to SliceHost‘s 256slice plan in September 2006, where I have written about my initial impression here. SliceHost’s motto is “Built for developers”, and indeed its set up, forums, website, etc are software developer friendly. Maybe not for cpanel reselling setup due to smaller amount of bandwidth, but definitely suitable for developers looking at deploying their web-based applications.

Hardware nodes are dual Opteron dual-cores with up to 24 users on a box, and their data centre is at St. Louise, MO. VPS are self-managed, and currently comes with either Fedora, Ubuntu or Gentoo (more are coming). They have a 24×7 contact number.

Currently I recommend SliceHost for software developers. They know their stuff and are very helpful.

VPSLand

Memory Storage Data Transfer IP Addr Price
256Mb + 512Mb 10Gb 300Gb 1 $29.95

VPSLand Homepage I have a brief mentioning of VPSLand when Unixshell# ran out of space and temporarily suspend the sign up. Again comparing to Unixshell#, there’s little mentioning on the net on reviews of this company, but I found this interesting comparison between Unixshell and VPSLand. In summary, good performance but slow.

Their data centre is at Atlanta, Georgia, and they are using Dell dual Xeon boxes. It claims that “all of our VPS’s are fully managed” to make them fast and secure, so maybe it is a better choice for those who are not that comfortable tracking server issues (or it could be just talking about their Windows VZ offer?).

Their plans start at $10/month for a 96Mb VM with 4Gb storage, if pre-paid for a year. Not bad I’ll say. Their support can be worrying with reports like this, but hopefully you will never need them. Their SLA is pretty good that you’ll get refund if customers’ website availability drops below 99.9%, however I found it looks too much like a shared hosting SLA than a VPS SLA, as too many things are not under their control.

Unixshell#

Memory Storage Data Transfer IP Addr Price
256Mb + 512Mb 12Gb 256Gb 1 $39.95

Unixshell# Homepage Unixshell# is my first and current Xen hosting company, and this blog is hosted on a “The 192″ VM on their servers, running whatever the latest Gentoo is. The servers are in Atlanta, Georgia and are mostly dual Opterons. Both servers and network are nice and fast.

I have documented the reason why I chose Unixshell# under “Why Unixshell”. In summary, they were cheap, fast and unmanaged. They used to have VPS plans starting from $7.95 per month on 64Mb plan with 3Gb space. But pricing has since been restructured and no longer on the cheap cost-effective side of thing.

All services are “unmanaged”, i.e. they are not responsible your Apache died during business hours. However they do look after the network and servers for you. Owner Matt Ayres is pretty active in WHT and many Linux VDS/VPS mailing lists.

Their SLA guarentees 99.9% network uptime and 99.5% host server up time, and has a clear defined refund policy if SLA is not met.

To Be Reviewed

Here are some Xen hosting companies that are not listed by I would love to look at.

  • VPS providers on XenSource — a big unsorted list of providers.
  • VPSChoice.com — a nice searchable directory that claims to be “the world’s most comprehensive”. You can also search plans provided by those providers. Developed by a fellow Aussie.