I’ll try to remember to do an update post if things iron out but I wanted to throw out my experience so far with Cloud At Cost, a VPS provider that charges a one time upfront fee for their VPS, as opposed to a monthly subscription or other reoccurring cost. They had a sale for Black Friday, 90% off (later 80% off). This meant that for $7, you could buy a VPS, for life.
This seems really really “too good to be true”. So I did some research. First, apparently Cloud at Cost has some horrible uptime and shouldn’t be used for anything production level. I can live with that, it’s cheaper than buying another Pi for a project server, and this one’s in the cloud!
I also read one report that the servers are insecure and CloudAtCost has cancelled accounts for lifetime subscribers for hosting malicious software, after the servers were hacked due to C@C’s poor server security. This mostly means, nothing production or crucial. It’s something I can accept the risk of for the cost.
I opted for two of the tier 3 servers at $14 each. This got me 2x servers with the following specs, 4 cores each, 2GB of RAM each, and 40GB of space each. What’s notable though is that as near as I can tell, you pay for e cores, RAM, and HD space, it all just pools together in the end and you can build as many servers as you’d like.
That’s what I chose, and paid for. On my user dashboard it shows that I have 2 products (the ones I chose listed). Weirdly, I received several additional invoice emails, though I never ordered more, nor was I charged for more nor does my account say I have more. When I log into the control panel to manage my servers, It shows I have available 28 cores, 14GB of RAM, and 240 GB of hard drive space. Basically, it’s like I have 6 servers, instead of 2. I have no idea if they will realize what happened and scale my resources back or not but I went ahead and kept things within the range I paid for, for now.
It took forever to get the initial purchase set up and available as well, though I’m blaming that on the Black Friday sale.
The interface of the site leaves a LOT to be desired. There is a user dashboard that tells what you’ve purchased at members.cloudatcost.com. Managing the servers actually occurs at panel.cloudatcost.com. There isn’t an obvious link between these two sites that I could find. Also, the panel site said it used your same password but it didn’t work and I had to do a reset to access the control panel.
The servers also took a good while to get spun up, though I’m blaming Black Friday again. I created one Windows 7 Ultimate server and one Ubuntu 14.04 server. I was thinking of using the Windows server to run some Corrade bots in Second Life. Not sure yet on the Ubuntu server. I could access both servers via the console but networking seems to be offline on both since I couldn’t ping out to anything. I tried to set up Remote Desktop on the Windows 7 server but since networking is not working, I couldn’t access it. The same for SSH on the Ubuntu server.
I checked around and others on Reddit had the issue and it seems to be part of the problems this provider has and should resolve itself… eventually.
So the initial experience has been interesting, for sure, and I can definitely say I won’t be putting anything that NEEDS to be up on these servers, like any sort of website for example.