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    How to Choose a Dedicated Server
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    How to Choose a Dedicated Server

    Hi,

    I have looked through as many topics as I can in here, I have some questions for the seasoned pros. I am new to this, so forgive me if I am not using the right terms.

    I am currently looking to get a dedicated server, due to data security concerns. It is not top secret kind, but the clients and the bosses are sensitive about leaking data. OpenVZ is out of the question because the host user can gain access to the containers as root anytime. KVM, I think could be problematic too, at least prone to the Spectre and Meltdown issues. Correct me on this assumption if I am mistaken. In my mind, I am looking for a colo setup with leased servers.

    This is also why I don't want to go with RamNode or DO, which have only virtualized instances, meaning at least some part of the physical computer is shared with someone else. I have looked through https://www.serverhunter.com for potential dedicated providers. My questions are:

    1. How reliable are the dedicated server providers, like Nocix, Dacentec and Dedimax? Do you have any recommendations on reputable providers?

    2. Are the servers good for production workloads? I will mostly run DB and ElasticSearch clusters.

    3. If I get dedicated, am I the only person who can gain access to the entire server equipment and the data, provided that I do all the encryption stuff correctly? I understand that the provider operator can take away the server, and re-provision (format) it for someone else, but at least my data is safely encrypted.

    4. Any recommendations on Intel or AMD processors, after the latest patch from Intel and AMD?

    5. Assuming that I am looking at 6+ cores, 32 GB, 2 TB storage, how much is a reasonable price from a reputable provider?

    Thanks in advance.

    .N

    .N

    Comments

    • NeoonNeoon Member
      edited September 2018

      Dedimax is a reseller, so less money in your pockets.

      I heard if you put production or cloud into the name, you can charge people more.
      Seriously, hardware is hardware, if you rely on a single server and it fails, because you cheaped out and you loose millions, thats your fault.

      Hetzner 21EUR, best you can get.

      Thanked by 2mfs nebulae
    • @Neoon said:
      Dedimax is a reseller, so less money in your pockets.

      I heard if you put production or cloud into the name, you can charge people more.
      Seriously, hardware is hardware, if you rely on a single server and it fails, because you cheaped out and you loose millions, thats your fault.

      Hetzner 21EUR, best you can get.

      First, thanks for your response.

      I am seeking to lower my initial investment. I don't have the initial investment for servers to fill a partial rack, so I would rather rent out a dedicated server. DB and ES cluster can grow organically in the future, as the need increases.

      My main concern is that a dedicated server is still shared at the hypervisor level. Without going into detail, due to various US and EU regulations, I must protect the data and ensure they are safe. I need to specifically guard against the speculative execution bugs exposed in the recent Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

      To do this, I must ensure the code running on CPUs is code that we directly control and audit. Foreign code is strictly prohibited.

      Through my research, it appears colo with my own server is the only way to go, but I am seeking advice to see if there are alternatives to reduce initial investment, by leasing the servers for the first year. And if there are those providers, what are their reputations?

      .N

    • With the above spesifications, a bought server from the beginning wouln’t be too expensive. Of course, depending on your financial situation and the processor of choice.

      Thanked by 1nebulae
    • GameTownProjectsGameTownProjects Member, Provider

      There are a few hoster wich can provide real dedicated servers and I thought nearly every small company would also lease a server if you ask.

      We can provide dedicated servers in Germany and Netherlands. If you like we can help to encrypt the Harddisks.

      Our offers:
      Germany: https://gt-host.de/dedicated
      Netherlands (and in future also German dedicated): https://kts24.com/dedicated

      Thanked by 1nebulae
    • nebulae said: My main concern is that a dedicated server is still shared at the hypervisor level

      I think you're confusing a dedicated server, and dedicated resources on a VPS. If you rent a dedicated server it's yours. A cpu on a VPS (even with dedicated cores) may still be shared with others though.

      Thanked by 1nebulae
    • @Mr_Tom said:
      I think you're confusing a dedicated server, and dedicated resources on a VPS. If you rent a dedicated server it's yours. A cpu on a VPS (even with dedicated cores) may still be shared with others though.

      I could be very well be confusing things. I am rather new to this world. I was mostly in the OS world of things.

      The reason why I question "dedicated server" nomenclature is because of the dedicated server configurations in the serverhunter results.

      Take this search result for example, (not endorsing this provider in anyway):

      https://www.serverhunter.com/offer/?offer=AE0-187-642&search=557-EE5-773

      It is a small dedicated server. I do not know any physical server configurations matching that specification. My guess is that it is created by some hypervisor, like VMWare ESXi.

      Of course, I am open to be corrected by people much more knowledgeable than me.

      .N

    • nebulae said: I do not know any physical server configurations matching that specification.

      Do you mean branded units? Otherwise, its just a custom built setup used by Scaleway to keep prices down. Very similar to the legendary KS-1 :smiley:

      Thanked by 1nebulae
    • nebulae said: It is a small dedicated server. I do not know any physical server configurations matching that specification

      As mentioned, it's either a custom build, or possibly a "blade" in a blade system. Either way, a dedicated server is dedicated - but some providers will offer you a VPS with dedicated resources and this is shared.

      Hetzner auction is a good place to look, they have i7's with 32gb RAM and 2 x 2tb drives starting from 21.85 EUR - although these dedicated servers they are used/cancelled servers so will be showing hours on hard drives, etc.

    • Hetzner_OLHetzner_OL Member, Provider, Top Provider

      Since @Mr_Tom mentioned us, I thought I'd quickly respond. Yes, the servers may be "showing hours on hard drives, etc.", but should the need arise, our team will replace hardware on these servers, just as they would with our other dedicated root servers.
      Also, there's some good news; customers can now add extra hardware/addons to the auction servers and they no longer need to pay our old "Flexi-Pack" fee. So now you just pay for the extra hardware/addons. For more information, just write a quick note to our technicians at https://www.hetzner.com/support-form --Katie, Marketing

      Thanked by 1nebulae

      We (Julia and Katie) will do our best to answer your Hetzner questions and pass on your feedback. Our company's not liable for any corny jokes we make. (https://www.hetzner.com)

    • mfsmfs Banned, Member

      nebulae said: The reason why I question "dedicated server" nomenclature is because of the dedicated server configurations in the serverhunter results.

      Take this search result for example, (not endorsing this provider in anyway):

      https://www.serverhunter.com/offer/?offer=AE0-187-642&search=557-EE5-773

      It is a small dedicated server. I do not know any physical server configurations matching that specification. My guess is that it is created by some hypervisor, like VMWare ESXi.

      It's dedicated/baremetal, but it sports an ARMv7 CPU. I'd suggest to enable the sorely needed "CPU Type" column while browsing that site. Or hop on novadedi.net and fine-tune your research per CPU-benchmark.

      Thanked by 1nebulae

      I've left LET, account made inactive on request.

    • Hetzner_OL said: Yes, the servers may be "showing hours on hard drives, etc.", but should the need arise, our team will replace hardware on these servers, just as they would with our other dedicated root servers.

      Also, there's some good news; customers can now add extra hardware/addons to the auction servers and they no longer need to pay our old "Flexi-Pack" fee.

      I didn't know that - that's useful to know.

      I will also add that the auction servers I have might have a few hours on them but keep on going. And as Katie said they will replace if an issue - so definitely worth considering!

      Thanked by 1nebulae
    • Thanks everyone for the education. I understand it much better now. Now that I believe dedicated server will be fine for my needs, any suggestions on providers reputation?

      Is Hetzner good? How about other providers?

      Pricing is of course important, but due to my client needs, it is not of the utmost importance. I am looking for reputable providers. I heard a lot about BigFoot issues, I would like to avoid them. SLA with an uptime guarantee would be nice.

      And also, are there any comments on the performance degradation people noticed after the Intel patches? Is it better to go with AMD now, from a price/performance ratio perspective?

      .N

    • mfsmfs Banned, Member

      nebulae said: Is Hetzner good? How about other providers?

      As you can see in the periodic Provider Poll, Hetzner is considered a "Top Provider". OVH is considered fashionable as well, periodically they release cheap little servers under the brand Kimsufi; some models are particularly desired and they seem always out of stock, but they are periodically replenished (today something like this happened). Again, the novadedi.net site could assist you in your task. If you're hunting for cheap servers of the OVH family there's https://checkservers.ovh/ as well. Note, I'm not endorsing OVH, I'm only mentioning it since it's considered a "Top Provider". I really wouldn't use one of their sub-brands — not to mention a KS-1 — for production purposes.

      An Hetzner auction server is probably your safest bet with something as low as ~21€/mo. https://www.hetzner.com/sb/ is a start. If you want SLA and professionalism, @Clouvider is another provider in the top ten of the above-mentioned Poll capable to offer dedis with varying levels of SLA. Prices will be higher than 21€/mo, obviously.
      You should first consider if France/Germany/London locations are ok for you or if you need, let's say, LA, Singapore, Hong Kong or some other peculiar location.

      About the various meltdowns and spectres: I wouldn't care too much on a dedi, that's more an issue for VPS providers (but if you find EPYC dedis cheaper than Hetzner ones, feel free to share them)

      Thanked by 1nebulae

      I've left LET, account made inactive on request.

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