Dreamhost unusual performance trial
Dreamhost is sort of an exception for vpsbenchmarks.com since it's a managed web hosting solution. They do offer VPS though where you get full control of the VM the same way unmanaged providers do. The difference is no choice of OS and the VM comes loaded with software that may be popular with some customers but not necessarily helpful for one's particular needs
Plan being tested: $15, 1GB RAM, 30GB disk, unlimited bandwidth.
Account setup: Dreamhost accepts your payment right away and you are swiftly taken to some sort of control panel. No sign of the VM we ordered anywhere in there. We soon receive an email with this message:
We're sorry to say that we've got a bit of a backlog right now on provisioning new VPSs, but we should have one ready for you within a few days.
Okay, that's quite disappointing. Fortunately, this is followed 15 minutes later by another email announcing the VM is ready.
OS and software: Dreamhost only offers one option for the OS, it's Ubuntu 12.04. Lots of packages are already installed that are not part of the default 12.04 server setup: proftpd, ejabberd, apache2, mongodb...
There are also some custom Dreamhost packages coming from a repository at http://debian.di.newdream.net/. All of this is causing some package dependency problem that makes
apt-get dist-upgrade fail right out of the box. Removing mongodb fixed it.
Hardware: The VM has no less that 16 cpu cores, that's the most we've ever seen anywhere for this price ($15). They must be shared between all guests of the host machine. Before anything is running on the machine, 25% of the cpu is in use.
Performance: After the website is setup and processing traffic the average response time of the system is very decent at 60ms and the 99th percentile maxes out at 220ms which is pretty good (ask OVH about their 1400ms P99). I guess all those cpus are paying off.
Stability: There was an unannounced 10 minute shutdown of the VM during the trial. Dreamhost sent no information about it before, during or after. It's only after sending a support request that they replied with an explanation and an apology (the host machine had problems, needed to be rebooted and there was a full fsck after the reboot).