If you’re looking to host Virtual Servers in the cloud with good response times from the Europe or the USA, you should take a look at ElasticHosts. Here’s why:
- By my calculations they are just about the cheapest of the options available in the UK. I compared them against RackSpace, CloudHosts (part of UKFast), Amazon and FlexiScale. Only FlexiScale came close.
- Incredible flexibility in sizing your server. Forget about Small, Large and Extra Large: with ElasticHosts you get a slider control for CPU, Memory and Hardisk allowing you to resize your machine as your needs vary.
- You can either choose pay-as-you-go pricing, with no minimum commitment; or if demand is predictable you can take out monthly subscriptions and save money. You can even mix and match: if say, you typically use 5GB bandwidth in a month, but sometimes burst up to 7GB, you can subscribe for 5GB a month, and use pay-as-you-go pricing for the extra.
- They have a REST API giving complete programmatic control over your pool of servers, allowing you to do everything from stopping and starting servers, through provisioning completely new servers on the fly, to copying drives from the cloud to your machine.
- They offer a free, no commitment, five day trial to get you
I’ve saved the best till last: ElasticHosts Customer Service is amazing. Fronted by Elastigirl herself (aka Anna Griffiths, her cover as Helen Parr now being thoroughly blown) they’ve been quick to respond whether I’ve called or emailed.
The first time I got in touch, I was rather cheeky: the server they offer for the free trial is clocked at 2GHz with 1GB RAM. This rather struggled as I loaded it with Windows Server 2008, so I called asking if there was anything they could do to make the trial server more representative of the system we might be looking to subscribe to.
“Sure”, said Anna, “What would you like?”
I was stunned! And continued to be so as she upped the memory, hard disk capacity, bandwidth availability and gave me the use of a static IP address.
If I had one suggestion to make, it’s that they set up a support forum to supplement their email and telephone support. I’m sure they’ve already answered several of the questions I asked many times over, and I always prefer to bother Google before I bother a support person. Added to that, it would be nice to have a place to share some of the titbits that I discovered – like how to call the ElasticHosts REST API from .Net (you have to force WebRequest to include the Basic Authentication header).
So give ElasticHosts a try. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.