Review: Where’s My Server

, posted: 14-May-2010 06:00

Quick update: Where's My Server are now offering free virtual servers, it hasn't yet been announced, scroll to the bottom of this post to find out more.

Where's My Server (WMS) are a new addition to the cloud server/IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) market, offering both Linux and Windows servers.  Based in Wellington, I recently met with Greg Churcher, their Managing Director, to talk about what makes them so different.

WMS first went live in September 2009, and they have spent the lion's share of their R&D and a good part of two years on their completely custom control panel.  Greg describes why being focused on IaaS is a good thing:
We started with the aim to provide top notch data centre services in the form of 'IaaS' and that's what we do.  We don't do shared websites, domains or managed OS's even. We stick to our knitting. We have less distractions.

We suit IT integrators and developers that need control and visibility.
WMS provided me with a test account so we could try out their servers for ourselves.  The most important things for us is uptime and performance (especially under heavy load) so with the server brute-forcing a password-protected PDF we created (this put the CPU at 95%) , we setup Pingdom to monitor IIS7's uptime (checked once every minute) over two months:

The pre-configured servers shown at signup make it easy to build what you are after.  The advanced config looks a little daunting at first, but it is really simple to use once you get your head around it.  What is most helpful is being able to configure multiple servers, and seeing exactly what each server will cost you, and the total for the lot.  If you're a big spender, $5,000 in credit will get you 25% more credit free ($1,250) which makes their pricing even more attractive.

The control panel is really where WMS comes into its own:

It's very easy to modify the resources your server has: click the particular item, select a value and it changes in an instant - the console uses AJAX, and the browser keeps you up to date with exactly the status of the upgrade/downgrade.

Other helpful features include:
  • At a glance you can see what is currently on the server console, how much disk-space is free, and how much CPU is current in use.
  • You can reboot the server from an ISO - Windows or Linux
  • Every setting change can be done immediately, or scheduled to happen at a later time - helpful for doing unattended upgrades outside of business hours
  • Snapshot backups - WMS have to work hard to keep you on as a customer as they make it very easy to pull down an image of your server, which you could then move to an alternative provider.
The firewall has also been well thought out:

The rules are read from top to bottom, each rule can be annotated so you know what it does, and can be either one or a range of IPs.  Another nice implementation of AJAX here - rules can be easily reordered by drag-and-drop.

I've been impressed with the offerings from WMS; it is still early days for them so hopefully their availability of resources stays up to pace with their growth.  I'm keen to hear from anyone already using their services, as to what your thoughts are.

Free VPS server - WMS are offering free virtual servers ($20 credit is required), it will be announced on their official Twitter account this afternoon, get in early here.

Disclaimer: WMS gave me free credit to test their servers, there was no obligation to blog about my experience and I am not being paid for this post.

Other related posts:
Review: ICONZ Versa virtualised servers

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I'm Nate Dunn, and I work for 3Bit, own Tuihana Cafe, and am a moderator here at Geekzone.

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