The company I host my sites with, The Planet, was recently purchased by another company. Although they say they are going to continue to provide the same level of service, a few chats with their customer service reps made it pretty clear that I was now considered a low-priority customer.
I’ve been needing to upgrade my server anyway, so I decided this was a great time to see what the new company, SoftLayer, had to offer. They have quite a few perks compared to my old host, such as IPv6 support and easy access to reverse DNS records, so I decided to switch. And I made out like a bandit.
With a coupon code and a lot of luck, I managed to get a $479/month + $49.00 setup fee server for only $309/month + $0.00 setup fee. Woot! Savings of over $2000 per year!
The new server has 4GB of RAM, 2 x 250GB hard drives in RAID 1, and dual quad core Xeon 5420 CPUs (2.5GHz with 2 x 12MB cache). This server is crazy fast. My old server could generate 50,000 fake names in about 7 minutes. The new server can generate 50,000 fake names in about 0.6 minutes.
To help my site go even faster, I’ve started using MaxCDN for static files (CSS, JS, images..) on the Fake Name Generator and am using Amazon 53 for the Fake Name Generator DNS. I’ve noticed huge performance gains from doing this and it costs almost nothing. You can get 1TB of data transfer from MaxCDN for about $30, which should last a long long time if you are only using it for static files.