Moving from Linode to netcup

Here my highlights of the VPS move last week. You will see a lot of cons which are negated by the fact that pricing and hardware is that much better deal.

For context, I have been a Linode customer for like 10 years. The customer service has been good, the dashboard is nice and they have many features you might want/need (object storage...).

Now, if you just need a VPS and no fancy stuff...

📝 Spec comparison

  • RAM: 1Gb vs 4Gb
  • CPUs: 1 vs 4
  • SSD: 50gb vs 80Gb
  • Price: 10$ vs 6.03€

On pricing: my bank charged me a fee for paying in foreign currency as well. So it ended up around 11€.

🇩🇪 netcup

  • Only datacenter country location is Germany. Which doesn't change much for me as I had chosen also Germany for my Linode server to begin with.

❌ Cons

  • Provision of the server was very slow, it took 3 days to get SSH access because:
    • I had to do an international bank transfer for the initial pay (Spain ➡️ Germany)
    • netcup had to verify the transfer and proceed with the provision of server access.
    • You can't pay with credit card unless you use a PayPal account (which I don't have, nor want to).
  • Links from their welcome emails point to the wiki and looks in German, no easy switch to English docs (not that I really need them though).
  • Lacks features (live view of the server, Object Storage...). If you need them might be a deal breaker.
  • The first billing was a 6 month period, you can't really do a quick try you gotta commit to half a year.
  • There are 2 dashboards (each with its own credentials) to access your account and your server.
  • The dashboards could use a brush as they look old.

✅ Pros

  • 💰 Half the price of Linode
  • 🏎 Double the hardware specs.
  • 🇪🇺 Billing is in Euros rather than USD, so I don't pay any fees with my Spanish card for foreign currency.

The migration

I was way less painful than what I had anticipated. I have like a dozen domains and sites (static sites, WordPress, and Mastodon instance).

I felt very clean starting from a scratch, picking the latest LTS Ubuntu release (22.04) and installing only what I needed.

  • NGINX
    • I brought over snippets and site configurations with just a small change to the path of the www folder.
  • MariaDB (first time I'm trying it out as a replacement of MySQL. So far no issues and it's supposed to be faster)
  • Let's Encrypt

Plus your regular other services like fail2ban, logrotate and such.

Then simply moving each site with a nice rsync

rsync -avzh /var/www/MY_SITE/web MY_USER@MY_IP:/var/www/MY_SITE/html/
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Mastodon was certainly the trickiest one but with their official docs it took me an hour or two 💪

Conclusion

It has been already a few days and haven't had any issues. Having 4Gb or RAM gives me spare room, the extra SSD disk space is a nice peace of mind and the 4 cores feel fast. That's taking most of my resources is of course the Mastodon instance (not unexpected).

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