Technically speaking, SlickStack should work fine on pretty much any Debian-based VPS server (or dedicated/bare-metal server) out there, although we recommend KVM virtualization over other options currently, since it scales so easily and is very reliable.
The trickier part is finding a high quality and well managed datacenter nearby your target audience! You see, even when certain well-known cloud networks claim to have datacenters in “New York, Dallas, and Tokyo” (for example), in reality these datacenters are often owned and/or managed by their partners, meaning that the overall quality and consistency might change drastically between each datacenter location.
One of the most extensive and frequently updated directories of KVM server deals around the world is managed by LowEndBox and is updated several times a month (albeit, they largely focus on English-speaking audiences). So go over there if you want to find some of the cheapest deals around from startups and local ISPs that often focus on just a single region(s) or datacenter(s). In many cases, this approach is not only a better deal, but is also better managed than other behemoth “cloud” companies which tend to have poor customer service.
The future of hosting is regional performance and decentralization…
Managed SlickStack hosting:
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Some of our favorite cloud networks right now:
We have our eye on these networks:
- Hostwinds (USA, Europe). Their new cloud servers are pretty good, but the billing sucks (you have to pre-pay for each month). They also treat their cloud customers the same as shared customers, and will shut off your server immediately if any malware or “abuse” complaints, even if they are without merit, and then you have to haggle with their automated support system trying to get your servers back online. Their policies on free speech etc are generally quite good, but they don’t have much respect for their cloud customers.
- SSDNodes (USA). High quality network focused on growing steadily instead of too fast. Big defenders of free speech and civil rights, and understand what that entails. However, there are still quite a few complaints about stability, customer support, and overall smoothness… their sales pitches seem a bit dishonest as well.
- Linode (USA, Europe, Asia). The geekier, older cloud. UI is getting a lot better, and performance is pretty good (in between regular networking issues at a few of their datacenters) but their AUP, professionalism, and support response times still need serious work. They will also shut off your servers without notice if they receive abuse complaints about e.g. malware, unlike other clouds. Also nitpicky and clueless in terms of free speech and Section 230 protections. But they have promised us these issues are being reviewed. “We were here first” will not work much longer.
- Upcloud (USA, Europe). They’ve won some benchmarks like CentminMod due to using only NVMe SSD disks and high quality hardware. This is easier for them to offer, however, because they are a smaller company with less datacenter options than other players. We’ve asked them directly about their policies and they confirmed that all customers regardless of location must abide by the GDPR since their company is based in Finland. Their policies on content and free speech are a bit vague and unestablished, but generally speaking their team stated that they would only censor content or ask customers to “leave” if they received a direct complaint via the Finnish police. While the hardware seems impressive, their policies and relationship with European laws are probably not the best choice for most companies around the world.
- VMHaus (UK, USA). Recently bought out by U.K.-based Mythic Beasts, who decided to continue the VMHaus brand separately. Their pricing looks awesome, and being UK based can be a great thing for both European and US companies looking to avoid the GDPR nightmare that has taken over Europe. However, their billing system currently requires pre-loading a PayPal balance, which is a no-go for many teams and creates many issues re: billing stability and beyond. Hopefully they figure something out soon re: CC processing, and get serious about updating their control panel.
- UltraVPS (USA)
- CloudSigma (Europe, Middle East)
- Hetzner (Europe). Cheap pricing has gotten them a growing amount of attention, and a focus on NVMe SSD disks only. However, account setup is a pain, they demand to have a scanned copy of your government ID and want you to prepay using PayPal in some cases. There’s the typical annoyance of dealing with strict and unreasonable German companies, on top of the GDPR regulations and paranoia, plus they only have datacenters in Germany and Finland. Impossible to recommend for the time being.
- Dracula Servers (USA)
- Atlantic.net (USA). Overpriced compared to most cloud network competitors, but they have been around a very long time. Poor marketing, they seem focused on corporate contracts esp. in the HIPAA industry, it would be nice to see them get a bit more user friendly and focus on the general public as well. Some better branding, pricing changes, and so forth could make them a serious competitor if they ever felt like it…
- Amazon Lightsail
- Circium (Russia, UK, USA)
- DataKeepers (South Africa)
- Scaleway (Europe). Pricing seems too good to be true for NVMe and ARM servers, and apparently it is. Lots of complaints online about reliability and uptime, and the website and UI look horribly unfinished and buggy. Overall seems to be a startup stuck in “Alpha” stage but if they can pull something out, it will be interesting. However, the GDPR still applies here, so a bad choice for most international companies.
- Ginernet (Spain)
- FastApe (Russia)
- Servercheap – cheap KVM and other VPS servers starting at $2.99/mo
- CloudCone — looks to be well run Indian company, but they lack transparency and pretend to be US-based… please stop doing this, Indian companies, there’s no need for this.
We do not recommend the following networks:
- RackSpace. Used to be famous for their support, but lots of rumors they’ve gone lately in more ways than one. Hopefully they can simplify their offerings and improving pricing and features, and add more competition to the cloud community. Much too proprietary in the way they approach cloud hosting…
- RAMNode (EU/USA). Now forces all their customers to abide by the GDPR even if they are not from Europe. Confusing, vague policies. Performance seems quite good, however.
- AWS/Amazon/EC2. Rapidly creating a dominant monopoly that independent teams and businesses should not patronize, frankly. Poor support. That said, Lightsail has competitive pricing and pretty good stability — just don’t expect to ever get in touch with anyone at Amazon.
- SmartHost (US) — incredibly restrictive and paranoid policies despite some of their cutting edge hardware.
- RoseHosting — extremely overpriced, although they’re hardware looks good.
- JohnnyVPS — claims to offer “VPS” servers, but it’s just lowend shared cPanel hosting (no virtual machines whatsoever)
|Forces GDPR Compliance
Suggestion? Feedback? Let us know. Happy to update this list or add more networks at anytime. Those who verbosely support SlickStack will be prioritized.