Hosting Websites on Bare Minimum VPS/Dedicated Servers

Castlegem – £4.25 256MB Xen VPS in UK or Austria

Tags: , , , , , Date/Time: January 10, 2012 @ 12:55 pm, by LowEndAdmin

Castlegem Bernhard from UK-based Castlegem emailed me about some of their low end VPS hosting packages. They do have quite a few different plans to offer. Here they are:

Servers in either Manchester UK, Vienna AT or Fremont in West Coast USA. 20% VAT is payable for those in UK/EU. Both PayPal and Google Checkout are accepted. Also note that provisioning is currently a manual process which can take up to 12 hours wait. According to CompaniesHouse, Castlegem Ltd has been registered since 2008 and they are boasting 1,400+ customers according to Bernhard. Bernhard was from Austria running the Progipark team that has been doing business since the ’80s, and been on the Internet since 1995.

They do have funny DNS server name. Fartling? YouNaughtyMonsters? Geez…

20 Comments

  1. blacky:

    They have a crazy rapid support response time:

    Typical lead time for all dedicated servers is 1 to 5 working days.

    8 Hrs response time costs 50 GBP Pounds.

    January 10, 2012 @ 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Gary:

      That’s not support response, that’s lead time. That’s how long it takes for them to provision an order. Considering they probably have to build the dedicated server, it’s not a surprise.

      January 10, 2012 @ 3:36 pm | Reply
  2. Is there a test IP available for Austria?

    January 10, 2012 @ 3:40 pm | Reply
  3. Spirit:

    Another low cost austrian vps provider? This can be interesting.

    January 10, 2012 @ 4:28 pm | Reply
    • iKocka:

      Indeed. It takes 6 ms to reach test IP trough T-2’s network :P

      January 10, 2012 @ 8:49 pm | Reply
      • Spirit:

        And 20ms to telesmeh network :P

        January 10, 2012 @ 11:49 pm | Reply
  4. Some interesting other A records too… http://viewdns.info/dnsrecord/?domain=castlegem.co.uk

    January 10, 2012 @ 9:39 pm | Reply
  5. Dano:

    Just got one to fiddle with, and have so far had a good experience.
    Below are details the Xen PV, 256Mb plan:

    cat /proc/cpuinfo 
    processor	: 0
    vendor_id	: GenuineIntel
    cpu family	: 6
    model		: 30
    model name	: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           X3470  @ 2.93GHz
    stepping	: 5
    cpu MHz		: 2933.332
    cache size	: 8192 KB
    fdiv_bug	: no
    hlt_bug		: no
    f00f_bug	: no
    coma_bug	: no
    fpu		: yes
    fpu_exception	: yes
    cpuid level	: 11
    wp		: yes
    flags		: fpu tsc msr pae cx8 cmov pat clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht nx constant_tsc up nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni vmx est ssse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 popcnt hypervisor ida dts tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid
    bogomips	: 5866.66
    clflush size	: 64
    cache_alignment	: 64
    address sizes	: 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
    power management:
    
    dd if=/dev/zero of=iotest bs=64k count=16k conv=fdatasync
    ^C13651+0 records in
    13651+0 records out
    894631936 bytes (895 MB) copied, 11.8834 s, 75.3 MB/s
    
    wget cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test -O 100mb.test
    --2012-01-10 17:27:35--  http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
    Resolving cachefly.cachefly.net... 140.99.93.175
    Connecting to cachefly.cachefly.net|140.99.93.175|:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
    Saving to: `100mb.test'
    
    100%[============================================>] 104,857,600 26.4M/s   in 4.0s    
    
    2012-01-10 17:27:39 (25.1 MB/s) - `100mb.test' saved [104857600/104857600]
    
    time perl -e 'for (1..100000000) { 999999/5 }'
    
    real	0m5.462s
    user	0m5.376s
    sys	0m0.000s
    

    Support has been very good so far; My VPS was provisioned very quickly, and I was sent an e-mail about 20 minutes after signing up, that my VPS is ready. Unfortunately, I was not able to SSH into the VPS at first, as the template seems to have fouled the routing table on the VPS, and gave me an incorrect default gateway. Michael in support quickly fixed it up, tested it, and let me know what the issue was.

    The VPS feels responsive and the network feels pretty good so far.

    Thanks!

    January 10, 2012 @ 10:35 pm | Reply
  6. Jay:

    http://www.intodns.com/castlegem.co.uk

    that doesn’t look too good to me as well.

    January 12, 2012 @ 1:26 am | Reply
    • Michael:

      hi,

      there are always reasons for everything. The recursion/publicity is intended, and the agreements made are on a bi-annual basis. The next modifications/renewals are due in Feb/Mar, and you will see 2 of them vanishing then if not a bit earlier. One of them not responding is intended as there is a specific access list for it, intentionally. ns1 is left out & stealth for very specific reasons as well, this is something that will change, however, during the next 2 weeks.

      If you check DNS for other providers, you will see a lot of similar warnings and errors being thrown up (pick any moderately large provider, you will find open DNS, missing records, same AS, dubious serials, SPOFs, etc.) If you only run DNS for yourself and have a very well defined and homogeneous customer base, it is easy to have it all green. If you serve corporate customers or a very large number of people, you will have to take different things and more specific setups into account and consideration.

      But I am also ready to admit that not everything is intended either: the duplicate MX record is indeed something we overlooked! The reason is that we used to have 2 MXs on different networks before merging them into a 3 node cluster, and we simply forgot to make the adjustment though it has no effect), so this will be solved with the next reload. Thank you for pointing that out, this is appreciated!

      thank you,
      Michael

      January 13, 2012 @ 5:21 am | Reply
    • Dano:

      That is interesting – going by the errors that are listed, starting with the recursion: I noticed my default name servers were these on my VPS, or two of these IP’s listed, and then when I tried to dig yahoo.com via the .77 address from my home, it did reply with a valid answer. I would say this is not optimal, as there is really no reason for VPS provider to be hosting public recursive DNS servers; if they are using Bind, they should just have a view for the VPS clients to use, and everyone else can “fly a kite” :)

      Otherwise, the missing records, or non responding records listed are kinda annoying, but they are not show stoppers, but does feel as though they are not being maintained.

      I decided to run my DNS servers through this intodns.com checker, and luckily did not have any errors or warnings listed for my systems…but I did try hard to make sure the setup was clean when I launched them into production, and used tools’s like dnssy.com, just-dnslookup.com, and of course dig to ensure DNS was answering correctly to queries, and of course monitoring to ensure they are up and continue to answer correctly (nagios, icinga,etc).

      January 13, 2012 @ 4:01 pm | Reply
      • Michael:

        hi,
        unfortunately, my previous comment seems to have been lost. In a nutshell, therefore: all domain name servers are being maintained and monitored from more than 3 locations via nagios/icinga and zabbix. There are very specific reasons for this setup including the recursion, but due to changes in long term agreements this setup will change within the next 2-3 months. If you do the same check on several well know other ISPs, you will find that they show similar warnings.
        cheers,
        Michael

        January 13, 2012 @ 6:47 pm | Reply
    • Definately some DNS configuration issues! The MX issues could mean support emails etc don’t reach them…

      January 13, 2012 @ 9:51 pm | Reply
      • bernard:

        This setup is definitely intended. intodns.com is more reliable in showing the actual status. Most errors thrown by viewdns are due to the fact that it cannot query 212.13.200.44 because that one has a limited IP range to serve.

        January 14, 2012 @ 6:16 am | Reply
  7. rych:

    i’m all the way in the most remote parts of asia and ping to vienna and germany is only 40ms? holyyyyyyyyyyyyy crap, i almost fell off the chair.

    ping to UK was 300ms though, i’ve never seen anything below 200 to europe, that 40ms was simply amazing.

    January 13, 2012 @ 10:10 am | Reply
    • bernard:

      40ms? That is really low, and unexpectedly so! On the other hand, 300ms to the UK – wow – mind sharing an IP to check this? Telehouse and Manchester are both multihomed, and most of Manchester traffic goes to Telehouse as well before embarking to its final destination!
      cheers –
      bernard.

      January 14, 2012 @ 7:29 am | Reply
  8. Can only recommend these guys to anyone, had a chat with Bernard via WHT a while back regarding a UK location and possible Vienna location – Really informative guy to speak to and from what I can tell they run a tight ship!

    January 15, 2012 @ 8:09 pm | Reply
    • Bernard:

      thanks, Gregg, we do appreciate that!

      January 16, 2012 @ 12:12 pm | Reply

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