Hosting Websites on Bare Minimum VPS/Dedicated Servers

Hosting Provider Tracker Available on Low End Wiki

Tags: Date/Time: September 30, 2010 @ 6:14 am, by LowEndAdmin

Because of volatility of budget VPS market, I have been using a simple script to track various web hosting providers that I have posted about here. Basically it is a Python script using TornadoWeb (to do async HTTP calls) and SQLite (to keep a database of providers and logs). The script basically goes through all the providers on the database, and see whether they are “up” or “down”. A few things that I have been tracking:

  • Connectivity (whether the website is live)
  • IP address changes
  • WHOIS record changes (since July 2010)

It is running once an hour scanning over 200+ providers, and then email me the latest changes.

However, wouldn’t it be nice if the community here can use the same tool for research?

So I decided to post the full logs onto Low End Wiki, which was “recently rediscovered” with lots of out-dated data. So how does it work?

  • Go to https://lowendbox.com/wiki/<provider’s domain> to their page, which you can see historical logs. For example the RackVM.com which died early this month.
  • Use the provider tag to show the list of providers that I am currently tracking.
  • Use the down tag to get a list of providers that are currently marked as “down”. You will need to go to the provider’s page and see the last log entry for the reason why it’s marked as down. Also note that a provider is marked as down if I failed to retrieve their website twice in a roll, i.e. over 2 hour span.
  • At the end of each month, after my dead pool post, I will then remove the dead providers from the tracker. On the wiki the page will remain, but will be listed under the deadpool tag.

Make sense? Provider’s wiki pages are updated automatically via Dokuwiki’s XMLRPC interface. Now use it, but don’t abuse it :)

38 Comments

  1. chachiri:

    Thanks, LEB!

    September 30, 2010 @ 6:24 am | Reply
  2. Sidahmed:

    That is very nice, I think you are shaping the future of VPS.
    I will try to do some research (when I have a time) to study the impact of LowEndBox on the providers/clients in VPSs world.

    September 30, 2010 @ 6:27 am | Reply
  3. very nice!

    September 30, 2010 @ 6:45 am | Reply
  4. This is very interesting feature.
    I am sure it will be useful for many users of LEB :)

    September 30, 2010 @ 7:50 am | Reply
  5. Uncle Bob:

    awesome

    September 30, 2010 @ 7:53 am | Reply
  6. Zlatko:

    Just an idea here, to get you to think.

    One thing is a providers’ own site availability. Availability of their VPS’s can be quite another.
    So, maybe you could get an IP or something from few of the CLIENT servers, and put those in too, as an additional table. Just for info, of course, as this sets quite a lot of other questions.

    So, you have a result set on the provider and on actual nodes with this provider.
    Of course, maybe it’s too much trouble for almost no gain.

    September 30, 2010 @ 7:57 am | Reply
  7. Problem is that I will need to get the client’s IPs. Also keep up dated when they change (changing providers, for example). It would require quite a bit of collaboration effort. I’ll “pass” for now.

    September 30, 2010 @ 8:06 am | Reply
  8. Zlatko:

    Yeah, that is what I meant too. But well, once you do start thinking about it, I’ll be happy to help however I can.

    September 30, 2010 @ 10:05 am | Reply
  9. Awesome feature from LEB, loving it :D

    September 30, 2010 @ 10:27 am | Reply
  10. Hey Cool, we are listed :)

    Awesome Addon LEB, I’m lovin it.

    -Andrew

    September 30, 2010 @ 10:35 am | Reply
  11. That’s cool, thanks for listing us.

    September 30, 2010 @ 10:52 am | Reply
  12. Awesome!!!!!

    September 30, 2010 @ 10:59 am | Reply
  13. There is a small typo? Down, IP address not “reolvable”. Other then that a nice feature.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:20 am | Reply
  14. Ha. Typo fixed in the code now.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:26 am | Reply
  15. This is great. I noticed that Blaze VPS was marked as down at the moment. Didn’t they charge annually, just like RackVM? If so I’m staying away from any annual offers from now on.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:51 am | Reply
  16. Tom:

    Well buyvm will be up for a year that’s for sure, but currently there hasn’t been more then 4 days of uptime on one of there nodes.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:53 am | Reply
  17. @Tom — except mine :) 6.5 days uptime for now.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:57 am | Reply
  18. @Tom – and mine! 8 Days now. :)

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:59 am | Reply
  19. Tom:

    Node8 I haven’t set up monitoring for my node8, but yesterday when I left home node8 was down (irc info), and today when I logged in it was still down, I’m not sure if it has been up, but at least since I checked it today it’s been counting at least 6 hours of downtime!

    September 30, 2010 @ 1:02 pm | Reply
  20. Nice feature! :) Thank you

    September 30, 2010 @ 1:16 pm | Reply
  21. Briv. Thank you for all your work!

    September 30, 2010 @ 2:54 pm | Reply
  22. PingControl is down just now. Its web and my vps :(
    I would like you to monitor this, but there is nothing on:
    http://www.lowendbox/wiki/pingcontrol

    September 30, 2010 @ 3:37 pm | Reply
  23. Adri:

    Good job LEB, i <3 u

    September 30, 2010 @ 3:57 pm | Reply
  24. mrm2005:

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for this nice tool.

    A suggestion : Can you please show the OLD and NEW Whois info, when there is a change? (or List the oldest you have at the bottom of the page, and list the change in the table).

    a Question : What happens when a provider Website goes down for couple of hours? (Like tomorrow night at 0:00 GMT (2nd OCT) , Rapidswitch DC will have a controlled Power Down for 4~8 hours and any provider in this DC will have this outage)

    September 30, 2010 @ 5:05 pm | Reply
  25. @Gonzalo — http://www.lowendbox.com/wiki/pingvps.com

    @mrm2005 — I will upload all the WHOIS records and you can then use Wiki’s diff to see the changes. Will do this over the coming weekend.

    As of what happens when a provider website goes down — it just reports down and record an entry on the wiki. It will report “Up” when it comes back.

    September 30, 2010 @ 11:58 pm | Reply
  26. Awesome tool LEA! Does your script take into account sites that may be using a DNS round robbin setup? If not the results could make it look like the provider is chaning IP’s regularly when in actual fact it’s just a replica site for load balancing / (semi) redundancy.

    October 1, 2010 @ 12:45 am | Reply
  27. @Hughesey — for me to detect IP changes it only compares the first 3 bytes of IPv4, i.e. it won’t report an IP change if the new IP is still in the same class C.

    Won’t work in all cases I know — but for now it seems to be fine. I’ll hack it until some other issue turns up :) It did correctly pick up bbvps.com’s DNS configuration issue earlier this month, as 2 of the NS have different A records for their website.

    October 1, 2010 @ 1:13 am | Reply
  28. Well done Bud! :)

    October 1, 2010 @ 11:19 am | Reply
  29. nice info bro,

    October 2, 2010 @ 12:27 pm | Reply
  30. This is really cool, although what’s the timezone you’re displaying?

    October 2, 2010 @ 5:10 pm | Reply
    • I believe its GMT w/Summertime :)

      October 2, 2010 @ 5:21 pm | Reply
      • *Without Summertime

        October 2, 2010 @ 5:22 pm | Reply
        • If its the same timezone as forum postings…yea, that would make the most sense. Guess it also explains why there’s a single outage listed for our pages too: we were in the middle of scheduled maintenance; a major electrical services upgrade (see: http://status.tocici.com).

          I wonder if there will be an opportunity to post other links or info on the uptime pages? Such as links to a VPS provider’s systems status pages. This way, it’s not just the black&white of up or down…things such as scheduled outages can also be taken into consideration.

          October 2, 2010 @ 5:31 pm | Reply
        • All date/time on LowEndBox are represented in UTC, and no adjustment for summertime.

          As with editing the page — yes you should be able to add new sections in there. When the scripts update the page it should just update the “History” section. Well in theory anyway, as the code has not been extensively tested :)

          October 3, 2010 @ 9:49 am | Reply
        • @LEA we love <3 DokuWiki around here, thanks for the info regarding edits :-)

          October 4, 2010 @ 5:05 am | Reply
        • Yes Dokuwiki is pretty light weight and has a quite usable XML-RPC interface to make programmatic updates easy.

          October 4, 2010 @ 11:14 am | Reply
  31. I liked this tool.

    October 3, 2010 @ 2:05 am | Reply
  32. Hi LEA

    There are several providers that are in the tag “down” and are online.

    Also, the “provider” tag doesn’t show all the providers that you are tracking.

    July 14, 2011 @ 5:53 am | Reply

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