For a few months I have been using an unmanaged virtual private server from Tektonic, and I love it.
What's that? Let's take it one word at a time, and then some more.
- It's a server: which means it's a full-ish linux installation. So it is capable of doing lots of things. I can run all sorts of weird python thingies in it if I want. IMAPS and SSMTP? No problemo.
- It's private: which means I am root on it. I have the shell. I choose what to install.
- It's virtual: it's a Virtuozzo partition in a real server. That means no custom kernel modules, and that since almost everything is shared with other instances, 5GB of disk and 128MB of RAM go a long way.
- It's unmanaged: which means I manage it. Which is just the way I prefer it, since that's my job.
- It's cheap. I started on a 8 dollars a month plan (which doesn't seem to be there anymore, the current cheapest is a 15 dollars plan).
- It's a throwaway. I want to host some client as a favour? I just put it there. I could even rent another of these servers for a while, use it, then close it. Backups? Clicking on a webpage saves the image! Other than that... I back it.
- Fixed IPs. All you want (for extra coins).
- A home away from home. All my stuff is there. I need it, I get it. Without bothering about having my own server at home via no-ip or somesuch (which of course I still have too ;-)
- It works. It hardly ever breaks. And having survived expensive, managed servers, this baby is working just as well.
- It's a nice gift. Suppose you have a connection to a free software project/LUG/family/whatever, and they need a place on the internet. Why not sponsor them with something like this? I offered one to PyAr (which didn't take it, but it's the thought that counts ;-)
- The ultimate learning experience: you can restore the system in 2 minutes. Want to play/learn sysadmining? Do it on the real virtual thing! Much cheaper than hosing your own box ;-)
- They offer a good service. So, people should know about it. And of course... if you know a similar, but even better deal... I'm all ears!