I have a very great curiosity to Hetzner cloud. It was hard for me deciding to give Hetzner a try. Not until the provider announced a promotional credit for new users. I took the opportunity by using its promo code and I managed to register for an account with free €10 credits.
The registration process went not as smooth as I expected. They do accept many kinds of payment which is good. However, my account was flagged as risky signup.
I tried to contact its representative at LET community and she responded very wisely: try to sign up again.
Well, I repeated the registration process again and finally, I managed to pass the verification. I have to upload a scan of my Passport and Driver License.
Is such an arduous process worth the service they offer? Let’s find out down below.
Hetzner Online GmbH is a professional hosting company offering a wide range of services starting from Shared Hosting, Cloud Server, Dedicated/Bare Metal, to Colocation. They also offer domain registration and software licenses of course.
The best part, they operate their own datacenter in three locations: Nuremberg (Germany), Falkenstein/Vogtland (Germany), and Helsinki (Finland). Learn more about their datacenter here.
The company strives to improve its products’ price-to-performance ratios. The prices are so attractive. According to its official page, the company has been established since 1997.
Hetzner provides several business divisions. The key features below are limited to the ones available in the Cloud Server plans.
- Deploy in under 10 seconds: This is the fastest deployment time a cloud provider could offer. It feels almost instant.
- Intuitive and user-friendly cloud UI: the UI of Hetzner cloud management panel is very easy-to-use.
- Block Storage Volumes: You can attach additional storage from 10GB to 10TB.
- Private networking: You can create kubernetes cluster or a database server cluster for instance.
- NVMe SSD RAID or Ceph storage: You can choose.
- REST-API and a CLI tool: Useful for developers.
- Snapshots: Create a full server backup at a specific point of time and restore it easily in the future (0.01 €/GB per month).
- Automatic Backups: Create an exact copy of your server and store up to 7 copies (20% of server price).
- Floating IPs: You can create a redundant server or a highly available server cluster with this feature (1.19 € a month).
- Highly scalable: Scale bigger as your apps grow.
- 20TB bandwidth traffic: All cloud server plans come with included 20TB bandwidth, even the smallest one.
- Free Hardware-based DDOS protection: Enjoy free first-rate protection against large-scale DDoS attacks powered with the latest hardware appliances and sophisticated perimeter security technologies.
- GDPR compliance: Obviously, they are a Europe company.
- A choice of Linux OS.
- Custom ISO.
- Native IPv6 Support.
Hetzner provides the following services ranging from shared hosting, cloud server (unmanaged), managed servers, colocation, storage box, storage share, domain registration, and SSL certificates.
That said, Hetzner is not a small cloud company but a big infrastructure company. This is proven with its wide range of services they offer.
Having their own datacenter makes them possible to also offer colocation.
Their cloud servers employ Intel Xeon Gold processors and speedy NVMe SSDs. Your resource-intensive projects will run smoothly on their clouds.
Cloud Server Plans and Pricing
The cloud server is available in either Default and Dedicated vCPU plans.
The Default plans offer unbeatable value for money. These plans are perfect for individual applications, distributed systems, dynamic clusters or development environments.
Unlike most cloud providers that start from 1GB RAM plan, the smallest plan available in Hetzner is 2GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 20GB SSD, and 20TB traffic. The price is surprisingly cheap, €2.96/month which is equal to $3.3.
With less than $5/month, you can have 2GB RAM cloud with 20TB bandwidth. I can say this price is much cheaper than other providers because normally you’ll only get 1GB RAM cloud for $5/month.
There are also Dedicated vCPU plans. These plans start from 8GB RAM, 2 vCPU, 80GB storage, and 20TB bandwidth for €23.68/month.
Dedicated vCPU cloud servers offer maximum performance with dedicated vCPUs. The plans are just perfect for CPU intensive apps like high-performance web servers, video encoding, machine learning, or research calculations.
Deploying A Cloud Server
How to create a new cloud server at Hetzner? It’s pretty easy and straightforward. Follow these steps.
Step 1 – Login to your Hetzner account or sign up for a new one.
Step 2 – Click [New Project] then give it any name you want. Click [Add Project].
Step 3 – Now enter the newly created project. In this example, my project name is “BARU”.
Step 4 – Click the [Add Server] button.
Step 5 – Choose the server location you want:
Step 6 – Next, choose the operating system you want: Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and CentOS.
Step 7 – Now choose the cloud server plan you want. You can also choose the type of servers among NVME SSD, Network Storage (CEPH), and Dedicated vCPU plans.
The prices of each plan are shown crystal clear. If you use the server for less than one month, you’ll be billed only for the hours the server active.
Step 8 – You can add additional storage volume if you want. You can simply skip this if you want.
Step 9 – You can also opt to add additional features such as backup, user data, and SSH key. This example leaves those options default.
Step 10 – Give your new server a name then click the [Create & Buy] button.
Step 11 – Wait for the system to build your cloud server. Trust me! It will finish just before you step up to take a cup of coffee in your kitchen.
Step 12 – Once created, you’ll see something similar to this meaning that your server has been successfully created.
Cloud Server Management Panel
If you click on the server name, it reveals more server management options.
Let’s see how easy-to-use and how complete the management options are.
The main panel
The main page of management panel shows the overview of your cloud server. You can see the server specs, bill usage, bandwidth usage, and the location of your server.
In the left side, you can see all the main options useful to manage your server.
There is also a serial console to manage your server via the Command line interface right from your browser.
A simple button is also there allowing you to switch off/on your server conveniently.
This page shows all the statistics of your server resource usage. All data are shown as a graphical interface.
You can choose the time period of the data to be fetched: Live, 1 hour, 12 hours, 24 hours, 1 week, and 30 days.
You can see the current performance of the server’s CPU, Disk throughput, Disk IOPS, Network traffic, and Network PPS.
Backups and Snapshots
Backups are automatic copies of your server’s disks. For every server, there are seven slots for backups.
Snapshots are instant copies of your servers disks. You can create a new server from a snapshot and even transfer them to a different project.
They both come with additional costs tho.
In the networking page, you can see all your server IPs. You can also edit reverse DNS and set up floating IPs in this page.
You can also add or attach additional storage from several different capacities.
You can turn off and on the server from this page either. Do the Hard Reboot if you want.
This is one of the important features of a cloud server, the ability to rescale. One unique feature I spotted is the ability to opt for upgrading CPU and RAM only.
This is also a basic feature that should always exist in a server management panel, especially for cloud servers. We couldn’t find this feature on UpCloud tho.
Here you can easily and conveniently reinstall the operating system of your cloud.
Hetzner Server Performance
Here it comes the time to see the performance of a cloud server hosted on Hetzner.
I did several benchmark tests covering network speed test, Disk I/O write and read speed, and of course the CPU performance.
We use the lowest plan that comes with 2GB RAM, 20GB SSD, and 1 CPU Core. The server is deployed in Falkenstein (Germany) and runs Ubuntu Server 18.04 (Bionic Beaver).
As the benchmarking tools, I use ServerBench, YABS, and Bench Monster.
The first benchmark test was conducted using Bench Monster.
The script reveals all the details or server information including CPU type, clock speed, Virtualization, Linux Kernel version, CPU flags, load average, total RAM, total SAWP, and uptime.
You can also see the network information right below it.
CPU benchmarking is the first test result shown. It was conducted using Geekbench v4. The score of both single and multicore are impressive.
This shows how powerful the CPU allocated to the server. The multicore score is not significantly higher from its single score due to the fact that the server has only 1 CPU.
The hashing tests also have no problem. It can do bzip2, sha256, and md5sum without producing big latencies.
The write/read speed of the allocated RAM is also impressive.
Wait, now take a look at the I/O speed! I’ve seen some other providers, either cloud or traditional VPS, claiming to use SSD storage but rare of them can achieve such a true high speed I/O performance expected from NVMe SSD.
Conducted for three times to see consistencies, the number shown as disk I/O speed seems pretty legit. Even the claimed MaxIOPS storage can go as far as half of what Hetzner produce.
What about the connection speed? Even the best! I’ve read on some other reviews that connection speed is one of the cons points.
The test that I did proves different result tho. Even the tests are probably wget, the result is still impressive.
Connections to Asia are decent, connections to American countries are good, and connections to Europe are the best.
The next test was done using Nench.sh script. If the previous test the hashing tests were done by measuring how many MB/s the CPU can do, this test uses how many seconds the server can do a hashing calculation for 500MB of data.
The result? SHA256 hashing is done in 3.5 seconds and bzip2 in 6 seconds. Unfortunately, the AES encrypting test wasn’t successful.
The disk speed test was done in two methods: IOPING and DD. Again, you can see how superior the NVMe SSD disk used by Hetzner cloud server is.
The connection speed was tested on both IPv4 and IPv6 networking. The results here seem better than ordinary. We’ll take a look at that in the next tests.
The next test was done using Serverbench.net script. We’ll jump into the disk I/O speed and connection speed directly.
The average I/O speed is 1034.5 MB/s which is super awesome. Again, see how consistent the disk speed on all three runs.
The connection speed also throws no problem. The result is similar to the second test.
The last test was done using YABS, Yet Another Benchmarking Script.
The average disk speed seems different than previous tests, almost a half the initial speed. It’s still a fast performance tho.
The network speed tests on both IPv4 and IPv6 connections shows exceptional performance. The iperf3 tests show that. See that 9.27 Gbits/sec? How cool is that?
Even the connection to Indonesia can reach up to 782 Mbits/sec.
Hetzner becomes a very popular cloud provider for many users including ordinary users and developers. Their services are very reliable. They own all the hardware and networks. They own three datacenters in two locations.
So far, Hetzner is the best cloud servers company with the best price-per-performance ratio. You can get a 2GB RAM cloud instance for less than $5/month. Others usually charge $10/month for a server with similar specs (See DigitalOcean, UpCloud, or Vultr).
Personal opinion: I am personally impressed with what Hetzner can offer. The price is cheap but the performance is stunning. Hetzner Cloud is prem!
- Superior network connection.
- High-speed disk I/O performance.
- Superfast cloud deployment time.
- Complete but easy-to-use cloud management panel.
- Super cheap price.
- Multiple payment options including Paypal.
- DDOS protection for free.
- Native IPv6 support (free IPv6).
- Massive 20TB free bandwidth on all cloud plans.
- Only available in three locations (two countries, all in Europe).
- The initial registration process takes time (need account verification).
- Rare promo coupons. Their prices are already cheap anyway.
- I should have found Hetzner long time ago.
What’s your thought about Hetzner?