Review

UpCloud Personal Review: Features and Benchmark

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This is my first personal review on cloud providers. I’ll prefer to start it with UpCloud since it grabs me some attention. I never heard of this provider previously, not until I searched for Digitalocean vs other providers.

I read a comparison review of UpCloud vs Digital Ocean, listed on UpCloud’s page. The result is obvious. UpCloud is a clear winner in that performance battle. If not, they would not post that article.

This review is not going to compare UpCloud with another cloud provider. We will simply look at the features offered, its server specifications, and some benchmark tests to see how the server perform.

About UpCloud

UpCloud is a company based in Helsinki, Finland, offering cloud computing services. UpCloud was found in 2011 by Joel Pihlajamaa which also sits as company’s CTO. However, UpCloud started its operation since 2013.

According to its website, UpCloud defines itself as a “Superior cloud hosting”.

Key Features

  • Deploy in 45 seconds: You can deploy your server in 45 seconds. According to my personal experience, sometimes it takes longer.
  • 100% uptime SLA: This is very true. My server never has a glitch nor a downtime. I am currently using UpCloud to host my another site.
  • Simple Pricing: This is just similar to competitors such as Digital Ocean, Vultr, Atlantic, Linode, etc.
  • 4 offices, 8 data centres across 3 continents: 8 DCs sounds awesome, it means many locations to choose from.
  • MaxIOPS Storage: MaxIOPS is their in-house developed storage technology that gives you industry-leading performance and reliability. This is true but it comes with a minor drawback and an advantage which I’ll explain later.
  • Highly scalable: Scale bigger as your apps grow.
  • Custom images: Use your own custom ISO or create ones.
  • Simple but powerful control panel: So they said.
  • Floating IPs and Private Networking: Create your own 100% private networking interconnected between UpCloud’s DCs.
  • 24/7 Responsive Support Team.
  • API: Automate the cloud creation process using the provided API.
  • Snapshots & scheduled backups.
  • Linux & Windows support.
  • Server cloning.
  • Native IPv6 Support.
  • InfiniBand networking: for maximum throughput and minimum latency.

Services

UpCloud provides the following services ranging from Cloud servers, MaxIOPS Block Storage, Private Cloud, and Networking.

MaxIOPS Block Storage is the claimed storage technology to deliver the fastest I/O performance. It is highly available and is easily attach-able and detach-able from cloud servers.

The Private Cloud service is a superior cloud that puts users on dedicated hardware in a physically isolated environment. The private cloud can also be combined with the public cloud to set up a Hybrid cloud.

Hence, you can deploy your most critical resources on private cloud and enjoy the limitless scalability of the public cloud for any fluctuating capacity needs.

This article will put focus mainly on the Cloud Server (public cloud).

Cloud Server Plans and Pricing

The cloud server is available in either Simple plans or Flexible plans.

The simple cloud plans start from $5/month or $0.007/hour. This gives you a cloud server with 1GB RAM, 1 CPU, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.

The highest pricing in this Simple plan category is $640/month that gives you a cloud server with 128GB RAM, 20 CPUs, 2TB storage, 24TB bandwidth.

The Flexible plan, on the other hand, gives you total control of the number of resources you need in terms of RAM, storage, CPUs, IPs, and bandwidth.

Datacenter Locations:

You can choose to deploy your cloud server(s) in San Jose (US, west coast), Chicago (US, East Coast), London (UK), Amsterdam (Netherland), Frankfurt (Germany), Helsinki (Finland), and Singapore (Asia).

Note: Choosing either Finland 1 or Finland 2 will give you a slightly more expensive price. For instance, the lowest plan which is normally $5/month will be $7.5/month if deployed in Finland.

Deploying A Cloud Server

Creating a cloud server in UpCloud is super easy.

Step 1 – Login to your account.

Step 2 – Click the [Deploy Server] button.

Step 3 – Choose in which location you want to deploy the server to. See the picture of datacenter location above.

Step 4 – Choose your plan and pricing. In this example, I chose the $5/month.

Step 5 – You can leave the STorage options default.

Step 6 – Choose the Operating System to install on your cloud. Couldn’t find the OS and the version you want? You can also use custom images (ISO) or use the one in the CDROM.

Step 7 – Next, choose whether to use IPV6 or not. It’s optional. There are more options if you click the More Settings link. However, you can simply leave them default.

Step 8 – Type in the hostname of your new server and give it a description so that you can easily recognize it. Finally, click the [Deploy] button.

Step 9 – You can track the status of server deployment progress.

Step 10 – Once ready, you’ll see the password displayed in the Notifications. You can also find the details of your newly deployed server in your email.

UpCloud Server Performance

Here it comes the time to see the performance of a cloud server hosted on UpCloud.

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 1GB RAM, 25GB SSD, and 1 CPU Core. The server is deployed in Finland and runs Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver).

As the benchmarking tools, I use ServerBench, YABS, and Bench Monster.

First Test

The first test was done using Server Bench script. It can be seen the CPU model is Intel Xeon E5v3 clocked @ 3.10 GHz. The server runs Ubuntu with Linux kernel v4.

This script tests the Internet speed test from a diverse number of locations. The connection speed was done on both IPv4 and IPv6.

As expected, the connection speed is faster in European countries including the UK, Netherland, Itali, France, and Germany. Connection to the US and Asia locations (including Australia) are not as fast as European connections. That’s expected due to latencies.

Connection to US locations is also good.

Recommendation: When deploying your server, choose the closest location to your target visitors/users.

Second Test

The next test was done using the YABS script. The test also reveals if AES-NI and VM-x/AMD-V are enabled. The cloud deployed in Finland seems coming without VM-x/AMD-V enabled which is not so important for me.

The speed test looks great on both IPv4 and IPv6. See different numbers compared to the first test? That’s because YABS employs iperf3 network test instead of just simple wget.

This test also reveals the performance of CPU. YABS makes use of Geekbench 4 to conduct the benchmark test.

The result seems awesome. The single-core performance scores 3738 while multicore performance scores 3551. The discrepancy is not too significant considering the server used in this test has only 1 CPU core.

Third Test

The result is also similar to the previous test. The additions in this test include RAM Speed test and CPU speed in common tasks such as doing bzip2, sha256, and md5sum encryption (CPU hashing).

Networking speed test also reveals Ping results in addition to Upload and Download speed.

Deleting The Server

In case if you need to delete the server, here’s the procedure you can follow:

Step 1 – Choose the server you wish to delete.

Step 2 – Click the [Shutdown] button.

Step 3 – In the Shutdown Reason, choose “Deleting the server”. Click the [Shutdown] button again.

Step 4 – Once the server is switched off, click the dropdown menu then choose Delete.

Step 5 – Finally, click the [Delete] button.

Now it’s time to explain the advantage and disadvantage for the MaxIOPS storage that can be attached (and detached).

The advantage: You can move the storage to any server you want. It means you can avoid manual migration of your files and data to the newly deployed server.

The disadvantage (drawback): Notice the picture in Step 4 above? You almost have anything to manage your cloud server. Except, the Reinstall menu is missing.

Hence, the process of rebuilding a server or reinstalling the operating system is not as easy as in SolusVM.

Conclusion

UpCloud is indeed a reliable provider. Their service is top-notch, the server performance is above standard. You can host your website(s) or apps confidently on UpCloud servers. Currently, I am using their cloud server as one of the storage servers of my free image hosting site.

Undoubtedly, UpCloud servers are ready for production projects.

This article does not compare the performance to other cloud service providers. Will do that another time once we did benchmark tests on them.

Pros:

  • MaxIOPS storage, fast Disk I/O speed.
  • Excellent network quality.
  • Reliable uptime.
  • 24/7 customer support.
  • User-friendly control panel.

Cons:

  • You’ll need a credit card to sign up.
  • Finland servers are a little bit expensive.
  • No Rebuild or OS Reinstall option.

Coupon Code

Looking for a valid promo of UpCloud? Use promo code 37K6G8 when you sign up and receive a bonus worth of $25 credits. You can use that free credits to build a 1GB server and use it for up to 5 months.

Alternatively, you can also click this url to get the promotion code applied automatically:

https://upcloud.com/signup/?promo=37K6G8

What’s your thought?

A blogger by hobby. He is an ordinary worker at day, a hybrid sys-admin at night. Sharing knowledge through blogs is his passion. He likes ice cream BTW.

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