RackNerd Black Friday 2020 Specials

The following are Black Friday specials available through RackNerd hosting. Everyone is encouraged to share any opinions or experiences they have with RackNerd in comments here, but my personal experience has been one of no issues.

KVM Linux VPS

512MB KVM VPS — $8.89/year
1x vCPU Core
15 GB SSD Cached Storage
512MB RAM
1000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

1GB KVM VPS — $15.25/year
1x vCPU Core
30 GB SSD Cached Storage
1GB RAM
3500GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2GB KVM VPS — $21.79/year
2x vCPU Core
45 GB SSD Cached Storage
2GB RAM
6000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2.5GB KVM VPS — $27.50/year
3x vCPU Core
55 GB SSD Cached Storage
2.5GB RAM
7000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

4.5GB KVM VPS — $46.89/year
3x vCPU Core
83 GB SSD Cached Storage
4.5GB RAM
9500GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Windows VPS

2GB Windows VPS — $60/year
1x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
35GB NVMe SSD Storage
2GB RAM
200GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

3.5GB Windows VPS — $99/year
2x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
60GB NVMe SSD Storage
3.5GB RAM
200GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

8GB Windows VPS — $219/year
3x AMD Ryzen CPU Core
150GB NVMe SSD Storage
8GB RAM
10,000GB Monthly Transfer
1Gbps Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP Access)
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel
Windows Server 2012 or 2016 OS
Locations: Los Angeles Datacenter

Shared Hosting with cPanel Control Panel

50GB Shared Hosting — $8.50/year
50GB SSD Disk Space
3TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host 3 Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

80GB Shared Hosting — $12.99/year
80GB SSD Disk Space
5TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host 5 Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

150GB Shared Hosting — $24.99/year
150GB SSD Disk Space
10TB Monthly Transfer
Unlimited Databases
Host Unlimited Domains
Free SSL Certificates
cPanel Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

Reseller Hosting with cPanel/WHM

50GB Reseller Hosting — $24.99/year
50GB SSD Disk Space
2TB Monthly Transfer
10 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

120GB Reseller Hosting — $39/year
120GB SSD Disk Space
3.5TB Monthly Transfer
15 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

200GB Reseller Hosting — $59/year
200GB SSD Disk Space
6TB Monthly Transfer
25 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
cPanel & WHM Control Panel
Softaculous Scripts Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Offsite Daily Backups (JetBackup)

RackNerd 11.11 KVM/Windows Promotional Offers

Note: The 11.11 promo specials listed in this post have now expired and are no longer available. However, the LEB specials listed at the bottom of the post are still available.

RackNerd have the following promotional offers on KVM servers, so you might want to give these a look if you’re in the market and looking for KVM options on a budget. They also appear to have expanded to many more locations than when I signed up with them a while back, as well (which was only L.A. at that time).

1GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $9.98/year
1x vCPU Core
17 GB PURE SSD RAID-10 Storage
1 GB RAM
3000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

2GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $15.58/year
2x vCPU Cores
35 GB PURE SSD RAID-10 Storage
2 GB RAM
5000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

3GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $27.98/year
3x vCPU Cores
55 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
3 GB RAM
8000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

4GB KVM VPS Special (11.11 Promo) — $35.98/year
3x vCPU Cores
80 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
4 GB RAM
9000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Windows 3GB VPS (11.11 Promo) — $78.88/year
2x AMD Ryzen CPU Cores
35 GB NVMe SSD Storage
3 GB DDR4 RAM
3000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Administrator Access
Remote Desktop (RDP) Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Location: Los Angeles DC-02

As a note, I’ve been using RackNerd for a while now for KVM servers that I needed. They’ve not only been one of the more affordable options for VPS in general (especially KVM), but have also had great performance for what I use them for (primarily running old game servers with Wine emulation).

They’re not the first provider that I’ve used, nor are they the only provider I find worth doing business with. I’ve also suggested HostUS, and still do – especially as a provider with top-notch support, but HostUS is not quite as affordable in terms of specials on these types of services. I can’t say everyone shares the same experience with a given host, but I am being honest about RackNerd being good from my personal experience. While I haven’t had a lot of experience with their support and wouldn’t be surprised if they wouldn’t impress me on the same level as HostUS in that specific area, I can say that the few times I’ve contacted their support resulted in them providing me with at least an acceptable solution to my problem – even if it may not have always been the specific one I was hoping for.

Either way, for the price, you really aren’t taking a huge risk in trying them out for these types of services. If in a year from now you’re unhappy, let your wallet speak for you. I, on the other hand, expect to be renewing with them for the foreseeable future. Anyone who has their own experiences to share are certainly welcome to comment and do so. I’d much rather know what others think of the services so that I also have a better idea outside of how I specifically use them.

Update

Some previous promos that were offered and that appear to still be active (these were the ones I personally bought into myself earlier this year), can be found below. Again, they’ve expanded to include quite a few additional locations as opposed to just the L.A. location that was available when I first signed up with them. You can use the provided test IPs in the drop-down list with the locations to ping from your location to see the difference in latency times. I’ve also requested a relocation for my existing services and they appear to be willing to do that for me without any mention of a charge to do so.

These specials were posted on Low End Box‘s website when I found them. Note that the product page at RackNerd still has only L.A. listed for location of these specials, but you will see all of the additional location options in the drop-down menu when setting up the service.

LEB Special 1.5GB KVM — $16.55/year
2x vCPU Core
20 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
1.5 GB RAM
4000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

LEB Special 2.5GB KVM — $23.49/year
3x vCPU Core
40 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
2.5 GB RAM
6500GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

LEB Special 3.5GB KVM — $28.99/year
3x vCPU Core
45 GB SSD Cached RAID-10 Storage
3.5 GB RAM
7000GB Monthly Premium Bandwidth
1Gbps Public Network Port
Full Root Admin Access
1 Dedicated IPv4 Address
KVM / SolusVM Control Panel – Reboot, Reinstall, Manage rDNS, & much more
Locations: Los Angeles DC-02, San Jose, Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, or Ashburn

Reseller LEB 80GB — $39/year
80 GB SSD Disk Space
1.5 TB Monthly Transfer
20 cPanel Accounts
Free SSL Certificates
CloudLinux Powered
Softaculous Script Installer
LiteSpeed Web Server
Free Daily Backups Included
cPanel & WHM Control Panel

HostUS: 2GB OpenVZ VPS Special

A belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holidays to everyone.

HostUS is offering an unmanaged 2GB OpenVZ VPS between December 25th, 2016 through January 3rd, 2017 for $25/year. I know I’m late getting this up here, but just learned of it and there’s still a week left on this special.

The VPS features the following:

  • 2GB RAM (with 2GB vSwap)
  • 50GB Raid 10 Disk Space
  • 2 vCPU Cores (Fair Share)
  • 2TB Bandwidth (monthly)
  • 1 Gbps transfer speed
  • 1 IPv4 and 4 IPv6

The servers are available for the following locations:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles
  • Washington, DC
  • London

I’ve used HostUS for several years now and been completely happy with the service and support (when needed). I’ve received maybe 2-3 emails from them in that time stating that a VPS of mine was taken down temporarily for an issue, but it has never hindered me in any way (never seen the outage when it happens) and they have always promptly resolved the issue at hand and had the server back up with times given in the email. For what breaks down to less than $3/month for a VPS with these specs, it’s hardly a difficult choice if you’re in the market for a VPS, and they appear to never fuss about what you do on their servers as long as it doesn’t violate any government laws, result in exploited security vulnerability (such as DDoS) or cause any unjustified overhead on their server resources.

Like I said, if you’re in the market for a VPS (and OpenVZ suits your needs), these guys are probably as good as any you’ll find for the money.

If you want to look over location and network information for them, check out this page.

BIND Authoritative-Only DNS Server on Ubuntu Server 14.04 or Debian 7

This post will explain how to get a DNS server setup going on Ubuntu Server 14.04 or Debian 7 using BIND. The arrangement assumes the following:

  • You’re using a master/slave configuration.
  • Your server host provides the rDNS for you. Most VPS hosting services handle the rDNS, so you’re not required to configure it on your own DNS server.
  • Your hostnames for the servers have been configured as fully qualified domain names.

For the example, the master server will be located at ns1.mydomain.com with an IP address of 10.0.0.1 and the slave server will be located at ns2.mydomain.com with an IP address of 10.0.0.2. Our test domain that is being handled by the DNS servers will be testdomain.com and will be configured to point to the same IP address as the master DNS, which is where we would assume the web server servicing the domain will be located.

For the commands shown in the explanations, it’s assumed that you’re logged in or acting as the root user. If not, you need to precede the commands with sudo, this includes when opening configuration files for editing. You’ll get a permissions error when you try to save the file if you don’t.

Installation

Start by installing BIND on both servers:

apt-get update
apt-get install bind9 bind9utils bind9-doc

If you’re notified that the file /etc/init.d/bind9 already exists on the server, and asked what you would like to do about it, respond with Y or I to install the version that is included with the package.

Configuration

Once the installation is complete, you already have a DNS server running on your Ubuntu installation. We only have to make some configuration changes to ensure master and slave servers are communicating with each other and that the master has been configured with the zone information for the domains being serviced by the DNS servers.

First, open /etc/bind/named.conf.options for editing. You should have something like the following:

options {
        directory "/var/cache/bind";

        // If there is a firewall between you and nameservers you want
        // to talk to, you may need to fix the firewall to allow multiple
        // ports to talk.  See http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/800113

        // If your ISP provided one or more IP addresses for stable
        // nameservers, you probably want to use them as forwarders.
        // Uncomment the following block, and insert the addresses replacing
        // the all-0's placeholder.

        // forwarders {
        //      0.0.0.0;
        // };

        //========================================================================
        // If BIND logs error messages about the root key being expired,
        // you will need to update your keys.  See https://www.isc.org/bind-keys
        //========================================================================
        dnssec-validation auto;

        auth-nxdomain no;    # conform to RFC1035
        listen-on-v6 { any; };
};

We need to add the following two lines anywhere within the brackets defining the options block:

recursion no;
allow-transfer { none; };

Example with added lines:

options {
        directory "/var/cache/bind";

        recursion no;
        allow-transfer { none; };

        // If there is a firewall between you and nameservers you want
        // to talk to, you may need to fix the firewall to allow multiple
        // ports to talk.  See http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/800113

        // If your ISP provided one or more IP addresses for stable
        // nameservers, you probably want to use them as forwarders.
        // Uncomment the following block, and insert the addresses replacing
        // the all-0's placeholder.

        // forwarders {
        //      0.0.0.0;
        // };

        //========================================================================
        // If BIND logs error messages about the root key being expired,
        // you will need to update your keys.  See https://www.isc.org/bind-keys
        //========================================================================
        dnssec-validation auto;

        auth-nxdomain no;    # conform to RFC1035
        listen-on-v6 { any; };
};

Save the changes and close the file.

Next, we need to configure the local file to point to the zone files for the domains that will be serviced by the DNS servers. Assuming that we’re servicing a domain called testdomain.com, open /etc/bind/named.conf.local and add the following – as designated for master and slave configurations:

Master

zone "testdomain.com" {
        type master; also-notify { 10.0.0.2; };
        file "/etc/bind/zones/db.testdomain.com";
};

Slave

zone "testdomain.com" {
        type slave; masters { 10.0.0.1; };
        file "/etc/bind/zones/db.testdomain.com";
};

Since the zone block within the local file is pointing to a sub-directory within BIND’s primary directory to house the zone files, we need to create the zones directory and change its owner to the bind user. This needs to be done for both the master and slave servers:

mkdir /etc/bind/zones
chown bind: /etc/bind/zones

Now, you can create the zone file for the domain. For the example, we called the file db.testdomain.com, and configured BIND to look for the file in the /etc/bind/zones directory.

An example of our zone file would look like:

$ORIGIN testdomain.com.
$TTL 1800
@       IN      SOA     ns1.mydomain.com.       admin.testdomain.com. (
                        2015010101              ; serial number
                        3600                    ; refresh
                        900                     ; retry
                        1209600                 ; expire
                        1800                    ; ttl
                        )
; Name servers
                    IN      NS      ns1.mydomain.com.	; master DNS
                    IN      NS      ns2.mydomain.com.	; slave DNS

; A records for name servers
ns1                 IN      A       10.0.0.1		; master DNS IP
ns2                 IN      A       10.0.0.2		; slave DNS IP

; Additional A records
@                   IN      A       10.0.0.1		; www IP

; CNAME records
www                 IN      CNAME   testdomain.com.	; www IP

The settings above are fairly straightforward for configuring a zone with NS records and records to point to a web server for serving pages. Just be aware that the value for serial needs to be changed every time the zone file is updated, otherwise the DNS server will not update other servers. For the appended www, you could include an A record that points to the web server’s IP address, just like the origin does, but I believe it is more appropriate to point it to the origin with a CNAME record, as I updated this example to do. Feel free to correct me if you know better.

Check Configurations

At this point, all configuration is done. You simply need to check the configuration and zone files for errors, and then restart the servers.

You can check the local configuration by issuing:

named-checkconf /etc/bind/named.conf.local

If it returns nothing (line-breaks directly back to the command prompt), then everything checked good.

You can then check the zone configuration with (on the master server):

named-checkzone testdomain.com /etc/bind/zones/db.testdomain.com

If all checked well, it should return something like:

zone testdomain.com/IN: loaded serial 2015010101
OK

Now, simply restart the two servers.

service bind9 restart

After waiting for the configurations to propogate (varies in time – could be over 24 hours), you can pull up a prompt on your local linux machine and issue the following to see if the DNS has updated the domain to point to your master DNS server’s IP address:

nslookup testdomain.com

A successful setup should return something similar to:

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:	testdomain.com
Address: 10.0.0.1

An unsuccessful setup would return something more like this:

** server can't find testdomain.com: SERVFAIL

If you get an error, it could be that you didn’t give the servers enough time to update the information for the domains. Either way, you can view the system log on the servers to see if there are any errors:

tail -f /var/log/syslog

Look for the following to indicate successful zone information loading and communication between master and slave servers:

named[4215]: zone testdomain.com/IN: loaded serial 2015010101
named[4215]: zone testdomain.com/IN: sending notifies (serial 2015010101)

Anything else, pertaining specifically to the domain you configured, might indicate there is a problem with either the zone file or that the master and slave are not communicating. Ensure your firewall is allowing traffic on port 53.

HostUS VPS Specials

These are two specials that HostUS is offering on their OpenVZ VPS services. It hasn’t been stated when the specials will end, but I’d grab them while they’re available if you’re in the market. Beyond the specials, they appear to have very affordable VPS options available, and I believe they’re in the process of adding KVM options as well. Worth a look if you are considering purchasing a VPS.

768MB
768MB RAM / 768MB vSwap
1 vCPU Core (Fair Share)
20 GB Disk Space
2048 GB Bandwidth / 1Gbit Uplink (Fair Share)
1x IPv4 address / 4 x IPv6 Addresses
OpenVZ/In-House Panel
$10/year (Click Here)

6GB
6GB RAM / 6GB vSwap
4 vCPU Cores (Fair Share)
150GB Disk space
5TB Bandwidth / 1Gbit/s port
3 x IPv4 address / 4 x IPv6 Addresses
OpenVZ/In-House Control Panel
$18/quarter or $65/year (Click Here)