#1 2018-04-15 22:40:38

Trusted Member
Registered: 2013-05-05
Posts: 420

Might start scaling back LES vps

This is just a semi-philosophical mumble about cancelling idle LES containers, and whether hourly services (Digital Ocean etc) imply anything for the fate of the LES project.  I'm not dissatisfied with my current LES servers in any way and am not really seeking technical or financial advice (psychiatric advice about VPS addiction is another matter and might be more helpful).  Actually there's not any content here worth reading so you might as well stop reading now unless you enjoy boredom.  It's more like thinking out loud.

When LES started I got basically all of the locations as they were released.  LES was a great new concept (it's still great, but no longer new) and I liked it better than the ultra cheap tiny OpenVZ vps with dedicated ipv4 that were in vogue at the time.

After there got to be enough of them I was better able to resist getting new ones unless the locations or features were actually interesting somehow.  Also I got better at cancelling other idle VPS's since while buying them in the first place might have been exciting, renewing them was just throwing money away.  But LES are cheap enough that this logic wasn't convincing.  So I've mostly just kept renewing them.

LES's initial attraction was getting outposts in lots of interesting locations ridiculously cheap.  For about 25 (euro)cents per month per location I got to run a WORLDWIDE VPS EMPIRE and could taking over the rest of the galaxy really be far behind?  I don't really serve content to those places but I *do* occasionally have use for specific server locations, like for geo ip purposes.  And it's nice to be able to give a little bit of financial support to the LES project by having these mostly-idle servers.

These days though, I find that the LES that I actually use are the ones closest to where I live.  The faraway ones, while more appealing from a world domination standpoint, are (in my case) almost always idle and are mostly in places that are also served by hourly providers like DO/Vultr/Linode.  So if I need a Sydney or Tokyo server for a few hours or days, I can spin up one of those instead of idling a LES server there all year.  The LES forum gets excited when more exotic locations like Russia and Sweden get discussed, but I think there's not really much demand for them and they've been unsustainable (eventually shut down) when offered. 

Even Finland (a location I'd been interested in for a while) is available hourly (from Hetzner) now.  The first LES-style VPS in Finland that I know of are the ones Gullo Hosting offered at Hetzner's FI location just a few days before Hetzner made its own cloud offer there.  (I went ahead and got one from Gullo and it works as expected, i.e. much lower performance than the Hetzner cloud servers but also much cheaper, which is fine).

So I'm thinking of finally giving in and cancelling unused LES VPS as they expire, and wondering about the meaning of it all.  One thing I wonder is whether there are now significantly more hourly services available than when LES started.  If yes, does that have implications for LES?  I also wonder if small hourly servers are frequently out of stock anywhere (I think Linode had low stock in Tokyo for a while).  I've never encountered this situation myself but I've only used the more common locations the US and EU.

Last edited by willie (2018-04-15 22:48:27)


#2 2018-04-16 06:53:58

Low End Boss
From: ~/
Registered: 2013-02-13
Posts: 3,909

Re: Might start scaling back LES vps

Hi Willie,

yep, to be honest over the past 4 - 5 years (wow has it really been that long) i could probably have almost replicated your entire post if I pieced together cancellation request reasons for LES smile

For me its still just a bit of fun, if the demand goes away it wont hurt me financially and it wont be to big of a deal to close down.

I think one of the biggest pitfalls has been keeping it advancing in terms of features, I never did find an interested coder to work on the project which was one of my goals.

The last few things I want to achieve before being happy with it (IH Perspective only):

1. https haproxy
2. Automatic LE certs
3. Replication directories
4. CDN Space
5. DNS management
6. SQL offloading

I am hoping to tick a few of those by the end of the year.

Personally I always wanted this to be an ultra budget and understandably limited HA stack that had no need for external IP4, more a hybrid between shared hosting and a VPS.

It is what it is though, I am happy that vz7 will work fine now after the trials, so the next major hurdle is going to be the upgrades to vz7.

Appreciate your thoughts, always good to hear external perspectives.

LES is not going anywhere anytime soon but I appreciate it is time limited in its current form.

https://upto32.com retro gaming and nostalgia forum that does not take itself to seriously smile


#3 2018-04-20 22:00:27

Trusted Member
Registered: 2014-06-23
Posts: 23

Re: Might start scaling back LES vps

I also liked the concept of those cheap little boxes, in the beginning I've collected also every available location. I played around a lot with them learning more about ipv6 and Linux vps servers, or to just try out some stuff before ordering fully-fledged vps servers.

Currently I've more scaling down on the small collection of fully-fledged vps servers and consolidate my projects, private priorities have changes and some projects have been dropped. Today with hourly billing it is fairly easy, if needed a vps for some time to just spin up a new node, test out whatever had comes to my mind and needed some more resources as a les box could offer wink .

My LES boxes are mainly idling and used as proxy or private vpn now and then. Only one LES is still regular in full-time "production" use as a tinc vpn node for a small mesh-vpn with some friends and hosting an internal http server with some status information inside the tinc vpn.

Currently I'm playing around with network related stuff like with firewalling/routing protocols and so on.
Maybe I'm looking around for some cheap yearly KVM based NAT or IPv6 only based vps, to play around with some firewalling distros like pfsense or mikrotik routeros etc, to build some internal fully routed vpns, for the easier way. Or take a deeper look into DN42.
Maybe, if I find the time going the harder way and setting up everything from scratch while using my little les boxes around the world for the world wide routed vpn empire big_smile

I had stopped collection every new location out there some time ago. But it's still impressive how much locations have now assembled under the LES brand. I will holding on to these boxes in the current locations I have, even if they are only mostly idling and half of them would still do the job, they are just to cheap to let them go. big_smile


#4 2018-04-25 13:18:12

Trusted Member
Registered: 2016-10-23
Posts: 22

Re: Might start scaling back LES vps

Despite having the option of spinning up a cloud instance at many locations pretty quickly, I find that the LES concept is really wonderful (and deserves all the support it can get). Unfortunately it appears that there's a fair bit of abuse as well but overall I think most folks are very respectful of the limits/rules and use the LES VPSs appropriately.

My LES "collection" mostly idles, but every now and then I'll connect to one of them for network probes/tests/mtr/traceroutes/pings and what not and having multiple locations available just an "ssh-away" is really nice (instantly - no setup required!).

Also, I mostly buy "more" than I need in the hope that I'm sponsoring/supporting the project as well.

Credit to all the hosts who participate, expand, and manage/maintain these wonderful boxes for us to use.

I hope it stays relevant for time to come.


#5 2018-09-14 12:22:32

Trusted Member
Registered: 2017-03-31
Posts: 39

Re: Might start scaling back LES vps

After Australian LES, Mrvm now has Singapore location online (also thanks to Oliau/Ransomit).
Since Pacific locations are getting back and other locations are covered by BF insane deals, I start to recall this post and wonder I'd also starting to scale back. Guess I might let bundle go, buy just few locations at original price, and hope LES stays alive for some more time.

Last edited by layfon (2018-09-14 12:35:17)


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