I’ve been a customer (on and off) of Leaseweb dedicated servers for about 3 years now for their 100tb packages. Over the years, I probably rented about 6 dedicated servers from them with at least one on each of their DC location (US, NL, DE) and currently have two active servers in Netherlands & Germany.
- Cost efficient. Especially when they go on sale, their dedicated servers come really cheap at times. And whenever it’s not on sale, it’s possible to bargain with their sales for a discount, especially if you’re buying multiples. I also like that their HW Raid doesn’t cost extra. So many places charge an arm and a leg for it like other “additional upgrades”.
- Their “best effort” SLA isn’t bad. It’s certainly not great, but all tech support I had to request were answered within 12hrs and isn’t one of those companies that keeps on saying copy/paste messages to fit within the “response time”.
- Bandwidth quality on volume is quite good. It has quite good ping to all around the world and fair bandwidth speed as well. From all three of their DC locations, I’ve had good connection to anywhere in the North America & Europe. I didn’t find their bandwidth to be high quality to regions in Asia and Oceania, but they were still acceptable too.
They actually have a volume and premium network. I’ve only made use of the volume network and never tried the premium. But, given the price difference and sufficient quality of volume, I’m not sure it’s very much worth it unless you have latency sensitive application.
- Reliability is also quite good. I haven’t had hardware failure yet from my experience with them and zero network/power failure as well. There was one maintenance downtime, though I don’t remember for how long. It was a while ago.
- Leaseweb customer control panel. If you rent a server from LW, they will give you access to their custom control panel. It’s pretty much one stop for everything except tickets. You can see bandwidth usage, your starter IP (no password being emailed to you), and…! set your own rdns. Even though I only ask for rdns to be setup once, I hate sending a ticket for it. I don’t know why…
- Overage bandwidth fees are crazy high! It’s at 5 cent (usd or euro depending on which you’re signed up with) per gigabyte! Yes, gigabyte. If you’re running on a 100TB plan, going over by few TB might seem like a tiny amount, but that adds up to €50/TB and that’s no tiny amount. This is for volume network on metered plan. I’m sure it’s different for premium network… As I’ve seen posts like someone owing $10,000.00 for a mere 4TB overage… You REALLY need to keep a hawk eye over how much bandwidth you’ll use if you don’t feel like getting hit by an enormous bill.
- Ticketing system: I personally prefer ticketing system where I can login and manage a number of aspects myself. For example, setting priority [low, high, critical, etc.] and closing my tickets. But as of now, LW tickets work through email and there isn’t much of a control.
Issues I’ve Encountered
I think the quality of a provider really shows when you encounter a big problem. Like a hardware failure or anything catastrophic, really… But, I haven’t had one yet. Because of that, I somewhat felt like LW isn’t really ready for a review yet. But maybe having no serious issues over 3 years with multiple servers is a good sign and worthy of a review.
However, that’s not to say I didn’t have any issues at all. I think it was in 2011, one of the servers I bought in their US datacenter was ordered incorrectly. Not due to a fault of mine, but theirs. Their order page had written that the specific server I bought comes with a hardware raid card (was going for RAID1). But this wasn’t true, that wasn’t available at all for this specific model. I probably should have checked more thoroughly with what was delivered, But in my haste to get things up and running, I didn’t notice that I actually had one HD active and the second HD simply inactive despite being plugged in. I used it like that for roughly 6~9months. Being not what I ordered, this server was always “under-performing” in comparison and I never really gave it much thought because it was a different model than all the others. It had worse CPU after all–a reason to think it should operate worse. But one day, during peak load, I noticed this server under-performing once again. It puzzled me why it would be this bad and only this one. That day, after so many months of usage, I realized what was wrong…
Naturally, I went to the live support to have a chat. Told them my raid card is missing. The support replies, as if there’s nothing wrong that this model doesn’t come with one, perhaps implying I’m crazy. Strange, I bought one though. To prove to him that I bought one, I went into my control panel. But what’s this?! The mention of the hw raid is gone from my server’s product description! Oh, but I wasn’t crazy and I’m more thorough than the average customer. I had screenshot proof of what I purchased. Showed him that and he admitted (as if it was natural) that he just deleted the record from my description. (Time to begin eye rolling)
I got an apology for having a mislabeled sale, but didn’t seem like I was going to get anything more than that. So, I canceled that server and moved the data to another host. I can’t exactly keep on living with the wrong setup.
I also had a pretty good experience with sale a week ago. I needed a server fast. And if you look at the date, you’ll notice that’s almost Christmas. While I certainly hope tech support is available 365/year, I don’t expect the same from sales & billing. But I was able to talk to someone who was at the NL datacenter to be able to check with what’s in stock and delivery of the server in mere 6hrs (I think it was less than that, but I don’t want to dig up my emails to check the exact time). I was quite impressed. I wasn’t able to get much configuration on it since that takes time but the sales was able to help me with what would be fastest to setup, and a good deal too. 🙂
Overall, I am a happy LW customer. I just wish their overage fees were turned down… by a lot. But maybe that’s how they make money off of 100TB users. Hope that helps others pick servers.