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Introducing ARP Thunder™ Cloud Dedicated Servers

The Short

ARP Thunder™ is an advanced cloud offering, giving both the resiliency and flexibility of a VPS with the power of a dedicated server. With redundant network, storage, hosts, and our advanced management Portal.

You can stop here and check out our new ARP Thunder™ servers for as low as $40 per month.

However, we encourage reading below about the motivations and challenges that brought about the development and birth of this new offering. These are not simply low priced dedicated servers, but a new way of offering dedicated that is a pleasure to manage and will help you sleep easier at night.

The Really Long

We would like to introduce to you a new service that we call ARP Thunder™, a semi-dedicated server offering that offers the simplicity and resilience of the cloud but with the power and resources of a dedicated server.

Why not just get a dedicated server?

Dedicated servers are great, but more and more we’re seeing it to be the case that the people who think they need a dedicated server, in fact, don’t anymore. With technologies like Ceph (open-source distributed storage system), KVM/QEMU (virtualization), and the ubiquity of power efficient, yet powerful, Intel E3 and E5 Xeon processors, one can segment a physical server into several distinct, non-shared, parts, and then offer these as what we would call a “semi” dedicated server.

That’s great, but still, why?

Have you ever had a single disk, upon which you relied, fail in a dedicated server? Did you have it in a RAID 1 mirror? Did your RAID card ever fail and take a sh*t all over your data, completely destroying both copies?

If not, you haven’t been doing this long enough. Wait.

Do you buy double of everything you need, in case one fails? If so, keep doing that and stay with double provisioned dedicated servers; it’s not a bad strategy if you can afford it.

Now, for those that don’t double provision everything and have had disks fail, you know the pain I’m describing. We feel it too, because we’re up at night just like you, working to replace the failed components and hoping that your business is not too impacted. This is a situation where nobody wins.

ARP Thunder™ provides a server where this scenario becomes obsolete.

But how?

Ceph, if you haven’t heard of it or are unfamiliar, is a distributed storage system designed for performance, resilience and scalability.

We’ve built our own enterprise Ceph cluster and as we started to put it in beta and then later production, we had a light bulb moment and thought, “This changes the way we think about storage. Nobody is going to rely on single disks or single RAID systems in the future. Data will no longer live in a static place, but continuously move around (in Ceph) as conditions change.” Those conditions being, say, an HD failure, an entire node failure, or a positive event such as adding a new disk, a new node, or otherwise further expansion for more capacity or performance.

Now, imagine your dedicated server being able to have a block device carved out of this cluster, instead of a single physical disk. We manage the cluster. You never have a single point of failure with regards to your disk. We both win.

And, using separate classes of pools that we manage, you can choose a “storage” tier (cheapest, but largest) for your bulk storage needs, and then a “performance” tier (more expensive, but smaller) of SSD-backed disks for moderate loads, and/or an “ultra” tier (most expensive, smallest) of SSD-only disks for the most demanding applications.

Even better, these can all be provisioned instantly, without waiting for someone to physically swap in/out a disk, install a SAS controller, RAID card or otherwise build a new server.

But this is only the disk, what about other things that can fail?

With ARP Thunder™, the entire host node can fail, and your semi-dedicated server will be brought up on a new node. You don’t need to keep two servers around just in case one fails; we do this for you. Since your server’s data is safely stored in Ceph, it can be accessed anywhere in our hosting cluster.

But even better, should we need to perform maintenance on a node or otherwise take it down, we can plan ahead of time to live migrate your server to a different node in the cluster. Live migrations take only seconds and there is zero downtime. In our experiments, we usually don’t even lose 1 packet of data when we run a regular continuous ping during live migration.

It really feels like magic!

How are things like RAM and CPU cores allocated to my server?

It’s pretty easy. Say one of our hosts has 16 cores and we have two ARP Thunder™ machines that want 8 cores. We give 8 of the 16 cores to one Thunder™ machine and the other 8 to the other one.

RAM is not oversubscribed (but this has always been the case, even with our smaller VPS systems). For example, on a 128GB RAM host, your Thunder™ server could get 64GB of RAM and another server could get the other 64GB of RAM. This is a bit of a simplification, because we need to reserve some RAM for the host OS, but you get the idea.

Why else would I prefer ARP Thunder™ over a dedicated server?

One of the biggest reasons is out-of-band console access. We’ve been working with Supermicro, HP Proliant and (sometimes) Dell dedicated servers for close to two decades. In all that time, we still wonder, why has nobody made a good IPMI / iLO / iDRAC BMC chip yet?!


For console access, they all require some form of Java that your browser will fight. Or a stand-alone Java app that has 6 different versions of a KVM viewer, depending on which host you connect to. Some work, some don’t. It’s maddening and frustrating.

We believe you should get a console over SSH, not Java! We already give serial port access over SSH on our management server, and we can do the exact same thing for an ARP Thunder™ machine.

Also, our web console utilizing noVNC is available for ARP Thunder™ machines as well.

Finally, no more fighting for console access on your dedicated server!

OK, so, million dollar question, how much does it cost?

ARP Thunder™ pricing starts at $40 per month. Simple as that.

We are starting with 4 basic plans, but we have flexibility to offer many more. You can also add more RAM or disk as needed, no need to be stuck in set plans. If you don’t see what you need, please contact us, tell us your needs and goals, and we’ll give you a quote you can’t refuse. :)