Monday, April 19, 2010

Eight months of virtual hosting

A lot has happened since my first blog entry on virtual hosting, which was on 28th August last year.
My original post described what I did to set up a virtual host. In summary
  • A simple request to Commercial Network Services that enabled me to have Metatrader 4 up and running in two hours
  • Situated in New York to minimise ping times to FXDD.
  • $US30 per month
What has happened since then
  • I’ve had the most relaxing eight months I can recall in terms of MT4 reliability. The virtual hosting service isolated my MT4 live account from the implications of a 36 hour phone line fault, a 12 hour power outage in my street and two multi-day visits to hospital. Conversely, I experienced one issue with a failed restart command that I requested of the virtual host, which CNS responded to within a couple of hours.
  • I started the virtual host with 384MB of memory, but with up to three MT4 clients and two beta MT5 clients running I upgraded to 640MB at the additional cost of $US5.12 per month. The amount of container memory may still seem very low, but it’s the right amount for the purpose now, and can be adjusted immediately any time, in contrast with the purchase of a general purpose PC with multi-GB of memory to run large concurrent applications and to cater for future requirements.
  • For some time CNS has been encouraging their customers to move from Virtuosso host software to Microsoft’s Hyper-V, so I did this about a month ago. Before, my container was a Windows 2003 x64 instance, and the new container is Windows XP 32 bit. Everything works fine and this should remove the x64 limitation with running 32 bit dlls, which I have no need to do right now. It is however the one area in which I have less than 100% satisfaction with CNS: their console which shows details of my virtual instance is still pointing to the old Virtuosso host, and their console upgrade to point to the Hyper-V stuff has been “real soon now” ever since I changed over.
  • The last change is an interesting one: my FXDD live account is now with FXDD Malta. I believe that this is an offshore strategy to circumvent the new NFA FIFO laws in the US. The funds are still with a secure (?) US bank, but when I get a moment I must check out the ping times from New York, which will be a lot slower if the servers are physically in Malta.
So overall, I thoroughly recommend virtual hosting. At $420 per year it’s a reasonably cost effective alternative to having a dedicated Metatrader PC at home, and it’s certainly a lot more reliable.

I have no association with CNS beyond being one of their customers.

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