Ataraxia Consulting

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Linsides - LinCached - 3rd Party Linode Service

Prior to today I had considered this site, while not terribly popular (or frequently updated), to be relatively quick with little effort on my part. I may not host many high traffic sites, but I have my personal sites and a handful of others. I have a server specifically to handle the HTTP traffic, and a server to handle RDBMS. They use the private network afforded to me by Linode.com (my VPS provider of choice) so communication between the two servers is quick and doesn't count against my monthly bandwidth quota. It's worked for years, so I've had little desire to muck with the formula.

That is until I learned about Linsides.com -- a company that offers services specifically for Linodes over the private network.

The offering is young, but the service is delivered with slick ease. They currently offer NTP, APT Caching, and LinCached (a memcached frontend). The services are only available over the private network, so that means you have to be a Linode.com customer before you can take advantage. NTP and APT caching are offered for free and are conveniences to provide fast responses and to keep load on public mirrors low. That is you get the same quality as if you were connecting to them publicly but they're generally delivered faster and don't count against your monthly bandwidth quota.

LinCached is a private network memcached instance, which you can configure to be one of the following sizes: 32MB, 64MB, 96MB, or 128MB. Linsides uses a prepaid credit system for managing payments. Each size memcache instance costs a certain amount of credits per day, a 32MB instance is 1 credit, 64MB are 2 credits and so on. When you sign up you get 5 free credits, so you can get a free trial for 5 days of a 32MB instance. There's a dashboard that lets you see how many instances you have, what their sizes are, and your current usage on that instance. If you drill down further you can even see a snazzy progress bar to that gives you a visual way to identify how much of your instance you're using. You can even quickly flush the specific instance.

After you've created your LinCached instance, you simply need to add the private IP address of the node that you want to grant access to and boom, you're done. All in all it took about 10 or 15 seconds of simple data entry on Linsides.com clean site to add a new instance, and it was instantly available to me. I made the necessary changes so this site would take advantage of memcache and just as instantly I started to see the usage appear on the Linsides dashboard.

Simple, dead easy. A perfect no hassle way for me to increase performance of my site in under 15 minutes (realistically under a minute).

Now I'm perfectly capable of running my own memcached instances. But what's key here is that it's not using memory on my web servers or my database server, and I didn't have to spin up yet another node to achieve that. Pricing is affordable as well, credits come in packages that range from $10 for 100, to $300 for 6K. They are also planning on offering more services in the future. I'm excited!

Linode.com and Linsides.com -- A match made in heaven!

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