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1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server review

1&1 offers scalable cloud servers on demand with a flexible package that allows you keep operating costs under control.

  • Well-designed web portal; VM snapshots; Choice of OSes; Easy management; Strict cost controls
  • VM creation is slow

Costs can spiral out of control when choosing a cloud server hosting service. 1&1's Dynamic Cloud Server (DCS) aims to allows businesses keep on top of finances by allowing them to pay for virtual machines (VMs) by the hour.

At any time you can put the VMs to sleep for up to six months at no charge. The DCS Flex package has no minimum contract period, supports up to 99 VMs per account and lets you choose how many virtual CPU cores, RAM and hard space you want for each one.

Configuration of VMs can be altered on the fly so if you need more compute power you can increase the number of cores, RAM and disk space. Conversely, you can slim down the hardware whenever you want which brings a measurable drop in hourly costs.

Build your cloud servers using sliders to select the virtual hardware and keep a close eye on running costs

Creating virtual servers

VMs are managed within the standard 1&1 customer portal using the server administration option. For VM creation, sliders are used to choose cores, RAM and disk space and a handy calculator shows you how much it'll cost per hour.

1&1 supports the Linux and Windows operating systems. The firm offers a range of Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and openSUSE with the latter two available with the Parallel's Plesk Panel 11. For Windows you can pick from minimal or standard versions of Server 2008 R2 and 2012 with Plesk Panel 11 available for the former.

Server creation isn't quick as we created VMs with Windows Server 2012 and 2008 R2 and it took between three and four hours for 1&1 to prep each one. The firm advised us it plans to use templates in the future to speed this process up.

For our test account, 1&1 provided a .info domain name but you can link the servers to other domains 1&1 is managing for you. Static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are provided and the portal shows details of the initial password for the VM and the host name for RDP access.

Cloud servers can be remotely controlled and you can add the optional Parallel's Plesk Panel during the build

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