1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server review

There’s a bewildering array of cloud hosting services to choose from, but 1&1’s Dynamic Cloud Server (DCS) stands out as one of the most flexible. It lets you keeps costs strictly under control, since you pay for your virtual machines (VMs) by the hour, and you can put them to sleep for up to six months for 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, how much RAM and how much storage space you want for each. The configuration of the VMs can be changed on the fly, too: if your VM isn’t up to the job, you can increase the number of cores, the RAM and the disk space. Conversely, you can slim down the hardware as you please, which brings a commensurate drop in hourly costs.

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 will cost per hour.

1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server

Next up is the OS. 1&1 offers Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and openSUSE for Linux, and the latter two are available with Parallels Plesk Panel 11. For Windows, you can pick from minimal or standard versions of Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012, with Plesk Panel 11 available for the former.
Server creation isn’t quick: we created VMs both with Windows OSes, and it took between three and four hours for 1&1 to prep each one. The company plans to use templates in the future to speed up this process.

1&1 provided a .info domain name for our test account, but you can link the servers to other domains that 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. You also have access to a Cisco firewall to protect the VMs. No Cisco IOS knowledge is required, since you apply predefined rules for RDP and web access to the selected VM, or create your own from the portal.

The cloud is now your oyster: you have root access to the VMs, which means you can do whatever you want with them. The server administration page lists all the hardware and software details of each VM, and a dropdown menu provides management controls.

Details

Software subcategoryOther software

Operating system support

Operating system Linux supported?yes
Other operating system supportWindows 8

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