mrVM - The short (long) story behind the lack of visits to LES and the future......

mikhomikho AdministratorOG

Dear Users of LowendSpirit!

Some of you know who I am, some don't.
As the owner of mrVM, I have been here since the dawn of LES as a Provider but lately haven't had the time to be as active as I used to be.

About a year ago, probably longer, I announced that I was about to pass the ownership over to another Provider here on LES.
At that time, the Provider was never revealed and the shift came to a complete stop due to my lack of time, and for that I can only apologize.

The history behind this is that I left my employment to become my own consultant in IT-services 30 months ago.
Eager to get everything running and inexperienced as a newcomer on the playing field, I accepted (almost) every job opportunity that I came across which pretty soon bit me right in the bee-hind.

At this point I worked 60+ hours a week with my new company, on top of that, I have three active kids and mrVM was the part of my life that I had to neglect.

Earlier this week I reached out to the Provider I had talked with and asked if he was still interested and he was.

With this post, a new try has begun to make a proper takeover this time.
Guess it's time to reveal the new Provider and I'm sure all, or most of you know of him.

@SGraf, welcome up on stage and take a bow.

I choose @SGraf among other interested Providers due to his experience in the hosting business and successful saves of other Providers.

Today marks the day when @SGraf gets access to WHMCS data and the work to inventory all nodes and current status.

As part of the agreement between us, the current number of nodes and locations will be intact.
A new client panel will be installed and ONLY customers who want to stay, will be migrated over.

I will let @SGraf present a crude time plan as I will let him take the lead and dictate the migration speed.

With this (short) post, I will open the comments for a quick AMA....... and I will do my best to answer every question.

Here in Sweden, it's almost bedtime, so I might be AFK and not answer any questions for some time.... until the kids sleep.

“Technology is best when it brings people together.” – Matt Mullenweg

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Comments

  • SGrafSGraf Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    Dear LowendTalk Users/MrVM Clients!

    I want to preface this post by acknowledging that taking over someones beloved project
    (especially if things have not been going great for a while) is always a bit tricky..

    Please understand that i really want to ensure that MrVM has a great future ahead.

    At the moment i am still evaluating to see what steps need to be taken.
    So please bear with me as this will likely take a bit of time. Updates will follow in this Thread.

    The current Plan (04. September 2023):

    • Order Forms will be temporarily closed.
    • Services can only be renewed at their renewal date - not ahead of time (temporary).
    • A new Client Portal will be going live ( https://clients.natvm.net/ )
    • Current Users with ACTIVE (not cancelled, or scheduled to cancel) services will receive an Email. We will be asking everyone who does not want their services/data to be transferred to cancel their services. Or mark them to be scheduled for cancellation.
    • Migration of User Accounts to the new Client Portal (Mid September) - Only Users with Active Services.
    • Evaluation of all locations based on their remaining (non-cancelled) services.
    • Consolidate Locations (if required), Update/Upgrade Servers/....
    • Add Service Tracking to the Accounts in the new Client Area.
    • Old Billing Agreements will be cancelled (paypal/stripe/....) and Users will need to set up new Billing Automation (if desired).
    • End of November 2023 - Closure/Removal of old WHCMS Installation.
    • New order forms will be opening up.

    Please note that this plan is very much work in progress. And is subject to change.

    A thought about potentially merging locations: If locations are merged we are looking at users that have multiple services. Maybe we could "stack" those plans (ie: 5x 256 gb => 1x1GB?)

    A thought of technologies: Right now a lot of nodes are very outdated. (old kernels/software/..../openvz/.....) - How would you guys feel about going towards something more modern lxc?

    Any other inputs, thoughts,... are highly appreciated. I'm really looking forward to your feedback and will be checking in on this thread regularly.

    Kind Regards
    Sebastian Graf

    MyRoot.PW ★ Dedicated Servers ★ LIR-Services ★ | ★ SiteTide Web-Hosting ★
    MrVM ★ Virtual Servers ★ | ★ Blesta.Store ★ Blesta licenses and Add-ons at amazing Prices ★

  • Congratulations Sebastian, hope it goes well! No input other than that as I'm not a client :)

  • edited September 2023

    Thank you @mikho for your services these last months. Have been rock solid, couldn't be more happy. Hope you're doing good in life! And thanks for the step in the right direction. Thank you @SGraf for taking the project and I'm sure you'll be able to manage it perfectly fine!

    As for the LXC part, I do feel that upgrading to LXC is a step in the right direction towards fixing bugs/vulnerabilities and, as a current client, I vouch for the idea (even if my data needs to be purged, altough perhaps not great for everyone)

    Thanked by (2)terrorgen schnafi
  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @mikho I am sure it won't be easy letting your kids go when the day comes where they grow of age and go ahead and pursue their dreams. However, I'm just as certain of the fact that it wasn't easy for you to let your fourth baby go, that is MrVM.
    Thank you for having been part of the LE community for so many years, for your contributions,advice and the many hours you put into the community and MrVM. Having worked with @SGraf in the past, I am sure your project will be in good hands. I'd assume the pricing will be adjusted in the future, and perhaps move a bit further away from the low-low-end pricing we were used from MrVM. However, I am sure with that move, should it come to pass, will come even more stability and growth. @SGraf hasn't made a name for himself being the most affordable provider there is. But his service shines in other ways like stability, performance and professionalism.

    Congratulations @SGraf :) All the best for the future!

    @mikho We all love you, and I'm sure most of us will support your decision, albeit it wasn't an easy one <3

  • SGrafSGraf Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    @zgato said:
    As for the LXC part, I do feel that upgrading to LXC is a step in the right direction towards fixing bugs/vulnerabilities and, as a current client, I vouch for the idea (even if my data needs to be purged, altough perhaps not great for everyone)

    Noted.

    @Ympker said:
    I'd assume the pricing will be adjusted in the future, and perhaps move a bit further away from the low-low-end pricing we were used from MrVM. However, I am sure with that move, should it come to pass, will come even more stability and growth. @SGraf hasn't made a name for himself being the most affordable provider there is. But his service shines in other ways like stability, performance and professionalism.

    We will have to see. Its still a bit early to tell which exact direction this will be going or make any promises. However I am seeing quite a few paths worth exploring that may end without any price adjustments for the majority current user-base.


    If you have any other questions or feedback - please do let me know! Either here or by email/ticket!

    Thanked by (1)FrankZ

    MyRoot.PW ★ Dedicated Servers ★ LIR-Services ★ | ★ SiteTide Web-Hosting ★
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  • @mikho said: I choose @SGraf among other interested Providers due to his experience in the hosting business and successful saves of other Providers.

    So for those of us who don't know, what other brands have been saved?

    @SGraf said: A thought of technologies: Right now a lot of nodes are very outdated. (old kernels/software/..../openvz/.....) - How would you guys feel about going towards something more modern lxc?

    Modernizing would be great though I'd prefer it not break existing stuff. One of the reasons ( just one, there are several) I like MrVM NATs is that they support NFS and it actually works. Would be unfortunate if that went away.

    @SGraf said: Consolidate Locations (if required), Update/Upgrade Servers/....

    Fully recognizing you can't know for sure at this point but is location consolidation something you think is probable at this point?

    @Ympker said: I'd assume the pricing will be adjusted in the future, and perhaps move a bit further away from the low-low-end pricing we were used from MrVM. However, I am sure with that move, should it come to pass, will come even more stability and growth.

    This would obviously be a concern for me depending on how far 'adjusted' we got.

  • @SGraf said:

    A thought about potentially merging locations: If locations are merged we are looking at users that have multiple services. Maybe we could "stack" those plans (ie: 5x 256 gb => 1x1GB?)

    I think one of the appeals is the location diversity - I imagine a few different people are using these as CDN frontends or something similar. Something to consider. Disclaimer: I am not a customer of MrVM, but if I was this would be something I'd use it for with a all-location bundle.

    Cheap dedis are my drug, and I'm too far gone to turn back.

  • @SGraf said:
    Dear LowendTalk Users/MrVM Clients!

  • mikhomikho AdministratorOG

    @skorous said: So for those of us who don't know, what other brands have been saved?

    The latest one... blesta.store

    Not sure if @SGraf wants me to mention older takeovers, I'll let him mention others

    Thanked by (1)skorous

    “Technology is best when it brings people together.” – Matt Mullenweg

  • mikhomikho AdministratorOG

    @Wonder_Woman said:

    @SGraf said:
    Dear LowendTalk Users/MrVM Clients!

    Quick and dirty copy/paste ..... blame me for not visiting that other place and Sebastian posted the message there while I posted here

    Thanked by (1)Wonder_Woman

    “Technology is best when it brings people together.” – Matt Mullenweg

  • SGrafSGraf Hosting ProviderServices Provider
    edited September 2023

    @skorous said:
    Modernizing would be great though I'd prefer it not break existing stuff. One of the reasons ( just one, there are several) I like MrVM NATs is that they support NFS and it actually works. Would be unfortunate if that went away.

    Noted for evaluation.

    @skorous said:
    Fully recognizing you can't know for sure at this point but is location consolidation something you think is probable at this point?

    Depends on the location and the service. For example, there are two servers with low to medium loads in Germany in the same location). That would be a good candidate to simplify down to one server (with owned hardware instead of rented)....

    Another good candidate to consider for something similar be both hosts in Norway....
    Or locations where i am geographically close anyway. Such as dronten to amsterdam....

    But we will see....

    This would obviously be a concern for me depending on how far 'adjusted' we got.

    Ideally, for most users, there wont be any change. But i have not screened all services/... yet.

    ...The thing that is likely however... is a currency conversion. I am not certain that i will continue the billing option in SEK instead of Euro..

    @Wonder_Woman said:

    @SGraf said:
    Dear ..../MrVM Clients!

    Apologies. Dear LowendSpirit Users!

    MyRoot.PW ★ Dedicated Servers ★ LIR-Services ★ | ★ SiteTide Web-Hosting ★
    MrVM ★ Virtual Servers ★ | ★ Blesta.Store ★ Blesta licenses and Add-ons at amazing Prices ★

  • I currently have a bundle of three services, but would be happy to split them into three individual services if it makes it easy to bill post migration (I'm guessing all the different bundles would be difficult to track post migration?)...

    Thanked by (1)mikho
  • As long as the NZ location stays and I can still run an OpenVPN server from it, I'll be fine with whatever option

    Thanked by (1)mikho
  • congrats at @SGraf... I hope you provide the excellent service and support that @mikho did and keep the prices that he does. Thanks for everything @mikho wish ya all the best

    Thanked by (2)mikho bikegremlin
  • Congrats for @SGraf and @mikho ! Keep the good work and more important enjoy the life. It is good to see you back @mikho ! +60 hours working week damn enjoy more the life :)

    Thanked by (2)mikho bikegremlin

    Dentistry is my passion

  • @Chievo said:
    Congrats for @SGraf and @mikho ! Keep the good work and more important enjoy the life. It is good to see you back @mikho ! +60 hours working week damn enjoy more the life :)

    3 kids are expensive

    Thanked by (1)mikho
  • rootroot OG
    edited September 2023

    @cold said:

    @Chievo said:
    Congrats for @SGraf and @mikho ! Keep the good work and more important enjoy the life. It is good to see you back @mikho ! +60 hours working week damn enjoy more the life :)

    3 kids are expensive

    True, but there is also a bit of joy behind all the compromises for family (I got 3 kids too).

    Congratulations @SGraf and @mikho - Cheers!

    Thanked by (1)mikho

    How are you... online?

  • @root said:

    @cold said:

    @Chievo said:
    Congrats for @SGraf and @mikho ! Keep the good work and more important enjoy the life. It is good to see you back @mikho ! +60 hours working week damn enjoy more the life :)

    3 kids are expensive

    True, but there is also a bit of joy behind all the compromises for family (I got 3 kids too).

    Congratulations @SGraf and @mikho - Cheers!

    I believe you...wish you all the best

    Thanked by (1)mikho
  • It's good to see things moving forward and I feel like mrVM is in good hands. Thanks @mikho for keeping things running for... a lot of years.

    I'd like to comment on the points brought up in the email:

    *) Consolidate Locations (if required)
    
    How do you feel about the following:
    *) Services stacking if locations are merged (ie: 4x 256mb plans into 1x 1GB Plan)?
    *) Moving from old openvz7 to lxc containers?
    *) Moving from old ovz7 or virituozzo to KVM?
    

    Merging should be optional, imho. I prefer to run things separated (for example one container running rqlite, another running the web server) and wouldn't like to see them mashed together. Some people may prefer to keep separate external NAT IPv4 addresses if they run containers in the same location.

    I've tried renting LXC containers from different providers few times and it's never been a lot of fun. Weird permissions issues inside the container, data loss, unstable host systems. I'm also not too convinced that the isolation between containers/customers works properly. I have seen other customers' data in the kernel ring buffer (dmesg), for example.

    KVM is much nicer, but requires more memory per VM since the kernel is not shared. I usually use RedHat derivates (Centos 7 and Alma/Rocky Linux nowadays) which work fine in 256 MB OVZ containers (even in 128 MB containers, if you make sure not to overload yum). Running these OSes in KVM requires 512 MB RAM at least.

    Therefore, my preference would be (an up-to-date version of) OVZ for these small, cheap containers.

    Thanked by (3)bdl skorous mikho

    dnscry.pt - Public DNSCrypt resolvers hosted by LowEnd providers • Need a free NAT LXC? -> https://microlxc.net/

  • @CamoYoshi said:

    @SGraf said:

    A thought about potentially merging locations: If locations are merged we are looking at users that have multiple services. Maybe we could "stack" those plans (ie: 5x 256 gb => 1x1GB?)

    I think one of the appeals is the location diversity - I imagine a few different people are using these as CDN frontends or something similar. Something to consider. Disclaimer: I am not a customer of MrVM, but if I was this would be something I'd use it for with a all-location bundle.

    I think that the diversity is a big draw vs many of the other NAT providers, and it's what attracted me initially. Now I don't care [i]as much[/i], but it is still a bonus, and having a few APAC locations - Sydney and Auckland in particular - is definitely important to me.

    @SGraf said:
    A thought of technologies: Right now a lot of nodes are very outdated. (old kernels/software/..../openvz/.....) - How would you guys feel about going towards something more modern lxc?

    Although I'm not an LXC fan - I'd prefer KVM if it's practical on a 256MB VM - it has to be better than OVZ6, which some of nodes are still running.

    Thanked by (1)bdl
  • Thanks @mikho for running the good service, and thanks @SGraf for continuing it!

    A couple of questions from me

    Old Billing Agreements will be cancelled (paypal/stripe/....) and Users will need to set up new Billing Automation (if desired).

    Will crypto payments still be accepted? It has been the most hassle-free payment method for my place.

    How would you guys feel about going towards something more modern lxc?

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

  • SGrafSGraf Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    @DuMOHsmol said:
    Thanks @mikho for running the good service, and thanks @SGraf for continuing it!

    A couple of questions from me

    Old Billing Agreements will be cancelled (paypal/stripe/....) and Users will need to set up new Billing Automation (if desired).

    Will crypto payments still be accepted? It has been the most hassle-free payment method for my place.

    How would you guys feel about going towards something more modern lxc?

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

    Will crypto payments still be accepted? It has been the most hassle-free payment method for my place.

    Yes

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

    I will have to check if that works with lxc. I have seen a forum post from the virutalizor team that they have added support for it. No clue how well....

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  • @DuMOHsmol said:

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

    If it helps, I run Wireguard in LXC on Proxmox with no problems.

  • YmpkerYmpker OGContent Writer

    @bdl said:

    @DuMOHsmol said:

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

    If it helps, I run Wireguard in LXC on Proxmox with no problems.

    Wireguard/Openvpn runs without problems on LXC with tun/tap enabled :)

    Thanked by (3)bdl FrankZ DuMOHsmol
  • @Ympker said:

    @bdl said:

    @DuMOHsmol said:

    I mostly use my MrVM container as a Wireguard VPN node (through BoringTun). I had to enable TUN/TAP in VPS settings to make it work. Will it still be supported on LXC? If yes, I don't mind the change at all.

    If it helps, I run Wireguard in LXC on Proxmox with no problems.

    Wireguard/Openvpn runs without problems on LXC with tun/tap enabled :)

    If the Host kernel is new enough, yes.
    I have seen LXC with 4.x a few months ago.

    I thought that shit would be extinct, but no.

    Thanked by (1)bdl
  • @SGraf

    Relation?

    Thanked by (4)Brueggus ehab Janevski lapua
  • mikhomikho AdministratorOG

    @Nekki said:
    @SGraf

    Relation?

    I’ve always thought of Steffi when I read the nickname.

    Probably because I’m old enough to actually have seen her on TV.

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  • SGrafSGraf Hosting ProviderServices Provider

    @Nekki said:
    @SGraf

    Relation?

    If can word a question that i can comprehend, instead of a single word then i'm can consider giving you a reply...

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  • @mikho said:

    @Nekki said:
    @SGraf

    Relation?

    I’ve always thought of Steffi when I read the nickname.

    Probably because I’m old enough to actually have seen her on TV.

    some also in real life :))

  • @SGraf said:

    @Nekki said:
    @SGraf

    Relation?

    If can word a question that i can comprehend, instead of a single word then i'm can consider giving you a reply...

    ARE YOU A RELATED TO THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, FORMER TENNIS SUPERSTAR STEFFI GRAF?

    Thanked by (1)Janevski
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