Old one sucks, a new one is hard to find...

A few days ago, netcup, my vServer hoster, destroyed the RAID of my server during a scheduled maintenance and they were unable to recover any of my data. Even better: I found out that their so-called "backups" are stored on the very same RAID as the backed-up data...

So I decided to leave them (even though they offered me some complimentary FTP space, lol) and search for a provider that does automatic backups to external storage systems. Mainly because I don't want to have a server that creates more unnecessary work for me.

My first stop was Host-Europe, since they explicitly advertise this on their website. Only drawback: They only support Ubuntu 10.04 (lul, old!) and a release upgrade fails horribly. Furthermore, when they finally will support 12.04, you'll have to re-install everything from scratch. Not exactly what I am looking for.

So I wrote a ton of emails to a lot of different vServer providers and here's what they wrote back:

Hoster Secure Backup¹ Easy Upgrade²
netcup no yes
Host-Europe yes no
active-servers no yes
smart-weblications no unclear³
kryutec no yes
1&1 unclear³ no
unitedhoster unclear³ no
serverway yes unclear³
webhod yes yes
proplay yes yes

¹ Refers to the ability to create backups on physically separated systems. Backups on the same system as the vServer, even if they're secured by a RAID do not count! Separate FTP space doesn't count either, since I have to set it up myself.

² Refers to the ability to upgrade the OS with the normal OS tools (e.g. do-release-upgrade on Ubuntu) If the hoster requires you to setup your server from scratch if you want to use a new version of your OS, this column will say "no". It seems to me that only KVM-based virtualization supports this feature, but I'm not sure.

³ Gave an evasive or off-topic answer or misunderstood my question. Usually along the lines of "Yes you can make a backup in the control panel" or "Update your system using apt-get"... I didn't bother asking again, since there was already a better alternative available at the time.

Disqualified

  • rockserver and Strato Didn't make the deadline. (1 day is the maximum response time I can tolerate for my server hoster. Anything else is just bad service.)
  • host-unlimited has an annoying Zenddesk help system that you have to register at, which takes ages. Also: they enforce a ridiculous password policy. For a help desk. WTF?? Just reply to my email? How hard can that be? Finally: they didn't even assign anyone to my question. Took me 15 minutes to find that out. Goodbye forever.

Winners

To help you/me decide, here are some additional details about the winners (both columns have a 'yes'):

  • Webhod: Only one backup can be made, more backups cost extra.
  • proplay: Extremely short response times, even late at night. 10 backups per month. Unfortunately, no traffic flat and it keeps a looong list of services that are not allowed.

So all in all, I'm going with Webhod.