What can I do with my BlinkinBlox?

Anything! That is, anything within reason. You can’t do anything illegal, or anything that would interfere with other users and the service. You can read our Terms of Use here.  But you can build anything you wish from an Openfire IM Server on FreeBSD to an ownCloud Server on CentOS to an Apache Web Server on Debian.  You are only limited by your imagination and desire to learn.

What kind of connectivity do you have?

Our facility is multi-Gigabit, multi-homed, and BGP4-equipped.  How much bandwidth do you need? One Gigbit per second? No problem. 4 Gigabits? No problem. Most BlinkinBlox are allotted much less than that but “going big” is easy if that’s what you need. We don’t meter uptime/usage but we do watch our bandwidth pretty closely.  (See below.)

What is my monthly bandwidth limit?

Well, lets do some math: 60 seconds per minute times 60 minutes per hour times 24 hours in a day times 28 days in a month equals about 2.4 million seconds in a month (60x60x24x28=2,419,200) and that times 3 Megabits per second equals about 7.25 Terabits (7,257,600,000,000) per month, divided by 8 bits per byte (=907,200,000,000), and that means that we’ll start to take notice at around 850 GigaBytes/month if you’re a heavy user.  But you can always buy more bandwidth.  We make it very affordable.

BlinkinBlox are not billed based on up-time or bandwidth consumed however we do have a data cap at 3 Mbps on incoming and outgoing data transfers per machine. That’s not a hard cap.  You may burst into the 100s of Mbps if both endpoints can take it.  When a server (virtual or physical)  goes over 3Mpbs sustained throughput (24/7 – 95th percentile) then its time to think about purchasing more.  (And we make it really easy and affordable to do so.)  For example; if you host a hot or up-and-coming website and you feel the need, you can purchase a dedicated 10Mbps for only an additional $60/month.  That’s right, additional bandwidth is “$6 per Megabit per second” per month.  But for most users the default bandwidth allocated per VM should be enough.  We have a cluster of 60 VMs that never go over 1Mbps even though they’re serving out mail and web traffic regularly.

What common distributions do you offer?

We always offer the latest and greatest FreeBSD and Linux distributions for security’s sake.  We’re proud to support FreeBSD 8 and 10, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, and Ubuntu.  If you have a particular flavor that you prefer, such as Mint Linux, let us know.  We’ll do our best to include it in the mix.  We also offer install images for many popular appliances such as Alien Vault and pfSense.  And many distributions are available in both 32- and 64-bit flavors although the 64-bit versions are by far the most popular.

Do you offer backups?

We’re working on that.  The short answer is, “yes,” via snapshots, but we’re also working on rsync and other solutions too.  Check back for new developments in this area from time to time.

What is your Service Level Agreement?

Server maintenance, upgrades, hardware and network issues all affect BlinkinBlox in the same ways as any other provider. Our commitment to you is in resolving these issues in the quickest fashion possible.  That said, our Service Level Agreement (SLA) for our basic BlinkinBlox is “Best Effort.”  You may, of course, choose to purchase SLA and Support Level upgrades if those sorts of things are of importance to you.

How do you bill?

BlinkinBlox are not billed based on uptime or bandwidth consumed. We currently offer flat-rate no-contract monthly, quarterly, and annual billing cycles as well as 12- to 36-month contracts on our high-end line of hardware.  If you are interested in prepaying please contact Customer Service and we will be happy to accommodate your request.  When you sign up your first invoice is pro-rated (we pro-rate on a weekly basis) until the end of the month. After that your subscription is automatically renewed on the first of each month.  For annual accounts we bill on the anniversary of your first full month.

How do I get my fair share of CPU?

We limit the number of instances placed on each host machine. In the worst-case scenario you’re splitting CPU time evenly with your fellow BlinkinBlox users, but are still able to use the full potential of the host if others are idle.  We do over-aggregate CPU but do NOT over-aggregate disk or memory assigned to any VMs.  This model has served us very well over the years but we’re always working to make it better for our users.  Rest assured that you get the resources that you pay for.

Do I need a domain name for my BlinkBlox?

No.  We have default DNS entries for all our IP address blocks.  Of course, you will be able to point domains to your BlinkinBlox IP address if you wish.  Reverse DNS is also available on contract VMs and bare metal, and on basic BlinkinBlox upon request.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal.  And perhaps we’ll be adding Dwolla and BitCoin soon.  Check back for developments in this area from time to time.

Can I purchase additional IPs?

Yes.  Each BlinkinBlox includes one IPv4 address.  If you need more IPs contact Customer Support.  Additional IPv4 addresses are $3.00 per month.  IPv6 is also available, usually for free!  But there are limits, to make our services less attractive to spammers.

Where is the BlinkinBlox data center and how secure is the facility?

Our infrastructure is located in a nuclear-hardened communications bunker in rural Iowa. The facility was built during the height of the cold war to survive a nuclear exchange.  It boasts military-grade security and is staffed by amazing people who are some of the top professionals in their chosen fields.  They provide redundant power, data, cooling, and fire suppression.  Their security protocol isn’t just security theater and the site is staffed 24/7/365.  How’s that for secure?

Do you host Windows instances?

We used to, but we simply didn’t have the volume necessary to maintain the licensing agreements.  You can bring your own license if you wish but additional fees may apply since the VM will need to be behind a firewall.