I’ve been using Oracle Cloud Free Tier (“Always Free” resources) for 2.5 years (since I moved my website from GitHub pages). It was indeed absolutely free of charge, and it was really great while it lasted.

Oracle Cloud, planned outage

But two days ago my website suddenly went down along with the server and all the content on it. Without a notice/warning, with no explanation and without a way to restore the data (fortunately, I haven’t actually lost any).

What happened

So my website suddenly became unavailable via HTTP/HTTPS, and I couldn’t connect to the server via SSH either. I went to my Oracle Cloud account to check what could be wrong there, but the login page didn’t even get to the stage of asking for my password after I entered my username, instead I got that “currently unavailable” message from the screenshot above.

That page URL is https://myservices-USERNAME.console.oraclecloud.com, and the title said “Planned Outage” (you fucking what). The browser console was showing 503 HTTP errors:

Oracle Cloud, planned outage, 503 HTTP errors

These 503 errors were the reason why at first I thought that it’s a global problem for all Oracle Cloud users, so I decided to wait for some time. But as it turned out, that was my “personal” service unavailable, how cool is that! So by waiting for it to come back I wasted several hours of my website downtime for nothing, instead of starting to restore it immediately.

Amusing enough, trying to log-in to my account from the same browser but in Private mode succeeded (while it was still failing with 503 errors in the main browser). And having logged-in to my account, I saw that all my resources were gone:

Oracle Cloud, all resources are gone

Trying to open any resource page was showing this error: “You don’t have permission to view these resources in this compartment. Try another compartment, or contact your administrator for help”. Here it is on a screenshot:

Oracle Cloud, don't have permission to view these resources in this compartment

That error message appears to be well-known to people for quite some time, so at least I could guess what it actually means: Oracle just killed all my resources without any traces.


I mean, it would be “nice” to at least get a notice/warning, at the very fucking least 1 day before wiping my server. It would even be totally fine by me to receive it in a form like: “We no longer want you wasting our resources, back-up your shit and get out, you have 24 hours”. But there was nothing, I just lost my server with all its content in an instant.

Good thing I had regular backups established, which are automatically downloaded on schedule, so the only thing I really lost was time (half of a day) to find a different hosting provider, set-up a new server and deploy my stuff there. Well, plus another half of a day of the website downtime (making it almost a day in total), while I was just waiting under the impression that it’s a global temporary issue in Oracle Cloud.

It is fair to say that one probably cannot really complain about a service that was provided completely free of charge. But one thing is to stop providing such a (“Always Free”, my ass) service with a notice/warning, and another thing is to just annihilate everything out of the blue without giving a chance to prepare for that.

Ah, there is also this ever-reappearing upgrade banner:

Oracle Cloud, upgrade banner

and let’s imagine that one would be desperate enough to get his resources back, so he’d click on it. Then here’s the result one would get:

Oracle Cloud, upgrade error

What a fucking abomination of a service.

And if you also consider other crazy idiocy that is happening in Oracle Cloud control panel, for example how difficult it is to figure out how does one configure their convoluted networking with all this made-up terminology like “compartments” and whatnot, it is truly impossible to believe that someone actually relies on Oracle services for business and, god forbid, pays money for it.

The absolutely nastiest piece of shit I’ve ever encountered so far. And while we are on the topic, here are some other kind words about Oracle in general:

If video doesn't play in your browser, you can download it here.

Looking for a hosting provider

So yet again I needed to go through a bazillion of hosting providers to find an affordable but also decent VPS.

My first choice has always been Digital Ocean, I love it a lot and we use it in other projects, but at the same time it is too expensive for a personal server. So again I went around the internet and made a table with some prices comparison (sorted alphabetically, some links are referrals):

CPU, cores RAM, MB Storage, GB Price per month Comments
Aeza 1 2048 30 4.94 EUR Looks very attractive, and there is a chance to catch a promo plan (1/4096/10) for just 1.09 EUR
2 4096 60 9.89 EUR
AlphaVPS 4 2048 15 3.50 EUR 4 CPU cores for a price below 5 EUR is hard to ignore
4 4096 30 5.00 EUR
AlexHost 1 1536 10 4.00 EUR With 1 year commitment you get one of the best price/value plans (2/4096/40)
2 4096 40 10.00 EUR
Contabo 4 8192 200 5.63 EUR The greatest value for this price, but their mysterious one-time "setup fee" somewhat ruins the impression, plus there are be some other negative aspects (listed below)
6 16384 400 11.88 EUR
Digital Ocean 1 512 10 4.00 USD Great service, but too expensive
1 1024 25 6.00 USD
Ethernet Servers 1 1024 25 3.95 USD With 3 years commitment the pricing becomes quite good, but data centers location seems to be US only
2 2048 50 7.95 USD
4 4096 100 11.95 USD
Gullo's Hosting 1 1024 25 8.00 USD The pricing doesn't look competitive at all
1 2048 55 16.00 USD
Hetzner 1 2048 20 4.51 EUR Very attractive pricing, but I couldn't check whether it comes with some strings attached or not (as they cancelled my account 10 minutes after registration), and far too often I heard bad things about Hetzner, one of the recent ones being that it was involved in MITM on jabber.ru
2 2048 40 5.18 EUR
2 4096 40 6.37 EUR
3 4096 80 8.98 EUR
IONOS 1 1024 10 2.00 USD The most affordable plan (1/1024/10)
2 2048 80 5.00 USD
2 4096 160 9.00 USD
Kamatera 1 1024 20 4.00 USD One of the best configurability, plain and simple ("predictable") pricing, quite affordable too, except for the additional costs for traffic
1 2048 20 6.00 USD
2 1024 20 8.00 USD
2 2048 20 10.00 USD
Linode 1 1024 25 5.00 I heard good things about them (before Linode was acquired by Akamai), but their pricing doesn't look too competitive, and also they were involved in recent MITM on jabber.ru
1 2048 50 12.00
Microsoft Azure 1 512 30 3.80 USD Without yearly commitment the pricing isn't very competitive, plus it seems these are not even the final prices, as there are several additional small hidden costs for arbitrary things like "networking gateway", "some important thing" and "another smart item"
1 1024 30 7.59 USD
OVHcloud 1 2048 40 4.90 USD Looks quite good, and with 2 years commitment their cheapest plan (1/2048/40) provides very good value for that price
2 4096 80 10.29 USD
SSD Nodes 2 8192 160 15.00 USD Very expensive, but you won't notice this at first, as their pricing is devious, details below
4 16384 320 20.00 USD
Scaleway 1 2048 10 14.00 EUR Too god damn expensive and way too confusing with all those "instance types"
Vultr 1 512 10 3.50 USD Certainly not the best pricing, but not the worst either
1 1024 25 5.00 USD
1 2048 55 10.00 USD
2 2048 65 15.00 USD

You might notice that I didn’t include other big cloud providers into the table, and here’s why:

  • Oracle Cloud should just burn in hell;
  • the AWS I would never consider even at gunpoint, due to their unpredictable lunatic pricing and also horribly convoluted control panel;
  • with Google Cloud I couldn’t find an affordable variant for something like 1 CPU and 1024 GB RAM. Also I don’t really want to have anything to do with Google;
  • in general, it appears to me that it isn’t a very good idea to choose a big cloud provider for the purpose of hosting one’s personal website, as they are likely to prioritize big companies as customers and care less about small you. Also, far too often they have overcomplicated control panels. And considerably higher prices.

From those listed in the table, the Contabo offer is way too good to be true, and their one-time “setup fee” already smells like dirty tricks, of which one probably can expect some more in the future. Actually, no need to wait for too long, because the highlighted prices are “without VAT”, and the actual prices are listed with much less visible font (I haven’t even noticed them at first). Another dirty thing is that they want 75 EUR for an SSL certificate, which becomes 225 EUR if it’s a wildcard certificate, and that is just crazy, given that you can issue one yourself absolutely free of charge. Also, their control panel is quite ugly (or just very old?), and you can’t use special characters in your account password, not even a dash or an underscore. Yeah, some weird stuff is going on there.

SSD Nodes has a hell of a devious pricing. On their front page they promise you 2/8192/160 plan for just 3.92 USD per month, which is awesome, but when you get to the actual order page, it turns out that this price is for 3 years commitment, and if you’d like to have IPv4 address (of course you do), then it’s 54 USD on top, so the monthly price becomes 5.42 USD (and also the order has snapshots enabled by default, and if you keep them, then it’s 34 USD more, making monthly price 6.36 USD). Without 3 years commitment monthly price is 15 USD with IPv4 (and 17 USD with snapshots). That’s a different picture, isn’t it. Although the hardware offered for this price is quite good, sales tricks like that do not help to establish a trustful relationship.

My next candidate would be that great plan from AlexHost with 1 year commitment, but I wasn’t ready to make a long-term commitment with a hoster that I haven’t used before. The same applies to OVHcloud, otherwise I would’ve taken their cheapest plan with 2 year commitment. And without yearly commitments both of these providers prices don’t look all that attractive.

There are several good offers from other providers which I was considering to settle with (such as AlphaVPS), but in the end I went with Kamatera for one project and IONOS for another.

Kamatera I chose mostly because their pricing had no options/conditions/commitments, just a plain amount for clearly stated capabilities (or so it looked like at first). Affordable, but not too cheap. Also, their Ubuntu image comes without Snap, so there’s some culture in this house. However, unfortunately, as I discovered later, they also charge for traffic (the monthly quota is 5000 GB or 50 Mbit/sec), and there is no way to set a limit for your server costs, so it is totally possible to end up as this guy with Netlify - getting a 104 000 USD bill for exceeding the bandwidth quota. A sad discovery indeed, so I guess I’ll have to move out from Kamatera very soon.

And IONOS I chose because their most affordable 1/1024/10 plan. They seem to be fine, I haven’t noticed anything particularly bad, although once you get into the control panel / account page, they are a bit too pushy on promoting their other services / upgrades / whatnot via non-dismissable banners, which makes a somewhat negative impression. As for the traffic, I don’t know if they charge for that too; so far all my bills had the exact same amount as expected.

If you can recommend any other decent VPS hosting providers with affordable prices for a configuration level of 1 CPU / 1024 GB RAM / 20 GB storage, tell about them in the comments. I’ll check them out and add to the table.


2024-01-17 | Oracle company domains are blacklisted

Since it is a post of hate towards Oracle, here goes another thing. Oracle has a mailing list called “Oracle Security Alerts”, which sends some useless e-mails from replies@oracle-mail.com address.

When I tried to open one of those for viewing in a web-browser, I got their domain blocked by my NextDNS:

NextDNS blocks oracle-mail.com

So, Oracle, why do you think several ad-blocking/privacy lists contain your domains? One hell of a riddle from Jacque Fresco, right?

But okay, I temporary disabled NextDNS and tried openning that link again. And it still failed to load, although for a different reason now:

This site can't be reached

The web page at https://s1973398186.t.eloqua.com/e/er?elq_mid=SOME-OTHER=ID&sh=ANOTHER-ID&cmid=YET-ANOTHER-ID&s=1973398186&lid=SOME-ANOTHER-ID&elqTrackId=AND-ANOTHER-ID&elq=ONE-MORE-ID&elqaid=SOME-OTHER=ID&elqat=1 might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.


Turned out, this time it got blocked by Peter Lowe’s block list in my Little Snitch. Jeez, how many security/privacy measures one needs to disable to get to the Oracle resources?

Anyway, as these e-mails have always been useless (and as now there is no point for me to receive those), I wanted to unsubscribe from that list. In the footer of the e-mails there is this notice:

You are receiving this communication as you are the designated support contact and may not unsubscribe from receiving Oracle Critical Patch Updates, System and Contract communications. If you are no longer a customer, click here to update your status.

Leaving aside that passage about the impossibility to unsubscribe, I “clicked here”, as I am indeed no longer an Oracle customer (thanks to the Oracle itself for kicking me out), and yet another Oracle domain got blocked by NextDNS:

NextDNS blocks go.oracle.com

Oracle, what is that you are using your domains for, so they are all marked as a dogshit pile of spamming/tracking garbage?

So I temporary disabled NextDNS again, reloaded the page, and then it did load:

Oracle form for confirming no longer a customer

Looking at this form, it seems to me that anyone can enter my e-mail address, or that I can enter anyone’s e-mail address, and they will become “no longer a support customer”. Is that really so? Or are those ten thousands IDs in the URL query string (plus correctly entered e-mail address?) are supposed to be the only working combination for a given user? Apparently, assuming that we ignore that web-browsers phone home the URLs they open, which then get indexed by search engines.

Anyway, trying to submit the form still failed with an already familiar loading error:

This site can't be reached

The web page at https://s1973398186.t.eloqua.com/e/f2 might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.


…which was again because Little Snitch had (rightfully) blocked it. Having temporary disabled Little Snitch too, I was finally able to submit the form. Let’s see now if they will actually stop spamming me But they fucking did not stop spamming me, I still kept receiving e-mails from replies@oracle-mail.com address for some time. It did stop at some point though, don’t remember what did I do to make that happen (probably openned and submitted that form again).