VPSes are used for various functions, including web hosting, software development and testing.
Till about a year ago, prices for VPSes in India were quite high, at around Rs 1,800 per month for a 1GB device, compared to about Rs 650 in international markets like Singapore, Germany and USA.
UPDATE: Since the article was published, new players such as Amazon Lightsail have also entered the market, bringing a level of price parity between the offerings in India and other places. Amazon offers a 1 GB instance with 1 TB of bandwidth and 1 cpu for $10 (Rs 635) plus tax in India. DigitalOcean has halved its prices, and now offers a 1 GB, 1 CPU instance for $5 per month from their Bangalore datacenter. Chinese giant Alibaba has entered the market, but is yet to bring its cheap hosting plans to the country.
However, with the entry of new players, the price differential between India-based players and international markets has become insignificant for most use cases.
LOW-COST LOCAL PLAYERS
Among the notable start-ups in this arena is Koonk Technologies, which offers among the cheapest rates as of now in the domestic market under its Cloudrino brand.
The firm, founded by Mohit Madan and Tarusha Mittal, offers a 1 GB instance in India for just $5 (Rs 325) per month with 1 TB of bandwidth.
However, the instances are based on OpenVZ technology, which reduces cost for the operator as it offers only quasi virtualization.
Unlike KVM or Kernel-based Virtual Machine, the user cannot deploy their own kernel, but is dependent on the kernel of the underlying host machine.
Another Indian start-up making a splash in the local hosting and server market is FastWebHost.in.
Unlike Cloudrino, it offers both OpenVZ and KVM based servers, and like Cloudrino, it manages to match international markets in terms of pricing.
On OpenVZ, Fastwebhost offers 2 GB of RAM and 0.3 TB of monthly bandwidth for Rs 350, or roughly $5, per month.
On KVM, it offers 1 GB RAM and half a TB of monthly bandwidth for Rs 675 (around $10) per month. The company’s datacenters are located in New Delhi.
Another prominent local player is Pune-based Leapswitch. The company’s prices are slightly higher than those of its rivals, but Leapswitch has managed to build a brand around its high levels of customer service levels.
The company offers a 1 GB, SSD-powered system for Rs 1,140 per month, and has its data center in Pune.
IndiaVPS.com, founded by Kerala-based PrimeCrown Technologies, is another upcoming player in the hosting business.
The company offers Mumbai-based KVM virtual servers for Rs 790 per month for a 1 GB instance. However, bandwidth allocation tends to be on the lower side, with the instance offering only 200 GB per month.
On the premium side, HostingRaja.com also offers similar solutions.
However, the starting price for the company’s VPS offerings in India is somewhat high at Rs 4,686 for a three-month contract. That will buy you a 1 GB machine with 1 TB of monthly bandwidth. On a positive note, HostingRaja does offer a ‘dual core’ CPU in the entry-level plan, while all the others in the list offer a single core CPU.
Besides the Indian players, a host of foreign players too have set up shop in India, targeting the booming local Internet market.
Internet traffic in India is estimated to have grown five times in the last one year due to the entry of a new, low-cost ISP known as Reliance Jio.
By bringing down the cost of mobile Internet access to about Rs 15 per GB from Rs 220 per GB, Reliance Jio has made Internet accessible to most people in India, and is currently estimated to carry about 90% of India’s wireless Internet traffic.
Among the first of international players to enter India was Hostgator, which was subsequently acquired by Endurance International Group. EIG also bought out local operator BigRock, and also brought in its other brands such as Reseller Club and Bluehost to India.
Out of EIG’s various offerings, its Bluehost DevCloud offers the cheapest rates in India.
For Rs 670 per month, the offering provides a KVM instance with two CPU cores and 2 GB of RAM bundled with 1 TB of bandwidth from its Mumbai datacenter.
DigitalOcean, one of the most respected names in the business, also set up shop in India’s IT capital Bangalore.
It has brought its standard international rates to the country, and offers a 1 GB SSD-powered instance for $10 per month with 1 TB of bandwidth. However, the instances tend to be slightly less powerful than some of its competitors’ offerings as far as CPU power is concerned.
Another recent entrant into the market is VPSFast, which launched its second data center in the country this month.
The company offers a 1 GB instance with 1 TB of bandwidth for $12 per month. On a positive note, the company offers 3.3 GHz CPUs, which are about 40% more powerful than the 2.1-2.5 GHz CPUs offered by most of its competitors. VPSFast offers its services from New Delhi and Indore.
Finally, the premium provider Softlayer from IBM is also present in India, and is one of the few that offer its services from Chennai.
However, being a premium player, Softlayer charges $25 for its 1 GB instance and provides only 250 GB of free bandwidth for the amount.