4 months ago i’ve started renting a dedicated server at https://www.hetzner.com/ and – so far – i’m quite happy with the service.
i’ve picked cheapest suitable hardware from their auctions, after a month of trouble-free usage i’ve switched to quarterly billing. then server has crashed few times with “shutting down cpus with nmi” kernel messages. i’ve asked for replacement and it was done the same day – old disks ware kept, new cpu/motherboard/ram was given. all with maybe 30 minutes of downtime, at agreed time – pretty impressive.
server is based on desktop-grade hardware – so there’s no IPMI / IP-KVM built in. system reboot / reset seems to be orchestrated via custom cabling and works immediately after initiating it from the web management interface. system installation has to be done from their recovery mode provided via PXE boot. setting up debian on top of software-raid went smoothly. IP-KVM can be requested without additional costs and connected quickly. whenever i’ve asked for it – i got one within 20 minutes. the IP-KVM itself was pretty old, with bad video quality. communication done over unencrypted http. all in all – not an impressive technically but it was enough for me to enter bios, fiddle with boot loader etc.