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If IT geek-dom were a crime, I'd be on death row by now.  Fortunately, it is not; so I continue my dorky IT pursuits--the latest of which is finding a VPS cloud server provider that offers a Japan datacenter location.  Let's see what we come up with...

My Wishlist
* I want simple, zen-like pricing.  I know that the big boys Amazon, Google, and Microsoft offer cloud servers in Japan; however, their pricing models are just too damn complex for me.
* An English control panel and English support would be nice, but it's not an absolute requirement.
* Features/options like an easy-to-use control panel, snapshots, backups, multiple datacenter locations, etc.
* SSD-based would be awesome.
* Powered by KVM would be awesome too.
* Good performance & value for the money.  Is that asking too much?

My Findings
A quick Google search shows Linode and Digital Ocean as top cloud server providers blazing the simple-pricing-model trail.  Digital Ocean offers a Singapore location, but I really want Japan.  Japan's Internet infrastructure is best-of-show in Asia, and I want it.  Cool--Linode offers a Japan location, but dammit...it's sold out and has been like that for over a year.  Luckily, I found, filtered, and tried 2 cloud server providers that met my requirements.

Vultr
PROS
* Simple, economical pricing
* Responsive and uncomplicated control panel, and it's in English.
* English support, and they reply almost immediately!
* Lots of datacenter locations

CONS
* They start getting a bit pricey if you need a high-end VPS.  Their cheapest one is a steal, but the deal starts wearing thin as you boost the specs.
* They suffered a bizarre "network outage" not long after I signed up.  To their credit they did compensate my account due to the outage, and such an occurrence hasn't happened since AFAIK.

Conoha
PROS
* Generous specs for the price--especially when the yen is low
* Functional control panel, and it's in English
* Offers lots of options like databases, email servers, load balancing, DNS hosting, etc.

CONS
* Few datacenter locations
* Control panel & website is in English, but no English support
* They send too damn many spam-like emails, and there's no apparent way to unsubscribe save for blacklisting their addresses.

Summary
I was overall satisfied with both, but Vultr is my current favorite.  I like their control panel a bit more than Conoha's, and they offer English support.  Conoha is a close second with their generous pricing, and I may end up using them if my spec needs surge someday.  Prices continue to fall as specs rise, so I'm excited to see what the future holds for Japan's cloud server market.

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