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  1. #1
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Virtual Private Hosting - Good Option??
    DoctorMike in another thread suggested Virtual Private Hosting (VPH) as a useful alternative between shared hosting and a dedicated server. I have been looking hard at this concept today and specifically at the mentioned RapidVPS.

    My wonder is why there is no talk of this option here at ABW. All I could find here was 3 references over the last few months by DocMike.

    I'm thinking surely others must have tried it. It has a lot of similarities to the dedicated option. Your own IP, server, hardware allocation, and root control. The cost starts at $10.00 a month.

    I'm more interested on opinions of the concept as opposed to discussion of the various providers.

  2. #2
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I have been using a couple of VPS setups for a long time and have been very happy with the results. However, I am paying a good bit more than $10 per month.

    The $5.95 and $10 mindset among hosting companies seems to be a root cause of evil (e.g., lack of service, support, and/or longevity). Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
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  3. #3
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachy
    Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for.
    My experience has shown little correlation between price and service. I have pulled several clients away from $25/mon hosting to below $6. In fact on some site redesigns that was a precondition.

    That was on shared, and it may be as you say on VPS and dedicated. I usually test the support with a few tough problems before getting too committed.

  4. #4
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that VPS is still shared and many places oversell it. Also think about this; people went to VPS for a reason. They outgrew the resources of a shared server. So now you have overselling of resource hogs on the same box.

    If you get to the point where you need VPS you may as well go dedicated. (Just my opinion) Or even a mixture of both. I keep all my little sites and my parking lot on shared. Main is on dedicated. (And I use them as a repository for each others backup)
    Last edited by Mack; August 14th, 2007 at 12:37 AM.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Rehan's Avatar
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    VPS is a good option if you want the control of a dedicated server but don't need as much power as a full server provides. If you're new to running your own Linux box, you should probably look for a managed server (whether VPS or dedicated) so that the provider will look after software updates, security patches, etc..

  6. #6
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    I have found VPS to be a very reasonable option before moving to a dedicated server. As with any hosting provider though, the devil is in the details. Here is what I look for:

    • Quality of support
    • Number of clients per server (how many virtual servers do the install per physical server)
    • Number of processors per server
    • Space included - RAM, disk, bandwidth, etc
    • % processor guaranteed + peak % processor available
    • additional shared space included (SQL Server, mail, etc)
    • Did I mention support?
    • ability to upgrade to a dedicated server..you intend to grow your biz right?..;-)
    • OS
    • Fully managed or self managed? Most providers will charge extra for full management.
    • oh, and in case I forgot to mention it...Quality of Support


    You will see a wide variation in "VPS" offerings. IMO providers which land a high volume of customers on a single physical box will not give you much benefit over normal shared hosting.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoti
    VPS is a good option if you want the control of a dedicated server but don't need as much power as a full server provides. If you're new to running your own Linux box, you should probably look for a managed server (whether VPS or dedicated) so that the provider will look after software updates, security patches, etc..
    Well I'm trying to give it a shot but their Process Order page has hung.

    They have OpenSuse which is the one I use here on my dev server so maybe that will help on the learning curve. I gotta always be trying something new and complicating my life.

  8. #8
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    While choosing a VPS provider you need to take very care about hidden fees - some providers charges you for everything you can imagine (support, backup, reboot, OS use, extra domain, etc.)

    Also don't go purely for huge bandwidth and diskspace as you may not use too much and get trapped for a bad company - for me the main point is a quality support.

    This page gives you a compare table between some VPSs:

    http://www.hostmodo.com/vps

    (...but not sure if you should trust on their ranking)
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  9. #9
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicroMag
    (...but not sure if you should trust on their ranking)
    I wouldn't.

  10. #10
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    The thing I like about VPS is that it's an affordable option that still gives you the peace of mind that you're not going to get shut down because your site has been using too much CPU or RAM.

    Of course, you get more power on your own dedicated server, so it depends how much you need. (Another option you could try is a low-end dedicated that is not the latest and greatest in hardware, but still serviceable.)

    Also, as I wrote yesterday, note carefully that most VPS providers do not specify how much CPU each VPS gets, only how much RAM each one gets. The CPU is a "fair share", which still means you can get shut down if you have a busy script-intensive site.

    Before I grew into a dedicated server, I used rapidvps, and liked that they also guarantee the CPU minimum, not just the RAM. Often, I was able to burst above the minimum, borrowing available resources from other VPSs on the box, but of course this is not something you can expect to always be there.
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  11. #11
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike
    Before I grew into a dedicated server, I used rapidvps,
    I'm trying to get started with them but it's not going so good for a start. The Order Form never would complete for me, but they offered to do it manually. I saw they had OpenSuse 10.0 and I ask if we couldn't start with the latest 10.2 version. They said fine early this morning, but never did get back to me saying that it was ready.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    As a rule of thumb I only ever upgrade with a current host. I don't go to a bigger, "better" solution with a new host. My sites are spread out across a few hosts and if one is PITA I move on, if they prove themselves I upgrade when the time comes.

    VPS is a good way to go, but make sure you get guaranteed resources. $10 a month seems too cheap.

  13. #13
    general fuq mrbshouse's Avatar
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    For my post number 1000 what better to post on then something i know well ;-)

    VPS technically it is shared hosting as Mack mentioned, but with one real big difference the guaranteed resources!

    points that I look at when checking the quality of a host:

    Basic first:
    Storage
    Transfer
    Price
    Control panel options & prices
    (cpanel is simple but uses more resources)
    Number of sites allowed (most are unlimited)
    Memory amount guaranteed
    Memory burst available
    Setup fee
    How many ips included
    Term of services (mo to mo or annual?)
    Back up process
    Managed or unmanaged (do you want to update kernels ..do you know how)
    Upgrades (ram, storage, bandwidth, ips)

    Once I have validated the host fit within my budget for the following i'll go into detail with things like:
    Where is the data center (staying away from Florida and hurricanes ;-)
    What connections to babckbones does it have
    Using a firefox plugin I do a tracert to see who they buy from and what their response time is relative to other host
    Do a c:/ tracert "host ip" from my location
    What is the operating system?
    What is the raid configuration?
    Tech support...is English the primary language? how fast are they?
    Look for reviews from people using them at host hideout or web hosting talk

    All in all it is possible to find great host with cpanel (simple setup and simple to move to your next host) for about $3.00 a gig per month or less (10 gig package, 256 mb ram), on a raid 10 (best for speed and backups) with centOS in a data center with at least 2 backbone connections. If you pay quarterly the prices go down from there. I've found most host will not tell you how much CPU you get and the ones that do are highly reputable and charge more (50-60 a month).

    All in all if you want a reliable VPS host your looking at about $30-40 a month with cpanel. There are some bargains available, but you may take a hit on support or quality of service.

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Well I learned a lot since my last post in this thread. First I signed up with RapidVPS for their $10.00 plan. It's their bottom tier plan with only Webmin for a control panel. You really get to use SSH/Command Line with this and do a lot of hand editing config files. I learned a ton but closed the account as soon as it was all running well. Just had to see what roughing it was like.

    Next I have opened an account with KnownHost and have their cheapest plan but with cPanel WHM. It's $27/mon and easily expands.

    I had only tried cPanel once with shared hosting and didn't know enough to be impressed, but now I am. Very smooth set up all around and tech seems responsive the one time I needed them.

  15. #15
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    Knownhost gets very positive reviews.

    Note that, like most VPS hosts, they do fair-share cpu allocation, which means that if you run cpu-intensive scripts, it's possible that you will violate their TOS and be shut down. Don't get me wrong; most VPS hosts do this. As I said before, rapidvps is the only one I'm personally aware of that has gone beyond the out-of-the-box functionality of the vps software to also guarantee allocations of CPU, not just RAM. Rick, their guru, posted a technical description on webhostingtalk a few months back.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorMike

    As I said before, rapidvps is the only one I'm personally aware of that has gone beyond the out-of-the-box functionality of the vps software to also guarantee allocations of CPU, not just RAM.
    I actually think this has become far more common than it used to be. I recently re-evaluated hosting providers before increasing my commitment with my current provider and found it to be a more common feature than it was just a year ago. My provider is able to guarantee a minimum cpu% allocation but allows you to burst to 100% as long as the cpu cycles are not being consumed by other guaranteed levels.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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