A Complete Guide to VPS Hosting

Mar 30 2010 by Blue Derkin | 73 Comments

A Comprehensive Guide to VPS Hosting

Web hosting is a tricky business – there are a wide variety of options out there designed to fit a wide range of needs, but like with most things, there are trade-offs.

Shared hosting is usually cheap and easy, but the resources are limited.

Dedicated servers are powerful and customizable, but a certain level of technical knowledge can be required to run them, depending on the hosting company you choose.

What happens, then, when your site is too big and gets too much traffic for a shared hosting plan, but doesn’t require the resources (or expenditure) of a dedicated server?

If you find yourself asking these questions, then you should look into VPS hosting.

Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a flexible, scalable, and economical hosting solution that can fit the needs of almost any kind of website. It’s a perfect solution for those who have outgrown their shared hosting plans but don’t really need to move to a dedicated server.

One thing to note before we dive in to examining the features and benefits of a VPS –  the specs on a VPS vary widely from host to host. To see if a certain host offers a certain feature, make sure to ask the provider.

So What IS VPS, Anyway?

In answering this question, maybe it’s better to examine how VPS hosting fits in to the overall offerings of most hosting companies. Shared hosting is just that – your site is hosted on a machine with a bunch of other sites, and each of you share the same resources, including RAM, disk space, and CPU.  Your site uses what it needs if it’s available, and if it’s not – well, that’s the limitation of shared hosting. Likewise, a dedicated server is also self-explanatory –  your site is the only one hosted on server, and you have all the aforementioned resources available at your beck and call. Dedicated hosting is therefore  for those large sites with big databases and lots of traffic, whereas the limitations of shared hosting’s usually prevent it from housing that kind of site. Dedicated servers are also relatively expensive, while one can get a shared hosting plan for under $10 per month.

A Look at VPS Resources

So that’s it, then – a VPS is for everything in between, right? Well, yes…and no. A VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a flexible solution that falls in between shared and dedicated hosting, not only in price but also in the way it functions. Like a dedicated server, a site hosted on a VPS gets its own RAM and disk space; however, like a shared server, it uses the same processing capacity (CPU) as a certain number of other sites. So, while your site’s performance isn’t reliant on shared RAM and disk space, it is dependent on a shared processor. Moreover, the distribution of processor share varies from provider to provider.  The table below shows how most hosting companies break down the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans:

Differences by Hosting Plan

Shared VPS Dedicated
Shared RAM, Disk Space, and CPU Dedicated RAM and Disk Space, Shared CPU Dedicated RAM, Disk Space and CPU
NO Server Level Customization Server Level Customization Allowed Server level Customization Allowed
All Server level Software Pre-Installed Server Level Software (OS, cPanel, LAMP) pre-installation varies by provider Server Level Software (OS, cPanel, LAMP) pre-installation varies by provider
Full Customer Support Typically Provided Support Levels Vary By Provider Support Levels Vary By Provider
$ $$ $$$

Burstable RAM

A VPS doesn’t just have more RAM, disk space, and a  proprietary share of CPU than a shared account. Depending on the provider, some VPS plans offer burstable memory, which is a pool of RAM set aside for extraordinary events. This is the stuff that can help counter the so-called “Digg-effect,” that much-whispered about occurrence that’s the simultaneous hope and fear of everyone who runs a web site. When you have an unexpected high traffic event, burstable memory will call on a pool of reserved, shared memory to satisfy the needs of temporary high traffic. This is not available on shared servers and, while the necessary memory is available on a dedicated server, your site might not get the kind of traffic on a daily basis to justify the expense of a dedicated server. Again, not all VPS plans have burstable memory, so ask your provider if their VPS plans do.

All Support Aren’t Created Equal

Much like the differences between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans, there are differences in the levels and types of support offered to VPS platforms. For example, some companies offer semi-managed VPS solutions, while other companies take a completely hands-off approach – but generally, the different kinds of support are as shown below:

Levels of Support

Un-managed Semi-Managed Fully Managed
Hosting Company handles hardware and network support Hosting Company handles hardware, network, and standard software Host handles all hardware, network, and software issues.
User responsible for ALL software, performance issues User handles all custom software Host handles installation of custom software.

As you can see, a VPS can be the perfect middle ground for many – enough flexibility and resources for those who need more access or control than on a shared server but without the cost of a dedicated server. If you need root access, you can’t get that on a shared server, but you can get it on a VPS. If your site experiences unpredictable swings memory usage, and your host provides it, then the presence of burstable memory will be attractive. And, if you’re a fan of customization, then the fact that you can customize server-level software such as PHP, MySQL, and Apache will perk your interest.  In short, choosing a VPS will allow you to have many of the same characteristics of a dedicated server but in a more affordable and manageable package.

Do I Need a VPS?

The answer to this question is a definitive “maybe.” Since you’re looking at this site, you might be a Web designer who has a few sites, an online portfolio, and a couple of long-standing clients whose sites you manage. Is a VPS for you? Well, you’ve most likely outgrown a shared platform, and as a professional, it won’t do to have your site run poorly because another site that you share a server with is using more than its fair share of resources. A dedicated server could be overkill – if you don’t need all the resources on a consistent basis, you may not be able to justify the expense.

Essentially, here’s the criteria I would use to judge things – if your site is made up of primarily static, HTML-based content, then you probably don’t need a VPS package.  However, if you have a large amount of files stored, multiple sites, dynamic content, and the possibility of major traffic from time to time, then you might consider upgrading to a VPS. It’s a powerful package that allows you to do more than you could with a shared hosting plan, but requires less investment than a dedicated server.

What is your hosting set-up, and why? Have you considered using a VPS?

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About the Author

Blue Derkin is a project and social media lead at InMotion Hosting in Marina del Rey, California. He also writes as Web Hosting Help Guy, InMotion Hosting’s blog dedicated to all things design, development, and web hosting. You can follow him on Twitter @WHHG_InMotion and @BlueDerkin.

73 Comments

James

March 30th, 2010

Great article. This is the clearest guide I’ve come across for VPS, something I’d struggled to work out if it was for me.

Sugar Web Design

March 30th, 2010

We have a couple VPS servers, now wondering how much quicker a dedicated machine would actually be? I love the VPS arrangement though, very flexible.

Fikri Rakala

March 30th, 2010

I use shared hosting for my website because the traffic and data still low. How much traffic that I have to considered using VPS?

Jacob Rask

March 30th, 2010

I recently got myself a VPS and it’s great. I can easily set up my own git repositories, decide what software I want, and even combine that with running irssi on the same machine to stay online on IRC 24/7. And adding another 256 mb of RAM takes one click. For a couple of bucks I get a public IPv4 (and can get as many as I want).

Daniel15

March 30th, 2010

Sorry if this is a duplicate post, not sure if my previous one posted.
==

Between me and a few friends friends we have 50-60 sites. Some of them are single-page sites (eg. http://shouldiplayfarmville.com/) whereas others are full sites (eg. My personal site http://dan.cx/, http://obviousspoilers.com/, http://zurl.ws/). For all these sites, I’ve got a dedicated server at HiVelocity. I love having control of a full server, and not having to share it with random people. Additionally, I can make my own VPSes (I use Linux-Vserver), so I can play around with things in a sandbox. If I mess something up, I can delete the VPS and create a new one. It’s great, beats having to ask for a server reload. The server costs US$61 per month so it doesn’t seem very cheap to most people, but spread across 4 friends, it’s not too bad. Still a very good price for a Core 2 Duo server. It’s unmanaged but their support is very helpful, and I’m relatively experienced with Linux system administration :).

For beginners that want a dedicated server, I’d definitely recommend a managed server, as well as a GUI control panel such as cPanel or DirectAdmin. Makes it a lot easier. I do also have a VPS. It’s used for secondary DNS and storing of backups. The VPS is US$10 per month from PhotonVPS.com.

One thing you didn’t mention is reseller hosting. This is similar to shared hosting, except it allows you to create your own shared hosting accounts. It fits somewhere between shared hosting and a VPS (leaning heavily towards the shared hosting side), and is alright for people that want to sell hosting accounts, but know nothing about server administration. It still has the limitations of shared hosting, except you have slightly more control, and can make new hosting accounts without purchasing them one by one.

I’d recommend both companies I’ve mentioned in my comment. I’ve been using HiVelocity since February (moved from DedicatedBox.net which I used for 2.5 years), and I’ve been using PhotonVPS since September 2009 (moved from FsckVPS when VAServ got hacked). :)

Nikos

March 30th, 2010

Once again thanks for a great Article. An interesting topic would be whether one should go on VPS hosting or Cloud hosting and when… A short answer would be… know your needs (memory, disk, bandwidth etc…) and make your research…

matt

March 30th, 2010

While a VPS is a good start, they still have limitations and issues. My first VPS crashed often, and was subject to the other VPS users on my box. Maybe I had bad server roommates.

I would highly suggest a cloud server in this day in age. Affordable like a VPS, but 10x more flexible and expandable. A cloud server runs more like a dedicated—easy to grow in size as needs for hard disk and ram are needed.

Both rackspace and liquid web offer great cloud systems.
rackspace cloud – rackspacecloud.com
liquidweb cloud – stormondemand.com

both highly reliable, excellent support, and well priced.

JC

March 30th, 2010

Nice article. Choice is always according to need. Shared Hosting has its limitation & Dedicated Hosting has its price (non-affordable initially). VPS is gr8 choice when your domain is going from low traffic to high traffic phase. No experience of Cloud Hosting personally. I had Managed VPS for a friend’s site for 2 months & monitored that site traffic.
Thanks for posting this informative article.

Regard,
JC

Jacob Gube

March 30th, 2010

@Sugar Web Design: Dedicated servers are typically going to be more expensive, resource/price wise. However, at a certain point of the growth and popularity of your website, a VPS solution, which is still shared hosting, becomes non-viable. The only real way to find out that point, in my opinion, is to actually witness that growth. If your set-up is becoming unstable due to the traffic and upgrading your VPS resources becomes more costly than a dedicated server, it’s time to migrate. Six Revisions and Design Instruct are both on VPS’es, and we roughly serve 2.5 – 3 million pages per month (combined). We are, however, looking into moving into a dedicated server, since the cost is such that a dedicated server is now more viable.

In short: VPS is great as an “in between” solution for medium to high traffic blogs. Scaling your server resources is all relative to site popularity: presumably you will be making more income with more traffic, and thus, you can also scale your resources.

@Fikri Rakala: Very hard to tell because this is based on many factors such as: (a) who’s your host? (b) How crowded are they? (c) what type of website are you running (custom web app with lots of server-side processes to generate a web page versus static, informational site versus open-source CMS), (d) where is your current traffic coming from, and a bunch more of factors. The only “real” way of knowing is if your visitors are complaining that your site is slow or constantly crashing–that’s the point in which you should move to a VPS.

I would say, based on my experience: if you’re serving more than 2,000 pages per day on a blog/website, a VPS is the “correct” solution. But you must also note that a VPS, especially unmanaged VPS’es with no pre-built images that you can use to install and set-up your web server, needs some web server administration knowledge. So for many website owners, it’s not a viable solution unless they have ready-access to a sys. admin. or a web developer who knows about web servers. But, comparing for example, Media Temple’s $20 a month grid (shared) versus, say, Slicehost’s $20 slice (VPS) – you get so much more resources, stability and control over your web server so that you can truly optimize your website.

@Jacob Rask‘s comment above highlights one of the advantages of VPS’es that compelled me to try it out.

@matt: Care to share what provider you were on? I can’t say enough good things with Slicehost, even now that they’re exponentially more popular (and thus more crowded) and owned by Rackspace. We also host on VPS.NET with good results. We might be migrating Design Instruct to an InMotion Hosting VPS very soon, and then moving Six Revisions to a mid-range dedicated server (which I think is fine considering that we use a CDN for those big static files you see and that we don’t use too much CPU resources since pages are served as disk-cached HTML pages).

Jordan Walker

March 30th, 2010

I have been looking to upgrade to cloud computing – just not sure which one is the most economical for my situation.

matt

March 30th, 2010

We had 3 VPS solutions in the past. One no longer in business, godaddy, and hostgator. We had terrible luck with all 3. Excessive down times, lack of response, lack of answers when we had issues, etc.

We now have 2 dedicated and 1 cloud server for all of our hosting services. One dedicated and the cloud are with liquidweb, and in 3 years we have nothing but amazing support.

We host about 250 client sites. The cloud server, while new, is set aside for high demand clients.

I made the move to vps then dedicated after shared hosting for resell was a mess. Regardless of the suggestions i made to clients for shared hosting. They would rely on us for support or questions. After a few years of this, We moved to hosting ourselves. Better control over the environment, and better markups.

matt

March 30th, 2010

@jordan: Cloud Servers tend to start at $75 or so with full support, OS, and control panels. Bandwidth packages are often added on if needed.

From what i have seen, LiquidWeb & Rackspace have had the most affordable set up with the most services and value. Seems other Cloud providers offer a very limited setup under $100, or start higher for similar services.

In my research, i found with a good cloud server, i was able to get the full power of a dedicated with less storage, for half the costs, and no set up fees or contracts.

Ray Wenderlich

March 30th, 2010

Just moved my blog to a VPS yesterday (Linode) – am loving it so far! I love being able to customize the server however I want.

Young

March 30th, 2010

Oh man. This could not be better timing. One of the sites I work for is looking to move on to a dedicated server, and I didn’t know enough about VPS to really talk about it…

Six Revisions saves the day again. Great comprehensive article too. Thank you thank you.

I know I’ve asked this before – but I’m still wondering what people’s favorite hosting services are; it’s gotta be way more important for VPS or dedicated servers than it is for shared hosting.

Andrew

March 30th, 2010

I am currently using Datarelm standard VPS but am soon upgrading to a Linode VPS due to memory and performance issues. I chose VPS as you have much more control over server configurations and settings then you have on the standard hosting plans plus can also run other servers, like zope/plone.

Jacob Gube

March 30th, 2010

@Ray Wenderlich: Fun, isn’t it? Linode’s good too, we looked into it as a possible host for Design Instruct. In the end, we chose to pool resources with Six Revisions since the website’s still in its infancy (but we’re already charting out our migration plans since it grew in a much faster rate than we had anticipated).

@Young: Glad to help. Blue’s article is a great summation of what you need to know about Virtual Private Servers. As for (my) favorites, I have four that I can confidently recommend based on prior experience: Slicehost, VPS.NET, prmr and Linode. Here’s a good open discussion of Linode versus Slicehost.

Jaime

March 30th, 2010

@matt: In all honesty that wasn’t bad luck. It was just bad choice of VPS providers. I wouldn’t host my 15 year old sister’s blog in either GoDaddy or HostGator. That being said, cloud hosting makes a lot of sense when you need to serve an ever growing amount of sites or a few websites/apps with big fluctuating bandwith and space requirements. In my experience, you get to this point after you outgrow a VPS or two.

Looking at your requirements, I’d say you made the right choice regarding both dedicated servers and cloud hosting; although had you used a good VPS hosting, you would have had a much better experience getting to where you are now.

Jaime

March 30th, 2010

@Young: You can’t go wrong with either Linode or Slicehost. I preffer Slicehost (in my experience better support and I kind of like thier control panel better), but you can’t get a better deal with Linode’s pricing.

Jacob Gube

March 30th, 2010

@Daniel15: Askimet Spam marking FAIL: it automatically marked your comment as spam (probably because of the URL’s). Sorry you had to repost it.

Kifluz

March 30th, 2010

Great introduction to hosting ! VPS is a nice compromise between the shared hosting and dedicated but, if you looking for great performance, dedicated server is what you need!

Nick

March 30th, 2010

I’ve been with Linode for about 6 months and pretty happy so far. Slice host is great too, but the Linode east coast data center worked better for me.

Paul

March 30th, 2010

I have a VPS (dv) through MediaTemple. Switched about a year ago and never looked back!

Ray Addison

March 30th, 2010

Nice article and comments. Opened my eyes up to new types of hosting. Cheers.

ConsultantNomo

March 30th, 2010

Fantastic article. As a jack of all trades, master of none (back-end to front-end), this article would have been great to have when I was researching VPS hosts. I’ve used a dozen or so shared hosts over the last ten years, and upon listening to great referrals, I ended up using a shared account with Steadfast Networks. I went shared first to use as a sandbox test account, see how it reacted, and then upgraded all of my clients to a VPS account with Steadfast. So far, it’s the best I’ve ever been with and very reasonable with great support (including when I’ve screwed things up a bit). To be a bit more specific, I’m running the dreaded resource hog Magento on 3 instances of my VPS account and have had zero problem or speed issues. Kudos to them.

While highly recommending them, I’d also recommend that, if using shared accounts, spend the money and get short-term hosting with several hosts, replicate the same site across the group, and split-test the hell out of it to see who best meets your requirements as it’s your company’s name ultimately on the line with your clients. Cheers.

jaw crusher

March 31st, 2010

We are using a vps now,it is very good.

Bisnis UKM

March 31st, 2010

Thank you
useful article, help me to decide whether I need to migrate using VPS..

Burhan KILINC

March 31st, 2010

while VPS’s are good for starting, it is always risk to go on with them. Sooner you will find yourself trying to upgrade to a dedicated server for the peace of mind. Which I did nearly 2 years ago and quite happy with the decision.

Harsh Agrawal

March 31st, 2010

Great article ! I moved from shared hosting to VPS some time back.. I wish I could have read this one that time..since my hosting doesn’t allow brustable memory… :|

David SeptemberIndustry

March 31st, 2010

You couldn’t have wrote this article at a better time – I’m considering switching from Shared to VPS. Now I know where all that extra money goes!

Mladen Berakovic

March 31st, 2010

Really nice article. Thanks! :)

thaicar

March 31st, 2010

Very helpful article and comments.I need move from shared hosting to VPS.Thank you for sharing.

Mark

March 31st, 2010

I’ve been using Knownhost for almost a year now, and have been very happy with them.

I’ve never had downtime, it’s handling the load I’ve thrown at it (serving mostly images for other sites that get 5,000 – 10,000 pageviews\day, plus a couple of blogs, and serving images for bulk e-mails to customers), and I’ve never seen my resource usage go over 5%. I pay about $60 a month, and for Christmas they effectively doubled by VPS’ RAM, Disk Space, and Bandwidth allotments, for free – permanently.

They’ve always been fast to respond to support questions, they’ve got a great user forum, and they have some nice flexibility when you set up your server for cPanel \ Plesk, Windows \ Linux, etc.

Mark

March 31st, 2010

I forgot to mention – even their cheapest VPS servers are fully managed, starting at $25/month.

I’ve also noticed I generally have 3-7 less hops to my server than I saw from some of the other VPS companies, and better ping stability as well. My server is the third hop after leaving the Level3 system, which is really nice.

Mark Bailey

March 31st, 2010

VPS success depends largely on the provider. Some have horrible uptime and performance, and are not as redundant as they say.

VPS pricing (especially cloud VPS) often gives you much less bang for the buck than a dedicated. With a few resource add-ons and some other extras (backup, for example), you can quickly find yourself spending as much as you would on a dedicated box.

Make sure you check reviews and status pages care.fully

Brian Klepper

March 31st, 2010

I currently work on Firehost VP Servers and have been very happy with the support and overall security that I need. The prices are generally more than any others that have been listed but if you’re looking for top notch security measures they can’t be beat.

Matt

March 31st, 2010

From a security standpoint, is a Fully-Managed VPS better than Shared Hosting? What about a FM VPS vs. a Cloud server?

W3Mag

April 1st, 2010

Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

Website value

April 1st, 2010

A virtual private server (VPS, also referred to as Virtual Dedicated Server or VDS) is a preferred hosting solution for small to medium sized businesses since it delivers control at a level similar to a dedicated server at a price not too far from affordable shared hosting. Below are the best and the most reliable VPS web hosting providers ranked by experienced webmasters from around the world.

Mark

April 1st, 2010

@Matt – FM VPS should be better from a security standpoint, but it depends a lot on the configuration and users of the VPS \ Shared \ Cloud servers. The biggest security risks are common to all of them – weak passwords, viruses or malware on a client’s login computer, exploits in installed web-apps, SQL injections, etc..

The shared\cloud servers tend to combat some of the higher-level security risks with limiting what you can do with them in the first place – no root access, limiting what software and plug-ins can be installed, etc.

The VPS servers are still pretty dependent on how you have the server and software configured – what kind of CGI scripting you’re supporting, and what kind of web apps you have installed.

While my VPS is fully managed – I still do all of the individual host configurations and web app installs myself, and they all have their own security best-practices and drawbacks. For instance with wordpress you have to connect as root to give permissions to directories and files for WP and it’s plug-ins to work correctly. If you do that wrong it’s easy to end up with security holes.

I like that with the fully managed system, if I see something that looks suspicious in the logs, I can open a support ticket, and they’ll look into it for me. Plus with mission-critical stuff on my server – it’s nice to have an expert to fall back on in case there’s something wrong and I can’t figure out what.

tom g

April 2nd, 2010

Hi great article! I got my vps back in Nov 09 and love it! I have my main site htti://AnewTaTToo.com hoted on it and a few more of mine. I also “rent” out space as a reseller. I make more than the vps cost me! I can have many sites on the one ip adress but i have a 2. One I use for my sites and another for rented space sites. I never use more than 15-20% max with all the sites on it. I would recomend it to anyone.
But there is a lot to learn that u dont have to know with shared like dns zones, firewalls…+ + +…lol

Steve@PingVPS

April 3rd, 2010

We are a VPS supplier and it makes a nice change to see this type of article on a site such as Six Revisions.

Many people have misconceptions and questions about various hosting options, along with hesitation to move from shared to the “next best thing”, and coming from a popular site like this I think you will have opened many peoples eyes to some of the options.

Thanks it was a great read, and I hope readers consider their options, as there is a plethora of solutions to be had.

km

April 4th, 2010

Myself has bad experiences with VPS hosting. But i will highly recommend use cloud hosting, which you can build and scale your cloud computing infrastructure in real-time without downtime experiences.

Chris Olbekson

April 5th, 2010

Great article and perfect timing for me since I spent the weekend moving over to a VPS from a reseller account. I host 10 client sites including mine that are all running WordPress. Now that I have the ability to enable tweaks like mod_deflate and am able to set proper expires headers, my sites are running so much faster. I was able to bring my Yslow score to 95 from 68 on shared reseller hosting.

Alice Dagley

April 5th, 2010

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! The article is really useful and clear.

It is very difficult to decide which hosting to choose.

If I have to face such a dilemma, I will never choose shared hosting. Yes it’s cheap, but you are limited in resources. I would prefer to buy VPS hosting. It has more options for online business environment which a certainly a plus. Users can make chages into configuration as their demands increases.

VPS coupon

April 6th, 2010

Nice article on the basics of VPS hosting. Lets not forget that VPS control panels are also important in selecting your provider. Some offer no control panel to restart the VPS on your own while others do. Some also offer a web panel like cPanel or Plesk to help you manage setting up multiple websites inside your VPS.

Pi

April 19th, 2010

I have bad experience with vps, now with your great article, it help clearing up a lot of things. Thank you for sharing the information and now i can decide better when choosing the VPS.

Avinash

April 20th, 2010

Really a Great and Useful Article , well Explained!!

I appreciate it :)

Thanks !!

nanadev

April 20th, 2010

Real Time Messaging Protocol server program can install on VPS. rtmp such as Adobe Flash Media Server, red5
Thank

Yorkshire

April 22nd, 2010

We have some Windows dedicated servers but are wanting to move towards a LAMP setup. We haven’t got the need for a Linux dedicated at the moment so was considering a VPS but we are inclined more towards Cloud.

Flexiant has a great “Pay as you go” Cloud package which you can use to test the water. http://www.flexiant.com/

Toni

April 23rd, 2010

Like Mark, I’ve been pretty happy with my VPS at Knownhost for a few years now. But, with the amount of VPS providers coming out in recent years — it’s tempting to switch out and find a new and better server. Prices seem to be getting cheaper, with many companies specializing solely in VPS hosting packages now.

Thanks for the good beginners guide, will pass the info along to folks looking to move up from a shared hosting plan.

Cre8ive Commando

May 20th, 2010

I recently moved to a VPS with JUMBA, it’s pretty cheap and seems to be performing well (touch wood) … :-)

Tom

June 4th, 2010

Perhaps I have missed it, or don’t fully understand VPS solutions, but it seems to me that Disk I/O needs to factor more into the equation. If you have a database driven site, or are running another site on a VPS that also hosts a data intensive site, your performance may suffer while your database calls get queued. This seems independent to the amount of processor and RAM that you have been allocated.

Am I missing something here? Does any VPS provider include I/O guarantees?

cloudsrv

July 6th, 2010

Nice one… did not know that. thx

The founder

July 24th, 2010

Ahm so say I have 2 websites can one VPS handle them? is this the gist of having a VPS?

John

August 3rd, 2010

Thanks for the article, I’ve been considering switching to a VPS host and this has given me the impetus to investigate it more deeply.

-John

Derick Schaefer

August 24th, 2010

Great article and commentary is very representative of what we saw in this space. For WordPress we find both VPS and cloud defaults very problematic. Why? It wasn’t about resources. . .it was how resources were used. WordPress is very inefficient and default LAMP stacks don’t help.

We created a VPS that in the real world has scaled for us up to 210K users in 10 hours and over 2600 concurrent users on a single blog. The cloud services we tried died at 550 users and we got overage charges. We also found security on the cloud services to be very problematic. After over a year of testing and design we’ve begun to soft launch http://wphost.co .

For the power WordPress’ers, I’d be curious to get your feedback.

Great post, btw as the community needs to be discussing this (us included).

seoya

September 24th, 2010

thank for useful article :D

Rahul

October 2nd, 2010

Excellent article. I just doubled my VPS RAM and my website is loading surprisingly faster.

Mahendra

October 20th, 2010

Good one!
Just moved to knownhost VPS.Their support is superb.I am sure playing with VPS will be a fun and learning experience with me.

Jef@Athens Web Hosting

November 10th, 2010

Very well explained all about VPS. Could use some reference to different Virtualization platforms like OpenVZ, VMware, Xen, Virtuozzo for trivial reasons.

I can say that VPS web hosting is preferred by an increasing number of users due to its flexibility, performance, isolation and high level of customization it offers.

On the other side, VPS hosting providers (like the co. I work for) prefer it because it saves money by offering increased CPU utilization up to 60-80% while decreasing power consumption, it allows isolation of VPS’s, easy migration, running VPS with multiple operating systems in same server, testing and development environment and more.

Lately we have lately been quite happy with Virtuozzo for Linux, that’s becoming more stable than in the past, while VZ for Windows has some very well known non-paged pool memory issues and since better virtualization technologies for Windows are available (VMWare, Hyper-V) we consider switching over to them.

On the management Level, offering VPS hosting with a commercial hosting control panel like Plesk or CPanel, makes it very easy for the client to administer basic to mid level administrative server tasks. If the client has a deeper knowledge of server admin, the Provider can offer him access to a higher level of customization, maintenance, security and monitoring tools to the client, depending on the Virtualization platform he uses.

Cheers,
Jef

Brett Widmanne

December 14th, 2010

This is just the information I was looking to find. Thanks for putting together such a great article.

carlosmagnus

December 22nd, 2010

This is very helpful articles just right now im on shared hosting but sooner or later im going to jump to VPS so i have an idea now. thanks

Creazione Siti

January 25th, 2011

Very good article. It helped me decide that what I really needed was a VPS host for my websites. Thanks for all the informations and effort you put into this article.

Jordan

February 3rd, 2011

The section about Burstable Ram is inaccurate. Unfortunately, given its name – “burstable” it leads people to simply assume instead of actually researching the topic to better understand what it is. This false definition is also spread around by the less knowledgeable hosts on various discussion boards.

Burstable ram is not some magical shared pool of idle memory where a single VPS can gain access to in the event of the digg-effect. Instead, it’s a part of the OpenVZ technology and how it calculates memory usage which is based on memory allocated rather than actual memory used. Therefore, it is NECESSARY to have a higher burstable ram vs guaranteed, somewhere around 1.5x to 2x the amount. Since allocated memory is counted against your memory usage, OpenVZ needs this extra burstable memory to allocate adequate memory for programs and applications. It doesn’t mean you’ve actually USED the amount, simply allocated. To get a better sense of what’s going on behind the scenes in terms of memory usage in an OpenVZ VPS, look at the /proc/user_beancounters file.

Fatuma

May 24th, 2011

I need somebody to assist in processes of configuration of web server

Swamykant

July 4th, 2011

Hi Blue.

I am currently using the Shared hosting server for blog- yourdigitalspace.com.Last two days it has used more that 25% CPU..

I think it is the right times to shift to VPS. I am planning to use either Hostgator VPS, Linode or Knownhost.

Which you thinks the best for VPS ?

Reza

August 4th, 2011

Wow! Thank you for this great yet clear guide on VPS. I just ordered one today and I was feeling being in nowhere about when I logged in my VPS account but reading through your article helped me a lot.

Rahul

August 9th, 2011

Excellent article. I’ve been hosting on an eboundhost VPS for the past year and loving it.

John

October 14th, 2011

Great article, I have been using shared hosting for years and I have just established my first VPS set up, answered a few questions I had – Thanks

fu

November 18th, 2011

This is just the information I was looking to find. Thanks for putting together such a great article.

Charlie-brm

November 27th, 2011

As the end user with some web sites of my own to take care of, discovering they are part of a VPS has become a liability. The previous owner of the domains I purchased as part of a business transfer left the hosting concerns up to a friend.
Now I have to get in touch with this person for some routine tasks because the server company won’t deal directly with me. In their eyes, its his account, he’s paying the bills.
Just a caveat to people designing their own business sites. I’m sure if I was a semi-professional web developer, I’d think VPS was a great idea. I’ll be transferring the domains asap to another host.

tony

June 12th, 2013

ok where is the article on setting up a VPS to host multiple sites or something useful

anson davis

June 13th, 2013

thank you very much, this article is very useful for me once again thanks a lot :-)

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