What do I need to know about VPS shopping?

Namerie

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I am hoping that I can get a little advice on what I need to know about when shopping for a VPS. This will be my first BTW and I am a complete noob when it comes to them so this will be for learning purposes first and then live websites later.

Any advice or tips will be appreciated. Keep in mind that I might not know all the terms. ;)

Thanks
 

AlbaHost

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I am hoping that I can get a little advice on what I need to know about when shopping for a VPS. This will be my first BTW and I am a complete noob when it comes to them so this will be for learning purposes first and then live websites later.

Any advice or tips will be appreciated. Keep in mind that I might not know all the terms. ;)

Thanks
Its easy, just pick up any host/vps plan go ahead and make payment that's it, may i please ask what vps configuration are you looking for, and what is your budget?
 

vpsrus

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I am hoping that I can get a little advice on what I need to know about when shopping for a VPS. This will be my first BTW and I am a complete noob when it comes to them so this will be for learning purposes first and then live websites later.

Any advice or tips will be appreciated. Keep in mind that I might not know all the terms. ;)

Thanks
I would recommend you to start with a small VPS like 10 to 15 GB and OpenVZ virtualization as you mention that your focus will be hosting live websites, I would tell you to load Centos 6.8 OS and get a 14 day free trial on cPanel so you can learn to install and manage websites.
 

HostYourNet-DR

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Look at the space your currently using and find a VPS that suits that.
cPanel will run 100% stable on a vps that has 4gb Ram or higher :).
 

RDO Servers

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I would suggest you start with a small/cheap VPS. Don't install cPanel or any other control panel at first, or you will be learning cPanel instead of true VPS management.
 

LJSHost

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Hi Namerie,

:think: I would say get something small 1 core 1GB RAM you can always upgrading it if you need.

Looking around at offers you will see so many technical and confessing terms biggest of all being the whole cloud thing which is just a fancy term for lots of servers linked together.

For a control panel what you choose depends on your end goal for the VPS do you want to be a hosting provider and have hundreds of accounts on it or do you want just a few sites hosted.
If you want to host and lot of sites I would go for cPanel, Webmin is very decent a free you want to keep costs down as it's FREE :D

CentOS and Debian would be my choice of operating system (cPanel only works with CentOs)

You say you want it for learning so I would recommend not even having a control to start with, you need to learn Linux on the command and everything about MySQL Apache DNS etc and be able to configure and maintain everything for the command line. All these control panels are just front ends for commands executed. For example you press the Reboot button in the panel interface all this is doing is issuing the command reboot. and they do more harm than good when learning imo. You must be able to understand whats happening in the background when a change, add or do something with a control panel. but the most useful feature imo is having an interface for customers to login to their account and manage things themselves like creating a mailbox.

You can still get a small VPS and have it fully managed for quite cheap under $20 a month and I would recommend management so you have someone to turn to for help when you have a problems or have someone to ask questions to about server configuration advice etc. Managed with most providers can be as hands on or off as you want.

Don't over analyze this to much and just buy it, but pay monthly so you can cancel if it does not meet your expectations.


TLDR version: $20 max 1 core 1 GB RAM with cPanel, Plesk or Webmin
 

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First you must decide if you like to learn to became system administrator or just need more power. If you're new to VPSes this might be the first major difference from shared hosting. If you choose Unmanaged VPS you will get root access and need to install and maintain everything. On the other hand you may get Managed VPS in which case you would be able to focus on the hosted sites, but of course it is going to cost more.

If you plan to learn stick with plain VPS without any Control Panel. As already mentioned above this will let you get to know all services (mail, web, sql, possible ftp, dns etc). Panel installation would be much simpler but only until you need to troubleshoot something. Of course after you learn at lest basics you may always reinstall your server and deploy CPanel or similar software for production use.
 

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If it's for learning purposes only, then get the cheapest VPS from DidigalOcean, OVH, Vultr or RamNode. There are some ultra-cheap offers at lowendoffer/lowendbox too.

Don't get a VPS with a panel at first.

Don't get 1GB or more. 512MB RAM is more than enough for learning and experimenting.

Follow the guides from DigitalOcean and Linode, they are perfect for beginners.

You don't have to get a VPS with managed support for learning. How will you learn stuff if you let someone else manage your servers? Just get an unmanaged VPS (they are cheaper).

When you are ready for production and when you want to move your websites to a VPS, then get a managed VPS either with or without a panel, based on your preferences. For a production VPS look at more powerful VPS plans with more RAM and CPU cores.
 
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Luxin Host

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Alot has been explained above so I wont rewrite it all but here are a few simple things to look out for:

- Dont confuse burst resources with guaranteed resources
- Know the difference between different virtualization technologies.
- Make sure the VPS seller does not over sell their server.
- Be aware of what CPU model it is. e.g. E5 V2
- Be aware of what sort of RAM they are using . e.g. DDR3
- Find out what their up time records are.

Hope the few things mentioned above would help.
 

Namerie

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Its easy, just pick up any host/vps plan go ahead and make payment that's it, may i please ask what vps configuration are you looking for, and what is your budget?
I really don't know exactly what configuration I am looking for. I am hoping to find out around here. I do know that I want to have enough resources for it to operate well. My budget is flexible but being in college I do have to find a good price.

I would recommend you to start with a small VPS like 10 to 15 GB and OpenVZ virtualization as you mention that your focus will be hosting live websites, I would tell you to load Centos 6.8 OS and get a 14 day free trial on cPanel so you can learn to install and manage websites.
yes I will have live websites moved to it at some point but I am not in any hurry. My main concern is to learn everything I need to operate the VPS properly. Plus I want to be able to try different setups and things to find out what would be best for my needs.

Look at the space your currently using and find a VPS that suits that.
cPanel will run 100% stable on a vps that has 4gb Ram or higher :).
Good idea. :) I will have to check but I don't think that they are taking up much disk space.

I would suggest you start with a small/cheap VPS. Don't install cPanel or any other control panel at first, or you will be learning cPanel instead of true VPS management.
Ok, right. I didn't think about things from that angle. Do you know of any kind of guide or information that I can read as a starting point for what VPS management would require as far as where to start?

Hi Namerie,

:think: I would say get something small 1 core 1GB RAM you can always upgrading it if you need.

Looking around at offers you will see so many technical and confessing terms biggest of all being the whole cloud thing which is just a fancy term for lots of servers linked together.

For a control panel what you choose depends on your end goal for the VPS do you want to be a hosting provider and have hundreds of accounts on it or do you want just a few sites hosted.
If you want to host and lot of sites I would go for cPanel, Webmin is very decent a free you want to keep costs down as it's FREE :D

CentOS and Debian would be my choice of operating system (cPanel only works with CentOs)

You say you want it for learning so I would recommend not even having a control to start with, you need to learn Linux on the command and everything about MySQL Apache DNS etc and be able to configure and maintain everything for the command line. All these control panels are just front ends for commands executed. For example you press the Reboot button in the panel interface all this is doing is issuing the command reboot. and they do more harm than good when learning imo. You must be able to understand whats happening in the background when a change, add or do something with a control panel. but the most useful feature imo is having an interface for customers to login to their account and manage things themselves like creating a mailbox.

You can still get a small VPS and have it fully managed for quite cheap under $20 a month and I would recommend management so you have someone to turn to for help when you have a problems or have someone to ask questions to about server configuration advice etc. Managed with most providers can be as hands on or off as you want.

Don't over analyze this to much and just buy it, but pay monthly so you can cancel if it does not meet your expectations.


TLDR version: $20 max 1 core 1 GB RAM with cPanel, Plesk or Webmin
You are the second person to recommend not starting with a control panel so it seems like that's something that I might do. I definitely want it for learning first because I would like to have a head start on things when my class gets to the point of learning about these things. Many of the people in my class are very knowledgeable in this area already so I don't want to be someone who is lost on things.

First you must decide if you like to learn to became system administrator or just need more power. If you're new to VPSes this might be the first major difference from shared hosting. If you choose Unmanaged VPS you will get root access and need to install and maintain everything. On the other hand you may get Managed VPS in which case you would be able to focus on the hosted sites, but of course it is going to cost more.

If you plan to learn stick with plain VPS without any Control Panel. As already mentioned above this will let you get to know all services (mail, web, sql, possible ftp, dns etc). Panel installation would be much simpler but only until you need to troubleshoot something. Of course after you learn at lest basics you may always reinstall your server and deploy CPanel or similar software for production use.
I basically just want to learn because I want it for my own knowledge and to help with my classes. I also want to be able to keep my options open for which career I will eventually go into. I love working with websites and learning how to do things for myself so this would be something that covers both of those and it can also help me in the future at some point.

If it's for learning purposes only, then get the cheapest VPS from DidigalOcean, OVH, Vultr or RamNode. There are some ultra-cheap offers at lowendoffer/lowendbox too.

Don't get a VPS with a panel at first.

Don't get 1GB or more. 512MB RAM is more than enough for learning and experimenting.

Follow the guides from DigitalOcean and Linode, they are perfect for beginners.

You don't have to get a VPS with managed support for learning. How will you learn stuff if you let someone else manage your servers? Just get an unmanaged VPS (they are cheaper).

When you are ready for production and when you want to move your websites to a VPS, then get a managed VPS either with or without a panel, based on your preferences. For a production VPS look at more powerful VPS plans with more RAM and CPU cores.
I didn't know they had guides on those websites. I have looked around a couple of them but didn't notice them anywhere. That will be very helpful I think.

Alot has been explained above so I wont rewrite it all but here are a few simple things to look out for:

- Dont confuse burst resources with guaranteed resources
- Know the difference between different virtualization technologies.
- Make sure the VPS seller does not over sell their server.
- Be aware of what CPU model it is. e.g. E5 V2
- Be aware of what sort of RAM they are using . e.g. DDR3
- Find out what their up time records are.

Hope the few things mentioned above would help.
Great points, thank you. What's the difference between burst and guaranteed resources? I am assuming that guaranteed is something like dedicated as for the resources.

Which virtualization is the best? I have seen that term and read a little bit but don't fully understand it. Is it one of the more important factors?
 

HostYourNet-DR

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HostYourNet-DR
Guaranteed means only your VPS will be using that resource. If you vps needs more it will start going into the available burst resources(temp ram) is the best way to explain that.

Depending on the virtualization software depends on how its names.
Vmware call it guest memory which i like best suits it.
 

vpsrus

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Understanding now what is your target so learn first Linux, there are different distros like Centos, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu etc... also chose your VPS flavor of virtualization you will have VPSs with shared Kernel with the server like OpenVZ, Linux OS will run fine on that but if you want to install your own ISOs or I say Windows OS on the VPS you will need to choose the KVM virtualization that has a full kernel.
Also, choose a provider that will give you a control panel access where you can install differents OS at one click so you can try different Linux flavor yourself then when you ready to study the control panel to run on your VPS you can choose from the open source ones that are free to the paid ones, If you decided for the paid ones I would write an email to them or open a ticket on their website asking if they have any discounted student package.
 

Namerie

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Understanding now what is your target so learn first Linux, there are different distros like Centos, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu etc... also chose your VPS flavor of virtualization you will have VPSs with shared Kernel with the server like OpenVZ, Linux OS will run fine on that but if you want to install your own ISOs or I say Windows OS on the VPS you will need to choose the KVM virtualization that has a full kernel.
Also, choose a provider that will give you a control panel access where you can install differents OS at one click so you can try different Linux flavor yourself then when you ready to study the control panel to run on your VPS you can choose from the open source ones that are free to the paid ones, If you decided for the paid ones I would write an email to them or open a ticket on their website asking if they have any discounted student package.
Is there much differences between the different Linux types?

Guaranteed means only your VPS will be using that resource. If you vps needs more it will start going into the available burst resources(temp ram) is the best way to explain that.

Depending on the virtualization software depends on how its names.
Vmware call it guest memory which i like best suits it.
So do you set the burst RAM yourself or is that something that the hosting provider or the software sets?
 

vpsrus

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vpsrus
For the first question most of the commands are different between the distros, for an example on Centos you have yum command in Ubuntu/Debian you have apt-get (yum install nano for Centos) (apt-get install nano for Ubuntu) this is only one example there are more different commands.
What you have to do is chose one and study it. VPSs comes with the Linux pre-installed and their OS are minimum server distro if you have a VPS control panel available you can reinstall differents distro and check what is better and simple for you because, in the end, the commands will reach the same result.

For the second, memory burst is given to you by your provider and it means that you can burst the memory for a period of time only then the memory will return to the node when you order a VPS ask the provider to give you a memory swap.
Swap is a partition on you hard drive that works like your static memory so let's say if you have 1GB RAM ask for a 1GB swap and you will have 2GB available for your process, the only difference between them is that the static RAM is way faster than the swap memory.
 

Namerie

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memory burst is given to you by your provider and it means that you can burst the memory for a period of time only then the memory will return to the node when you order a VPS ask the provider to give you a memory swap.
Is this something that they charge extra for?


Swap is a partition on you hard drive that works like your static memory so let's say if you have 1GB RAM ask for a 1GB swap and you will have 2GB available for your process, the only difference between them is that the static RAM is way faster than the swap memory.
Do you always ask for the same size swap that you have in static RAM?
 

vpsrus

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vpsrus
1) no extra charge, should be included in the package

2) some providers state the swap on their offers, if not you should ask for
 

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Don't confuse here with lot of information.

You need VPS, you get one.
All of this other details isn't that very important when you have TEST VPS.

After when you get enough knowledge and decide to go with LIVE WEBSITE on VPS the you have to be picky and choose between providers, Server processor etc.

For beginner what do you need is fast small unmanaged VPS - 1GB RAM is easy to find, SSD and speed connection so you don't wait to install - download programs.

Example OpenVZ 1GB RAM, 20-30GB SSD, NO Control panel.

There is lot of tutorials on internet some will tell you (google it). You may come up with some problems that are little hard to find solutions then come here and open thread (ASK).
 
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