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Author Topic: VPS Recommendations Anyone?  (Read 3561 times)

Renegade

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VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« on: October 02, 2012, 01:41:24 AM »
I'd like to ditch my Windows server and get a Linux VPS in Canada. i.e. I want to ditch Windows, and I want to ditch the USA. (My current server is in Texas - good company, great product, but just want to bail out from there for reasons completely unrelated to the company - Softlayer.)

I'd also like to cut costs. I don't use enough of my server to really justify the cost. It's simply got too much idle time. A VPS would do what I need.

I really don't know the VPS market at all, and simply want to run a few web sites and email.

I want to run Wordpress and another LAMP stack FOSS CMS like Drupal or something. (Tried Joomla before, and hated it.) I'll be ditching my current CMS (DotNetNuke) and rebuilding sites. I think I'll likely go with Drupal as it has a very large community, and that makes life a LOT easier. 

I'll need a MySQL DB of course.

I'd like something with easy administration as I don't want to fart around playing "IT admin" all day - I just want things to work and forget about them.

Email is a must - antispam is also required.

I've been looking around some, but just have no idea who is reputable in this area.

Anyways, for those that are more knowledgeable about this than I am, please chime in.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

f0dder

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2012, 07:09:42 AM »
FWIW: we used GoDaddy for a project I worked on some years, one of the cheaper VPSs since we didn't need much processing muscle. The software control panel wasn't impressive, but covered our needs, and the VM seemed to perform well enough. But the latency to Denmark was pretty bad.

PS: ditch MySql, and at least use the MariaDB fork (reason? whOracle)... or move to a real database like PostGres. Also consider ditching Apache in favor of nginx unless you need some of the complex things Apache can do.
- carpe noctem

wraith808

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2012, 07:13:11 AM »
FWIW: we used GoDaddy for a project I worked on some years, one of the cheaper VPSs since we didn't need much processing muscle. The software control panel wasn't impressive, but covered our needs, and the VM seemed to perform well enough. But the latency to Denmark was pretty bad.

I think the ditch the USA would put that out of the running.  Or else I'd recommend LiquidWeb.  But I don't really know anything about anyone without a US presence.

40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 08:02:35 AM »
I don't know what your motivation for bailing out of a US host is. But of it's because of differences over where the US seems to be going with its Internet policies and legislation, from what I've been reading, Canada isn't too far behind. :(

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 08:18:54 AM »
I don't know what your motivation for bailing out of a US host is. But of it's because of differences over where the US seems to be going with its Internet policies and legislation, from what I've been reading, Canada isn't too far behind. :(

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. The difference is that I'm Canadian, and actually have some rights there.

Spoiler
The US doesn't even respect the right of its own citizens to live, and Canada hasn't crossed that bridge yet... cross fingers, tap on wood, etc. etc. Short story - Canada is easier for me to deal with and I'm less likely to be labeled a terrorist for saying something nasty about someone. I have no illusions about privacy, so there's really no trying to hide. Might as well hide out in the open. e.g. There's a blog post that I'd like to do right now (have wanted to for a while), but can't. And I couldn't even say what it's about. That would be illegal. Again, Canada is easier for me to deal with.



Thanks for the info on server software. I'm not particularly tied to anything specific, so PostgreSQL would be fine by me. It was an RDBMS long before MySQL was. I've not used nginx, but from what I've read, it's nice to use. Dunno. No real opinion on it. (I searched for exploits on it once and found nothing. I found that interesting.)

I'm most worried about finding a reputable company in Canada... And preferably in Toronto (or Ontario) if possible. Not married to that idea - but in Canada is pretty much mandatory -- I don't want to use black servers overseas either.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

f0dder

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2012, 08:35:21 AM »
Thanks for the info on server software. I'm not particularly tied to anything specific, so PostgreSQL would be fine by me. It was an RDBMS long before MySQL was. I've not used nginx, but from what I've read, it's nice to use. Dunno. No real opinion on it. (I searched for exploits on it once and found nothing. I found that interesting.)
"Use PostGres" was mostly "it's a real sql server and takes your ACID seriously" snobbery ;) - avoiding mysql is because of whOracle. It's a fork of mysql by the original mysql developer...

There's been exploits for nginx (like everything else), and it is younger than the mature (overripe? :P) apache - but it's blazingly fast, it does less than apache (also means less configuration pains, less complexity, less attack vectors), and seems overall pretty nice. Again, if you don't need the funky stuff you can do with apache modules, do consider nginx.

Might want to look for VPS in .ch, some people who were tired of the whole .us patriot crapt moved there... but dunno what costs are like.
- carpe noctem

rgdot

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 09:03:10 AM »
Doubt this would fulfill one of the criteria because it is (much) more expensive than the usual host but have good experience and they also have Toronto
https://www.cartika.com/


40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 09:12:46 AM »
I'm Canadian, and actually have some rights there

Maybe I should move there? I used to know people in Gananoque...

----------------

More on topic: agree 100% with f0dder regarding nginx. If you don't need the full smörgåsbord Apache puts on the table, nginex is pretty sweet. You can download their white paper and one-page info sheet if you're curious.
 8)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 09:18:38 AM by 40hz »

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 10:21:36 PM »
Doubt this would fulfill one of the criteria because it is (much) more expensive than the usual host but have good experience and they also have Toronto
https://www.cartika.com/

Looks good, but still more than I wanted to spend. I'd like to stay in the 30~100 range, and preferably around 50~60 or so, if I can find something decent there.
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2012, 01:04:39 AM »
Well, looking into the market more...

What VPS environment would people here recommend?

OpenVZ?
Virtuozzo?
Xen?
Other?

(longer list > OpenVZ, Virtualbox, KVM/Qemu, Xen, VMWare, Virtual Iron, Virtuozzo)

Saw an interesting HP article that had good things to say about OpenVZ:

http://www.hpl.hp.co...07/HPL-2007-59R1.pdf (via - has the quick version)

And then, what Linux server OS would you run? CentOS?

I'm basically a Windows guy, so... looking to the far deeper pool of Linux experience here.

I do not need uber-awesome-can-do-anything - I just need "works for a CMS, email, and is easy enough to use that I don't lose hair."

I've not done Linux server admin before -- Windows only. So... new waters for me. (Used Linux servers, but not a tonne.)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 08:24:21 AM »
I'm not a Linux person either, but I use CentOS/CPanel/WHM on my VPS and it works well.  My provider uses Virtuozzo for the environment, though I've not really had to have any interaction with that part.

40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2012, 08:47:45 AM »
I'm basically a Windows guy, so... looking to the far deeper pool of Linux experience here.

I do not need uber-awesome-can-do-anything - I just need "works for a CMS, email, and is easy enough to use that I don't lose hair."

I've not done Linux server admin before -- Windows only. So... new waters for me. (Used Linux servers, but not a tonne.)

It shouldn't be too much of a challenge if you already had some server experience. Servers are pretty much servers. The only real differences between them are the directory structures and filename conventions.

WHM/cPanel will get you where you want to go on your host site. You could also optionally install Webmin on your server once it's set up to help you handle all the little details. If you go to the Webmin link there's full info plus a live demo running under CentOS you can play with.

For a Linux server I'd seriously consider using CentOS. It's rock solid. And pretty much the industry standard (along with RHEL) for Linux servers.

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2012, 09:02:08 AM »
I'm not a Linux person either, but I use CentOS/CPanel/WHM on my VPS and it works well.  My provider uses Virtuozzo for the environment, though I've not really had to have any interaction with that part.

Does CPanel really make life easier? It's like $15 or $20 a month for a license at some places... At that rate, it had better be REALLY good and actually do work for me instead of me working for it... I'm not sure as I've not used CPanel in over 10 years, and can't remember what it is like even. But I figure it must be much better now anyways.

...a few minutes later...

Well, cPanel looks pretty good.

One very, very important question... Email server on Linux... CentOS specifically as I think I'm settled on that...

I really need a good email server that just works. And antispam. SpamAssassin I suppose.

A lot of these companies talk about everything except the details about what is on the server. I'd prefer to go with a well-configured server out of the box, and not have to muck around for several days trying to figure out which of this that and the other thing to install and configure.

Or am I worrying when I shouldn't be? (I know Windows servers quite well, and the different server software packages for it, but not for Linux so much.)

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2012, 09:27:37 AM »
This is off-topic, but saw this "hosting provider"... cripes... just look at the page - it's a nightmare... And so bad that it's just funny.

http://www.edenphost.com/

Which of the 83474 reasons not to use them did you pick? :P
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2012, 09:34:57 AM »
I really need a good email server that just works.

Current "smart money" seems to be betting on Dovecot. Dovecot has its own antispam plug-in. Spamassassin can also be integrated into most MTAs as well. But you're on your own with that. HowtoForge has walkthru tutorials you can look at to get an idea of whats involved. Do a search on the string "perfect server" for good how-tos on doing a complete server setup. They generally have one for each major distro and version.

FWIW, if you're primarily interested in more of a webmail solution (which is probably smarter if it's your server) take a look at Roundcube. I've been evaluating it and it's very impressive.

mailview.jpg.pngVPS Recommendations Anyone?

Look familiar?
 8)

40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 09:39:01 AM »
This is off-topic, but saw this "hosting provider"... cripes... just look at the page - it's a nightmare... And so bad that it's just funny.

http://www.edenphost.com/

Which of the 83474 reasons not to use them did you pick? :P

You think their page is less cheesy, confusing, and cluttered than mega-monster host GoDaddy? (Ok. So maybe they don't have a Danica...)  ;D :P


f0dder

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 10:13:59 AM »
FWIW, if you're primarily interested in more of a webmail solution (which is probably smarter if it's your server) take a look at Roundcube. I've been evaluating it and it's very impressive.
Screenshot looks pretty nice - and the advertisement on the box says "browser-based multilingual IMAP client with an application-like user interface.", so you could slam that on top of dovecot? Seems interesting!
- carpe noctem

Renegade

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 10:39:14 AM »
Dovecot seems a bit confusing... Do I need to run an email server (MTA) on top of it?

Anyways...

Looks like pickings are slim... Typical forum banter is useless. When I see that people barely know how to write, and they complain, it's kind of hard to take them seriously. The spammy "top blah blah review" sites are all affiliates, and completely useless. So, pretty much every host I looked at had bad reviews. Barely saw any good reviews for anything. And... There are ZERO blog reviews on hosts - or I didn't see any anyways.

So, kind of narrowed down to this:

http://myhosting.com/

I looked at a truckload, and, don't laugh... even looked at GoDaddy! :P They actually have great deals there, so, it's tempting, but I want to get up north of the border.

Still mulling over a control panel... I don't like the idea of subscription software. I like to pay once and be done with it. So, the Plesk and cPanel pricing just rubs me the wrong way.

But, I'm also used to Remote Desktop on Windows servers, which is very simple and easy when you want to do anything. Not really sure what there is for CentOS there though...

And, none of my questions ever seemed to be addressed by any of the VPS hosts.

Anyways, do I appear to be driving off a cliff as far as anyone can tell?

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

wraith808

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 11:57:31 AM »
So, kind of narrowed down to this:

http://myhosting.com/

Did you notice this part:

Quote
Multiple State-of-the-art Facilities
Our web servers are housed within Equinix and Earthlink Enterprise Data Centers located in Toronto, Canada and Rochester, NY, USA respectively. Web servers are directly connected to world-class fibre optic networks which ensure that your web site experiences superior performance in a fully-redundant and secure environment.

This is why I didn't make any recommendations; even the company I used to go with that was based out of Australia had datacenters in the US.  If you're concerned enough to be doing this, it seems like this would be a red flag...

Still mulling over a control panel... I don't like the idea of subscription software. I like to pay once and be done with it. So, the Plesk and cPanel pricing just rubs me the wrong way.

If you're paying from hosting from a good provider, that cost of cpanel/whm should be a part of your hosting price- not a separate charge, truthfully.  You can get things a la carte, but if you don't you'll find the cost of a reliable host with/without cpanel not to be much (if any) different- and a lot less painful if you aren't in the know regarding *nix.

If you do want to go the more painful route, we aren't looking at anything like RDP- more like command line stuff.  There's not a desktop OS to any of this stuff AFAIK.  I think your prejudices against subscription software might be making you look at this the wrong way- especially since you're going to be paying for hosting per month in any case.

FWIW, if you're primarily interested in more of a webmail solution (which is probably smarter if it's your server) take a look at Roundcube. I've been evaluating it and it's very impressive.

I have roundcube on my server, and it looked pretty cool, along with horde.  My personal favorite though is squirrelmail for a client.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 12:10:08 PM by wraith808 »

40hz

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Re: VPS Recommendations Anyone?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 01:53:52 PM »
Dovecot seems a bit confusing... Do I need to run an email server (MTA) on top of it?

You need an MTA (i.e Postfix, exim, QMail, etc.) under it. The MTA moves mail in and out. The MTA is the mail server. Dovecot retrieves mail from the mail server and serves it to the user via POP or IMAP. It sits between the mail server and the user's email client. And just to make it doubly confusing, yes...Dovecot is a server too!

Here's an example of all the steps needed to setup email yourself as provided by one webhost.

Suggestion...if you're really new at this - or you just want to get on with your life and worry about really learning all this stuff later - ask your hosting company if they provide a setup service for email. A lot of times it's just cheaper to pay them to set it up if you value your time at anything over two bucks an hour.

I'll also suggest to my very small clients they go with a managed email service and let the host provider worry about configuration, updates, security patching, antispam/antimalware scanning, failover provisioning, etc. It makes sense for a small number of mailboxes since most only charge between $2 and $5 per mailbox per month. So unless you're doing over 5 mailboxes, I'd at least consider going with that until you got up to speed on doing it yourself. (Don't know how fast you want to move on this.)

 8)