Ok. Last week we talked about the advantages/disadvantages of becoming a Reseller. Now lets look at another option: Going for a VPS.
Why go for a VPS?
A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is as its name suggests a “virtual” server. Through a process known as “virtualization” a high spec server is divided into smaller “virtual” servers. Since these VPSs share the same hardware, they can be offered at cheaper rates than a dedicated server. As with a dedicate server, you now have much more control over the settings on the “server” than if you were a reseller. But with this comes the need for more knowledge in setting up and configuring the server. So when going for a VPS, check to see if the package includes technical support, or how much extra you’ll have to pay to get it. If not, you could either decide to go for a 3rd party support company to look after you server, or simply decide its time you took matters into your own hands.
With your own VPS you can determine what software you wish to install, and will not have to worry if changing a version will effect other users. However, one thing you should keep in mind when working with VPSs is that each VPS will have a resource limit,i.e. the amount of CPU, RAM, disk space etc it can use. This will be determined by the package you chose. Different hosting companies have different ways of handling VPSs that exceed that limit, but most of them implement a system where those processes that use up too much resources are killed. So if your VPS is working near its resource limit, you could expect to see issues caused by processes being killed before completion. This could mean clients loosing connection part way through loading a site, or part way through a transaction. Please note, this is only if you VPS has reached its resource limit. The hosting company will usually inform you if they find your VPS using up a lot of resources. You could their either upgrade your package, or find out what processes are using up all the resources. This is where your own dedicated tech team will come in handy.
VPSs are pretty good if you are expecting your hosting business to grow quickly. VPSs can be easily upgraded to allow for more resources, without having to go in for an OS reload or hardware change. Even if your hosting company does decide to upgrade hardware, most of the VPS software allow for easy transfer of data from one VPS to another, or backup and transfer the whole VPS itself. You can upgrade your VPSs as your customer base grows, or order more VPSs. With many of the control panels these days allowing for managing many servers at a time via one interface, it wont be as difficult as you think. But you must still remember, that there will be other VPSs on the same server as you are. An improperly configured VPS and no proper resource monitoring setup by the hosting company could mean a lot of downtime for you. If you did you research before selecting, you wouldn’t end up with a hosting company like that, but its something you should watch out for. Once you start hosting sites where even a few minutes of downtime during peak hours spell “refund!!“, its time you start looking for a Dedicated server of your own.
Check back next week to know more about your next option….a Dedicated server.
About the Author:
Hamish works as a Senior Software Engineer in Bobcares. He joined Bobcares in July 2004, and is an expert in Control panels and Operating systems used in the Web Hosting industry. He is highly passionate about Linux and is a great evangelist of open-source. When he is not on his xbox, he is an avid movie lover and critic.