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  1. #1

    * Considering unmanaged VPS

    I currently have a mid-level account at Knownhost. They've really been excellent; no significant complaints whatsoever. Response is sometimes a bit sluggish when I log in to my Drupal sites there, but general site load times are fine. I switched to them from Ramhost as I was not yet comfortable with total management of a VPS. I have to give Ramhost credit: Ramhost was awesomely fast.

    I am wondering a couple of things. One is how much overhead cpanel adds to a VPS. Could this explain the speed difference between the two? Plus Ramhost was a Debian install, Knownhost is Centos. Is Debian with no cpanel going to be that much more responsive than Centos with cpanel? I have considered dropping to a lower cost plan at Knownhost, but I am concerned that would degrade response time even more. My main reason for keeping cpanel is that I understand that switching from one cpanel hosting provider to another provider with cpanel automates a lot of the painful tasks involved.

    I do need to cut back on my monthly expenses, and I see switching to a good unmanaged VPS as a possible way to do that. But I also want the convenience of cpanel (and the speed of Debian, as I understand it is a faster platform than Centos). Plus the resources needed to host a multisite and some other Drupal Installation.

    Any feedback appreciated. Any referrals to a US hosting provider with fast, low cost unmanaged VPS offerings and cpanel would also be appreciated.
    Last edited by TRC42; 03-06-2011 at 09:37 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
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    I know your looking at debian but Id check cpanel's system requirement: http://cpanel.net/products/cpanelwhm...uirements.html

    They recommend centos, freebsd or redhat.
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  3. #3
    cPanel by itself doesn't add much overhead. It is a control panel used to *manage services*. It's these services which could potentially use large amounts of your system resources and, by default, it will automatically install and configure many of these for you (e.g. mail server, web server, DNS servers, spam filtering, service monitoring, database server).

    So the comparison between Debian without panel and CentOS with cPanel is a little apples vs oranges in my eyes. It sounds like instead you need to examine what is running on your cPanel system and perform some tuning to deactivate unneeded services and tune/optimize the configuration of what you use. Perhaps you can seek assistance from your current provider for this. That said, it could well be that Ramhost simply offered a high-performing platform and that, combined with a cruft-free Debian install, resulted in much faster response times? Again, it's all speculation and you should really discuss it with your provider

    Hope that helps
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  4. #4
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    Even going with an unmanaged VPS with a company like Linode isn't going to save much, if any, on monthly cost for the same resources. And I don't think the I/O will be a great improvement as KnownHost has pretty good I/O speed. I don't know how much performance you will gain by dropping cPanel in favor of RAM usage. But the headache of an unmanaged server may not be worth the trade. Just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    My 2 cents, its tough to compete with knownhost given their high ratings everywhere you go; there is of course a price tag to follow as with any big name out there. If you drop to unmanaged I wouldn't move to far away from cPanel as that could be your lively hood, at least at first. I might suggest to take a peak at cheaper hosts who still provide management. There's a ton of great companies on WHT who post in the VPS offer thread.

    You'll probably find quite a few 40-60% cheaper then knownhost and continue to offer full management.
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  6. #6
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    Have you tried working out the speed issues with KnownHost? I highly doubt it has anything to do with CentOS or cPanel.

  7. #7
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    Debian isn't a supported OS for cPanel so CentOS will be a requirement. It generally runs with no problems on CentOS and is quite stable.

    With a decent amount of allocated resources and adequate I/O you should not experience any sluggishness as cPanel has done a great job optimizing their software.

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  8. #8
    The difference in OS and with cpanel installed would be negligible/none compared to the network speed and possibly the configuration of the httpd. Your httpd may need to spin up a new PHP process or wait for a pooled one to become available to respond to your request, which could cause the slowdown, (but this is unlikely unless your site was experiencing a lot of requests at that time) - the new VPS could be configured differently.
    The network time takes by far the longest on most page requests, so it is likely the node you were switched to had a better or less utilized connection.

  9. #9
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    I just want to frame the request properly...

    Assuming you're running close to a VS3 with cpanel right now, you're likely spending $50/month. Most unmanaged budget VPS at that mark go for $15-20. Throw cPanel into the mix and generally you're looking at an $15 extra. You're not really saving that much.

    But if you really need to trim $20, consider looking at CleverKite. While I haven't had the pleasure of using it myself, their plans run at $27 including cPanel and is semi-managed and will at least get you secured and up and running. Orien's pretty visible around here too, which helps.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tchen View Post
    But if you really need to trim $20, consider looking at CleverKite. While I haven't had the pleasure of using it myself, their plans run at $27 including cPanel and is semi-managed and will at least get you secured and up and running. Orien's pretty visible around here too, which helps.
    Appreciate the mention Unfortunately effective today, we had to increase the price of our cPanel licenses for new customers to $10/mo.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRC42 View Post
    I have to give Ramhost credit: Ramhost was awesomely fast.
    Thanks for the feedback

    Quote Originally Posted by TRC42 View Post
    I am wondering a couple of things. One is how much overhead cpanel adds to a VPS. Could this explain the speed difference between the two?
    Quite possibly, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by TRC42 View Post
    Plus Ramhost was a Debian install, Knownhost is Centos. Is Debian with no cpanel going to be that much more responsive than Centos with cpanel?
    Any OS without a control panel will run faster than an OS with a control panel - a control panel adds overhead no matter how you look at it. In most cases this results in more memory usage and not particularly a speed/performance reduction however.

    FWIW, we install Debian by default but you can certainly reload yourself into one of the other OS's (including CentOS) that we offer.

    You might also consider using DirectAdmin or Kloxo instead of cPanel if cost is a concern (DirectAdmin is about half of cPanel's vps license price, and Kloxo is free - both are good control panels).

    Of course, if you really want to cut costs you may want to just go with some shared hosting - if your site isn't insanely popular it should be fine on regular ol' shared hosting (avoid unlimited shared hosting however .
    Last edited by ramnet; 03-08-2011 at 02:12 AM.
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  12. #12
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    I would say... VPS-ized OS templates are generally pretty slim and well optimized. So probably you won't see much speed difference. Unless the app version is major revision (i.e. v1.x vs v2.x) between the different distros, and has been documented earth-shattering performance improvement in newer version.

    You can't really compare, as I'm sure, both providers uses different hardware. If you really want to do comparison. Use same provider, on same type hardware, and test the different distros.

    I recently helped someone migrated from crappy physical node to nice node and the owner couldn't be happier. Granted, it was from CentOS+DA to plain vanilla Debian(6)... but the physical hardware made most of the difference.
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  13. #13
    cpanel took like 256 MIN ram for installation.

    and I guess for cpanel it took $15

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ramnet View Post
    Thanks for the feedback
    Nothing but good things to say about Ramhost: you went beyond what is expected in setting up my VPS, and response to tickets was fast and knowledgeable. And the speed was unbelievable. Two thumbs up for unmanaged VPS, for sure.

  15. #15
    Trying to hit on some of your topics.

    1) cpanel for the average user is about 15 for a vps license from cpanel there are several others out there that are free but without the amount of resources and support that cpanel does have.

    2) as far as a 100% unmanaged vps generally speaking the provider usally helps with any little issue and should be willing to help where they can.

    3) as far as what OS to use you can try it out before putting in to production with many vps host the OS can be chose on initial install or in the control panel it can be changed pretty quickly
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  16. #16
    A couple points:

    - cpanel doesn't add any overhead to running processes (i.e., apache doesn't run slower/faster if cpanel is on the box), but it does take some RAM, so if you have a small VPS, there might be an impact. Usually people say at least 512MB for a cpanel VPS.

    - cpanel through Knownhost is $5/month

    - I don't know if the lifetime 10% off deal in the offers forum for Knownhost is still active but that's another potential saving

    I doubt Debian is significantly faster than CentOS, or if there is a difference, that you'd notice it at this level.
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