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  1. #1

    Real World VPS Package??

    I've decided to make the plunge in a VPS. I've done alot of research here over the last two weeks and am looking at the highly touted providers here (dinix, jvds and Servint) but I have some questions about packages which I haven't seen so much on. Coming from a design background I have plenty of holes in my understanding. MY main reason for choosing a VPS is that I'd like to ease into understanding more about server management. I do not sell straight hosting. Hosting is part of a larger package.

    My clients have relatively small low bandwidth sites with a few popular scripts like OScommerce, Candy Press (those customers will stay where they are) and either nuke or postnuke. Four quick questions.

    First - What is a REALISTIC CPU rate on a VPS? What will work and won't work on 128 MHZ. Is it a matter of number of sites, software being run and how many hits the sites get (I suppose all of the above)?

    Though my clients have relatively small sites in terms of bandwidth and processor use I also don't want to set the ceiling so low I bump my head (so to speak) every time I try something new and 128mhz in these days seems low to the uninitiated like myself.

    Second the same for memory. How much in the real world is taken up by the OS, VPS software and everything that comes on each server to begin with?


    Third, There seems to be some disagreement in regard to VPS software - UML or virtuozzo. If you prefer virtuozzo who is the best provider in terms of their knowledge of that software?

    Fourth, I have seen at least once where VPScolo allows you to add memory and CPU (presumable by itself and not part of moving up to another package). Is this true in regard to CPU? Never seen it anywhere else and coming from a reseller account the concept is a little foreign. If true does Dinix and Servint do the same?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    I am a VPSColo customer and am very happy with them.

    1) & 2) It all really depends on what you are doing if the resources are sufficient or not. You could have 20 sites each with a forum and shopping cart but if no one uses them then it won't affect the server load. Also, you could have one forum with so many concurrent users that it could cripple your VPS - so it is all relative.

    The good thing is that most VPS providers allow your resources to burst - that is, if the other VPSs on the server aren't using their resources then you can use more than your allotted share.

    4) With VPSColo you can add memory and disk space without upgrading your plan. Rus needs to respond but I am sure he can work something out with you for CPU too. I do not know if any other VPS provider offers this feature.

  3. #3
    Hi,

    My name is Andrey Moruga, I'm Virtuozzo Linux Project Manager
    Well.. as you may guess, in UML/Virtuozzo comparison I would vote for Virtuozzo But the fact that I work in SWsoft is not the only reason
    Let me provide some details on such comparison.

    First, in terms of CPU, 128 MHz (caclulated as server CPU power/Number of VPSes) is guaranteed power. Practically, you have this ONLY if ALL the rest VPSs on the node would start (while(1){}).
    Some real life example: with Virtozzo-based VPSes, one of our curtomers run ~300 VPSes on dual Zeon (guaranteed in that case is 4.8 GHz/300 = 16 MHz only). Once, that customer tried to set upper CPU limit to 5% of single CPU (120 MHz). Customers complains followed immediatelly - "why it became so slow??"
    You see - even with 16 MHz guaranteed, you tipically have more than 120 MHz even considering that every VPS owner has real root there - so many of them do install some CPU consuming applications (satiathome and such)
    If in short, it works as network bandwidth:
    - no other customers use CPU - everything is yours
    - Other people do use - you use your part of share, and this part may be dynamically managed by HSP
    And - in terms of CPU management, Virtuozzo is still better then UML because:
    - Virtuozzo allows you to assign part of CPU share and upper cpulimit to every VPS. So - customer want to have more CPU - no problem at all - single command on the node - it's done. Even no VPS restart.
    - Virtuozzo has no system call overhead and no extra data copying in network virtualization. For VPS ovner that means - more CPU is available for him. And if neighbour VPS is under flood ping - CPU is only ~ten percents busy, not 100 percents.

    Virtuozzo memory management is also much more effective - mostly because by design it does not discontinue memory sharing among VPSes - in the same way how processes share resources on plain Linux (or most of the other OSes). So, with 2 Gb and 16 VPSes real VPS RAM you still have much more then 128Mb per VPS - 128 Mb is for private data mostly - all the system files (memory mapping of system libraries, binary files and so on - all the identical things) - are almost "free" for VPS. In practice, that means 300 VPSes (with apache, mysql, cp, ssh, bind, sendmail, pop3 and such) may work fine on 6Gb node - certainly, 20
    Megs of RAM (6Gb/300) is obviously not enough for real standalone server (and for UML, since it does not share most of the things)
    For VPS owner that means - you may put more application on the node with the same number of VPSes
    Certaily, you still can modify any system file in Virtuozzo VPS - in that case, the file system will transparently create a private copy for you. But unless modified
    And, unlike UML, all the resource management in Virtuozzo allows on-the-fly assignment - including memory, disk space, network bandwidth management (I mean - you can add more disk space with no repartitioning, no restart - just single command from the node)

    Besides, Virtuozzo has a number of other nice features - like VPS migration to another server with 2-5 seconds downtime - more uptime for customers in case of planned server downtime. Just released version has web-based control panel for VPS owner as out-of-the-box solution - imagine VPS owner has removed /lib directory - everything is crashed. What he can do? Very simple - go to
    customersdomain.com:4643 by https - and login using VPS root credential. Then - several mouse clicks - and you can restore VPS from backup, or just reinstall it - even keeping existing data. In UML, removing system files would produce a support call, most probably - since VPS is not accessible anymore, and customer has no interface to restore it.

    And - about companies hosting Virtuozzo VPSes - both Dinix and Servint are good, actually. I personally comminicated to Servint tech guys - really good and technically advanced team.

    ---
    Andrey

  4. #4
    Such wonderful and big post - you make a deal

  5. #5
    2) - on our servint VPS, with fairly active sites on it (with, on average, 25+ actively writing apache processes which extensively use mySQL, plus a dozen mail-only accounts), 100Mbs of RAM is being used, with peak being around190Mb. Out of guaranteed 256 (burstable to 512), it leaves plenty of room for growth.

  6. #6

    ON the other hand

    HI Moruga,

    If all that you say is true why have I seen more complaints about CPU usage and memory problems with Dinix that runs your software and none (so far) from VPSColo that runs UML? Not arguing at all - I don't know enough to do so.

    I find virtuozzo in theory to be a selling point (to me) but I have wondered why I see more people leaving Dinix and going to Vpscolo than I have the other way around especially since they are on Internap (dinix that is). Also given your selling points of Virtuozzo to hosts - isn't a virtuozzo host more likely to believe in the superiority over say UML and put more servers per box on a machine and thereby wipe out the superior (if it is) performance. I see indications that this might have happened with Dinix which I believe they have corrected by lowering the amount of VPS per real server.

    Not attempting to rebut just asking questions . Incidentally does Dinix offer increment CPU add on like VPSColo does. From what you wrote it should be much easier for them to do it than a UML host but I haven't seen it advertised (maybe I missed it). With Internap I am leaning toward Dinix but those questions above remain. Thanks

  7. #7
    Hello,

    Well, it's difficult to say right now what exactly might be wrong there.
    You know, such complains CPU/memory may mean anything - overloaded server, slow CPU, bad configuration - whatever. Virtuozzo is a technology - and technically it allows setting any resource control parameters to any value - even if application doesn't work after that (imagine you have memory limit which doesn't allow you to start anything except single apache?)
    If you may provide more precise diagnostic of the problem you had with Dinix - that would be great
    Also, I'll for sure contact Dinix support team, and will try to help them to resolve any misconfiguration issues they might have

    --
    Andrey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    226
    VPS is nowadays, in many circumstances, more expensive than ddicated box. If you go to check servermatrix or ev1servers, you will know what I mean

    If you expect 300Mhz CPU+128 ram will host WHOLE cpanel/apache/mysql/firewall well, your customers will feel slownesses soon. Also, many VPS is not managed, take a walk at dedicated server special offers area on WHT, you will find a

    AMD XP 2400, 512MB ram, Cpanel,500G BW less than 100usd

  9. #9
    I have run both Dinix and VPSColo, both have great customer service, I initially had memory problems with Dinix, I then moved over to VPScolo, Dinix then upped the memory for the VPS, I ran both side by side for 1 1/2 months, I had better pings with Dinix, but page loading was faster with VPScolo, I think from a network standpoint dinix has a great network.

    I like the fact with VPScolo I was able to purchase more cpu and RAM.

    Rus, really goes the extra mile with VPSColo.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    183
    also make sure to check out linode.com for an excellent VPS solution. I have a VPS with them for my own personal stuff, and to just see some awesome custom VPS solutions in action.

    I would recommend them to anyone.

    -Robert

  11. #11
    Originally posted by Jori
    [B]VPS is nowadays, in many circumstances, more expensive than ddicated box. If you go to check servermatrix or ev1servers, you will know what I mean
    Well for that matter When I look at the prices at nocster my mouth falls open (closes a little when I see some of the add on prices but only a little). Of course their network doesn't have the greatest rep the past few months,

    Now your observations about CPU are more along the lines of my first inclination when I saw figures like 128 (for the low end) which is why I asked what would be a realistic package to begin with. When people talk about Dinix and Vpscolo they really don't mention which plan they are on often. Does it take a VPS 300 or VPS 400 to be really comfortable?

    When you start comparing VPS to dedicated I think the real question is how much management we are talking about. I'd hve to think not much with some of the low ball dedicated offers. managemnt is what I think attract most people to the idea of VPS .
    Alot of people like myself want to break into understanding a dedicated environment with a safety net of some sort..

    SO I guess another question is what is a reasonable price to expect for a reasonably managed entry level dedicated. Then maybe the comparison between dedicated and Vps will make more sense to newbies like myself.

  12. #12
    Hi. The way CPU works, at least with our setup, is that each VPS that needs CPU gets an equal share of it. Normally this means you can burst up to the full capacity of a host server CPU. Rarely there will be other VPSs also requiring CPU. Say there were two others, you'd get a third of the available CPU. So based on a dual xeon setup with a few customers all vying for CPU and deducting a bit for VPS software overhead you should realistically expect to get between 1Ghz-1.8Ghz worth of CPU when you need it.

    I know I get lots of positive feedback from customers on the performance of our UML VPSs. So expect to be pleasantly surprised.

    Memory-wise 96MB to 160MB is going to be a good range. A lot of people cope well with just 64MB. But you can never have too much memory.

    I like UML over Virtuozzo. You get the option of running different kerenls. e.g. some customers want to use 2.6 kernels, others want to use 2.4 kernels. There are fewer artificial contraints with UML as well. It behaves very closely to a 'real' dedicated Linux server. (c.f. Virtuozzo where there isn't as clean a separation of VPSs).

    Enjoy your VPS hunt. It's a great way to go. You get a ton more power and flexibility than shared hosting. And even compared to the el-cheapo dedicated servers you're likely going to get a better price and better features (server management, raid, xeons, decent data centers, more flexibility, etc).
    RimuHosting.com - VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting since 2003
    Pingability.com - Peace of Mind Web Site Monitoring

  13. #13
    Originally posted by retep
    Hi. The way CPU works, at least with our setup, is that each VPS that needs CPU gets an equal share of it. Normally this means you can burst up to the full capacity of a host server CPU. Rarely there will be other VPSs also requiring CPU. Say there were two others, you'd get a third of the available CPU. So based on a dual xeon setup with a few customers all vying for CPU and deducting a bit for VPS software overhead you should realistically expect to get between 1Ghz-1.8Ghz worth of CPU when you need it.

    I know I get lots of positive feedback from customers on the performance of our UML VPSs. So expect to be pleasantly surprised.

    Memory-wise 96MB to 160MB is going to be a good range. A lot of people cope well with just 64MB. But you can never have too much memory.

    I like UML over Virtuozzo. You get the option of running different kerenls. e.g. some customers want to use 2.6 kernels, others want to use 2.4 kernels. There are fewer artificial contraints with UML as well. It behaves very closely to a 'real' dedicated Linux server. (c.f. Virtuozzo where there isn't as clean a separation of VPSs).

    Enjoy your VPS hunt. It's a great way to go. You get a ton more power and flexibility than shared hosting. And even compared to the el-cheapo dedicated servers you're likely going to get a better price and better features (server management, raid, xeons, decent data centers, more flexibility, etc).
    First of all isolation between VPSs in Virtuozzo is much "cleaner" compared to UML, and much tighter. I am pretty sure that one of the UML VPS could load the server in such way that other people on the same box won't be happy.

    I am not sure what is being referred as "aritificial constraints", I could not imagine applications which you would not be able to transperently run in Virtuozzo VPS. Please provide examples, and we would be very happy to fix them.

    Also why would the customer want to run different kernels? If you are familiar with internals of those kernels, most of the differences are noticeable on heavily loaded multiCPU boxes, which is certainly not UML VPS scenario. Otherwise there would not be any difference for any reasonable application I could possibly imaging. Of course if you want "play with it" you may want to do it, but for practical applciation I do not see any difference. Virtuozzo support for 2.6 kernel would be released as soon as 2.6 would reach production quality which is required for heavily loaded partition server open for the interenet.

    As for performance > in general the box with Virtuozzo running similar and even small but specifically large number of VPSs would provide 2 to 10 times better performance. F.e. you could fully saturate 100 Mbit (not to say 1gbit) network with HTTP load from inside Virtuozzo VPS (or hence combined HTTP traffic from the node could saturate it). But with UML you would expirience 1/4th to 1/5th of the saturation and that is simply from inside of the single VPS, with large number of VPSs this number goes down even more. And so on.

    Of course the actual performance which you may exprieince from your VPS provider depends on his desire to serve you well. With Virtuozzo the tendency may be to put 100s of VPS per node, and when you would go to the extreme (like some of our customers) and put 300-500 on a single server > the performance suffers. Ask your VPS provider how many other customers are on the box, and what is the hardware. With Virtuozzo the density could be 3-7x higher then with UML, but I would not recommend more, unless it is simply used as a improved shared hosting....

    regards
    sb@
    SWsoft/CEO

  14. #14
    First of all isolation between VPSs in Virtuozzo is much "cleaner"
    How can that be? Each UML VPS runs as its own process under its own user. Not as one big process where everyone can peek at everyone elses memory.

    Why would the customer want to run different kernels?
    Actually I mean having different people run different kernels on the host server. I have a lot of customers who need to make use of Linux 2.6 features. Or want to test their applications out with it. Or just like running new kernels.

    The great thing about UML is that as soon as a new kernel version comes out (e.g. one with a security fix) you can patch it up with the UML code and deploy it. You don't have to wait on a vendor.

    the actual performance which you may exprieince from your VPS provider depends on his desire to serve you well
    I agree with that comment. Each server we run with UML is closely monitored for things like load and CPU usage. We keep those to a minimum by not overloading the server. Who knows, Virtuozzo may very well help us cram more users onto a box. UML lets us run a very comfortable number of users. I'm quite happy with that.

    BTW: Please don't take my comments as critisism. Virtuozzo is an amazing piece of technology (as is UML). But there are differences between the two products and they each have subtle pros and cons.

    Your Plesk control panel on the other hand, is just simply nice. I believe we were the first company to use it on UML based VPSs. And its doing really well for us.
    RimuHosting.com - VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting since 2003
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  15. #15
    Originally posted by retep
    How can that be? Each UML VPS runs as its own process under its own user. Not as one big process where everyone can peek at everyone elses memory.
    Virtuozzo closes not only the direct and obvious ways for one VPS to affect others, like accessing processes' memory or some objects belonging to another VPS. Virtuozzo closes indirect and sophisticated ways to affect the others, for example, accidently or deliberately creating denial-of-service. In any case VIRTUOZZO VPS ARE COMPLETELY CLEANLY ISOLATED, that is the whole point.

    The consumption of host system resources by each UML instance is not accounted or controlled in any way. For example, memory management operations inside UML can cause creation of new memory management structures and virtual memory areas in the host system. These structures consume memory, they are linked in lists (and, thus, each new structures may make walking through lists longer) and so on. With UML, such indirect influence on the host system is not controlled in any way.

    On top of that, with UML performance overhead significantly larger that Virtuozzo one, it's more easy to slow down the whole system or make it unresponsible. It can be done accidently, just by creating too big load in one or several VPSes.

    UML is a fine piece of software > but it was not desigend for a production server, and it was not designed for a production server in uncooperative environment with 10s and 100s of instances running simalteniously

    Originally posted by retep
    Actually I mean having different people run different kernels on the host server. I have a lot of customers who need to make use of Linux 2.6 features. Or want to test their applications out with it. Or just like running new kernels.
    Why would you want your hosting customers to run different new kernels? I mean the only reason to do it is to play, for the production web application of any , absolutely any kind > website, chat, game, porn, other smaller hoster > you could use either, and you are better off with something standard across all of your customers or you may end up getting too much unrelated tech support. For me this is a rather disadvantage, not advantage > you have no control of what customer could do, and he could still end up calling you after he has done something wrong, and none of it brings any benefit for the customer, or at least for a vast majority of the customers.

    Originally posted by retep
    The great thing about UML is that as soon as a new kernel version comes out (e.g. one with a security fix) you can patch it up with the UML code and deploy it. You don't have to wait on a vendor.
    Yes, sure, UML was designed and is very good for that > new kernel development/debugging! It is great for that by the way, all of its disadvantages are not important in that environment!

    But then why would you want a "new kernel" on a production server? SWsoft writes lots of kernel code, probably over 10% of meaningfull code in Linux kernel (of any version) is contribued by our developers, and that is important code like most of TCP/IP (!!!) or resource management, and our developers for all people woudl tell you > anything new is not something you would immideately want to use, it must mature and get well tested. It is risky,everything new is risky, this is kind of the law of nature!


    Originally posted by retep
    I agree with that comment. Each server we run with UML is closely monitored for things like load and CPU usage. We keep those to a minimum by not overloading the server. Who knows, Virtuozzo may very well help us cram more users onto a box. UML lets us run a very comfortable number of users. I'm quite happy with that.
    What is the comfortable number of VPS which you run, and at which price do you sell?

    Originally posted by retep
    BTW: Please don't take my comments as critisism. Virtuozzo is an amazing piece of technology (as is UML). But there are differences between the two products and they each have subtle pros and cons.

    Your Plesk control panel on the other hand, is just simply nice. I believe we were the first company to use it on UML based VPSs. And its doing really well for us.
    Actually critisism is good! I would greatly appriciate that. In a way I want to know if I am wrong > my company, my customers depend on that proper knowledge of the reality! Please provide more critisism! Ground us!

    regards
    sb@
    SWsoft/CEO

  16. #16
    Hi, demostorm. Virtuozzo and UML are both good products. Both are fine for use with production systems. Both can provide good performance.

    UML lets you get allocated real memory. It does not use a shared pool of memory that everyone can dip into which means some users may not get the memory they were expecting to have available and may lead to memory overselling.

    UML gives you very good security and performance control through process separation.

    UML gives you more flexibility in the kernel you run and the features enabled in that kernel.

    I hope your VPS hunt goes well. Whatever setup you go with there is nothing in the hosting world so satisfying as having a full Linux server under your control.
    RimuHosting.com - VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting since 2003
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  17. #17
    Originally posted by retep
    Hi, demostorm. Virtuozzo and UML are both good products. Both are fine for use with production systems. Both can provide good performance.

    UML lets you get allocated real memory. It does not use a shared pool of memory that everyone can dip into which means some users may not get the memory they were expecting to have available and may lead to memory overselling.

    UML gives you very good security and performance control through process separation.

    UML gives you more flexibility in the kernel you run and the features enabled in that kernel.

    I hope your VPS hunt goes well. Whatever setup you go with there is nothing in the hosting world so satisfying as having a full Linux server under your control.
    It sounds like ... UML and Virtuozzo are both nice products ... but UML is good and Virtuozzo is not good .... Take note my statement is slightly different > Virtuozzo is good for hosting and that what it was designed for versus UML which is good for kernel developers/testers and that what it was designed for.

    I do not agree with the statements above, and mostly they are statements not arguments:

    1) Both Virtuozzo and UML give you real memory > it is just that Virtuozzo gives you more memory if you have same number of VPS on a box. Overselling has not much to do with it, but it is true that Virtuozzo allows you to abuse the overselling. Even without overselling > Virtuozzo gives more memory.

    2) Isolation, Security and Performance control is arguably and verifiably better with Virtuozzo. I provided some arguments above.

    3) Which of the "new features" of new kernel do you need for your applications/customers? Please provide some example of really usefull features and of applications which are much better on a different kernel, especially if in the VPS (limited to some fraction of physical server performance) environment.

    And it is certainly true that your own Linux server is better ... SOMETIMES.

    But in fact not always > it is more expensive, there is more management tasks > more to manage, less recovery options, it will be could be lower availability too. It could end up being less secure too. IT IS SIMPLY MORE COMPLEX and LESS CONVINIENT. We would make it VPS to be more convenient more and more in future anways

    So you need to make sure that you actually NEED your own Linux server vs VPS or something like DDS (Single VPS per server) before you buy/pay for one.

    regards
    sb@
    SWsoft/CEO

    PS. There is somewhat more to manage in UML VPS even though it is not a whole server Not a problem (just more work) for someone who would compile his own kernel with new features, but could be a problem for someone less sophisticated.

    PPS. It is should be easier for a provider to sell Virtuozzo based VPS, there is less to do, less support, many more tools included, less hardware required, it is easier for customers. We tried hard to make it easier/cheaper and we are not finished.

    PPS. No disrespect towards UML VPS providers > at the end the people is the most important component of the customer satisfaction products are only helping...

  18. #18
    I can't respond to your post without repeating points I've made earlier. So I won't. If you want to continue this discussion, feel free to email me. But I don't see the point in hijacking this thread for that debate.
    RimuHosting.com - VPS Hosting and Dedicated Server Hosting since 2003
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  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    63
    Does Virtuozzo block some functions/ ports? I needed to be able to use SMTP from mydomain.com on port 26, since many local ISPs block port 25. cPanel's Service Manager has a checkbox for setting exim on another port, should be simple.

    Servint said Virtuozzo prohibits use of port 26. They had me try port 24, then said "It doesn't seem to work on ports other than port 25". Servint said they couldn't do anything about it, since it was a Virtuozzo problem. I've heard from more recent Servint customers who indicate the problem no longer exists. Maybe Servint or Virtuozzo has resolved the issue.

    But, I switched to a UML box, where everything works as expected, including exim on port 26.

    Virtuozzo may be efficient, but so's a Yugo. Or more accurately, Yugos give good mpg ratings. I don't want efficiency that bad.
    Jack.

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