I'm starting to be happy that I got a VPS elsewhere and left Ventures Online, as now they they don't even allow root access don't even allow root access on their VPS services. They're requiring you to go through the helpdesk for root-level stuff.
Considering how long it sometimes took me to get tickets replied to when I was a customer there (for a few years, mind you ), I can only imagine how long it would take to get a root ticket through.
I provide a similar service without root access. We don't call it VPS/VDS but instead more of a semi-dedicated. Basically, it's just far less accounts per server (we do about 10-20). But no root access is involved, just a simple shared account.
Before VenturesOnline went Plesk-only, VPS users did have root access, and clients were responsible for keeping their servers properly configured/updated/administered. For the techs to do admin work was billable at $90/hour in half-hour increments. (Basic advice was free)
The change in product is interesting, for sure.
In general terms about this root v.s non-root access, I don't know, not having root access just strikes me as strange stuff. I mean, how do you track down a spammer??? Crunch sites' domlogs to determine if they need to move to a bigger solution? Track down the origin of a hack attempt? Move files across accounts? Restore backups? Change MySQL settings? Tweak Exim? There are tons of everyday tasks that cannot be done without root access... now the client is forced to wait for a tech to do it...? If a host's support times are already 12+ hours for a response, it seems silly to force that kind of increased workload on an obviously overloaded tech crew...
It would be neat if other hosts could continue to share their experiences... do you offer root access on your VPS's, and what control panel are your customers running?
Dinix offers root-level access on their VPS's, and run with cPanel. However Dinix will perform routine root-level admin tasks at the client's request, for free (like cPanel updates, security updates, recompiling Apache/PHP, etc.). This way the client can learn how to do stuff, or alternatively they can have the techs do it.
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The Virtuozzo system they use allows for two main configurations for a VE - regular which gives full root access equal to a dedicated server (well 99.9% equal) and shared VE which still gives root access but certain directories (specified by the host) are read only.
With either you could still deny root access, however the idea of the shared VE is to stop the inexperienced from causing damage to the system while still giving them the freedom to configure and trace problems as root.
We do provide full root access on both cpanel and plesk VE's and I would say that the reason they don't is an internal business decision which I'm sure they have a reason for.