I need some help finding a host, and Im also a bit confused on the whole dedicated/virtual private server thing.
For as long as Ive had any type of web service, its been hosted by a friend of mine who happened to be running some sort of hosting company. Ive maintained my share of servers and used a number of control panels, but Ive never had to pay the bill myself, nor do I have any idea what makes FredsHostingShack.com better than any other host.
What Im looking to do is setup a site for all of my projects, as well as run some internet-enabled java applications. Bandwidth requirements are minimal, but since Ill be using a few databases heavily, java apps, and plunty of sites, Ill need a system with moderate specs. Im pretty flexible on packages since cost is a key factor here, but I wont cripple my services to save some dough.
Since what I want to host requires shell access for installing and running Java/apps, VPS and dedicated look like my only answers.
The problem is: dedicated servers seem to be far more than what Id need and cost more than I want to spend; and VPS solutions, while slightly cheaper, offer a small fraction of what the dedicated servers do.
Most VPS' Ive seen offer specs in the range of 64-512 ram with 'burstable' ram of 2x to 4x the 'dedicated' ram. Aside from that, everything else is fine, which brings me to my questions:
- How can any system run smoothly these days with so little ram? My empty mySQL server uses 30mb just running idle. Add in the JVM once or twice, Apache, and the OS, and it seems like youd be out of memory. The 'burstable' nonsense looks to me like a marketing ploy...
- Most VPS packages Ive seen are priced at 60/100, yet Ive seen a number of dedicated servers at around the same price with considerably better specs & bandwidth. How is that justified? Shouldnt a VPS be less expensive due to their 'stackable' nature and 5-year old specs? Why should I (or anyone, for that matter) go VPS? Why not just go with the dedicated box for the extra 5/mo and (bogus) one-time setup fee?
- Who are reliable hosts these days? I know this is a bit of a trade off, but while Ive heard ServInt and LiquidWeb are good hosts, I have a hard time justifying $60/mo for a VPS thats essentially no better off than my old IBM Aptiva. Then again, paying $25/mo isnt going to do me any good if the server is hosted in some kids basement on his 'business' DSL connection.
- Anything else I missed? I kept getting sidetracked while writing and correcting this pseudo-rant. Any advice/corrections/flames you guys might have for a newbie would be appreciated.
Some VPS's, especially ones that run control panels like Plesk/Cpanel are underpowered with too little ram. You definately wouldn't want one with less than 256MB.
You sound experienced enough to know what your requirements would be to run dynamic sites with MySQL correctly sized and enough Ram, and would probably be looking at a minimum of 384-512. For virtual servers running Virtuozzo for Linux, or enterprise software like VMWare ESX burstable RAM is a real feature of the virtualization layer. Your virtual OS get's the ability to draw from that pool of free resources as needed, which allows a host to be 20-50% more efficient with the hardware in most cases.
The VPS's with only a fraction of that memory are typically only meant for folks wanting to learn linux, try out vps's, run small static sites without a Control Panel, setup server monitoring software, etc.
You're also more likely to get a more reliable higher quality server with most VPS providers, typically higher end dual or quad cpu servers with redundant hardware vs. $200-500 PC's with cheap components and no redundancy that are often seen competing with higher end VPS plan's.
Setups, Transfers, Migrations, Upgrades, etc.. are all simple matters on a VPS allowing providers and end users better uptime and expansion.
Definately pro's and con's either way depending on your needs. Just make sure you're comparing apples to apples and not just on price.
I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Unmanaged whitebox "servers" with highly managed, backed-up and easily upgradeable VPS.
It's your choice - what's more important for you - uptime or performance?
As for JVM - I wouldn't go anywhere lower then 512mb - and you would be happier with a dedicated. If you were more into classical LAMP or maybe experimental less-power-intensive languages such as python/zope and Ruby on Rails then VPS might do it. But for Java + some app. server - I am not sure!