01-09-2007, 12:11 AM #1New Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
SWM seeks VPS for commited relationship
I'm on the hunt for a new VPS, and after countless hours of research have decided to throw myself at the mercy of the WHT community. I'm usually not big on the boards (affiliates and sig whores!) but I'm really craving some feedback here...
Handful of small, low-traffic sites, running for over a decade on a couple diff hosts. Disk space needs have never exceeded a single gig. RAM, I dont know for sure... as long as Apache can serve up simple webpages, and use PHP for includes.
- Last 10 years on Interland (Web.com now I suppose).
I know I've been paying too much for a long time ($99 Freedom, now $50 'Standard VPS'), but there's an intangible feeling of respectability you get from Interland, that seems very absent from alot of other places... and I do likes me some FreeBSD. One drawback is that I know my current machine hasn't changed in 6+ years. If I signed up fresh for an identical plan, it would be both newer and cheaper.
I tried to escape to HostGator once. Cpanel made me cringe, and when I sent mail through "myhost.com" to "yahoo.com" there would be like 5 relays, complete with (may be forged). After emailing support, they accidentally CC'ed me on a casual internal mail that basically said "bob, can we rig up this guys server to say this instead of that in the email headers? thx, fred" That combined with all the spelling and grammar errors on their main site sent me running back to Interland.
There's something I like about this company, not really sure. Problem would be that I could only afford the VPS M plan, and what I'm getting from a couple hosts is basically:
"Oh you want your VPS to actually host a website?! Well plans A and B can't do that... You'd need a minimum of C."
I notice they give you 2 dedicated IPs. I assume the other is used for DNS or similar? Do I really need 2? Can I trade one back in?
Good prices, and Spry's been around for awhile. The same worry applies about the plan level. Link-1 and Link-2 can't handle a simple, rarely-used MySQL installation? Really? Other worry is thet their own website (especially the wiki?) seems dog slow... and shouldn't that be a concern with a webhost?
Good prices, good plans, and I could keep my beloved FreeBSD! However, I can't really get a feel for where the company's at, or who they are. Are they FortressITX now? And again, could the $15 basic VPS actually *gasp* handle running Apache and PHP, and serving a small, low-bandwidth site? Lastly, this site too seems dog slow... and the forum is taken down.
Something I kind of like about this company, yet I have to weigh that against some negative feedback and the "not quite root" thing. Their website seems brisk though. Prices are rock bottom.
Again my reqs are minimum, <1GB storage, estimate 20-40GB transfer. Apache needs to host about 3-5 simple websites with PHP, and MySQL, while not required, seems ridiculous to do without.
Another deciding factor (and off on a tangent) will be how I could keep a couple additional FTP users under control. One of my few complaints about my current FreeBSD VPS, is that when I create an FTP account for 'jane' to manage '/www/vhosts/janeco.com/' that user can crawl all over the filesystem using the FTP client. I've asked about jails, about chroot, modifying the ProFTP config, etc...
Hoping a couple wise gurus will pipe up and enlighten me a bit. Thanks to anyone who manages to read this far, and sorry for getting a bit longwinded!
01-09-2007, 03:31 AM #2Disabled
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
- Amsterdam/Rotterdam, NL
Based on what you described, a VPS with 128mb guaranteed ram in combination with a lightweight control panel such as DirectAdmin should do well. Depending on whether or not you are hosting business (e.g. important) sites, you may want to go for 256mb guaranteed though. It'll cost a bit more, but also gives you more reliability in case you'd go over that 128mb, since 128mb isn't that much for a LAMP environment (it'll do, but it's the bare minimum).
I can't really comment on the specific companies you mentioned, however here are a couple of things to look for:
- Physical location. If your target audience is in Western USA, it's probably best to look for a host in the California/Las Vegas area. If your target audience is in Europe, it's probably best to look for a host in Europe, etc. If your target audience is all around the world, then consider which audience you find most important and look around in that area.
- OS. If you need (or desperately want) FreeBSD, keep that as a requirement. Do note that this highly restricts your options though, as a big share of the (quality targetted) VPS providers uses Virtuozzo, which doesn't support FreeBSD. If you don't need FreeBSD for a specific reason, it may be a good idea to stay open to other options like CentOS or Debian.
- Company reputation. You should be able to find plenty of feedback on these forums. When looking through feedback, keep in mind that the majority of all customers only posts a feedback when the service is not good, and that some people complain without having even offered the host the oppurtunity to solve a problem. So in other words; except for counting reviews, make sure to also actually read their content, and judge for yourself whether or not the review has any value.
- Company service. The service level that each host offers, varies greatly. The one host includes full management at no additional cost, the other host includes no support at all (except when there's a problem on the host's end). Make sure to work out how much assistance you expect you'll need, for instance with moving your accounts over from your current hosting environment.
Hope this helps
01-11-2007, 10:22 AM #3New Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Hey thanks for taking the time to post Apoc. I agree with many of your points.
FreeBSD is not a hard requirement, it's just familiar, but I guess getting some Linux time wouldn't kill me.
While I do see the benefit of things like cPanel, using it makes me feel... cheap or something. Setting up panels for my customers to do stuff sounds good too, I just really don't want them to see that cPanel for some reason. And you have to pay for a license... not once, but monthly, and it's like $15? Gotta be kidding. I've managed countless websites over the years with just SSH, Apache and vhosts etc... maybe I could PHP up my own panel someday.
I also agree that a machine with 128MB of RAM should suffice as a bare minimum, which is why I was surprised that VPSLink said MySQL wouldn't work on a 128MB (Link-2) plan. Not that I disbelieve him or anything, I just assumed it would, and going from 128 to 256 doubles the cost of the whole plan in most cases, and also raises the bandwidth and storage levels to _way_ more than I need.
So 256K with FreeBSD, Debian or CentOS, datacenter in the Western US preferably, and hopefully not on some old beater machine. SSH would still be required (does that eliminate anyone?) and I suppose I could check out Webmin (free right?)...
I guess what I'll do is choose two providers, set a few sites up on one and a few sites on the other. Whichever one seems best after a couple months will end up with all my business...
Again, my choices if anyone has any feedback:
VPSLink - Love the prices, the freedom, but why is their website so slow?
JVDS - FreeBSD! Anyone know anything? 2GB 'shared' RAM?
KnownHost - looks promising, probably a finalist.
WestHost - save a few dollars, any feedback?not 'true' root etc...
Tektonic - Previously unknown, seems well-liked.
Thanks again for anyone's feedback.
01-11-2007, 10:30 AM #4Web Hosting Guru
Originally Posted by santafetech
- Join Date
- Jan 2005
Also see here
Last edited by Neosmith; 01-11-2007 at 10:37 AM.Charles
01-18-2007, 02:56 PM #5New Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
I host with Westhost and have done so for several years now. I like the freedom I have on the server to do practically anything I like to do. Their tech support is (generally) very good and prompt (especially if you use LiveChat) and the forums are helpful.
The VPS they use is Sphera. Some people claim that this is not a true VPS, but a jailed environment. This is probably true as when I catalog /proc, there are hundreds of tasks listed. Also, we do not have root access, but I have not found this to be limiting. I have built everything I wanted to (and am in the process of upgrading from Apache 1.3.27 to Apache 2).
On the downside, (1)their control panel is extremely sluggish so I tend to do everything via SSH instead. (2)Although you can host multiple domains on one account, you cannot host multiple secure sites. This is a limitation of Apache. (3)The servers are running an old version of RedHat (Enterprise) which has a freezing issue, so SSH access can be frustrating if you are on a heavily loaded server.(4)You cannot configure Anonymous FTP so that people can upload files, but not see what is in the directory.
Westhost are aware of these issues and are working to resolve (1) and (3). They claim that (4) cannot be worked around as all access to your VPS is through a single Unix user.
Despite these limitations, I am happy with them. I host fairly simple web sites there and they fulfill my needs at a very reasonable price.
My uptime is 99.846% over the last year despite several hours' outage when I changed accounts.
Last edited by bear; 01-18-2007 at 04:58 PM.
01-18-2007, 04:36 PM #6New Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
Hey thanks for the post
I actually went with WestHost yesterday.
I just didn't have time to chew on it anymore, and I like that they're very close to me geographically. I have a good feeling about the company, and the prices are fair. I do hope to shake this 'cheap' feeling though (I'm moving from a pretty nice Interland FreeBSD setup, just can't afford it anymore), and I'm having to adapt to some differences in SSH.
Transcript of my first SSH session:
Thu Jan 18 12:32:35 MST 2007
sh: users: command not found
sh: who: command not found
[mydomain][~]$ man who
sh: man: command not found
sh: netstat: command not found
Heh... looks like I have some learning to do! What OS are we on anyway! I guess you said RH ES, for some reason I assumed CentOS.
I like to work from the prompt, and hate cPanel, so not surprisingly don't care for the /manager thing. Plus the way it did that /cgi-bin/.admin.redirect.sh nonsense, and fired off certificate warnings was very uninspiring. Will my future users get such things if I ever tell them about the /users panel?
I've got some WestHost-specific stuff I'm curious about, but will save it for the WestHost board. A couple people there seem pretty helpful.
Thanks for the info!
01-18-2007, 11:01 PM #7New Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
An old quote in their forums saysWestHost runs RedHat 7.3 and Enterprise on our various servers in the "2.0" environment. The actual VPS environment is more of a generic Linux template, but resembles RH in some regard.They are currently running the 2.4.9-e.68 kernel, but are in the process of upgrading to 2.6 which is supposed to cure the SSH issues (due 03/07+).
Yes, you will see the same error message with /users as Westhost use a self signed certificate for the user manager - maybe they'll get a RapidSSL certificate for their servers one day
Look forwards to seeing you on their forums.
PS Did you choose an alternate as well?
01-19-2007, 03:50 PM #8Junior Guru Wannabe
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
Do you really need CPanel? There are free control panels that would do the job. CPanel is the best one, I know, but it is a bit expensive.
Check the advertising forum, for there are a lot of posts from companies all around the world that sell VPS.
04-07-2007, 02:52 AM #9New Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
updateOriginally Posted by rhibbert
WestHost managed to lose us within days, despite the fact we wanted to like them based on their location. The plan was great, the server seemed fast, but the service was a huge disappointment. The story is kind of odd, and worth a couple paragraphs, so here goes...
Our project was simple text site for an elementary school in Salt Lake City, UT. WestHost and their datacenter are also in Salt Lake, and tout their involvement in the local business community. A match made in heaven right?
Our users would be teachers and board members, mostly checking webmail. The certificate errors were a huge concern, as was the fact that various parts of the Site Manager didn't seem to work properly, on IE7 at least. The final straw came when after a few days, the logo on the control panel went from "Site Manager 2.0" to a big, honkin' WestHost logo. Not just big, but like incorrect, stretched dimensions big. It was time to call and get some advice.
I didn't ask to speak to anyone in particular. I mentioned the above issues, and one by one he stated "not aware of any certificate issues" and "our control panel works just fine." Regarding the control panel logo he basically said "I don't think your panel ever said Site Manager." This went back and forth for awhile, and he eventually let me know that reseller accounts dont get the logo, but seemed wholly uninterested in helping me switch accounts. It was very odd, instead of offering suggestions or assistance, he just seemed to want to debate everything. He then suggested Westhost might not be right for me.
I thought well, since it's a Salt Lake City school, maybe I should talk to a manager or something. That's when he informed me he was the Director of Marketing. I immediately agreed with him that WestHost is absolutely not right for me, and cancelled the account. They did that promptly, and refunded my yearly payment relatively quickly.
No hard feelings, I might actually take them for what they are someday, and host some "unimportant" sites there. Nothing for business though, or where users would have to use that panel.
04-07-2007, 06:39 AM #10Rockin' the beer gut
- Join Date
- May 2006
- NJ, USA
Just to throw in, Spry now has a new datacenter.