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  1. #1

    What do you need to know to manage a VPS

    Hi,

    I'm thinking of graduating from shared hosting. But I've never managed a server before. What kind of skills do I need? Is it easy to learn, or is it too dangerous and do I just go down the managed hosting route?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Its pretty much the same as managing a dedicated server. You might check into a server management company, there are plenty out there.

    Since managed is an option, you may want to see what they do and do not manage for you.

  3. #3
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    A VPS is basically just another computer or dedicated server. Gives you the same interface. The question is, will you need assistance with Linux or Windows OS?
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  4. #4
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    Hello Hope12345,

    I would advise to start playing with linux and see what is all needed to be able to manage a server; starting with keeping everything up to date; move to tweaking; securing and so on. If you do not have experience with any of them i would not risk to move to a unmanaged VPS; if you go to a managed VPS you may need to know less, depending on the kind of 'managed' to company provides; most deliver a more re-active type of support; meaning you contact the host about what you need to be fixed or want, others do deliver a more pro-active approach, they fix issues they see before you noticed.

    I believe the main questions is why do you want to move from shared-hosting to a VPS, is it because of you wanting to learn, or are there also other aspects to it ?

  5. #5
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    Getting a VPS is one of the best ways to get into learning Linux, you can fiddle around with everying with no fear of breaking it, worst case you click one button and its all re-installed
    Ekin Ersoy
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    Hello Hope12345,

    I would advise to start playing with linux and see what is all needed to be able to manage a server; starting with keeping everything up to date; move to tweaking; securing and so on. If you do not have experience with any of them i would not risk to move to a unmanaged VPS; if you go to a managed VPS you may need to know less, depending on the kind of 'managed' to company provides; most deliver a more re-active type of support; meaning you contact the host about what you need to be fixed or want, others do deliver a more pro-active approach, they fix issues they see before you noticed.

    I believe the main questions is why do you want to move from shared-hosting to a VPS, is it because of you wanting to learn, or are there also other aspects to it ?
    My site (social network with video and audio sharing) is growing, and my current shared hosting service is not acceptable in terms of customer service (plus I keep getting errors regarding space usage). I understand that the next step up is VPS or dedicated, and I need to understand what it entails before I make the plunge.

    Do you know of any companies that offer managed VPS services then? Or perhaps semi-dedicated works better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope12345 View Post
    My site (social network with video and audio sharing) is growing, and my current shared hosting service is not acceptable in terms of customer service (plus I keep getting errors regarding space usage). I understand that the next step up is VPS or dedicated, and I need to understand what it entails before I make the plunge.

    Do you know of any companies that offer managed VPS services then? Or perhaps semi-dedicated works better.
    Good to hear your site is doing well, but it indeed means that at some point you will need to upgrade.

    Most VPS companies do offer a type of managed services, and there are also plenty of companies delivering server management.

    I would also see a Semi-dedicated as possibility, but it is just delaying the step to a dedicated server; if your aim is to learn more about managing a server, a VPS might be a better choice; if your aim is to deliver your services as you did before a semi-dedicated might be a better choice.

    It all depends on how much expertise you are willing to learn and how much you are prepared to pay for management of the vps/server in the future.

    A choice you have to make yourself. I see you take all options in consideration which is a good starting point.

    One advise; make sure the VPS is powerful enough for your site; as i do not know how good your shared-hosting company was; you may have the chance the VPS is even less powerful just more configurable .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope12345 View Post
    My site (social network with video and audio sharing) is growing, and my current shared hosting service is not acceptable in terms of customer service (plus I keep getting errors regarding space usage). I understand that the next step up is VPS or dedicated, and I need to understand what it entails before I make the plunge.

    Do you know of any companies that offer managed VPS services then? Or perhaps semi-dedicated works better.
    If you are new to VPS I would recommend getting a managed one, that way you can focus on your site and not worry about messing something up on the server. If you want to learn how to manage a VPS yourself, you can find some really inexpensive unmanaged ones and use tutorials online and take it step by step. It shouldn't be too hard to get the hang of it, and even if you go with a managed one, learning how to install stuff on your VPS yourself could potentially save you a lot of time and headaches.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the info and help. Does anyone know a good hosting company with semi dedicated services with ffmpeg installed on their server?

  10. #10
    has any one ever used infrenion.com and know if they are reliable?

  11. #11
    My advice is to not bother yourself with a vps management. Some virtualization software provide a user-friendly container/machine management tools, but I don't know what kind of virtual server are you going to use.
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  12. #12
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    I'm not sure how well they are running, but teamvps are offering a VPS for $8 mo. Now before you all laugh, its a good and cheap way to get your feet wet at least in terms of assessing its capabilities and how much additional work will be involved for your live social networking sites. There are mixed reports on the company, some say is super fast, others say support is lousy, but it could be away for you to learn a lot for $8 without risking the farm. Then at least you will know if you uare ready for managed, unmanaged, semi-dedicated or dedicated.

    Just an idea...

    --Michael
    Last edited by HostYourIdea; 08-09-2009 at 06:40 PM. Reason: bad typing
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  13. #13
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    I would recommend you go with a managed provider, but still try to manage everything on your own. If something goes wrong you can contact support and they will fix it for you and tell you how so you can learn .

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ekin View Post
    Getting a VPS is one of the best ways to get into learning Linux, you can fiddle around with everying with no fear of breaking it, worst case you click one button and its all re-installed
    That is no way to learn. Google around see how you can fix the mess you have made rather than reinstalling the entire system. Troubleshooting a problem is the way to go ahead, not skipping it.
    .
    .
    .
    As for the OP, spend 500 a month and go with RackSpace.com - your technical knowledge will never grow with them but your social networking site will definitely!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganesh-rao View Post
    That is no way to learn. Google around see how you can fix the mess you have made rather than reinstalling the entire system. Troubleshooting a problem is the way to go ahead, not skipping it.
    I said worst case
    Ekin Ersoy
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hope12345 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm thinking of graduating from shared hosting. But I've never managed a server before. What kind of skills do I need? Is it easy to learn, or is it too dangerous and do I just go down the managed hosting route?

    Thanks!
    Once the provider installs a control panel (like cPanel or DirectAdmin), things run smoothly but you still have to maintain and secure the system. If you are inexperienced with Linux in general then it makes sense to get server management. The most cost effective way is to learn Linux and manage your own VPS but it takes time to get to the point where you can do that yourself.

    In the mean time, get a managed service and learn as much as you can from your provider. Whenever you have to contact your provider for help, ask for a detailed account of the issue at hand and how it was resolved. Chances are things will start making sense after a while.

    Happy learning!

    Regards
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  17. #17
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    Just don't experiment around with your live servers. Leave them alone.

    Put up a crap PC together and first try installing Linux... getting all device drivers, etc. That should be a start!

  18. #18
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    From the technical standpoint, everyone here pretty much has you covered.

    But from the billing/sales standpoint make sure you read the TOS/AUP before you signup with the host and make sure you know exactly what you are contracting into. Figure out exactly what they manage, and exactly what they dont. Some managed VPS's will only go so far, but them you must upgrade a level. Or some unmanaged vps's will allow you so many hours/minutes of management per month. There are a bunch of different offers out there and you have to just take a look around. Dont put your egg in the first basket you see.

    And #1 don't forget.
    backups, backups, backups, backups, and more.. backups.

    Good luck!

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  19. #19
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    If you're looking for best managed VPS wiredtree or liquidweb are the company to go with... you cannot go wrong with them, hardened server, good specs and most of all best support.

    If you will just be running your own site on the VPS you may opt not to get CPANEL/WHM (save you at least $10/month) just get free webadmin or the cheap kloxo so you can easily configure your server.

    Don't ever get a VPS w/out control panel if you're not at least linux power user.
    Last edited by QuickWeb-Roel; 08-11-2009 at 01:55 AM.
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  20. #20
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    I disagree . . . learning to manage your own *nix server can be fun, doable (even in just your spare time), and rewarding; I can hardly think of a more valuable skill.

    Get a good book on the environment you're going to use and give it a go the old fashioned way!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarrodsl View Post
    I disagree . . . learning to manage your own *nix server can be fun, doable (even in just your spare time), and rewarding; I can hardly think of a more valuable skill.

    Get a good book on the environment you're going to use and give it a go the old fashioned way!
    Yeah but you don't want to do your **learning linux** on your live VPS don't you? making simple mess with your firewall setting will virtually make your server inaccessible.

    If one like to study linux on a data center environment better get cheap VPS (even 256MB RAM VPS @ $6/mo will do) and leave your live site alone in a fully managed server until you are confident enough to switch to unmanaged service and save yourself some $$$.
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  22. #22
    If you are not much familiar with VPS technology then first of all go for managed VPS server. In the meantime, try to enhance your technical skills by referring articles from Google or join some online courses if possible.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kabayan View Post
    Yeah but you don't want to do your **learning linux** on your live VPS don't you? making simple mess with your firewall setting will virtually make your server inaccessible.

    If one like to study linux on a data center environment better get cheap VPS (even 256MB RAM VPS @ $6/mo will do) and leave your live site alone in a fully managed server until you are confident enough to switch to unmanaged service and save yourself some $$$.
    Ah, you make it sound harder than it is. When I was learning I always made a simple shell script and cron job to replace the new firewall rules with the old ones just in case . . . and I still do that to this day . In reality, there are many how-to's on the internet, and as long as you have basic requirements that don't call for anything to be significantly customized, even a novice can be up and running without a CP in a few short days.

  24. #24
    hi, im a total newbie. i think this question may be not very close related to topic, but i dont want new thread for newbie question.

    i only just tried unmanaged vps with tektonic.net because a friend of mine was using it before. and he taught me how to use it (whm/cpanel)

    in tektonic, they have ns3.tektonic.net and ns4.tektonic.net as DNS, so using netfirms i point dns to these 2. but now i am looking at the website of intodns.com and teamvps.com because i am interested in their cheap vps, but i cant seem to find what dns to use similar to what tektonic have.

    also, by doing above in netfirms, and also creating account in whm (say mydomain.com). still mydomain.com does not point to the ip of my vps. i need to login to hspc.tektonic.net/cp and add the domain there, then it will work.

    my question is, is that screen hspc.tektonic.net/cp also the same for other vps provider? is it standard like whm? im sorry if my question does not make sense or seem stupid. thanks for help

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontan6 View Post
    ... but now i am looking at the website of intodns.com and teamvps.com because i am interested in their cheap vps, but i cant seem to find what dns to use similar to what tektonic have.
    Teamvps still have not replied to my email or question in WHT.

    I talked with Intodns.net and they are in Romania, but they do seem to know what they are doing even though they are quite new into VPS, they have a lot of experience in Internet. I don't think they will give your their DNS until you sign up. Plus it may change depending on which server they allocate to you.

    Intodns. net offer a unmanaged account, but for the price it's cheap to practice on without risking live clients. You will learn something that way, and if you mess it all up, well it's just an experiment.

    Another point to remember whoever you go with, if you take a managed server and they harden the server for you, they may use proprietary tools and if you leave them and try to migrate the server setup. The host may just disable those tools securing your server as they remain their property and they let you use them only while you are with them.

    Hope it helps, just a suggestion...

    --Michael
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  26. #26
    thanks, ill try to hunt team vps people in the forums, i dont know what to do

  27. #27
    From my experience, in terms of set-up and initial configuration this isn't much of a problem (as someone said - if your web host installs a panel for you then this is easy).

    However, it's when issues occur that being unmanaged will hit you. This may be because of the downtime of your website or because you have to plough out Managed costs to get it fixed. Thus why it's good to have at least some Linux knowledge and understanding of how a VPS works (FTP, DNS, Mail, etc). Then you're able to work out most issues for yourself.

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