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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    138

    Questions about VPS?

    Until recently, I didn't realize that Virtual Private Servers were available at such affordable prices. Now, I have become eager to purchase some to host web applications that I have developed. But I have some questions before I jump in:

    1) How secure is a VPS? As I understand it, it is a virtualized private environment where I can install my own OS (e.g. CentOS, Debian, Win2K8R2, etc.) and have full root access to configure, patch, and manage whatever settings I like? At work I use VMware ESX and Workstation frequently and I know that I can mount virtual machines that are both running and in the offline state without any credentials (provided I have disk access to directory where the VM files are stored...) I'm assuming this is the same for VPS hosts -- they would be able to access the contents of my VPS without having my root password? In terms of protecting my intellectual property (binaries, source code, etc.) this is not a desirable thing. I have also read other threads on here where the VPS Virtualization Management software is compromised on the provider side ("LxLabs") and the customer (Me) would be at risk regardless of whether I had secured my VPS or not...This is also not desirable.

    2) If I want to reinstall my OS, how is this done? Is there some sort of management client (like VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client) that allows you to manage machine state (offline, online, paused), take snap-shots, install new OS, etc....or are these tasks that you must hassle the VPS host to do for you?

    3) Any other advice?

    The thought of being able to rent an affordable VPS that has redundant power backup, high speed, hi-bandwidth links (as opposed to an much more expensive dedicated server) is wonderful, but the issue of security weighs heavily on my mind. I am confident that I can maintain a secure Linux environment, but I am concerned about security deficiencies on the host OS (run by the provider). I would appreciate your insight on these matters.

    Thanks!

    Josh

  2. #2
    1) You're exactly right, a provider will have the potential to access to all your files if they really want to (unless you encrypt them!). If this is a show-stopper there's really not much you can do (except for encrypting your files yourself). Of course, most providers will have a privacy policy which states that they won't do this but that's not any form of security.

    2) Depends on the provider and the platform. Some providers provide control panels that allow the customer to automatically rebuild their VPS, others do it manually through a support request, and some might charge for it.

    3) I think you already seem to be well aware of both the advantages & disadvantages of using a VPS. At the end of the day though, a quality VPS is both a well-featured, powerful, and cost-effective way to empower greater control over your environment/infrastructure and in many cases a very nice option.
    Exceptional VPS Hosting. With love, 6sync.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    /home
    Posts
    248
    Basically you are correct.

    A VPS is as secure as you make it, it's the same as running a normal server, you are in charge. If you open all ports then it will be insecure, normally people won't do this, but it's just an example.

    Most of the time you tell the provider which OS you would like, and they install it for you. If you require an OS change, sometimes it is built into a web/control panel they offer, or you just open a support ticket and they can change it for you. Remember that using an OS reload through the web panel doesn't make a backup normally, it will just overwrite your current HDD.

    The main reason people choose a VPS is because of the price and/or management. They are far cheaper than Dedicated servers (in most cases), and you get a similar service. Of course you wouldn't get a small low end VPS to run a gaming server with thousands of people, but you could easily run a small gaming server on a VPS rather than a dedicated server, and that way save some money.

    You seem like the kind of person who doesn't need much support with a VPS. Going for an unmanaged solution would benefit due to the normally lower pricing. A managed solution is for someone who either doesn't have time, or who needs support in setting up/securing their server.

    Good luck, and do your research before choosing a provider!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    194
    Well, prodivers can use your application while saying against the privacy policy by changed or said its illegal materials. My suggested sign black and white paper so privacy policy cannot be changed

  5. #5
    Hello Josh,

    It's good to know that you are looking forward to purchase vps hosting packages to host your web applications. In respect with your questions, i have answered them as follows :

    1) How secure is a VPS? As I understand it, it is a virtualized private environment where I can install my own OS (e.g. CentOS, Debian, Win2K8R2, etc.) and have full root access to configure, patch, and manage whatever settings I like? At work I use VMware ESX and Workstation frequently and I know that I can mount virtual machines that are both running and in the offline state without any credentials (provided I have disk access to directory where the VM files are stored...) I'm assuming this is the same for VPS hosts -- they would be able to access the contents of my VPS without having my root password? In terms of protecting my intellectual property (binaries, source code, etc.) this is not a desirable thing. I have also read other threads on here where the VPS Virtualization Management software is compromised on the provider side ("LxLabs") and the customer (Me) would be at risk regardless of whether I had secured my VPS or not...This is also not desirable.

    Ans. The options for installation of specific operating system are mentioned prior to your signup and you will only be able to install different operating systems if you setup a dedicated server node and configure VPS's on them through a virtualization software. Providing access to hard disk is definitely a matter of priviledges assigned to you by the hosting provider or you'd probably assign it yourself if you have a dedicated server node with VPS's installed on it.

    2) If I want to reinstall my OS, how is this done? Is there some sort of management client (like VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client) that allows you to manage machine state (offline, online, paused), take snap-shots, install new OS, etc....or are these tasks that you must hassle the VPS host to do for you?

    Ans. Normally, with a virtualization software such as virtuozzo allows you to re-install OS, start / stop VPS on the VPS through a power panel. However, if you need a direct management of virtual private servers, then i believe you should look at setting up a VPS Server node.

    3) Any other advice?

    Ans. I suggest that you look forward to setup a dedicated server node with minimal configuration such as dual core with 2GB RAM, 2 x required drives and hardware raid along with the Operating system. Please make a note that if you go for a virtuozzo - virtualization platform, you'll only be allowed to install linux or windows operating system on the VPS's.

    Renting a Virtual private server as per your requirement is my suggestion. However, you definitely need to understand your requirements on which your application would run. How about considering a linux vps hosting package instead ?

    <<snipped>>

    Regards,

    Shane
    Last edited by bear; 10-24-2009 at 07:34 AM.

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