What is VPS/VDS and how to buy such server. Intelligible instruction

Started by Abhinavjain, Aug 03, 2022, 12:33 PM

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AbhinavjainTopic starter

The choice of VPS in the current technology market is reminiscent of the choice of non-fiction books in a modern bookstore: it seems that there are many interesting covers, and prices for any wallet range, and the names of some authors are well-known, but finding what you really need and is not essentially nonsense of the author, it is extremely difficult.
Similarly, providers offer different capacities, configurations, and even free VPS (a good offer, but of course it is dangerous to accept it). Let's decide what you need to pay attention to when choosing a provider.

How to choose the VPS you need?

To understand how to buy the VPS that is right for you, let's figure out what VPS hosting is and how to select a reliable VPS provider. Please note that this is not general information, but important milestones of the analysis that should not be missed.

▍Determine your requirements and needs

VPS can be used for personal and corporate tasks: for hosting project sites and corporate portals, for deploying a VPN, for hosting software developer test benches, for storing backups (not ideal, but quite applicable for the 3-2-1 rule), for storing files, a game server and placement of trading robots for operations on the stock market. And for all these tasks, VPS is suitable, but with a different layout.

    Determine the amount of data you need to store - this is the minimum you need to order (in fact, you need more, since the server will also host utilities and applications, and you will not stop at one task).
    Bandwidth - It is essential that the data access speed is stable and high. There is nothing worse than a failed test or an FTP that is inaccessible to colleagues.
    IP addresses - not all providers have IPv6 VPS, so if you have a good reason for this option, carefully study the layout.
    Be sure to pay attention to the characteristics of the "physical" server itself, where your virtual machines will spin. A good provider does not hide them and you will not get some outdated hardware that crashes at the first opportunity.
    VPS controls are the most important thing.
The beauty of VPS is that it gives you root access and you can do anything with the server. It is much more convenient to manage if the provider offers advanced control (administration) panels: for example, Plesk and CPanel (by the way, RUVDS has both, and the ISP has a promotion - free for 3 months). At the same time, please note that any third-party software, including control panels, carries potential security risks. Accordingly , select a provider that keeps all installed and management software up to date.
    Find out how the provider's technical support is organized: 24/7, basic, paid priority, by request or by time, etc. No matter how cool a system administrator you are, sooner or later you will definitely need technical support from a hosting provider. And you will need it at the very moment when it is essential not only 24/7, but also competently and literally with lightning speed. Take care of this, do not rely only on your own strength.

Determine your budget

Look, you choose a working laptop for yourself: look at the memory, RAM, processor, video card, etc. You don't have the principle of "you save on everything, as long as it prints," because you know very well that good technology is well worth it. But for some reason, when it comes to hosting, users try to save on everything. This is extremely illogical, because you first of all buy a "piece" of a powerful iron server that will serve your tasks.

If you decide on something very inexpensive, then you should understand that your project will be limited in capacity and will require additional expenses when scaling. Well, free cheese is still in the mousetrap: choosing a free VPS, you risk everything from backups to no technical support and low uptime.

Accordingly , soberly assess your real needs and rent the configuration that you really need, and not which for $4. cheaper.

Find out more about the provider

The reputation of the provider is an essential factor in choosing a VPS. Check a few points before legally contacting a company.


Each hosting provider has negative reviews, this is normal (someone didn't figure it out and is angry with themselves, the human factor worked somewhere, the price didn't suit someone, etc.), but if you see completely negative and not find positives or see only positives (because the negatives are carefully cleaned), beware: not everything is in order with this company.

Legal aspect

All contact information must be available on the hosting provider's website, the site must have SSL, technical support telephone numbers, open tariffs and price lists, configurator constructors or detailed descriptions of tariffs, etc. This indicates the honesty and openness of the provider.

All legal documents, from a public offer and privacy policy to a contract, must be clear and unambiguous without vague wording, nominees, asterisks in small print, etc.

Important Details

It's great if you can find uptime information, money-back guarantees, SLAs, configuration test data under load, capacity insurance, etc. on the provider's website. Often, some of this information can be found on the company's blog.

Security decides

Check the security of the company. If you follow the IT industry , you have probably noticed periodic problems with individual hosting providers. And if their corporate disassembly is of little concern, then the fall of hundreds and thousands of sites, services and online stores bring multimillion-dollar losses. Accordingly , the issue of security and reputation of the provider is of particular importance. Do some real research:

    check the latest company news and social media posts for takeovers, news of long-term shutdowns, conflicts between shareholders;
    look for arbitration proceedings of companies ;
    check the participation of the provider company in the ratings - ephemera do not get there;
    check the availability of FSTEC and FSB licenses, even if they do not matter to you - obtaining such licenses is long and expensive, so only serious companies bother with this issue;
    check the number of the company's own data centers - there should be several of them and these should not be rented racks in public data centers.

▍Infrastructure provider

If you have a VPS, this does not mean that you should not worry about the infrastructure on which this VPS is located. So try to find out:

    geographical location of servers and their availability;
    whether there is a system of protection against attacks, in particular DDoS;
    allowable uptime;
    in what mode technical work is carried out;
    server protection level;
    implementation of the process of creating and storing backup copies (backups).

So, we have dealt with the Wishlist and the provider, now let's deal with VPS.

VPS - selection rules

▍What is a VPS?

In simple terms, VPS (virtual private server) is a virtual machine that a provider company rents to its customers. VPS hosted on powerful physical servers in various data centers. If you still have a question about what you can use VPS for, we will answer briefly: it is the same computer as any other, only you access it remotely. So, he will help you with everything that a computer helps with.

What is the difference between Shared Hosting, VPS and VDS?

Shared Hosting - multiple users use the same resource. If someone has problems, everyone suffers: that is, except for resources, all risks and problems are shared.
This solution is completely unsuitable for the corporate sector, at most for test and pet projects. With Shared Hosting, you can't install additional software, you have limited RAM, your website will run into spam problems from other sites, there may also be restrictions on sending email, etc. That is, this is quite an amateur, even a noob level.

VPS hosting - users also use one resource, but are independent of each other and are only responsible for their server. VPS is reliable, flexible and manageable. VPS is suitable for both personal and corporate tasks: test projects, popular blogs with a large number of users, corporate services, etc. Moreover, companies can offer their SaaS products hosted on VPS hosting. This is already a confident business class hosting, a real geek level.

In some countries and providers, VDS is equated to VPS, but there is a difference: if VPS has virtualization at the operating system level (a specific OS + manager program is installed on the server, virtual machines run on copies of the operating system), and in VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) - hardware virtualization (each virtual server has its own OS, its own kernel). In general, VDS is more expensive and more reliable, but this is already a completely corporate, enterprise solution.

Why might you need to switch to VPS?

As long as the website traffic is low, the budget will not need to be increased - it will feel quite good on shared hosting. However, with increasing traffic, most shared hosting servers will no longer be able to provide the desired performance. One of the signs may be increased page load times. Overloading can also lead to frequent inaccessibility of the site from the outside (it regularly crashes). If such symptoms appear, then virtual hosting is no longer enough for your website to work well.

Sometimes hosting providers notify customers that their site has run out of resources for the current month. In this case, it's time to switch to VPS hosting. If your website has a lot of multimedia content, then it will also require a more powerful VPS hosting.

So, how to choose a VPS

In addition to the parameters that we have considered for choosing a provider, it is essential to consider several factors for the VPS itself. The more factors you consider, the better solution you will be able to find.

Factor 1: managed or unmanaged

In the case of shared hosting, you do not have root access to the server, so there is no question of managing the server. But in the case of VPS, the entire virtual server is yours and you manage it as root. Accordingly , it is necessary that someone look after him, control the performance. If these functions are taken over by the VPS provider, then this is managed hosting (managed VPS), and in the case of unmanaged (unmanaged VPS), you yourself are responsible for your virtual server.

Unmanaged VPS are prepared for root access only, and users will need to install and configure the software, control panel, server security and maintenance / maintenance on their own. Unmanaged hosting will require you to monitor the performance of the virtual server and keep it up and running.

If the server "fell" or some security problems appeared, then it's up to you to solve them - you are the only administrator of your VPS. This option is more suitable for specialists with professional server management skills. So if you are an experienced geek, and are familiar with such things as properly shutting down the system, restoring it, restarting it, restarting the server, then unmanaged hosting may be a suitable option.

As for "normal" users and business owners, they should pay a little more and use a managed VPS: a professional system administrator will monitor the server 24x7. And users can do something more familiar to them.

Again, the extent of this control can vary and depends on the host and hosting plans. This is something to keep in mind when comparing different VPS plans or hosts.

▍Factor 2: Windows or Linux

Another essential point is the operating system of the server. Most hosts offer popular Windows and Linux. OS Linux as Open Source is cheaper than Windows. Linux-based hosting is quite user friendly and supports a wide range of applications. In many cases, this is a good (maybe even better) choice. However, there are applications that are either not supported on Linux at all or are better supported on Windows. If you need to use software such as ASP or ASP.NET, then your choice is a Windows-based VPS. A Windows server is often required for .NET development or deployment of Microsoft and other applications for this platform. Accordingly , for RUVDS, a Windows license is included in all tariffs (starting from the tariff for $2), and not like most providers, where you will need to pay a couple of thousand more for Windows according to the footnote at the bottom of the tariff.

Factor 3: Server Configuration

Server layout plays an essential role in website speed and performance. How much processor power, RAM and disk storage you get - it all matters. In addition, as we noted above, it makes sense to ask what physical server your VPS will be hosted on. It is better if it is a sufficiently powerful equipment of a well-known brand. And if the foundation is weak, then it is difficult to expect the stability of the entire structure.

▍Factor 4: Reliability

Many VPS hosts guarantee 99.9% reliability. However, the declared figure may differ from the real one, and it is always useful to get acquainted with the reviews on the Internet. For reliable and relatively uninterrupted operation of the site, this indicator should not be lower than 99.95%.

▍Factor 5: Redundancy and Scalability

Redundancy usually involves redundancy of resources, especially in the data center. For example, if the main power supply fails, the UPS and diesel generators start working. If the Internet provider has problems, then there must be alternative communication channels. If one physical server is overloaded, then a backup must be provided, and so on. Scalability, in turn, means the ability to cope with a sharp increase in server load, usually at the expense of spare resources. All this means increased uptime and consistently high performance.

▍Factor 6: bandwidth quota

Most VPS providers limit the bandwidth for a virtual server and may charge extra for extra. When choosing a VPS host, it's worth making sure that you don't have to pay too much for sufficient network bandwidth.

▍Factor 7: customer support

Regardless of the performance of your hosting provider and the functionality offered, there are always some problems. In this case, convenient and effective support is needed. If the host is not able to provide 24/7 support, it is simply not worth your money. When your website is idle for a long time, this can lead to a churn of visitors, and possibly serious financial losses. It is useful to first test the hosting provider's support service, and then decide whether it makes sense to contact them.

▍Factor 8: price

Of course, to select a hosting provider, you need to know the cost of its services. The price depends on the type of service (managed or not) and the allocated resources. Which hosting plan best suits your needs is up to you.

A very essential point, not all hosting providers have a money back guarantee if the customer does not like the hosting.

There is one nuance in the matter of price. For example, the price of VPS from some providers (including RUVDS, as mentioned above) can be $1, but at the same time you will not always be able to take advantage of the offer, because ... you will stand in line for the provision of a server. Which is logical: the capacities of the data center are finite and are not always ready to provide resources for the entire marketing creative of the hosting provider.

Factor 9: VPS location

The closer the server is to your audience, the more effective users will be to access it and the higher the chances of rising in search engine rankings. Web analytics tools will help you understand where the target audience is concentrated and find a VPS closer. You can also create a copy of the VPS, but you should take into account the distances when transferring data and the responsibility for ensuring communications between remote servers.

To understand exactly where you need a server, analyze two things: where you are required to store the data of users that are the main ones for your company, and what is the audience share of the site / service in a particular geographical area (any web analytics tool will do).

▍Factor 10: Additional IP Addresses

They may be required in several situations:

    installing an SSL certificate;
    assigning a dedicated IP to each website on your virtual server (otherwise they will automatically receive the IP address of the VPS server);
    different IPs for different channels (website, mobile apps, etc.);
    different IPs for different services (CMS, database, etc.);
    assignment of several IPs to one website , for example, having domains in different languages (mysite.co.uk, mysite.ru, mysite.it, mysite.ca, etc.).

Also, be aware that your ISP may not support IPv6.

▍Factor 11: additional chips and opportunities

Large hosting providers are constantly developing services to meet the needs of their customers and expanding partnerships, so it is with them that you can find interesting features and collaborations that will make business life not only easier, but also less expensive. Let's list some of them.

    Ready-made solutions for specific tasks: VPS with 1C for small and medium businesses, servers for working on fоrex and stock markets, game servers, etc.
    Servers with the ability to add powerful video cards in a couple of clicks if you need them.
    Cyber risk insurance.
    Server antivirus protection.
    Ready-made optimal configurations for all levels of users, etc.

Such features significantly speed up the start of work with VPS.

Choosing a VPS is a complex and thoughtful process, as a result of which you will receive an essential resource for solving corporate and personal problems.
Do not save on trifles and select a provider with whom you will be calm and safe. Based on your requirements and real needs, plan and calculate options. VPS is an advanced technology that allows you to quickly and relatively inexpensively deploy computing power for any task, saving time, effort, and nerves. Work technologically!



I met a man yesterday who enthusiastically told me what a cool and convenient guide for deploying openVPN he found.
One of the first points of the guide was "install the desktop version of Linux with DE, and install openVPN ".

Approximately for such people and designed.

Actually, VPS / VDS in most cases is rented .