Lesson learned with virtual (VPS) hosting

Virtual hosting, VPSs, Virtual Private Servers, whatever you want to call it (as it comes in many shape and forms) is often a very appealing option for someone that is making the move beyond shared web hosting but not quite ready to get a low end dedicated server.

As I run numerous websites including my blogs and a couple of high traffic sites, over the years I have tried VPSs several times, often as a means of looking at reducing operating costs. Unfortunately each time I have found that performance on these servers have been abysmal. Regardless of this fact, I decided to once again give this a try and over the last 2 months have tried two separate Virtual Private Server companies. At this stage because I am not wanting to do a review I am not going to mention them however with each of them I had severe issues.

The first hosting provider I went with had underlying issues when I attempted to resize my VPS which resulted in data corruption and extensive downtime (as well as a whole lot of no responses when things went wrong). The second provider was well performing to start with however a couple of weeks after migrating the sites (as some people will have noticed) all my blogs started taking in excess of 10 seconds to load each page which is unacceptable to say the least. (As an aside I believe this was due to a mixture of limited CPU resources and high IO wait times)

Therefore I have learned the following lesson, if you do decide to get a VPS, remember that if you pay with peanuts you will get monkeys, the cheapest is almost always not going to be the best and will be cheap due to oversold resources (especially in the case of so many concurrent users that disk IO becomes terrible).

I am now using a hybrid server, which is virtual on a dedicated server, so there is ZERO sharing of resources. I have to say so far I am very happy but I guess time will tell (and will probably do a review when I later get a chance).

What are your thoughts on Virtual Private Servers?


Protect your files online!

This is just a quick one, recently I had some files stored in the public_html directory of one of my websites. This included several software ISOs (quite large) and an entire VMWare Virtual Machine. I had them stored there temporarily so that I could transfer them between a few different locations.

Little did I realise that this particular site was being indexed by Google and therefore my ISOs and Virtual Machines were then made public. Luckily the bandwith was not too much of a killer (this is lesson one… even where you run your own dedicated server… ALWAYS put limits in place, they are there to save you as much as restrict you). However in this I managed to lose control over a Virtual Machine which had a lot of licensed software contained therein.

At least in this case no personal data was lost, however valuable lesson learned, if you are going to store ANYTHING on your personal hosting that you do not want to be seen, make sure you password protect the directory. Just because you have not linked to it anywhere… believe me Google will find a way to find it HAHA.

Peace out people.