Posts tagged vps

Why use a 3 Tier Backup System?

We all know backups are important, if shit can happen, shit will happen, they are important both online and offline, but if you are hosting a site or several sites, its important to have a backup strategy, that’s why S2R created the 3 Tier Backup System (sounds way more exciting than what it is):

1) Hosting Provider Backup System

  • Choose a hosting provider that makes backups, having RAID and high availability and failover hardware, that’s all cool for performance and redundancy, but backups should be expected and not on the same hardware as the server (offsite or high end backup software is a plus), having backups from your host eases most problems and makes most disasters easier to handle, as such this is the first backup tier.

2) Offsite Backup System

  • Have a cheap vps or backup account from another hosting provider (if he also provides backups that’s a plus), then use your hosting panel or rsync or whatever backup system you prefer to use to make and transfer backups to this box, we normally choose a weekly schedule for this (running on weekends when traffic is low), there is no need for daily copies, cause the goal is to have a weekly clean backup, of course we store 3 backups, so 3 weekly backups are always available on the server, the idea is to use this encase your hosting provider goes bankrupt or closes your account for some reason (nowadays its more likely than you think), and you get cut off from your first tier backups, so therefore this is the second tier backups.

3) Local Backup System

  • This one is also easy to understand its a local backup of the accounts, in my case its to my custom made backup system (2TB mirrored to another 2TB, way more than enough for my sites and personal files + Mozy Backup of all of this), similar to RAID, this is done also weekly (could be done only monthly), this is done for the simple reason of peace of mind and safety, i never needed it, but there is no such thing as too many backups and having one locally guarantees that whatever happens to your sites they will always be able to comeback from any disaster, so this is the final third backup tier.

With a three tier backup system, it might look a little paranoid, and you might take some time and money to build it, but now that its done, its easy to add new sites and the peace of mind it gives is priceless, and now i can eat right in front of the computer hahahah ^_^

Review of Virpus VPS Hosting

So this is my review of Virpus VPS Hosting, as a principle i only review hosting companies AFTER i’ve been with them, as well as i try and be to the point with my review and it shouldn’t be taken as a literal performance of the hosting company as a whole, just of my particular experience.

I was with Virpus for 5 months, and i signed with their unmanaged Advance package (so a mid to high end hosting package) with Directadmin, since the initial payment it took around 9 days to setup my account but after a contact with support they did apologised, they said that they had a huge surge of new customers and were a bit late on the setup as well as i was discounted for those days, so thats cool.

After the initial setup there were a couple of things that weren’t setup right, especially since there were extra notes fields when you first signed up to put that kind of added or just needed information for a correct setup, but those seemed to be ignored (not a huge deal, since a lot of vps companies do this, probably cause the people that make the setup don’t do any tinkering), so a few back and forth with support and everything is on track.

So the hosting comes with Directadmin hosting control panel, well its kinda a subpar hosting panel, but at least it has a low overhead (doesn’t consume a lot of resources), that and probably a new server (although with not so new hardware) meant performance wise, the vps was quick and the first site i transferred over was indeed almost 2 seconds faster than on the other vps it was on.

After about a month later i transferred another site over, still the performance of both sites was pretty good, this lasted for 2 and a half months, since then i started having some downtime, for some apparently unknown reasons, others were to DDOS or Server Problems, so i had about 5 fairly large periods of downtime in the first 4 months, however in the last month i started having daily mini periods of downtime, i know i know, it can be a problem on my vps, but the vps was stable and apache has like 20 days of uptime i was using barely half the resources on the vps as well as the downtime was at random times, but still the sites started to drop off the internet for 5 or 10 minutes at a time (i use 3 different site monitoring services), i contacted support and nothing but excuses but nothing is done, so i moved one of my sites back to another vps, but the downtime continued for 2 more weeks, then again i contacted support and i was said they were going to scale this to management, i waited one more week and since i wasn’t contacted by support or management and the trouble ticket in question was closed, i moved the last site to another new vps.

So like i always do, i go and read the terms of service (to see their cancellation policy and if i had to pay anything extra, but no, i was within my time to cancel and not have to pay anything) and so i asked for a cancellation, after that i didn’t heard anything from support, not a “we have canceled your account” or anything (if my e-mail account or virpus account was hacked it seems it would be quick and easy to burn my vps), but what comes next wasn’t that nice, although my due date for payment was more than a week from that time, after i canceled they immediately tried to make a payment to my credit card, as well as tried several more times the following week (i was lucky that the reason i didn’t wait 1 or 2 more months with virpus, to see if the service would get better, was that i had to renew my credit card and i didn’t feel like adding my new one to virpus…), so to sum it up my review of virpus:

Good Points:

  • Pretty Cheap VPS Hosting
  • Good Enough Support for Technical Questions
  • Average Performance (was good at first but then it kinda when to normal+downtime)

Bad Points:

  • Cheap Hardware
  • Downtime (my threshold for downtime is about 2 per month, that is to be expected from upgrades to random problems, more than that, its totally unacceptable)
  • Bad Support Followup (they told me at least 3 times that they would check and get back to me, of course they never did)
  • Unethical Cancellation Procedure (tried to charge my credit card without reason after cancellation)

So i would say that i would recommend virpus to anyone that wanted a cheap vps for hosting anything that wasn’t priority (hosting files, cache, image galleries, backups), it was quick and overall the downtime wasn’t that bad (a month with about 20 downtime windows of about 5 to 15minutes each is bad for a active site, but not that terrible for file hosting or something like that, its still about 90% uptime), but i can’t recommend them cause they did try and charge my credit card when they didn’t have any reason to do it (for some companies you do have to pay something before you leave), so if you read this, there are way better and cheaper hosting companies on the web, so stay away from virpus.

Update: So a week as gone by and im still getting the “Invoice is Due” and that i should log in to my account and pay, nice ^_^ but since they closed my server and then closed my account, so even if i wanted to pay i was out, a little more of this and ill just consider it spam/phishing and start flagging them all as such.

Shared Hosting VS Cloud Share VS Virtual Private Server

Shared hosting, including cloud shared hosting, and virtual private server (VPS) are some of the most popular options for hosting websites and applications. While they both serve the purpose of making your content accessible on the internet, there are significant differences in terms of performance, control, and scalability. We here on Hostcult use all 3, so i think its a nice write up to compare each with pros and cons, so lets check this out.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is a hosting environment where multiple websites are hosted on a single server. It is a cost-effective solution, making it suitable for small businesses, personal websites, and entry-level projects. In this setup, server resources such as CPU, RAM, and storage are shared among the websites hosted on the server. This sharing of resources allows hosting providers to offer affordable plans to a large number of customers. It also shares the hosting software so it makes it super easy to run anything.

Pros of Shared Hosting

  • Cost-effective: Shared hosting plans are generally one of the most affordable options, making them ideal for individuals and small businesses with limited budgets.
  • Easy to manage: The hosting provider handles server maintenance, security updates, and technical support, relieving users of the burden of server management.
  • User-friendly: Shared hosting often comes with a user-friendly control panel that simplifies website management, domain setup, and email configuration.

Cons of Shared Hosting

  • Limited resources: Since resources are shared among multiple websites, the performance of your website can be affected by the activities of other users on the server. If one website experiences a sudden surge in traffic, it can impact the overall server performance, potentially slowing down your site.
  • Limited customisation: Shared hosting environments typically have limitations on software installations and configurations since they aim to provide a standardised setup for all users.
  • Security concerns: As multiple websites share the same server, if one site is compromised, there is a potential risk of other sites on the server being affected as well.

Cloud Shared Hosting

Cloud shared hosting builds upon the shared hosting model by utilising cloud infrastructure. Instead of relying on a single physical server, cloud hosting distributes resources across multiple servers in a network. This offers improved scalability and reliability compared to traditional shared hosting.

Pros of Cloud Shared Hosting

  • Scalability: Cloud hosting allows for easy scaling of resources, ensuring that your website can handle sudden traffic spikes without performance degradation.
  • Reliability: With multiple servers in a network, if one server fails, your website can be instantly migrated to another server, minimising downtime.
  • Flexibility: Cloud hosting often provides more advanced features, such as load balancing and automatic backups, to enhance website performance and data protection.

Cons of Cloud Shared Hosting

  • Cost variation: While cloud shared hosting can be cost-effective for moderate traffic, the usage-based pricing model can result in higher costs if your website experiences significant traffic or resource usage.
  • Technical complexity: Cloud hosting may require more technical knowledge and expertise to set up and manage compared to traditional shared hosting.
  • Unique infrastructures – By default a cloud infrastructure can be setup from pretty simple with a couple of servers or incredibly complex with thousands, that makes it hard to compare the benefits or each cloud provider, since one can have better performance and another reality and another connections and another replication.

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A VPS is a hosting environment where a physical server is divided into multiple virtual servers, each acting as an independent server environment. Each VPS has dedicated resources allocated to it, providing more control and performance compared to shared hosting.

Pros of VPS Hosting

  • Dedicated resources: With a VPS, you have guaranteed resources that are not shared with other users, ensuring consistent performance for your website and application.
  • Customisation and control: VPS hosting grants you root access, allowing you to install and configure software as per your requirements. You have more control over server settings and can tailor the environment to suit your specific needs.
  • Scalability: VPS hosting offers scalability options, allowing you to easily adjust your resource allocation as your website’s traffic and demands grow.

Cons of VPS Hosting

  • Cost: VPS hosting tends to be more expensive than shared hosting due to the dedicated resources and increased control it provides. It may not be the most cost-effective option for websites with low traffic or limited budgets.
  • Server management: While VPS hosting grants more control, it also requires a higher level of technical expertise to manage the server effectively. Users are responsible for tasks like server maintenance, security updates, and software installations.
  • Performance limitations: Although VPS hosting provides dedicated resources, the overall performance can still be affected by the physical server’s hardware limitations. If the physical server is overloaded, it can impact the performance of all VPS instances hosted on it.

So shared hosting, including cloud shared hosting, is suitable for entry-level websites and projects with budget constraints. It offers cost-effective pricing and user-friendly management, but resource limitations and potential complexity concerns should be considered. Cloud shared hosting provides enhanced scalability and reliability compared to traditional shared hosting but can be costlier and requires more technical expertise to run.

On the other hand, VPS hosting offers dedicated resources, increased customisation, and scalability, making it a preferable option for websites with higher traffic and specific requirements. It provides more control and performance, but at a higher cost and with additional server management responsibilities.

To sum it up here on Hostcult we use shared hosting for small sites, placeholders and testbeds, we use cloud shared hosting for bigger sites and production and we use VPS for specific services or files/image/video hosting that need specific software/performance to run.