Cheap VPS Hosting: 10 tips to make the best choice
Let's start with explaining what is a VPS. It's a virtual server (or VPS, Virtual Private Server), which allows to overcome the limitations of traditional hosting configuration. A VPS provides some of the features of a dedicated server for all applications that require high performance, extreme configurability and complete isolation, proper of this last service. The virtual server is supplying an independent portion of a powerful server that is safely shared with other customers.
A cheap solution
The VPS may be an adequate solution for system administrator or web developers who don't want to invest into a dedicated server but need something more than the basic hosting. On a VPS it is possible to host websites and databases, test server environment and enjoy low cost web space.
What to evaluate? Some considerations
1. Contract duration
Many times providers enter constraints in the acquisition of VPS which force you to buy their service for an imposed, minimum period. For example, the minimum period can be the monthly contract with obligatory payment per 3 months in advance. However, a more flexible solution is much better, as it allows you to test the virtual server for a short period and you can evaluate the performance and reliability of the system. For this reason we suggest you to choose a provider that offers contract with no constraints, and allows you to use your VPS for few days or weeks.
2. Activation costs
In some cases providers add fixed cost of activation to the monthly service fee. Furthermore, the activation is not always immediate - usually it takes few days before you can use the VPS. Choosing a provider that will not impose such costs is undoubtedly an advantage, especially when combined with the ability to have instant activation to start testing the environment.
3. RAM and CPU resources
The guarantee of this resources is highly important. Verify if servers are based on Xen technology (an open source software distributed under GNU/GPL license that offers performance comparable to non-virtualized solutions a" ~ 8% overhead) or VMware virtualization.
4. Physical servers quality
When it comes to the technology, it's not only a matter of brand image. Provider, which uses branded hardware, definitely offers better reliability than those opting for assembled servers. Also the computing power plays a very important role. A 16 core server, for example, is an excellent reliability guarantee.
It's easy to find VPS with various Linux distributions but only a few that provide Windows. It's true that it's a less wanted product - it can be useful for those, who have particular needs or personally prefer to use Microsoft operating system.
6. Administrative access to the server
Many developers and system administrators are accustomed to shared hosting services that provide a limited control panel. On the contrary, VPS complete distributions with unlimited access allow users to work freely and fully customize their environment.
7. The IP management
The standard solution available on the market is undoubtedly the one that provides shared public IP. A web hosting provider that offers dedicated public IP guarantees better warranty. You should also check if they plan to introduce private IP as well as High Availability (HA).
8. Location of the physical machines
Make sure your provider owns a Server Farm or is supported by an external Data Center. Names of the major telecom companies are undoubtedly a guarantee of safety and reliability. Check the redundant connectivity and if they are certified with ISO27001 (SLA should exceed 99%.).
9. Additional services
Does the VPS have additional services like firewall? Can you set and customize your own rules? It can play a crucial role if you want to assure maximum protection for your server. Does your provider offer service and machine resource monitoring? Is it also configurable to your needs?
A scheduled server backup can definitely be a service you cannot neglect. It's also true, however, that if the provider offers a certain quality in the choice of hardware and configuration of the machines, there is a guarantee from the outset.
For example, using RAID10 disks is synonymous with reliability and protection from failures of the disks themselves, which can lead you to choose a provider that offers a such quality level of service.