The VPS Explained
Posted by CTX Admin on 08 August 2014 11:41 AM

What is a VPS?

Virtualization, in computing, refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including but not limited to a virtual computer hardware platform, operating system (OS), storage device, or computer network resources.
Traditionally virtual servers are separate, contained instances of an operating system and file system that exist on a single physical server. These instances share the resources of the physical server, such as CPU, RAM, and disk space, but operate independently of one another.

Our VPSes are powered by Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization technology. In a KVM based VPS, all RAM, disk and processor resources are completely dedicated, which means that they are always available to you when you need it. Some things you can expect with a KVM-based VPS are:

  • Consistent and predictable level of performance, since all allocated resources are yours and yours alone
  • Wide selection of operating systems available to you; as a fully virtualized environment your Cloud VPS has a selection of over 30 templates, including Windows & FreeBSD templates
  • Advanced recovery options, allowing you direct console access or the ability to boot your Cloud VPS into a dedicated rescue image to perform maintenance or troubleshooting operations
  • Snapshot disk backup options, allowing you to capture on-demand full instance backups with the ability to convert them to templates for rapid deployment of new instances (based on your existing configuration or disaster recovery)

Traditionally virtual servers are separate, contained instances of an operating system and file system that exist on a single physical server. These instances share the resources of the physical server, such as CPU, RAM, and disk space, but operate independently of one another.

What is the Cloud?

The term 'cloud' is thrown around a lot these days, but what does that really mean? 'The cloud' is a term for distributed computing, meaning that instead of a single computer, a group of various systems distribute the resources amongst multiple physical machines.

For instance, instead of one or two disks storing data for multiple virtual servers, there are hundreds of disks set up in SANs (storage area networks) that can be dropped in and out of the cloud as needed.

Traditional VPS vs. the Cloud

With the cloud a VPS gets truly dedicated resources. The CPU cores, RAM, and storage are specific to your virtual server and are not shared around like in traditional virtualization options. In addition to this, since all data is stored in RAID-50 on our SANs, your data is safe from hardware failure. A RAID array is a way of combining disks for data redundancy. Instead of having your data on just one disk, a RAID array copies the data multiple times across multiple disks. New drives can be swapped into the RAID with no downtime or dataloss.
Another advantage is that your server and data can be migrated around to other physical hardware in case of major issues. This keeps your uptime as close to 99.9% as possible!

Why does a shared client need an upgrade? Why does a customer need a VPS?

VPSes are not subject to other user's activities on the server, which means no slowdown if someone else is overloading. You won't have any issues with emails being blacklisted due to other user's compromised scripts either. There is also more freedom to customize your account and server, like using non-standard software, PHP modules, and more. You can upgrade MySQL, PHP, and Apache whenever you want, with more version control.

Basically, VPSes allow you to scale your website easily. What if a blog post or article of yours gets picked up by Reddit or Digg? Your VPS can handle all that amazing new traffic! A VPS also allows you to run custom software that Shared Server plan owners can't run, and you can add resources willy-nilly without having to move around your site. They just work well, and are able to handle whatever you can throw at them.

Note: two other notable features of our VPS's are that they come with two free IP addresses AND provide a gigabit private interface for secure communication between instances.

Fully Managed Support

*with cPanel templates

Have reservations about making the move from shared hosting to a VPS? With our cPanel templates you still get the same great support you've come to depend on. Confused about a warning from your server? Just ask us about it! Need PHP or MySQL updated to work with a new script? No problem... we'll also take care of migrating your data to your new server free of charge. With our cPanel VPS templates you really do get the best of both worlds.

Some VPS Features

Hardware

Our Cloud hardware nodes are each powered by dual Intel Xeon Hex (6) Core processors at 2.5Ghz w/HyperThreading for a total of 24 CPU Cores per hardware node... which ALL means that our Cloud hardware provides a hyper fast processing platform for all of your needs.
Each hardware node also has an enormous 96GB of high speed DDR3 memory. Our blazing fast 10Gbit Storage Area Network (SAN) powered by Solid State Drives (SSD) in RAID-10 gives you a super high level of performance.
Our data centers feature physical on-site security, redundant switches, routers, power systems, fire suppression systems and full climate control. We're constantly on the lookout for new technology to enhance our customers' hosting experience and obsessively hunt down new technologies to ensure that all of our existing hardware and software resources are up-to-date. We'll deliver the ultimate in speed, reliability and security.

Templates

Templates are system images of various operating systems, like cPanel or CentOS, with or without control panels. Our new Cloud VPS environment lets you select and install your own server configuration in just a few minutes.  Each configuration has been tested and is equipped with everything you need.
We offer the following templates that include a control panel:

  • cPanel

  • Plesk

Our support template library includes these templates:

  • CentOS

  • CloudLinux

  • Debian

  • Fedora

  • FreeBSD

  • Gentoo

  • OpenSUSE

  • Ubuntu

  • Windows

Backups

There are many options available to you if you're looking to do a backup of your virtual private server. You can purchase R1Soft by contacting Support, which allows you to access a "snapshot" of your home directory for each backup point, whenever you want. See more about R1Soft.

You can also configure your own backups via WHM, and you determine how often that info is captured and how long it's retained. It's really easy! We've outlined the whole thing for you, in our Backup Your VPS article.

Note: R1Soft backups are not guaranteed, and are meant for your convenience only. Firewall issues, a hardware failure on a backup server, network problems or similar could potentially interfere with the backup system communicating with the individual servers. It's recommended that you make a periodic manual backup for safeguarding purposes.

Security

We pre-install/pre-configure the following:

  • Advanced Policy Firewall

  • SIM

  • Brute Force Detection

  • Mod_Security (with in-house managed rules, which are updated regularly for trending threats)

  • Global threat feed (updated regularly based on our network intrustion detection system)

  • Enforcement of PHP permissions

  • Secure PHP/Apache defaults

We employ Advanced Policy Firewall (APF), written by our very own Directory of Technology, which is a simple and powerful manager of the iptables firewall built into Linux. The program is a robust software firewall that includes the Brute Force Detection (BFD) daemon, which interfaces directly with Linux iptables to dynamically drop IP addresses for security violations like brute forcing, port flooding, and login failures.


APF and BFD also work with Apache Mod_Security to block web-based attackers to keep your sites safe. However, it can sometimes block legitimate users, so if the server appears down after recent edits it could just be a block! These blocks expire after 10 minutes, but it's usually a good idea to contact Support with your IP (go to www.whatsmyip.com to see what your IP is) so that we can see what's going on under the hood.
Read up more on Advanced Policy Firewall and Brute Force Detection here.

Still not enough?

Check out our a la carte pricing for some of our most popular and useful add-ons, extra bandwidth or disk space, and more:

  • Disk Space - $0.75 per GB, $7.50 per 10GB

  • Cores - $10 per core (maximum of 6)

  • Memory - $2.50 for 512 MB, $5 for 1 GB (RAM must be added in 512 MB portions, 1 GB minimum and 16 GB maximum)

  • IP Address - $2 per month, $24 per year

  • Softaculous (for cPanel) - $3 per month

  • KSplice - $3 per month

  • R1Soft Backups - $5 per month

  • Cloud VIP Boost - $10 per month

Get in touch with Support or if you'd like more info on any of the above add-ons... we can assist with anything you need!

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