UK based virtual servers
Since the launch of our UK based, fully managed vServers they have been a great success and bridge the gap between our shared hosting and fully dedicated server packages. This post is aimed at those considering a vServer to outline some of the major benefits that this hosting environment brings.
Our previous VPS systems were always aimed at those who require the features of a dedicated server but not the power of a full dedicated. This was ideal for those with very low power requirements but needed a customised configuration or software installation. However, as times have changed, so has the resource requirements of server software both in terms of operating systems and control panels along with web applications commonly used on websites. This change means that resource limits can be hit on VPS’s much sooner resulting in an unstable system if measures are not taken such as reducing resource requirements of websites or upgrading to a larger specification.
With our Managed vServers this should no longer be an issue because these are aimed at those wanting a low cost entry into dedicated hosting with the performance being the same (actually better) than a full dedicated server of the same specification. With much larger RAM (starting at 1 GB) which is truly guaranteed and set aside for each VPS along with guaranteed CPU resources (starting at 2.0 Ghz) our vServers will act and perform just like a full dedicated server of this specification, especially as we have will never have more than 10 vServers hosted on a single node (less in the case of larger specs). Furthermore, with a change to the underlying virtualisation software in use on vServers they are now truly virtualised bringing complete isolation of resources and allocations as opposed to our previous VPS’s which were closer to a ‘jailed OS’ rather than true virtualisation.
Due to the lower cost of our 1st/2nd Gen VPS servers we had to provide a cut back management package as standard with our more intensive hands on management not possible to provide for the low cost. While this went against one of our founding principles of being a totally fully managed provider we decided on this so that the services could be priced lower.
With our new vServers we have gone back to our roots with our 100% Proactive full management included as standard. This includes the monitoring of 24 services with proactive reaction should anything be flagged, 24/7 support with everything that comes with the vServer, full integration with our email cluster and DNS clustering along with full backup management in the form of data being kept on our off server SAN systems.
All of the management and extra features included with our vServer is the same as is included with our dedicated hosting also which bridges the gap between VPS and dedicated hosting and very much lowers the cost of entry into dedicated hosting.
Email & DNS Clustering
These features have been standard on our shared/reseller systems for some time and have recently been rolled out to dedicated servers. I can confirm that they are also standard on our Managed vServers.
Our email cluster is a customised system of multiple machines responsible for accepting all incoming email and running it through the spam and virus scanning. Once deemed clean the email is handed over to the main hosting server and added to the user inbox. Not only does this bring a much better rate of spam detection, it also takes all the resources associated with spam detection away from the hosting server which can be significant.
All DNS is handled by our geographically diverse (as per RFC standards) machines which take the responsibility of keeping DNS zones updated from hosting servers then serving the DNS requests outside of the main hosting machine. Not only does this reduce load on the hosting machine, it also (and critically) brings total redundancy for the DNS service so that zones will always be online and available even in the case of vServer reboot or downtime (meaning email will still flow and be queued on the email cluster until the vServer is back online). In addition, those that manage their email using a third party Exchange server of GoogleMail will be unaffected by any downtime or reboots to the vServer due to DNS remaining online throughout.
With the vs-1 being less than half the cost of our lowest specification/priced dedicated server we believe our Managed vServer is ideal for those requiring more powerful hosting without the extreme power (and higher cost) of a full dedicated server. With this lower cost of entry into dedicated hosting it also opens up more options for those currently on a dedicated server they are only using a fraction of resources on because costs can be saved by changing to a vServer with no downgrade in performance whatsoever.
As a final note, current clients on one of our older VPS servers (vps-X or vz-X) can remain on these as long as they wish and no forced changes will be imposed. In addition, we are keeping our old VPS specifications and prices (vz-X) available to all current VPS clients for upgrades and downgrades as they wish.
For further info about our vServer specifications see our vServer webpage.