Cheap VPS for Web Development

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Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:19 pm

I'm currently using a laptop to host a web server to practice on (mainly server administration and PHP/Python development). Come late January I want to move that setup to a VPS so I can get used to remote administration (which is probably closer to a real world scenario). My current choice is Linode, particularly their Linode 512 which seems to have decent specs for the price. The support and documentation looks good too. I also rummaged around Low End Box. I found some nice deals but the hardware specs all seemed way too low.

So, I wanted to ask, anyone know of a good but affordable VPS provider besides Linode? Or is my current choice good enough?

Requirements-wise, I was told that I should look for a provider that offers Xen VPS instances (which Linode provides), so I guess I'd like that. Hardware-wise, I'm not really knowledgeable enough to offer any right now.
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:12 pm

I've been playing around with Linode these past few months too. Seems pretty reasonable (and quite flexible).

OTOH if all you really want is experience with remote admin you don't need to pay for a VPS (yet). Just stick your existing practice server in a closet and refrain from using the keyboard or display. Most of the admin tasks other than initial provisioning or booting from a cold start will be essentially the same as on a VPS. :wink:
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:36 pm

just brew it! wrote:OTOH if all you really want is experience with remote admin you don't need to pay for a VPS (yet). Just stick your existing practice server in a closet and refrain from using the keyboard or display. Most of the admin tasks other than initial provisioning or booting from a cold start will be essentially the same as on a VPS. :wink:


Well, I want that, but I also put the laptop to other use.
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:47 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:
just brew it! wrote:OTOH if all you really want is experience with remote admin you don't need to pay for a VPS (yet). Just stick your existing practice server in a closet and refrain from using the keyboard or display. Most of the admin tasks other than initial provisioning or booting from a cold start will be essentially the same as on a VPS. :wink:

Well, I want that, but I also put the laptop to other use.

If you've got enough RAM you could run the "server" as a headless VM and practice managing it as if it was remote...
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:26 pm

just brew it! wrote:OTOH if all you really want is experience with remote admin you don't need to pay for a VPS (yet). Just stick your existing practice server in a closet and refrain from using the keyboard or display.


Or stick it in some one else's closet for a really accurate remote admin experience. :) This and running a headless VM are both good ideas that will keep you from spending money.

I usually use Rackspace Cloud Servers when I need a VPS. I use it for external testing with unfiltered lines, so I'm not sure how good of a deal it is to run it all the time.

Why the Xen requirement? All of the platforms are pretty transparent when you're on the VPS.
Last edited by Flatland_Spider on Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:00 am

An amazon micro instance should run to less than $1 a month since it's mostly in their free tier (1ECU (bursting to 2) 640MB 10GB) Not great specs when you consider 1 ECU is meant to be equivalent to a 1.7GHz 2006 Xenon but if you need more than that for doing development work you're probably doing something wrong.

IIRC they also have their micro dedicated database servers in that free tier now too so that rather poky VM only has to handle the webserver.

The main problem with Amazon is that you don't get access to the VM while it's booting. Break it in some way that stops it starting and you're in trouble. It might still be fixable but you don't have the option of dropping to the recovery console or anything like that.
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:48 am

Flatland_Spider wrote:Why the Xen requirement? All of the platforms are pretty transparent when you're on the VPS.


I have no particular preference for it, really. As I was Googling around for providers I had read that offering Xen (or OpenVZ, I think) instances was a mark of a good one (well, one of several marks).

I could give the headless VM route a shot. I figured it'd be cooler to say I have my own VPS though! :lol:

My laptop only has 2GB of RAM. Will that be enough to run a headless VM if I other stuff like XBMC running on it (which is what I wanted to repurpose the laptop for)?
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:23 am

Kurotetsu wrote:I could give the headless VM route a shot. I figured it'd be cooler to say I have my own VPS though! :lol:

The other bit of coolness is that you'd get a static IP, so the server is publicly accessible. OTOH perhaps it is best that you *don't* do that until you know your way around a bit better!

The main advantage of going the VM route is that it doesn't cost you anything.

Kurotetsu wrote:My laptop only has 2GB of RAM. Will that be enough to run a headless VM if I other stuff like XBMC running on it (which is what I wanted to repurpose the laptop for)?

Well, you should be able to squeeze a headless VM into 512 MB. Not optimal, but workable. So that would leave you 1.5 GB for everything else.

If possible, I'd upgrade the laptop to 3 GB. Unfortunately that gets us back to the conundrum of it costing money; at least it is only a one-time cost instead of a recurring monthly service charge.
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Re: Cheap VPS for Web Development

Postposted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:25 pm

Kurotetsu wrote:I have no particular preference for it, really. As I was Googling around for providers I had read that offering Xen (or OpenVZ, I think) instances was a mark of a good one (well, one of several marks).

My laptop only has 2GB of RAM. Will that be enough to run a headless VM if I other stuff like XBMC running on it (which is what I wanted to repurpose the laptop for)?


Ah, ok. I usually look to see if they own their own datacenters.

I'm hesitant to run a VM in under 4GB of RAM, but OpenVZ or LXC might be a good solution. Both of those are container type virtualization solutions, so they are lighter then a full hypervisor or software like Virtualbox, and they might be faster due to each VM just being another process.
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