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186 posts

Master Geek

# 16342 5-Oct-2007 09:38
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I am looking for a virtual server hosting provider. Essentially, a hoster that allows me to have my own server virtual machine, to have root login and so on.

Of course, I am keen to get great service, features, flexibility in the OS that I install on the virtual server (Ubuntu Server would be nice), a big share of the CPU, lots of disk-space and bandwidth, low latency and low price. Yeah, right...

Anyway, is there a provider you could recommend? I am open to anything that actually has its servers in this part of the world, Australia or New Zealand, since I would want a responsive system with lower RTT. I have looked at, but it appears that they are using CentOS. That would be ok, I guess, I just would prefer a Debian based system, if possible.

Anything else you can recommend, with a good price/performance mix?

Thank you very much...

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329 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 89624 5-Oct-2007 12:11
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Without knowing what you want to use the machine for, it's hard to tell if this will be suitable, but for some real flexibility, you could have a look at Amazon EC2?

I use their AMI's (Amazon Machine Images) when I want boxes of different *nix "flavours" for testing applications.

I think it works out at (USD) 10cents per hour for machines and they have many pre-built images covering most of the popular *nix OS's.

EC2 info is available at:

To get up and running quickly, have a look at:

The guys at rightscale have created a control panel interface which basically allows you to have a menu of OS images and bring them up on the internet easily when you need them.


186 posts

Master Geek

  # 89631 5-Oct-2007 12:31
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Thank you for your response...

Without knowing what you want to use the machine for, it's hard to tell if this will be suitable...

Yes, I should have been more clear. It would be a for an always-on server, on which I want to install a particular set of server software, a database, some web front end, and so on. I need to be able to log in via SSH and fiddle with all of it. So, almost like a dedicated server, but less cost. Latency has to be reasonably low, since it would also host a web-site for users to interact with.

... but for some real flexibility, you could have a look at Amazon EC2?

I had heard about them, and had briefly looked at them, but wasn't sure whether they would be suitable for the kind of server deployment I have in mind. Considering your experience with them, would you think they are suitable? I certainly like the scalability advantages that come with Amazon's solution.

Will I be able to let my server be accessible at a fixed IP address, so that I can have a normal DNS entry for it?



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  # 90156 8-Oct-2007 19:17
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I've been using Bluehost for nearly two years and been very happy. You don't get an entire machine and you can't tamper with the apache config but it's a very flexible setup otherwise and you can ssh in a poke around to manage a few things. The fact is, I'd just as soon someone else maintain the OS for me anyway as long as it just works.

They use that cpanel mgmt interface which works pretty well. It let's you set up postgres and mysql dbs, manage your dns, etc.

The price is definitely right.

They're in the US but I don't have too much trouble with interactive connectivity via ssh from here (Orcon/Wellington). But  I don't do too much of that so I can't claim it's always fast.

I've got  running there.


I have played with the Amazon EC2 stuff a little and it's very very slick. You get a complete machine that you can run any OS on and have total control over. I figured the cost of keeping a machine on 24/7 and it's a bit high compared to what you'd pay for a traditional dedicated hosting space -- they seem to be aiming for the "i need 10-50 machines this week and I don't know when my peak traffic will be". It's perfect for that.

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