I have some sites hosted on a shared-hosting/cpanel environment and need to make a move up. I have some experience running my own server, but it is very basic (a local box to do live testing/file serv). My question is how difficult is it to run a VPS, should I buy a managed VPS (with stuff already installed), or unmanaged (blank box), and lastly if I go for unmanaged what steps should I take to keep my VPS secure? Edit: Also how difficult is it to backup files and databases? Can it be automated?
Unmetered hosting is generally offered with no limit on the amount of data-transferred on a fixed bandwidth line. Usually, unmetered hosting is offered with 10 Mbit/s, 100 Mbit/s or 1000 Mbit/s (with some as high as 10Gbit/s). This means that the customer is theoretically able to use ~3 TB on 10 Mbit/s or up to ~300 TB on a 1000 Mbit/s line per month, although in practice the values will be significantly less. In a virtual private server, this will be shared bandwidth and a fair usage policy should be involved. Unlimited hosting is also commonly marketed but generally limited by acceptable usage policies and terms of service. Offers of unlimited disk space and bandwidth are always false due to cost, carrier capacities and technological boundaries.[3]

Every cloud vps plan is housed on redundant solid state drive (SSD) arrays using dependable hardware, and over 18 years of web hosting knowledge. We offer VPS, or virtual private server, solutions for Windows and Linux users alike, and strive to provide quality products and exceptional support. If you’re interested in VPS hosting for your organization, our unmanaged cloud vps plans have got you covered.
KVM virtualization gives customers more possibilities of management and server configuration. As it is a kernel based VPS hosting, kernels can be upgraded and modified by installing kernel modules. KVM has its own virtualized hardware, and the virtual server acts as a physical server. There is a possibility to set up a container-based system, such a Docker or Kubernetes to create OS level based containers on the KVM server.
VPS hosting works the same as Shared Hosting, except you have additional features such as your own WHM panel. If you have any questions about the specifics of our hosting, be sure to contact our Live Sales center for more help. Contact information for the Sales team can be found at the bottom of the page. They can be contacted via phone/chat/email/Skype.
VPS has a dedicated IP address, which you do not have to share with other users. This is important, as in shared hosting many domains are under one IP address and if one website fails, the whole IP address is added to the blacklist. Also, in case of shared hosting, your website's load can be affected by another user on the same server. It means that if your "neighbor" website is loading or it is inaccessible for various reasons, your website loading time can be increased too.
This is a low cost option for the hosting company and they will usually offer some kind of data protection using a RAID system where data is copied across multiple disks. This is an entry level solution but one issue is that the server itself represents a single point of failure. It could be that the power supply fails which brings the server down for example.

To break things down a bit, cloud VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is when a web hosting provider takes one massive server and partitions it up so that it can have several servers on it, each of which can run its own operating system and can be re-booted independently.  Sounds simple enough.  So what is the difference between managed VPS and unmanaged VPS?
A VPS is not the same as a dedicated server, but it gives the illusion of being one. A good Web developer can do almost anything on a VPS that they would want to do on dedicated server, however, a VPS hosting plan is substantially less expensive, comes with technical support, and the hardware behind a VPS is not your responsibility. Sure, cheap servers can be acquired, but they will require a far larger overhead in terms of physical security and technical maintenance, security and support. Ultimately, a VPS can be the perfect solution when you need more flexibility and features than a shared hosting plan, but are not in the market for your own dedicated hosting server.
You can choose to create additional VPCs by going to the Amazon VPC page on the AWS Management Console and selecting the "Start VPC Wizard" button. You’ll be presented with four basic network topologies. Select the one that most closely resembles the network topology that you’d like to create and choose the "Create VPC" button. Once the VPC has been created, you can begin launching Amazon EC2 instances into your VPC.
Because you only are using a portion of the resources for the VM, you can have several of them running on one computer or server, as is common with hosting services. A hosting provider that offers VPS hosting has a vast number of physical servers that each contain multiple virtual machines. While demarcation and intrusion prevention within the physical machine is not a huge concern on your own PC, VPS hosts must have security safeguards in place to ensure isolation of each customer’s server. That’s why the terminology virtual private server is used – to denote the attention paid to privacy and the server programs that are typically loaded onto this type of VM.

InMotion Hosting’s Virtual Private Server Hosting comes with a number of additional features including high-availability, Live-State and Scheduled snapshots, resource monitoring, free solid-state drives (SSDs), a free full cPanel license, 2-3 free dedicated IP addresses, WHM, CentOS, burstable RAM, automated data backups, unlimited MySQL databases, email accounts and FTP accounts, root access and SSH access.
Once you register your website's domain name, it's time to start picking the specs for your server. Web hosts typically offer multiple VPS plans that have varying amounts of email capability, RAM, storage, CPU power, domain hosting, and monthly data transfers. The plans typically include website builders that let you quickly create a face for your site without much—or even any—coding required. A solid web host should offer at least 4GB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and an ample volume of monthly data transfers. If you expect a significant amount of website growth, then you should look for a web host that has as many unlimited offerings as possible. For example, Hostwinds—the PCMag Editors' Choice for VPS hosting—offers unlimited email, domains, and monthly data transfers. Note, however, that as with all unlimited service offerings, you really need to read the fine print to make sure that what you mean by unlimited and what the hosting service means by it.
Mirror and share a deep copy of your in and outbound virtual network traffic. Take advantage of aggregation, packet collection and load balancing solutions by streaming traffic to a destination IP endpoint or an internal load balancer in the same Virtual Network, peered Virtual Network or Network Virtual Appliance that you can deploy from a growing list of Security, Network and Application performance management partners.
Connect to the Internet using Network Address Translation (private subnets) – Private subnets can be used for instances that you do not want to be directly addressable from the Internet. Instances in a private subnet can access the Internet without exposing their private IP address by routing their traffic through a Network Address Translation (NAT) gateway in a public subnet.
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