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?

Which is the right hosting package depends mainly on your requirements. Are not you really a technology fanatic and do you have little idea about server management? Then, especially if you do not need huge resources, a shared hosting package may be sufficient. The advantages of shared hosting are the low price and the fact that the provider takes care of the entire maintenance. You can also get started quickly. However, in terms of traffic, storage space and performance, shared hosting already has its limitations. Are you heavily dependent on your website for business purposes? Do you strive for more freedom and flexibility? Then in most cases VPS hosting is the way to go. Savvii also manages the VPS for you, so it’s called “managed hosting”. Attention: This is not always the case with VPS hosting. You can look up the specifications of all our packages on our Prices & Packages page, there is also a selection guide available.
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.

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.

Perhaps the best way to approach the virtual server is the idea of a virtual machine. A VM allows you to run an emulation of a computer within your computer, drawing on the resources of the physical one –  disk space, RAM, CPU, etc. This tactic allows you to run an entirely separate operating system (OS) solely for the purposes of the VM, even if its type and version of OS are identical to what’s on your hardware.
A virtual machine (VM) is automatically assigned a private IP address from a range that you specify, based on the subnet it is deployed in. The address is retained by a VM until the VM is deleted. Azure dynamically assigns the next available private IP address from the subnet you create a VM in. Assign a static IP address if you want a specific IP address from the subnet assigned to the VM.
There is a good chance that your company or the clients you are hosting will want to create their own custom nameservers for their properties, opting to use ns.yourdomainhere.com over a host-specific nameserver. Updating nameservers for domains is very simple within our Account Management Panel (AMP). If your domain is currently with another host/registrar, you also have the option of pointing the nameservers to ns1.inmotionhosting.com without transferring the domain to InMotion Hosting. Creating custom nameservers requires root access, which is available by request for all VPS Hosting plans.
If you are developing real time systems, then unmanaged servers can help you a great deal. The applications using the response system like the one used in science or engineering can make use of unmanaged VPS hosting in a best way. When there are no skilled technicians to take over the charge of your server administration, it is always a best decision to go for unmanaged VPS hosting.
Most people are clueless about the virtual servers hosting and how they actually work on the shared environment. It is a known fact that thousand and more number of users tend to use a server at a time. In such circumstances, each user is allocated with a designated amount of disk space, bandwidth, CPU allocation, memory and Operating System, which can be used on the server. All the Virtual Private Server users share the same CPU and RAM and think that, they have dedicated set of hardware. Virtual Server software is loaded onto the physical system and from then, a virtual server is ready to be used.
Shared hosting: With shared hosting, your site is stored and served from the same physical machine as many other customers – possibly hundreds of them. All domains are drawing from the same CPU, RAM, and other resources.  This type of hosting is the lowest-priced option. However, your site’s speed and reliability suffer from other users, and you don’t get root access.
At the end of the day, you need a reliable VPS that stays online, doesn't crash, and isn't slow. Our next generation VPS platform is highly available. We achieve this through 2X hardware duplication and 3X data replication. That means that even if something happened to your node, or even our infrastructure, we automatically switch to a backup. Spend less time fighting your web hosting company, and more time building your projects.
Hello Joe, I don’t do much techie work for myself – my husband it the geek and runs the office. But this is very interesting. So based on what I can tell, I’m able to install a hypervisor software on my Windows or Mac computer and then install another operating system. This is amazing and I’m not sure we offer this pc service for our customers. I will need to try this with virtualbox on my new Dell laptop.
The fun part starts when you try to secure your server. I configured CSF (ConfigServer Security & Firewall) and cPHulk Brute Force Protection to make sure the server is secure. As i am responsible for the security of my own server, i am always having to spend valuable time to stop any attack or hacks. I usually get notifications of hackers trying to get in but the server hardening work has made it impossible to hack. The only thing is, now, i wouldn't mind paying the extra to get a managed server so i can use the time elsewhere.

If you are not already familiar with Linux system administration, you will need to devote a great deal of time to familiarizing yourself with all of the applications you're using and the CentOS operating system - you could pay someone else to set up your VPS for you, but that wouldn't help down the road when you need to update software and resolve administrative issues... (if you're not sure, go with a managed service)
Amazon EC2 is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. You can use Amazon EC2 for a variety of applications, including websites and web applications, development and test environments, and even back-up and recovery scenarios. Amazon EC2 offers a wide selection of instance types with varying combinations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity that you can use to meet the unique needs of your applications.
Need more resources than a Web Hosting account, but aren’t quite ready for a Dedicated Server? Our high performance Managed VPS Hosting is the perfect solution. Experience the power and isolation of a VPS expertly combined with the easy-to-use cPanel control panel. Choose our Turbo Boost VPS featuring up to 20X faster page loads than competing hosts.

InMotion Hosting has a Managed Hosting team of system administrators trained to help customers with much more advanced customization, optimization and support. Launch Assist is 2 hours of Managed Hosting upon purchase of your VPS to help you configure your partition almost any way you want it. Normally, these two hours with our top tech guys costs $99, but all VPS Hosting customers receive it free as a part of their purchase.
In terms of backups, databases and files, it all depends on the type of setup you choose. If you choose a server with a control panel it will make it effortless but if you want to do it manually, i suggest you take some time to learn how to do it properly, because, one error and you might loose everything you have worked for. My suggestion for a best server setup is a cloud managed cPanel VPS with SSD and good backup tool.
I actually going to bump this up to a little more 40 gigabytes in here as being my hard drive and it’s a will create this one my e drivers actually in this case. It’s a solid-state drive and that’s why I already configured it earlier to use as my default. Go in and say yes and create this one. Before I start the installations one thing I’m going to do in here is actually changing my amount of processes because it’s going to install Windows a lot faster if I actually give it more CPUs in here.

InMotion Hosting has a Managed Hosting team of system administrators trained to help customers with much more advanced customization, optimization and support. Launch Assist is 2 hours of Managed Hosting upon purchase of your VPS to help you configure your partition almost any way you want it. Normally, these two hours with our top tech guys costs $99, but all VPS Hosting customers receive it free as a part of their purchase.
If you’re searching for the flexibility of a dedicated server without the expensive drawbacks, VPS hosting may be the right solution for you and your business. At JaguarPC, we utilize state-of-the-art software and hardware, and offer VPS service plans to Windows and Linux users. With over 15 years of industry experience behind us, you can feel confident in our company’s ability to improve your business’s productivity via dependable products and support.
Managed VPS provides an excellent solution for most users who would prefer to have an expert manage their server while the customer focuses more exclusively on their business, their websites, and their clients. Not everyone who uses a Managed VPS lacks technical savvy; far from it! Some prefer this solution because it requires less effort to set-up, requires less monitoring, and tends to “just work” with little or no effort.

The golden rule for unmanaged VPS hosting is this: If you have a problem with your unmanaged VPS Account, it is your problem. If the problem is software related, resource related, performance related, need troubleshooting or configuration of software, or need general help understanding Unix or server applications, you are on your own and should not expect help from the web host.
With support for Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, and SAP, Azure Virtual Machines gives you the flexibility of virtualization for a wide range of computing solutions—development and testing, running applications, and extending your datacenter. It’s the freedom of open-source software configured the way you need it. It’s as if it was another rack in your datacenter, giving you the power to deploy an application in seconds instead of weeks.
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Another way you can customize your VPS to your specific needs is with your choice of Linux operating systems. Select from the best versions of Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora, Debian, Gentoo or Slackware. If you're in the middle of a project and want change to a different version or a different OS entirely, you can change and re-load your operating system on demand whenever you want!

I'v tested some other top VPS Providers/resellers (AWS, Digital Ocean, Vultr, etc.) and find that VPSServer.com offer highest performance/price ratio on market. One of the highest (top 3) IOPS, Unixbench and Network perfomance at lowest price from my research. Setting up server with operating systems is matter of few minutes. Managing is simple and clear.
Amazon VPC provides advanced security features, such as security groups and network access control lists, to enable inbound and outbound filtering at the instance level and subnet level. In addition, you can store data in Amazon S3 and restrict access so that it’s only accessible from instances in your VPC. Optionally, you can also choose to launch Dedicated Instances which run on hardware dedicated to a single customer for additional isolation.
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