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I currently have a small dedicated server at ThePlanet and I want to do an hardware upgrade. On this server I am hosting a php web application. I have done some comparaison between ThePlanet, Amazon and Rackspacecloud and I am not sure what would be the best...

At ThePlanet I can get a dedicated server with :

  • Intel Xeon 3360 2.8 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • 2000 GB Bandwidth
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 146 GB 10K RPM SCSI
  • Monthly fee: $204

At http://www.rackspacecloud.com I can get a Cloud Server :

  • 1/4 of the CPU allocation (2 quad core processors that are at least 2Ghz+)
  • 0.08$/GB in and 0.22$/GB out
  • 4 GB
  • 160 GB RAID10
  • Monthly fee: $178.2 for 10GB in and 10GB out (which is enough for me)

It seems to me that there is only Pros for VPS (for example CPU Bursting or the possibility to quickly change the RAM if we need).

But what would be the advantage to have a dedicated server over a VPS? Is rackspacecloud a good company?

Thanks

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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have personal experience with Slicehost. They have been acquired by Rackspace a while ago. In my experience, and those of everyone I have heard mention them, Rackspace is professional and reliable. I can also recommend linode.com. Be careful in what you choose, because there are many horrible VPS providers out there.

The biggest reason why I love VPSes is that they are easily adjusted to your needs. So if I get a burst of traffic, e.g. get slashdotted, I can have a machine 10 times as big in a very short period, at any time of day. And, if I downgrade two days later because the traffic is back to normal levels, many VPS providers will only charge the big server for two days. For Rackspace Cloud, I think it's even per hour or per minute.

With physical hardware, upgrades are difficult and lengthy. So, unless your requirements are very extreme, I would always recommend a VPS.

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+1 for Slicehost. I have 4 slices from Slicehost, 2 are for customer facing webservers, and 2 are configured with OpenVPN to host internal company services. –  Matthew Rankin Feb 13 '10 at 21:58
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VPS buys you out-of-band console access, the ability to re-OS, and snapshot backups. Plus your data is on a RAID array not a single spindle. Doesn't mean you'll necessarily get better performance, but less likely to have a "whoops how good are your backups" event.

Rackspacecloud is the marriage of rackspace's facilities and capital with slicehost's platform and community. Its very popular, and imho for good reason.

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Do traffic costs matter?

$0.22/Gb out means that for 150Gb/mo out Rackspace also costs $204

Performance

This VPS performance comparison by Uggedal has been making the rounds

It favors Linode and disses EC2, which fits some experience I've had. I'm happy with Linode.

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You may want to take a look at a dedicated server at SoftLayer. I like SoftLayer because you can mix dedicated, cloud and other advanced services, such as a content delivery network into an integrated solution.

VPS.net is another company that has been getting good reviews. I think they use SoftLayer's infrastructure as well.

While these cloud service offerings are improving, I still prefer to have my core assets on a dedicated system. Depending on the cloud technology, you could be restricted in terms of backup software, low level kernel tuning or other items that may prevent you form maximizing your system. I've not used Rackspace's offering so I cannot comment explicitly on it.

In terms of Amazon, I'm not a fan of it for core operations. You are locked into them. If they go down, you cannot easily port your system somewhere else. With VPS/Cloud type systems that provide a virtualizaton layer that mimics Linux, you can easily move your system elsewhere.

Lastly, don't forget about backups. If you go into a cloud solution, make sure your favorite backup tools will work.

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