I am looking for a Windows VPS provider that will allow me to install any applications that I want on it. I tried the GoDaddy VPS plan, but it wouldn't let me install the windows updates that were required for SQL 2008. Do I need to go up to full dedicated or is there a provider that can give me full admin control?
closed as off topic by sysadmin1138♦ Apr 5 '12 at 20:33
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Most VPS providers will give you full control (the "P" stands for "Private", it's yours), but if they are based on Virtuozzo then you will not be able to install updates or install device drivers.
You cannot install device drivers because Virtuozzo is not hardware virtualisation, rather it is software virtualisation. If you download a Windows update you run the risk of it breaking the virtualisation.
You cannot install device drivers for the same reason, you might do something funny in the kernel that will break virtualisation. This might not be a problem for you, but if you want to run the VPS as a VPN endpoint with a single hardware NIC (extranet), you will most often end up installing a software NIC as the intranet. My favourite is the Microsoft Loopback Adapter. Despite being signed, Virtuozzo won't run it.
Virtuozzo also does some funny things with VPN/SSL acceleration that prevents the .NET Framework 3.5 from installing and the VPN services for Windows Server 2008 from starting.
You can get around the latter by enabling VPN support on the host but this is a ticket to support. For me, they didn't understand the limitations of their own product and thought I wanted help installing a VPN.
If you can live with the limitations of Virtuozzo (there are a few), I would suggest KickAssVPS. If you want hardware level virtualisation, try Hyper V Mart.
If you look around at WebHostingTalk, Hyper V Mart had some nice lifetime 25% off vouchers floating around.
Hyper V Mart also have a sister site, Database Mart. If you're running the VPS only as a SQL server you may find it cheaper to buy SQL server hosting.
Personally, I'm surprised that there are Windows VPS providers that don't give you full control. I know Anchor Systems give you full control over your Windows VPS (disclaimer: I know this because I work there). I would imagine that most providers do the same, though; a quick question to the sales department should elicit an appropriate answer.