The best UK VPS provider
February 13, 2010 9:22 AM   Subscribe

What is the best most economical and reliable UK VPS provider?

I'm looking for the best, but most economical and reliable UK VPS provider. Ideally I require WHM and Cpanel with unlimited domains.
posted by samengland to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm a big fan of ByteMark, but can't offer an opinion on panel software. I use a vanilla Debian box
posted by handybitesize at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2010

Linode (full disclosure, this is a referral link that credits my Linode account) has UK located VPS's now. No cPanel support -- their web interface provides you with machine provisioning but software configuration is completely up to the user, which I basically consider the feature of a Virtual Private Server.

If you need web administration, I know of Webmin and Virtualmin. Unfortunately, it's not in Debian proper for various reasons. You can download and install it separately, if desired. But it is naturally a high profile target and you should consider how to keep it secured.
posted by pwnguin at 10:55 AM on February 13, 2010

Once you get a vps setup you should be able to setup whatever software you want. I've had a linode server for a long time and it's pretty great, but I use the command line to set everything up. I'm not sure if cPanel is really something you need if you've got full admin rights and a command line.

Here's a link to Linode that does not include a referal code

If you really need a GUI, you could get a windows instance on EC2. Running an EC2 instance all month long will cost more then Linode's monthly charge on it's lowest cost. But it offers a ton of great features.

You can hook it up to what's called an Elastic Block Store volume, which is kind of like a virtual disk that you can connect to different VMs, so you could put a database on an EBS volume, and then configure an instance that uses it. If you decide later you need to upgrade, you would just need to shut down your instance and boot it on a larger instance type, and then reconnect the EBS volume.

You can also take snapshots, so backing up is really easy. One thing I don't like about Linode is that you're on your own for doing backups. Supposedly, the instances are stored on a RAID array, but that's it. If you screw something up, or get hacked, whatever, that's it. You'll need to rebuild from scratch or restore from a backup that you yourself setup, such as with rsnapshot or something.

And that's actually one of the nice things about EC2. You can boot off an Elastic block store volume. or you can use what's called Instance Storage. With Instance storage you store snapshot of your Operating installation on S3, then when you boot it gets loaded onto temporary storage for the lifetime of the instance. When you shut down, all changes are lost. Which means there's no way to screw it up.

So you can keep your configured server image on S3 (which is a little cheaper then EBS) and then keep your database on EBS.

(the S3 storage method was all that was available for a while, EBS is new, and much more convenient, but it will cost you a few more dollars a much to keep EBS volumes sitting around.


EC2 has a lot of options, and can be complicated. But there's a great web interface for actually working with it, it's not too hard in practice. If you've got admin skills for a regular server setup, and you don't want to spend more then $20/$30 a month, then Linode is the way to go. If you want a more powerful setup with more features and easy backup, restore, cloing, etc then EC2 is really worth your time to look into. (and actually if you use EC2's spot pricing then you can probably run a small instance server for about $21/mo)
posted by delmoi at 11:14 AM on February 13, 2010

(Oh, and if you need a lot of CPU power, you can get EC2 instances with up to 8 CPU cores and 68 gigabytes of ram. That's more Ram then Linode's second largest offering has disk space. And even EC2's smallest instance type has more ram then Linode's second largest offering)
posted by delmoi at 11:25 AM on February 13, 2010

[referral code removed - please don't do that here]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:13 PM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Btw, this would probably be a good question for serverfault which is a QA site for system administration, based on the code for stackoverflow.
posted by delmoi at 2:00 PM on February 13, 2010

Nthing Linode. Love them and they now have London nodes.
posted by Brian Puccio at 2:42 PM on February 13, 2010

Here is a really helpful price/performance comparison of various VPSes, including Linode and Slicehost (the latter is US-based but I use it for UK-based sites and it's plenty fast).

But if I'm honest: the fact that you don't know that VPSes are bare installs where you have to install everything, and the fact that you're asking this on the green rather than on Serverfault doesn't fill me with confidence that you know what you're doing.

If you're just running boxes for your own services/experimentation, that's no problem - fire up a VPS, get hacked (I did) and fix it, you'll learn an awful lot. Also the Slicehost article repository is invaluable for the newbie sysadmin. Pay for the VPS's own backup service and also rsync important files/databases off your VPSes onto a local Ubuntu box.

But the fact you want WHM, which seems to be some sort of hosting billing platform, leaves me with the slightly worrying feeling that you don't know much about web hosting but you want to setup a for-payment web hosting platform for clients/partners. Perhaps you're a small web design outfit trying to make a bit more money?

If you are trying to do the latter, then please do get some professional sysadmin help. If you DM me I can put you in touch with the London-based sysadmin I use occasionally. He's £400 a day because, frankly, systems administration is boring and time-consuming (he'd rather be coding) and there aren't that many people (at least in the UK) who are good at it.

Anyway good luck!
posted by runkelfinker at 4:46 AM on February 14, 2010

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