VPSLink: Finally, VPS Priced For 2009

by Jon Davis 30. December 2008 15:00

A little over a year ago I spent weeks trying to find the most affordable way to host cachefile.net (now defunct) among a few other things in a reliable manner. I didn't want my site shared with a bunch of other sites, and I certainly did not want plain-vanilla Apache/mySQL/PHP. I wanted my very own instance of Linux on which I could feel free to do anything--rig Apache to my liking, host my e-mail, install an XMPP server, you name it, anything. I also ended up hosting this blog--jondavis.net--on my home PC with the Linux instance acting as a reverse proxy so as to bypass my cable modem provider's blockage of port 80.

The best deal I could find was ServerPronto. These guys seemed to have adequate bandwidth and gave me solid specs for the dollar, for what they said was a dedicated physical server. 

But even that was priced out of my range, because up to this point I have not been trying to make a profit / living off of my Linux instance, although at this point I think I might as well. I was paying out about $180 per 3 months, and that gets expensive especially in this economy.

I also found that while BlueHost has proven adequate for my own e-mail, and I'm REALLY not happy with the ASP.NET web host offerings out there since none of them support IIS 7 module installations, I could probably be just fine hosting everything on my BlueHost account and on my home PC through my cable modem, if only I could retain that reverse proxy out there, somewhere, without spending $180 every three months.

Last night I went shopping around again to see if there were any other solutions for me, when, lo and behold, I came across a VPS (Virtual Private Server -- Xen virtual machine hosting, basically) host that came at the same price as a typical shared web host: VPSLink. For less than the price I was paying every three months before, now I can get two years of my own Linux instance. Indeed, if you're reading this right now (and of course you are, as am I posting it), that's my new VPSLink account working for me.

Now, granted, I lose out on what I originally sought after: very high availability and scalability. I am back on a shared host, after all, and I have little doubt it's gonna get crowded over here. But, as I said, cachefile.net is now defunct, and really this only serves for reverse proxying to my cable modem and for lightweight LAMP hosting; if I ever really need high availability I'll also need a good reason, and if it's for profit then I'll be able to afford something more. But I get everything else here: my own CentOS instance on the 'net really, really cheap.


UPDATE: Of course, upgrades to Apache when migrating from FC6 to CentOS 5.2 would force me to add these directives to my httpd.conf:

SetEnv force-proxy-request-1.0 1
SetEnv proxy-nokeepalive 1 

.. or else I get proxy errors:

The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server.
The proxy server could not handle the request GET.

Still not sure if I have rid myself of them entirely yet...

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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