Author Topic: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)  (Read 4162 times)

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Online Redgie

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A little Info before I get into it
A Dedicated server is a physical server style computer that is solely ours and is placed in a data centre with maximum connectivity. The server is ours and only ours to use and we pay a fee for that.

A VPS is a virtual private server hosted on a Dedicated Server. The idea behind this is that you may host multiple VPS's on one Dedicated Server, allowing the owner of a Dedicated Server to turn a profit.



We've had the Dedicated server for quite a while now and other than one incident it's been perfect. We've enjoyed perfect uptime and no hardware failures, and the fact none of you have really complained about the connectivity (Other than those of you far away, which is to be expected) means it's obviously been doing its job properly! However, as donations have slowed, it's time to look at downsizing to reduce costs, and the 72 we spend a month on the Dedi is certainly an area to look at.

I understand of course that the reason the donations have slowed is that there is nothing to donate for, and that in turn becomes my problem, however that's all pretty irrelevant to the point I'm making here, as what I'm trying to establish here is whether or not we actually need a Dedi in the first place.

We currently use around 1-1.5GB of our 4GB RAM, and as you would imagine, a significantly minimal amount of our quad core i3. We also only use around 40GB of our available 500GB storage, and though we do pay extra for mirrored RAID, there's a good chance that any VPS provider we approach will be mirroring their drives anyway. With some VPS's, we can have access to 2GB of RAM, 4 cores (Quad core) and 50GB of storage for <30, a significant saving of 42 a month!

RRP and now CG has always been community ran, with you guys making the decisions. You guys all voted for the initial dedicated server, and so I want you guys to discuss the future of a potential change. I personally am all for the idea, but then I would be, as seeing 72 go out of my bank account isn't one of my favourite hobbies.

Anyway, before you post, I'll try and answer a few questions I guess I'll get, so we can concentrate on the bulk of the discussion.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Dedicated Servers?
The main advantage of a dedicated server is that it is 100% yours. Nobody else can make a mistake and force the server offline, you get 100% of the connection, 100% of the RAM and 100% of the CPU. You don't have to share a thing, and great reliability come with that.

Another advantage is the general specs of a Dedi. As you can see from the above info, our quad core, 4GB 500GB server monsters any standard VPS, and probably some of your PC's themselves!

The main disadvantage of a Dedi is price, 72 is not an expensive Dedi compared to some, but it is considerably more expensive than a 30 VPS, over double the price in fact. As well as this, Dedi's are difficult to change, with any change such as upgrading or downgrading parts taking the server physically offline for the duration of the change.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of VPS's?
The main advantage of a VPS is price and scalability. As shown above, we could reduce costs by over 50% per month, which is a huge amount of money if we are able to work it in a way that sees no other disadvantage come from it! As well as this, all VPS's are scalable. This means that if we decide that we need an extra GB of RAM, we can simply add it to the package. This normally won't incurr a fee as it's simply a software change to "Unlock" an extra GB. It may cost us an extra 2-3 a month, but will still be considerably cheaper.

The main disadvantage of a VPS is that it is not all ours. We will be sharing the VPS with other people. Typically, a server will be highly specced (4 quad cores, 16-64GB of RAM, several TB of storage). These resources are then split between as many clients as can be fitted on. This means that if one of those clients makes some kind of mistake that forces the server to reboot, however unlikely as that may be, we will be hit directly. I should stress that VPS's are extremely reliable, as much as so as most Dedi's, but this is the main disadvantage and one we need to think about.

What will the moving process be like?
Unless we are able to stay with our current provider (RackSRV), which is looking unlikely, there will be a moving period that has to take place.

Recently I have attempted to convert people to using the domain name rather than the IP address to connect to the server. This means that players looking for RRP and CRPG shouldn't have a problem, because the domain will simply redirect to the new IP address. However, anybody that has it saved under the IP, may essentially lose the server, and the less faithful players of course won't bother looking for it.

Another moving aspect is setup of the new server. While we don't use our server for a lot, there will be numerous things that I have to configure, and I must add that I am far from a Linux, expert, very far. Here are a few things that will need to be done, with a rough indication of how long they will take.
- Linux Setup (Users, permissions, initial settings) - 1/2 Day
- Linux Software Setup (FTP, MySQL, Web, Domains, DNS) - 1-2 Days
- SA:MP Setup (RRP, CRPG, BETA Servers, Databases) - 1 Hour
- Teamspeak - 30 Minutes
- Websites (RRP, CRPG, CG, UCP's, BUCP's, Forum) - 1/2 Day

Note: These times are rough indications based on my recent and past experience with Linux, your personal abilities are of neither my concern nor interest, please don't post things like "I could do that in half the time".

Some of these things can be done simultaneously, some can't, so it's worth noting that the overall time will likely be less than the combined time of each thing. It's also worth noting that with the exception of the DNS, everything here can be done while the old Dedi runs perfectly, meaning that we could simply ask players to suddenly begin using a new IP once everything is ready, and then have them switch to the domain once it is fully transferred, reducing the transition period considerably.

The domains themselves will take up to 2 days to transfer from the point of initially switching them, and during that time it is fully out of our hands. The advantage of the IP's being instant and not transferring is that we can manually access either the old or new sites, which we can use to ease the transition.

Why haven't we done this sooner
Quite simply because we haven't needed to. Why not live in luxury if you're able to? Donations have always sustained a 72 a month expenditure, reducing that outlay would have simply been for no reason. There are no doubt those of you who are technically minded that will use this as a point to bring up and I ask that you don't. Why we haven't switched before now is not relevant in deciding whether or not to do it now.

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Offline Setzer

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 02:34:54 pm »
Do it. Pretty sure we haven't used and never will use the potential of a Ł72 dedicated server. Not even half of it. If you manage to gather more money than you need, simply save it and wait for times like these, when we don't get enough donations to keep the server up. It's not like you have to imediately spend all the money you have.

Offline Sammy

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 02:42:47 pm »
This seems like the most suitable action for the sake of the community right now. If you're unable to stay with the current provider, which other provider would you be considering to move to?

Hopefully, there will be no problems if we're moving as there will be other customers using that dedicated server. My only concern would be the downtimes. I have the habit of regulary typing "re" and hitting enter in my browser for some reason. 1-2 days may not seem like a long time. But, for me thats another story xD

This community has been amazing and I'll never forget what I did during my early teen years, RPing with a bunch of awesome people, thank you all.
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Offline -Liam

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 03:05:33 pm »
That's perfectly fine, it's your money so you can choose what you want to do with it. As long as it's not a cheap VPS that wasn't built for constant connections such as a gaming server. I happen to just type redg into my browser too (too close to reddit).

Offline Katashi

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 03:11:59 pm »
I have the habit of regulary typing "re" and hitting enter in my browser for some reason. 1-2 days may not seem like a long time. But, for me thats another story xD
This lol, but since no people donate anymore I guess it's the best thing to do.

Offline Westorz

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 03:14:41 pm »
Sure I guess, But I'll have to send alot of PM's to Redgie for no particular reason <3
I miss you faggots alot :(

Offline Lance

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2012, 05:01:59 pm »
I think this is overdue, and that instead of having bathed RRP in glory with a dedicated server for so long, we could have ran a VPS for 2x the time or longer. As you've already outlined, VPS' are still quite powerful- however it's really really important to choose the right provider with the right specifications. Therefore before moving to a VPS, I know I'd personally like to find out what specs you're looking at.

Otherwise, your time estimates seem to be pretty right. DNS will probably take 24 hrs.. I think you'll find that as long as you're sticking with the same distro, then a lot of the config will be the same as from the dedicated server, and thus getting applications installed and configured won't really take that long.

I'd personally advise that if you are getting a VPS, and the provider offers their own DNS system, to use it. As running your own DNS servers is more of a tit than it needs to be.

But ye.. There's plenty of opportunity out there from VPSes. It's just exploring your options and getting the right advice.

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Online Redgie

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 05:50:45 pm »
This is really just a discussion over the general concept of moving. Next up I'll present a few options and see what people think

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Offline Dai_Ryu

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 07:22:15 pm »
Lol, Saw this one coming with the the donation results on the UCP this month.

Offline Tomi

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 07:37:59 pm »
Saw this one coming with the the donation results on the UCP this month.
Kinda expected it, but not so soon. Anyway, do it if its a better option.

Offline Josh.

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 07:53:16 pm »
Go ahead, save money.

Offline Max

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2012, 01:07:17 am »
VPS sounds ideal. I would rather save money and keep the ball rolling that last longer.

We'll go back to dedi, when we have a maximum of 200+ players on the server. (depending on the donations)
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 01:15:26 am by Max »

Offline John_Atlas

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2012, 02:10:26 am »
Do it.

Offline [501]Gabel | Tugger!

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 02:51:30 am »
VPS sounds ideal. I would rather save money and keep the ball rolling that last longer.

We'll go back to dedi, when we have a maximum of 200+ players on the server. (depending on the donations)

I'm sure 200 isn't necessary to run a Dedi. Once we have a stable foundation of fun and entertainment on both servers, a population of 50 players could easily sustain 72/month.
Tbh botted my agi lvl to 99 last year.

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Re: Switching from a Dedicated Server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server)
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2012, 12:09:35 pm »
VPS. I don't think anyone had a problem with it before we had a dedicated server.