21 01 2015
Getting Starting with a New VPS or Dedicated Account
So you are new to vps hosting, now what? You got your website up, and its running, but you haven’t done anything in the WHM, you may not know what the WHM is. So the goal of this article is to help you with the transition from shared hosting to unmanaged VPS or Dedicated hosting. Now this article may not be able to cover everything, and it will be referring to a bunch of articles that have already been written on the site. The article will also be going over some ideas that may not have explained before you purchased your VPS.
So one of the biggest things that can cause an issue is disk space. There are already a few articles on disk space and managing backups. The reason why that is such a problem is because if you came from a large shared hosting company they most likely had unlimited storage (though you may have had a limit on the number of files you had). On a VPS and Dedicated server you do not have a limit on how many files you can have, but there is a hard limit on how much you can have. So on your server you will have a hard drive, it will have a certain capacity, but you will not have access to all of it. The system is going to take up some space, generally a CentOS install is around 4-5GB, then cPanel, WHM and all of the services that are required to run the server take another 4GB, so before you put your website on the server you are down 9GB. Now if you do not have a different drive for your backups then your backups will be on the same drive and depending how they are setup, they can take up a lot of space.
So if you are having issues with disk space here are some guides that will help you setup and manage your disk space.
Here is a link on how to manage disk space:
Here is a link on how to configure your backups in the WHM:
Here are two different links on how to delete backups. The first is the easier way if you are familiar with FTP (really its easier even if you are not familiar with FTP). The second is through ssh:
Another foreign concept coming to a VPS or Dedicated server would be Server load. On a shared account you would be able to use a certain amount of CPU and RAM, but if you used too much you were either shutdown, or throttled (that’s where your hosting company slows your account so it doesn’t use as any resources). On a VPS and Dedicated server things are a little different. You are now the only one on the server so the hosting company doesn’t have to throttle you (and if it is truly an unmanaged server there will be no throttling). But you might have issues with the server load getting too high and slowing your site down, or even crashing the server; because the server is unmanaged and because you are the only one on the server, you can figure out that your site crashed the server.
What can you do to prevent your site from crashing the server? The number one thing that is overlooked, but is one of the most important things is: Site Optimization. Site optimization is a hard thing to do. It is different for every site and depends on how you made your site (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Magento, etc). But a good starting point for those who do not know how to, or where to start: GTMetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Insights
Now we also have a really thorough guide that explains what server load is and how to trouble shoot different issues that a raise from high server load:
Simple Server Setup
The reason why you will want to setup the system time is because if you use your server for email then you will want to know when it is actually arriving. The server is going to default to UTC, so unless you are in London you will want to change the time zone to your own time zone. Other reasons are if you are trying to trouble shoot an issue with the server and you take a look at the logs they are all time marked with the system time.
Here is a guide that was written for this issue, this guide also goes over how to set when the system crons are ran (ie: backups and updates):
In light of the recent SSLv3 vulnerability, you’ll want to make sure that SSLv3 is disabled. If you have recently purchased a VPS/Dedicated server, then SSLv3 will be disabled by default. That being said, it would be wise to check that it’s off. Here is an article that covers that.
CPHulkd is a security feature of your server. This feature monitors your server for failed login and protects against brute force attacks. This means that if you try to log into your cpanel or WHM and fail too many times, odds are your local IP will get blacklisted by the server. This can lead to problems if you have customers on your server that forget their email password, and then get blocked by the server from their IP. Here are a couple articles that go over how to whitelist IP addresses.
How to Access WHM
Accessing your WHM is crucial to being able to manage your VPS/Dedicated Server.
*Additional Topics to follow.