VPS hosting trial at Cytanium

I’ve been hosting www.IISLogs.com and a few other domains on a VPS (virtual private server) at GoDaddy.com.  It was a 1 processor, 2 GB with 30 GB hard drive for $40 per month, which in my humble opinion isn’t bad.   After a couple months of testing, I’ve been running without too many issues for about a year.  There has been 2 brief outages.  Overall, my experience has been good for a self-managed server. 

The one drawback with GoDaddy, you get 1000 SMTP messages per month and have to use their smarthost.   You can get a few more after a review process by their support staff.  This was an inconvenience when wanting to host my own mail server.  I send a periodic newsletter for http://www.iisnewsletter.com and was ‘blocked’ by their smarthost after sending about 500 messages.  After a few weeks of messing with their support, I moved the domain to another host (www.orcsweb.com) shared hosting so I could send my newsletter.

Recently, Brad Kingsley posted a blog about “cough” cheap VPS hosting.  Let me tell you it’s anything but cheap.  They offer a 2 proc, 2 GB of RAM with 80 GB for $40 / per month.  You also get 250 GB of bandwidth.   GoDaddy mentioned theirs was unlimited, but I’d imagine they’d come after you if a server pushed a lot of bandwidth.  Anywho, the sign-up was easy, go to http://www.cytanium.com and check out their prices.  The server is a totally self-managed server, which from my perspective is just fine.  

I installed IIS, and related things using Web Deploy.  For an individual server, Web Deploy has come along way and helps speed configuration of a single server.  I restored my databases, installed Live Mesh to sync files locally to my remote machine and the cloud.  This is a cheap / free alternative backup solution.  I use SQL Express, I use a command line approach to backup my databases to disk, then use Live Mesh to sync to my remote systems.   Here is the command line I use.

REM Remove existing backups
del c:Backups*.bak

REM Command line
sqlcmd -E -S localhostDBInstance -d master -Q “BACKUP DATABASE DBLogs TO DISK = N’c:BackupsDBLogs.bak’ WITH INIT , NOUNLOAD , NAME = N’DBLogs backup’, NOSKIP , STATS = 10, NOFORMAT”

I installed a free version of SmarterStats for stats.  I’ll install AWStats for some of my other domains, I’m still evaluating AWStats vs. SmarterStats.  It amazing in the world of mobile, tablets, social media that setting up a server, websites on your own it’s so easy now!  I’ve not testing their control panel yet or other features so stay tuned.  I was able to get 3 domains cutover within a few hours. 

If you need help setting up your self-managed server at http://www.cytanium.com, give me a shout @ steve AT iislogs.com.

Happy Hosting,

Steve Schofield
Microsoft MVP – IIS