How to Choose a VPS and Be Sure About Your Choice

posted by Archie @ 20:03 PM
April 28, 2011

VPS hostingAfter we have delivered you numerous articles on different aspects of VPS hosting, we’ve noticed that we need to get back to this topic again. Once again we are going to talk about the problem of choice of a VPS server. This time we are going to take a look at this question under a different angle – let us share some interesting tips on how to tell if what you see when checking out the feature/pricing page of your potential VPS host is what you are going to get. While introducing you choice-making tips in our previous articles we usually referred to the technical aspect of VPS hosting, today we are going to analyze the VPS hosting from the point of view of a customer.

How much RAM do you get in fact?

When you see a 1 GB VPS plan at a very low cost, don’t be too fast in making optimistic conclusions. Check if this entire amount is guaranteed RAM. The best option is to contact sales support – then you are going to have a proof – a copy of your chat or email. But if you don’t have time for those checks, there is a quick way to find it out on your own – check the virtualization type used by this host. If it is XEN – be sure the entire 1 GB of RAM is guaranteed. If they use OpenVZ (the hosts that use it often say their VPSes are powered by Virtuozzo), there’s a risk, that their pricing provides the combined amount of RAM – guaranteed + burstable (RAM, that may be allocated only for a short period of time and thus – not constantly available). Since RAM is the main feature of any VPS server, this should one of the first points you verify before moving any further.

CPU units

Checking out pricing of some VPS hosts, one can find such feature as CPU units. This parameter shows the CPU frequency, available for the given VPS. Although it looks rather informative and lets the potential client compare the offered plans in more details, it’s not quite a correct way to represent VPS CPU specifications. To find out how powerful the CPU of the given VPS is, you need to know, what number of cores the entire VPS-carrier has, what their frequency is and how much of this power is delegated to the specific virtual machine – the latter factor depends on performance priority.

If you don’t know, how to interpret this information, you can simply ignore it. If you do need the details, you can have a brief consultation with the sales department of your potential host. This will let you find out the specifications of the carrier. The more powerful it is and the bigger the plan you are looking into, the more powerful your VPS is going to be.

Disk Space

Since VPS servers are usually offered as a fast solution that is cheaper than a dedicated server, those are not designed for large data processing. The minimal plan at some VPS hosts may offer as little as 10 GB of disk space. If you are going to host a few web pages, it’s alright, but if you work with email and databases, you need to consider disk space allocation rather carefully. Now let us count what you have in the end – after your server is setup, the system may take up to 2 GB of disk space. Any backup you make is going to create a file of the size approximately equal to the size of your /home directory. Not that much space left, isn’t it? That is why another Gigabyte of your virtual HDD may become vital. Well, it can also be taken by swap. According to the architecture of OS Linux, swap is a fixed disk partition, not a file, unlike on Windows – therefore, before you order a XEN-based VPS, you need to consult sales department first, to find out whether /swap is counted with the disk space offered or not.


If you want to be completely sure about your future VPS host, you need to find out as many details as you can before you actually sign-up for their services. Your potential host may not list everything on their web-page, it’s alright, but their sales and technical team should always be able to explain these or those aspects of hosting with their company. If it happens that some of your questions remains unanswered, you have serious reasons to not consider this host. If you are looking for an affordable and reliable VPS host right now, please spend another minute checking out our plans here at

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