11

Whilst similar questions exist, I couldn't find any which quite match my request.

I'm looking for hosting for some personal .NET projects which for various reasons I do not want to host on our servers at work. I need to be able to host multiple sites and for that reason I'm thinking of a VPS with RDP access for the time being - don't fancy shared hosting as I feel that doesn't offer me the flexbility and control I'm looking for.

What experiences do people have of Windows 2008 VPS providers? I've come across a few possibilities although it seems a lot of places are still on Windows 2003 with 2008 'coming soon'. Is VPS the best way to go? Eventually (depending on how the projects take off) I intend to get a dedicated box but at this stage it's not cost-effective.

Also, what are people's experiences of running SQL Server Express on a VPS? What would you say the minimum requirements are for CPU/memory? I know it's not going to be anywhere near as performant as SQL Server 2005/8 running on a dedicated box but I'm hoping it will be an acceptable starting point.

Any other tips/advice also welcome!

Edit: Forgot to mention, I'm ideally looking for UK hosting although I'm open to alternatives.

3

I agree that most hosters haven't gained experience of Win2k8 yet. However Win2k8 is much more virtualization-friendly at OS-level, with performance benefits for the hoster and the hostee over similar configurations on Win2k3 - its definitely worth it if you can find it.

In respect of SQL it is hard to frame what the characteristics will be for SQL without understanding the shape of the workloads it will execute.

SQL is most often I/O bound - this can get much worse in a virtual environment if the VPS is hosted on a virtual disk file. Switch on query statistics - it'll help you quantify the effects. You'll pay a penalty for every physical read in such an environment.

I've seen SQL run adequately in as little as 128Mb of RAM for light traffic with simple queries. Then again I've seen SQL apps that take all 16Gb of RAM too :)

3

UltimaHosts has a great deal with 4 GB of RAM and 4 CPU Hyper-V that I just signed up with after seeing the comments here. VPS is unbelievably fast. They list themselves as the #1 Worldwide Hyper-V host and with 8 worldwide locations and deals like their 4GB RAM VPS who can argue!

2

You might want to check out ultima vps for the best Windows VPS as they offer a unique integrated VPS where the MSSQL 2005 / 2008 runs on their own dedicated server. I've used them for dedicated hosting for the last 2 years and have only great things to say about their uptime and support.

2

I'm using UltimaHosts.Net for my Hyper-V VPS combined with their MSSQL server hosting (2008). Ideal setup in my mind with free hosted DNS and Dotnetpanel.

http://www.ultimahosts.net/windows/2008/vps/

2

Things to keep in mind when considering 2008:

1) Prefer Hyper-V over Virtuozzo. Virtuozzo has a known issue - a server can run out of the non-paged pool kernel memory. All providers face this from time to time (we tried 5 different VPS providers for the last 5 years). It looks like this: your server has, like, 1GB of free memory, but the non-paged pool is fool. And the HTTP.SYS driver sends "connection refused" errors to clients. Hyper-V is free of that, also Hyper-V offers better isolation and memory management. It's almost like a dedicated server.

2) Most Virtuaozo-based VPS-providers disable automatic Windows updates :(

3) IIS7 is basically a much better choice than IIS6, which is another reason to pick 2008 over 2003.

4) Windows 2008 has a great built-in firewall

5) Answering your question: SQL Express runs just fine, so not to worry.

1

For a few dollars less than ultimahosts (and more memory, but with some other tradeoffs), there is http://www.softsyshosting.com/Windows-VPS-HyperV.aspx

This was mentioned in a tweet from Scott Guthrie: http://twitter.com/scottgu/status/10138518017

1

Yes, Hyper-V is the best way to go for windows vps. Make sure to select a provider that offers it, resellerchoice is a great place to start.

ResellerChoice

1 accepted

I ended up parking this for quite a long time and sticking with my existing setup, hence why I didn't accept an answer. Thanks for all the responses though.

In the end I went with ThrustVPS - quite a new company but so far the service has been excellent and the cheapest I could find by some way. Support issues are dealt with extremely quickly, I just hope they can keep it up as they grow! Hosting is in the UK in Rapidswitch's datacentre (although I offer US hosting as well) - I did hear something about the company being backed by Rapidswitch though I'm not entirely sure whether that's true or not.

If I ever fall out with them I'll return here and update my answer and accept an alternative one accordingly.

1

They are a fairly unknown name in the hosting world but I stumbled upon them while looking for Windows VPS. Check out myhosting.com Windows 2008 VPS offerings, myhosting.com VPS . I signed up for the $45 plan and got a 25% off the list price. The VPS was set up within 30 minutes and the speed is very decent.

0

A Windows 2008 VPS should use more RAM than a comparable Windows 2003 VPS. I would say that 2 GB for 2008 would be a minimum if you plan to use other services other than IIS (DNS, FTP, Email Server, MySQL, Ruby, ....).

I'm on the same boat and after looking at the requirements for 2008 compared with 2003 I plan on staying with my 2003 box for now (only 1 GB of ram and I have IIS, PHP, DNS, Email, MySQL and ruby running there and still have 400 MB of free RAM).

0

We use resellerchoice.com for our [windows vps][1] server network, services have been top of the line with no downtime or slow downs that i found at a few other vps hosting providers.

Best of luck in your search for a windows vps.

Bill T

Zenith BPO

[1]: http://www.resellerchoice.com/VirtualServers-Hyper-V/Windows-VPS-Servers.aspx"Windows VPS Servers"

0

Luke, can you post your experience with ThurstVPS? How is there support team? I am with AccuWebHosting and I have delightful experience with them. They are offering latest technology in 2008 VPS segment, e.g. Hyper-V based VPS.

0

I'm very satisfied with Elastic Hosts. It is KVM based virtualization, they have brilliant customer service and good prices. You can install your own Windows or rent Win 2008r2, SQL server etc..

-1

Hi there Luke,

I am looking for exactly the same thing, have you come accross anyone that is doing it? I've only found small player's running it on a shared platform.

Ideally I am looking for VPS hosting, and about 3GB for the SQL 2008.

Thanks.