VPS: what limitations on usage are there?




I'm thinking about getting a VPS account for my website. At the moment it just runs on a home computer running Debian with a DSL connection.

I'm used to being in full control of my own computer, and fiddling around with ASCII configuration files to get things working. My website is running my own software that I wrote in Lisp, using Apache with mod_lisp as the webserver. I'm also used to running my own mailserver. So I'm going to want real, proper, full root access, including the ability to install some fairly exotic bits of software, and I want to do all my administration the old-fashioned way, over ssh.

My question is, what limitations do your VPS systems have, when compared to having full root access on a real computer?

So far, by flipping through the forum, I've found that I wouldn't be allowed to roll my own kernel, and IRC ports are blocked. Both of which I can swallow. More of a worry is section 10 of the TOS, which tells me that I can't use more than 25% of "system resources". I can understand such a policy for a shared system, but surely the whole point of a VPS is that I can use whatever resources I want, and the VPS manager is responsible for throttling individual virtual servers that are running too hot? Otherwise, I'm in a position where a simple bug in my software could put me in violation of the TOS.

Are there any other limitations?

As a suggestion, it would be nice to have a page somewhere summarising all of the limitations of VPS. It would be even nicer if you could provide a rationale as to why you have these policies, e.g., "We don't allow IRC because of the high probability that it would be used to control botnets", or "We don't allow P2P applications because of the high probability that they would be used for copyright violations". This would be just so that people can decide whether their applications are likely to be judged to be inside or outside the rules.

Hello Mat,

First, thanks for your interest in KnownHost and for the suggestions on explaining the reasoning why we don't allow such things in our TOS. We just list the general idea with the assumption most would know as in the VPS world most providers don't allow anything IRC related as well P2P applications. Some allow IRC but our 15+ yrs of experience we prefer to keep the network clear of such things so all customers are getting the service they paid for.

Regarding the 25% of CPU usage with a VPS this is something we put in place (some others are also doing this with VPS's too) as there is no reason a customer with a $25/mo VPS should get over 25% of the entire servers CPU as that would mean the rest of the customers suffer. With a VPS you can burst RAM but CPU we don't cap rather we offer Equal Share which means you get an equal share of the CPU of the server with other VPS customers. The way it works is say 10 customers are on the server and need CPU at the same time they will each get 1/10 of the CPU. Now if 3/10 of the need CPU those 3 will share the full server's CPU. We wouldn't just turn you off we would send you a note stating our findings with a CPU usage chart. We take care of our customers and will proactively contact you giving you time to fix the bad script, etc. I hope this clears things up. Let us know if you have any further questions.

OK, thanks for that. Personally, I'd rather pay for CPU on the same basis that I pay for RAM, disk space and bandwidth, but I can work with this system.

So just double checking, no ports other than IRC are blocked, correct?