Virtual Private Server FAQs

Smart Servers Virtual Private Server FAQs

If you have a question that has not been answered here you can also consult the Knowledge Base.

If you need advice or assistance with any sales, service or support related query or issue you can contact us via email at service@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.


VPS General FAQs
What is a Virtual Private Server?
How long will it take to set up my VPS?
What can I use my Virtual Private Server for?
What software and applications can be supported on a VPS?
How do I access my VPS once it has been set up?
Is there a control panel installed on the VPS?
Will I have full root access and control over my VPS?
How many domains or websites can the VPS support?
Can you transfer my sites from my current host to my new VPS?
Do I need technical knowledge to manage a VPS?
Are Linux and Windows VPS servers available?
Can the VPS be "re-branded" with my own logo?
Can I use my VPS to resell hosting services?
Which web hosting reseller control panels are available?
How scalable are the VPS servers?
How often is the data on my VPS backed up?
Does the VPS have a dedicated IP address?
What is the difference between a VPS and a Dedicated Server?
Can I sign up for a VPS without a domain name?
Can I upgrade or downgrade my VPS if my requirements change?
What kind of network connection will the VPS have?

 

VPS Technical FAQs
Are Virtual Private Servers secure?
Will the VPS be protected by a firewall?
How do I manage DNS services for my VPS?
What DNS Servers do I use?
How do I control reverse DNS for my IP addresses?
How do I reboot my VPS?
Which Web, Email, FTP and Database servers are installed?
What other software and applications can be installed on a VPS?
How can I view bandwidth usage of my VPS?
How do I enable or configure Anti-Spam?
What type of hardware will my VPS be hosted on?
What happens if the hard drive of host machine crashes?
What if I break something on my VPS and am unable to access it?
Is there an API available for the VPS?
Where can I find the VPS operating documentation?
Is any type of server monitoring included?
What if I want a feature that isn't available?

 

ANSWERS: VPS General FAQs
 
What is a Virtual Private Server? [Top]
Virtual Private Servers, sometimes also called "Virtual Dedicated Servers", are technically isolated multiple instances of an operating system which are able to share a single physical server machine. This type of virtualization typically offers cost savings and other features and benefits such as easier management, scalability and higher availability of service when compared to a dedicated server while at the same time providing access to similar features and services as those available on most stand alone dedicated servers.
 
How long will it take to set up my VPS? [Top]
Depending on the type of server or system ordered and any special requests or non-standard installations that may be required you can expect to be in receipt of your login and configuration details within 1-6 hours. Other factors that can influence the setup time are completeness of your order and in particular whether valid and verifiable contact details have been provided.
 
What can I use my Virtual Private Server for? [Top]
With a VPS you can host multiple websites, databases, applications, forums, blogs as well as manage email systems, provide DNS services and much more. You will have full root access to your VPS so there is basically no limit to what you can do with the server providing that it does not violate our terms of service.
 
What software and applications can be supported on a VPS? [Top]
Practically anything you see on the Internet can be supported on a VPS with the right kind of software and software which will support practically all common applications and services is usually available either as free open source or at reasonable cost.
 
How do I access my VPS once it has been set up? [Top]
Once your VPS is online and ready for service you will receive a setup letter from our technical support department that will include all of the relevant login and configuration details for the system. This letter will provide you with the IP Address of the VPS and the login URL for the control panel so that you can log in either via telnet, ssh or ftp or by accessing the web-based control panel and begin using your VPS right away. The setup letter will also include other relevant info such as where to find the operating documentation related to your VPS.
 
Is there a control panel installed on the VPS? [Top]
The standard VPS server control panel is an easy to use custom multi-level control panel developed by the Smart Servers programming department. Other optional control panels such as cPanel, Plesk and Direct Admin are available for installation on request. Practically any type of hosting control panel system can be installed or made available if required. If you have questions or special requirements with regards to control panels please contact Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
Will I have full root access and control over my VPS? [Top]
Yes, full root access is standard on all VPS servers and with a Smart Servers VPS you will have exactly the same level of access and control as if you had your own dedicated stand alone server.
 
How many domains or websites can the VPS support? [Top]
Depending on the VPS system model a VPS server can support between 10 to 1000 or more domains and websites including associated services such as email etc. The number of domains and websites a particular VPS can support would also depend on factors such as the traffic which each site or service will be receiving and the processing load requirements for applications and services such as databases and email systems etc.
 
Can you transfer my sites from my current host to my new VPS? [Top]
Our expert server migration service is included free of charge for any servers that you migrate to your service with us, whether it be a single VPS or Dedicated Server or multiple servers of any type migrated to one of our Virtual Data Centers. This service is offered on a "best efforts" basis and due to the wide ranging and complex nature of migration we cannot make any guarantees that a migration will be able to be carried out completely free of technical glitches however our technical support team has extensive experience in this area and will do their very best to ensure that all server migrations take place as smoothly and with as little in the way of service interruption as possible.
 
Do I need technical knowledge to manage a VPS? [Top]
All Smart Servers VPS servers are set up for turn key Internet hosting and serving including fully installed and configured Apache web server, Sendmail and Dovecot email servers, MySQL database server and even your own DNS servers (optional). An easy to use multi-level control panel system is available for the main server administrator, all domain owners and email account users have access to a fully featured Webmail interface.
 
Are Linux and Windows VPS servers available? [Top]
The standard VPS server is FreeBSD, which was one of the original operating systems for VPS servers long before Linux and Windows based VPS were developed so this would be considered the most developed VPS operating system as well as the most reliable, stable and easy to use operating system for VPS servers. The FreeBSD VPS will also be able to run practically all Linux applications which is not the case with Linux which can only run applications that are specifically written for  the Linux operating system. However if you require a Linux based VPS these are available with CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora being the available free open source options and Redhat Enterprise being the commercial Linux option. Windows based VPS servers are also available with a choice of compatible control panel systems. If you have special requirements with respect to VPS operating systems or installed software you can discuss available options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
Can the VPS be "re-branded" with my own logo? [Top]
Yes, all Smart Servers VPS servers are able to be re-branded with your own logo image which will be seen by the users who log into the control panel.
 
Can I use my VPS to resell hosting services? [Top]
Yes. One of the main uses of VPS servers is the provision of web hosting and related servers and the VPS had long been the choice of web hosting resellers due to factors such as reasonable cost and ease of upgrades and migrations.
 
Which web hosting reseller control panels are available? [Top]
A wide range of hosting control panels are available for installation on the Smart Servers VPS if required including cPanel, Plesk, Direst Admin and others. Practically any type of hosting related control panel or client management systems can be installed or made available if required. If you have special requirements with respect to VPS control panel systems you can discuss available options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
How scalable are the VPS servers? [Top]
The Smart Servers VPS servers are able to be quickly and easily upgraded to the next level to provide you with the required resources as needed and upgrades from one VPS level to another can usually be carried out with as little as a couple of hours notice. The VPS servers are generally also able to be up upgraded to a dedicated server or migrated to a dedicated Virtual Machine hosted in one of our Virtual Data Centers. If you need to upgrade or downgrade your service you can discuss available options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
How often is the data on my VPS backed up? [Top]
The standard VPS servers include full daily backups and multi-level backup archiving of all of the data on your VPS at no additional charge. Full weekly backups of all Linux and Windows based VPS servers are also included at no additional charge. A fully automatic daily backup service as well as hosted self-backup space is also available for an additional charge depending on the amount of data being backed up. You can discuss backup options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
Does the VPS have a dedicated IP address? [Top]
Each VPS server is allocated with at least one dedicated IP address. The VPS Advanced and VPS Professional systems are both allocated with 2 IP addresses which are located on two different Class C networks for use in the primary and secondary DNS service which is installed as standard on these VPS systems. Additional IP addresses are available if required at a cost of $2.50 per IP per month. Depending on the number of IP's requested justification (a legitimate technical reason) may be required.
 
What is the difference between a VPS and a Dedicated Server? [Top]
A dedicated server is a server that is dedicated to one customer. A Virtual Private Server is a virtualized operating system partition on a physical server machine that is shared between a number of other VPS servers. Due to the advances in Virtual Private Server technology a VPS generally has most or even all of the exact same features and capabilities of a dedicated server and most VPS systems provide near perfect isolation and security of data between VPS servers and a high level of resource isolation between VPS servers hosted on a physical machine however for some applications a dedicated server may be preferable.
 
Can I sign up for a VPS without a domain name? [Top]
We generally need to have a valid registered domain name in order to set up a VPS as this will be the main domain which is associated with the server and it's ns1&2 DNS servers if applicable.
 
Can I upgrade or downgrade my VPS if my requirements change? [Top]
You can generally move between VPS plans at any time without charge and due to the easily scalable nature of the VPS system there is usually no downtime or interruption of service involved. If you need to upgrade or downgrade your service you can discuss available options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
What kind of network connection will the VPS have? [Top]
The systems supporting the VPS servers are connected to our core network by 100Mbps dedicated ports which in turn are connected via Gigabit fiber ethernet (1000Mbps) links to the Level3 network which provides connectivity and peering with all of the world's major Internet backbones.

 

ANSWERS: VPS Technical FAQs
 
Are Virtual Private Servers secure? [Top]
Due to the advances in Virtual Private Server technology a VPS servers provide near perfect isolation and security of data between VPS servers. The data hosted on your VPS will be secure from this perspective however it is important to keep in mind that the most often avenues of exploitation of all types of Internet servers is via insecure or out of date PHP scripts and other similar applications. In order to make sure that your server is secure against possible exploitation and abuse from this perspective you should ensure that applications such as Wordpress and other similar popular and commonly exploited applications are kept up to date and secure with appropriate security patches and other fixes carried out as soon as possible after an exploit becomes known. In general any script or application that allows unknown and untrusted users any form of access to upload or modify anything on a server is potentially vulnerable to exploitation or abuse if not properly programmed with security in mind and kept up to date with respect to being safe from exploitation.
 
Will the VPS be protected by a firewall? [Top]
The standard VPS servers are protected by an automatic Intrusion Detection Firewall system which is able to detect and guard against common intrusions such as bots attempting to guess login passwords or gain unauthorized access to accounts on your server.  With the Linux VPS servers you will have the option to configure iptables or other associated applications such as Guarddog for KDE. Windows VPS servers will have the standard Windows firewall activated by default. Additional firewall software applications of various types can be made available on any Smart Servers VPS system if required. If you have questions or special requirements with respect to firewalls you can discuss available options by contacting Smart Servers sales by email at sales@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form.
 
How do I manage DNS services for my VPS? [Top]
If your VPS has the primary and secondary DNS service installed, which is available on the VPS Advanced and VPS Professional, then you can manage your own DNS for an unlimited number of domains. If you have one of the other VPS server types we can provide DNS service for your domains at no additional charge. Simply send your request for DNS setups of changes to support@smartservers.com.
 
What DNS Servers do I use? [Top]

Our main DNS servers are as follows:

ns1.dns-support.net  216.55.96.19
ns2.dns-support.net  216.55.97.19

 
How do I control reverse DNS for my IP addresses? [Top]
The reverse DNS for all IP numbers is supported and controlled by our main DNS systems. When a new VPS server is set up the reverse DNS for the IP will be whatever domain or host name has been specified in the order however this can be changed at any time if required. To activate or change the reverse DNS for any IP address allocated to your VPS simply send request to support@smartservers.com with the details of the IP address and the host or domain name that it should be mapped to.
 
How do I reboot my VPS? [Top]
Unlike with some servers it usually is not necessary to reboot a Smart Servers VPS after making configuration changes or installing software applications etc however if you should need to reboot your VPS for some reason this is easily done by logging into the VPS via telnet or ssh as the "root" user and using either the "shutdown -r now" or "reboot" command.
 
Which Web, Email, FTP and Database servers are installed? [Top]
On the standard VPS Apache and PHP4/5 are pre-installed and configured as the web/httpd server. Sendmail and Dovecot are the Email SMTP and POP/IMAP servers. The FTP server is Proftp and the database server is MySQL v5. On the Linux and Windows based VPS servers this would vary depending on what is installed or available for the given Windows operating system version or Linux distribution.
 
What other software and applications can be installed on a VPS? [Top]
You will have full root access to your VPS with similar capabilities as if it were a dedicated server so practically any application or service you see being run anywhere on the Internet can likely be installed and run on your VPS. Some some software and applications related to things like IRC, warez and file sharing sites are not allowed to be run on the VPS servers. For more information on this you can consult our Terms of Service.
 
How can I view bandwidth usage of my VPS? [Top]
The bandwidth usage statistics for the VPS servers are available for viewing upon logging into your VPS control panel system.
 
How do I enable or configure Anti-Spam? [Top]
The standard VPS servers have integrated Anti-Spam capabilities which are accessible via the control panel and provide the ability to activate filter rules on a per-account basis as well as controls to activate and use common RBL email blacklist services such as Spamhaus and Spamcop. Options to activate SPF checking are also available. On third party control panels such as cPanel and Plesk email Anti-Spam and filtering capabilities are able to be activated including those which use the popular SpamAssassin software.
 
What type of hardware will my VPS be hosted on? [Top]
We use branded hardware from leading companies such as Dell and Supermicro and our systems are built, tested and maintained by skilled professionals who have many years of experience working in complex mission critical computing and hosting industry environments.
 
What happens if the hard drive of host machine crashes? [Top]
Smart Servers handles all issues related to the network and server hardware aspect of the VPS service including the proactive monitoring of critical systems associated with your VPS. Our technical support will respond and deal with any hardware or network related issues within a 30 minute time frame on a 24/7 basis as per the provisions outlined in our 100% Uptime SLA.
 
What if I break something on my VPS and am unable to access it? [Top]
If you have made a configuration mistake on your VPS which has resulted on your being "locked out" for some reason or if it has caused the VPS to be unreachable from the network our technical support are available to respond and fix things for you on a 24/7/365 basis. If you require technical support advice or assistance with any matter related to your service you can contact support via email at support@smartservers.com or complete and submit our online contact form. Usually there is no charge for this type of technical support assistance however if the issue is something to do with a third party script or application which has not been provided or installed by Smart Servers or if the issue is due to something you have done to cause your server not to operate properly and it is not a simple matter to fix the problem then there may be a service fee imposed depending on the nature and complexity of the issue and the time it takes to resolve it for you.
 
Is there an API available for the VPS? [Top]
The standard VPS systems have an API which allows the ability to interface with the system to create and manage things like websites, user login and email accounts as well as many other account and system maintenance related functions. Most of the popular control panel systems such as Cpanel, Plesk also have an API for access to similar functions.
 
Where can I find the VPS operating documentation? [Top]
Once your VPS is online and ready for service you will receive a setup letter from our technical support department that will include all of the relevant login and configuration details for your system. The setup letter will also include other relevant info such as where to find the operating documentation related to your VPS.
 
Is any type of server monitoring included? [Top]
Basic monitoring services are included free of charge with all servers. Our server monitoring system will monitor your VPS for connectivity via ping or a specific port or service (httpd, smtp etc) and our technical support will notify you by email if a problem is detected. In most cases our technicians will proactively provide assistance on a 24/7 basis with server reboots and other urgent issues as required in order to restore services back to normal as soon as possible.
 
What if I want a feature that isn't available? [Top]
Practically any type of application or service you see being run on the Internet can be supported on a Smart Servers VPS either in it's default configuration or with the addition of commonly available and often free open source software or scripts however if there is a feature or service which you would like to have and are unsure as to how to go about installing or enabling it on your server you can contact technical support who may be able to provide you with the necessary advice or assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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