Dedicated Server for Beginners: What is covered


#1

Hi Guys,

I have been itching to finally move from VPS to your dedicated server system. But I am just not sure about the details. They seem very vague. You guys say it is a managed service but then you don’t manage MySQL? That means we still have to keep our shared hosting plan (which we don’t use for anything else) to keep MySQL running or run MYSQL ourselves (and maintain it).

I would like to know about what things change by moving from VPS to Dedicated server. As a business owner, I don’t really have the time to read technical books to manage my own server. That’s why I trust DreamHost to do it. At the same time, I don’t want to rely on VPS if there is a better product out there. VPS has had many issues for us in the past.

So here is my main question. When someone switches to VPS:

  1. what things change … as far as things we business owners need to do.
  2. what things you guys manage and what things are on us
  3. what happens to early adopter VPS discounts and things like that
  4. what can and can’t we do with our dedicated server.

I am sorry if these questions are stupid. But I am a dummy when it comes to dedicated servers :slight_smile: [hr]
OK. So this is a classic dedicated server thing and not the one like VPS.net where they “manage” stuff. They also have one that you are on your own for advanced users. Hm… Sad. Not that we can’t set up things and run things on our own but our team is just stretched that we were hoping maybe the guys at Dreamhost were doing it. haha. :slight_smile:

Wishful thinking


#2

DreamHost dedicated servers include MySQL (they’re basically a web VPS and a MySQL VPS fused into one), so you don’t need to keep a shared hosting plan active unless you need it for some other reason.

It’s fully managed by default, just like a normal VPS. You’re free to disable management, of course, and you’re on your own if you do, but everything’s managed and supported by default.

[quote]So here is my main question. When someone switches to VPS:

  1. what things change … as far as things we business owners need to do.[/quote]
    Not too much. The main difference to be aware of is that you can’t change the resource settings on a dedicated server, and you have limited disk space (500 GB on all current hardware).

As above - all managed by default.

Those only apply to VPSes, not to dedicated servers. Sorry!

About the same things as you can on a VPS, plus a few odd bits and pieces that aren’t possible on a VPS for technical reasons. I’m better with specific questions, though!


#3

You know, you just made my day. I am dangerous enough to set things up on my own but I just don’t have the time. I manage a blog network and between writing 20 articles a day, promoting stuff, working with writers, and creating media content, I just have no time whatsoever to worry about keeping things up and managing server resources myself.

Now I already have databases on your shared servers. Will you guys move them for me? How does that work? I know this is made for your VPS and Shared hosting customers. But we need more details. The transfer only covers the files and usernames per one of your customer service folks. That’s my main question. I want my databases to move to and don’t have the time to do it :slight_smile: Oh, and like any other overly demanding customer (:)) I don’t want anything to break when moving things.

I really appreciate you taking time to respond. I have had one finger on the order button for the whole day. Just needed some of these questions answered.


#4

Yes, databases can be moved automatically. I’m not 100% sure whether it’ll happen immediately when your dedicated server is provisioned or whether you have to ask for it (under Goodies > MySQL), but either way it’s not something you have to do yourself. :slight_smile:


#5

Looks like what DH is providing is a lot better than when I had a dedicated server elsewhere. I had to do everything myself and it cost two legs and an arm. Learning how to install everything via command line was a learning experience at least.


#6

I know. But that’s why I have been with DreamHost for years. Yes. I complain too much and demand too much but these guys amaze me all the time. :wink:

@andrewf I still have to confirm the DB thing. Some folks at DreamHost say I have to run it myself. Then some others say they will do so. That’s my only problem with DreamHost. It seems they are not on the same page on this :slight_smile:


#7

I am curious also about the dedicated servers.

I am looking at hosting about 100 low traffic websites off a shared install of Drupal.

So here are my questions :slight_smile:

  1. Can I create a user for the machine with ftp/sftp to a certain area or are they mapped to a home directory? If so, is this done through the control panel.

  2. Can I create a user for the control panel that has rights to add/edit/delete email accounts for a domain I assign to them?

  3. Is the control panel unbranded or can I brand it?

  4. As far as DNS goes, does the domain need to point to ns1.dreamhost.com or can it point to my ns1.example.com?

  5. I assume that there is no problem running persistent applications.

  6. If I can add a user, can I limit their disk space usage in the mappings?

  7. Is mysql run on the local machine or on your mysql farms?

  8. What are your plans to get over the 500g space?

  9. Are there limitations on transcoding videos or streaming them?


#8

The launch is still pretty new, so word is still getting around about all the details. I can confirm that dedicated servers do include MySQL — in that sense, they’re basically a web VPS and a MySQL VPS glued together. :slight_smile:

[hr]

You can create users through the control panel, and they’ll all get their own home directory.

Yes.

The control panel is DreamHost-branded. We don’t currently have any support for adjusting or removing that on a per-user basis — if nothing else, the company name ends up included in a lot of messages.

You can set it up either way, but nameservers under your own domain are less well tested, and can have some odd caveats. I’d recommend sticking with the default DreamHost nameservers unless you have special needs which preclude that.

No problem at all.

I’ll have to check on that. We don’t support disk quotas on shared servers or VPS, but dedicated might be a different matter.

MySQL is local on dedicated servers.

We’re likely to offer dedicated servers with larger disks, or with disk arrays, in the future. Our main concern is that we’d like to avoid having too many different hardware configurations, as that’d make it more difficult for us to provision new hardware, or replace faulty hardware, in a timely manner.

No limitations besides what your server can handle, and any applicable laws. :slight_smile:


#9

[quote=“andrewf, post:8, topic:54827”]

The launch is still pretty new, so word is still getting around about all the details. I can confirm that dedicated servers do include MySQL — in that sense, they’re basically a web VPS and a MySQL VPS glued together. :slight_smile:

[hr]

You can create users through the control panel, and they’ll all get their own home directory.

Can I map where that home directory is or will I have to manually create a ln to their site directory?

The control panel is DreamHost-branded. We don’t currently have any support for adjusting or removing that on a per-user basis — if nothing else, the company name ends up included in a lot of messages.

Are there plans to change this? This is important :slight_smile:

MySQL is local on dedicated servers.

How are you backing up this data? How do I retrieve backups?

We’re likely to offer dedicated servers with larger disks, or with disk arrays, in the future. Our main concern is that we’d like to avoid having too many different hardware configurations, as that’d make it more difficult for us to provision new hardware, or replace faulty hardware, in a timely manner.

Any chance that you can offer a nas/san based solution? This way we can purchase bigger blocks of storage? Not all i/o is speed critical.


#10

Home directories are fixed at /home/username.

Not at the current time, no.

Backups are automated, and are stored to servers elsewhere in our data center. You can restore them through the DreamHost Panel — there’s all sorts of options there for how that works.

No current plans resembling that, but we’ll keep it in mind the future.


#11

Not at the current time, no.

Sad panda.

Backups are automated, and are stored to servers elsewhere in our data center. You can restore them through the DreamHost Panel — there’s all sorts of options there for how that works.

I am concerned about retrieving data. Is it image based or file based? For example, home/dreamhost - the user nuked a file. Will I be able to retrieve that file?

I have a database called . . . dreamhost along with 30 others. Will I be able to retrieve just dreamhost?

What is the backup schedule and retention?

IIRC there is an API to the panel for shared. Is there one for this? Could I create a script that will create a new user, create the domain, create the ln to their site directory, create a database, etc.? Am I stuck with that stupid captcha for creating domains in the browser based install?

This should be the end of my 20 questions :slight_smile:

I hope to hear from the customer in the next few days to roll out a bunch of new domains with low traffic drupal sites :slight_smile:


#12

MySQL backups and filesystem backups are two separate matters. In both cases, we can do restores on a fine-grained basis if need be. The automated MySQL restore tools can restore an individual table on demand. Automated file restores are limited to domain directories, but you can have that placed alongside your existing files to avoid overwriting everything; more fine-grained restores can be done by Support staff.

The DreamHost API doesn’t currently have the ability to add users, domains or databases, but that’ll probably be added soon. We’ve avoided it up until now to avoid some forms of abuse, but it’ll probably be fine for VPS/dedicated. :slight_smile:


#13

Backups are file (not image) based and are accessible via NFS in /mnt/backup. Snapshots are available in /mnt/backup/.zfs/snapshot//. The only things that are automatically backed up is /home, /var/spool/cron/crontabs, and your database dumps.

Yes you can restore individual databases as not whipe out existing databases by renaming the original tables (or importing the tables from backup to table_$timestamp). If you have our shared hosting it works the same way as that.

Backups are done once per day typically during the early AM (PST). And retention is 10-14 days worth of snapshots before the older snapshots start expiring.

The panel API is just that. Its basically an API to the panel and it doesn’t matter whether you are on shared, vps, or dedicated. The API would work the same way it does currently so it would require manually adding domains.


#14

Speaking of complaining, my experience with the new dedicated servers has been awful so far. I started the process early in the morning, hoping everything would be going by the morning, or in about 12 hours. Then they tell me the files were not moved. And things have broken. To be honest, it seems the team is not ready for this transition (customers moving from VPS to Dedicated) at this point. My sites, over 200 of them have been down for over 12 hours. And there is no end in sight. They basically told me to wait till they fix it. Not exactly what I had in mind for a $89 a month plan.

Now this is early but so far the experience has been AWFUL with everything broken. The migration process took 10 hours and nothing got copied. I don’t know. Maybe I am just not getting it :slight_smile:


#15

One question after reading all this: Do your dedicated servers host their own email or must we depend on your servers? I’d rather do it myself. :slight_smile:

Please explain the actual setup.

Peace,
Gene Steinberg
co-host, The Paracast
www.theparacast.com