Rails VPS servers at rimuhosting.com

Posted by ezmobius Fri, 11 Nov 2005 23:51:00 GMT

I have been setting up VPS servers at rimuhosting.com. These guys have really nice prices on Xen based virtual private servers. This blog runs on one of them. I am putting together some documentation on setting up your own debian sarge based VPS for rails/lighttpd development and deployment.

There is a need for rails hosting like this as rails does not lend itself very well to run on shared hosting plans. Textdrive is a great example of this. They are a great host and I like them in general but their uptime lately is dreadful. I have clients with lifetime accounts that are upset that its impossible to run a production site on TextDrive.

The two servers that I am familiar with are Gilford and Nelson. Both of these seem to go offline multiple times a week. Argg! Can’t have that and keep clients happy.

So the best solution I have come up with is to use either VPS or dedicated servers for raisl work. Xen performance is truly a thing of beauty. It comes close to a dedicated solution. And I have a great system for setting up a minimal debian system with just the essentials:

ruby, gems, rails, mysql or postgresql, postfix, subversion, lighttpd, fcgi and all the goodies to tie all those packages together. With this set up you end up with a lean and mean rails machine!

I have found that with this setup the $29 plan at rimu will happily run an install of typo and about 2 -3 other decent sized rails apps and some other static html sites or what-have-you. And it will do so very fast. Lighty really shines in this environment since it is so light on resources. So I don’t even install apache and all its bloat so it doesn’t sit there eating RAM.

Mysql or postgresql are the most memory intensive parts of the whole equation. So hand tuning these db engines to run well on a memory restrictive VPS is a little bit of a challenge but well worth the rewards.

Stay tuned for a detailed write up of the complete setup process of a rimu VPS from scratch. I will be taking notes on an install this weekend and will post them here shortly.

Posted in , ,  | 7 comments


  1. Bill said about 4 hours later:
    So true about TxD. I had to migrate a low-bandwidth commercial business off Gilford because of downtime, and now I have a lifetime and a year account sitting empty. The other possible solution was to use failover between two TxD accounts at DNSMadeEasy :)
  2. Amr said 2 days later:
    Hopefully they can work these things out at TextDrive. Missing out on the lifetyme account deal may not have so bad in retrospect.
  3. Derek said 2 days later:
    Hi, just saw this while I was browsing your site.. You know, Linode (http://www.linode.com) has very reliable servers and decent pricing. (no, I don't work for them.. Its the server company I use for some of my rails apps :)).. Hope it helps!
  4. Amr said 3 days later:
    The only concern I have is that they are based out of NZ. Hopefully there is more than one large pipe going to NZ. Response times for their site seems to be pretty reasonable though.
  5. Ezra Zygmuntowicz said 3 days later:
    Yeah I got a test account and abused it heavily to test the latency and all that. I have to say the bandwidth has been amazing. And I don't have anymore qualms using their service even though it is in NZ.
  6. Peter Bryant said 12 days later:
    FWIW our support is based out of NZ. But our servers are in the States. By default new servers are being setup in the Dallas (Level3/Internap) data center we use. If anyone needs us to do the ruby/rails setup for them, just mention it on the order confirmation page and we'll take care of it. Or you're more than welcome to install it yourself :) Thanks for the informative post Ezra!
  7. Duff OMelia said 369 days later:
    I had the same experience with TextDrive. I switched all of my accounts to OCS Solutions ( http://soapadoo.com/review/45 ). Their servers are rock solid and FAST. They also have excellent support.

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