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TOPIC: Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015

Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 5 months ago #7579

  • rsearle
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I delivered a talk and demos entitled Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting to the MJUG meeting last Wednesday. The pitch was:

Shared hosting too slow? Too limited? Broken? Been blacklisted just because you live at the same address as some spammer? Is cPanel/WHMCS doing your head in?

If you've been thinking of breaking out of shared hosting, maybe you've been looking at cloud hosting. The good news is you can set up your own cloud server and offer your own cloud hosting to your clients.

[This is a discussion and demo of] a roll-your-own cloud hosting account, complete with a clean, fast, free control panel and a fistful of web sites.

Here is the slide deck from the workshop.

I think this is a topic that has legs, and I would welcome any comments or discussion on this subject.

Russell Searle
Psicom
Last Edit: 2 years 5 months ago by rsearle.
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Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 4 months ago #7610

  • Terry
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Russell,

Recently I have been looking seriously at an alternative to shared hosting, particularly last night while my sites were off-line for the past 24 hours, mostly waiting for someone to tick a box. :( Unfortunately Meetup didn't remind/invite me to the presentation so apologise if this was something already covered in your talk.

My first question is about the mail server side of things and is the ability to send/receive part of the Vesta stack as a complete working mail solution or do I need to be installing something else and Vesta just interfaces to whatever package I may have installed?

In your slides you link to Cloud Centrals Enterprise/SmaterMail while the Vesta stack refers to Exim/Dovecot so am I correct in thinking the SmaterMail is a MS Exchange type equivalent while the Exim/Dovecot solution is more your basic POP/IMAP/ SMTP environment like what I am used to through cPanel now?

I currently have 3 SH accounts with around 10 active sites/domains running Joomla and a couple of Forums(SMF) and a few other development or email only domains for about $600.00 per annum. I don't expect to expand to much more than what I got, however one business is going to have a very email/newsletter heavy requirements in the future so in your opinion should I be looking at IaaS or the PaaS offerings from Cloud Central.

Regards,
Terry
Been working with Joomla for Fun and Work for 10 years.
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Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 4 months ago #7611

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Hi Terry,

Vesta CP provides a complete IMAP/POP/SMTP mail transport, anti-virus, anti-spam and web mail solution out of the box. The elements of this are Exim4, Dovecot, ClamAV/Freshclam, SpamAssassin/Fail2ban and Roundcube.

CloudCentral Enterprise SmarterMail is a packaged SOE service offering aimed at enterprise clients who want to outsource their mail, calendar and task collaboration systems to a managed service provider. This is not relevant to people like you and me who want to use CloudCentral cloud hosting to build a dedicated or shared web hosting installation.

Similarly, the PaaS offerings (most PaaS, not just CloudCentral's CumuLogic suite) are pitched towards specialised technology stacks, e.g. J2EE, Spring, big data, high availability (load balancing, CDNs), enterprise message queuing etc. I don't think this is what you're after. What you need for LAMP web hosting is just a basic IaaS server instance, and then Vesta CP provides the complete web hosting stack that you want to run on it.

With your mix of sites, you should get by with a simple Small Compute VM, pitched to the number of VCPU cores you need for your workload. With a FOSS Linux OS, medium VCPU (2 cores) and (say) 32GB storage, that should cost about $43 a month including GST.

As an example, one of my instances is a Small Compute Low CPU Centos 6.5 VM with 1 VCPU, 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. It runs 9 Joomla! sites, my CRM, my ERP and my project/time sheet system, plus 6 mail domains, one of which issues a monthly newsletter. It costs about $35 per month including GST. It never breaks a sweat, average load is less than 2%, average page response is 2.5 seconds.

My workshop was aimed at outlining how to build a simple, modern, FOSS web hosting installation on a commodity cloud VM. It's a pity you missed it, but I am happy to repeat it if I can find another group that is interested in the subject. If that happens I'll post the meeting schedule here so you can book in if you want to.

Cheers,

Russell
Psicom
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Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 4 months ago #7612

  • Terry
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Russell,

Thanks for the detailed response and particularly the example of your instance as it gives me something to compare with what I am reading. I was thinking at starting with something like the the Small Compute package with 1vcpu, 1gb and just move the sites across as the existing accounts come up for renewal and see if I need to add a second cpu or not.

Since I posted earlier today I have read through the acronyms that I didn't recognise on your slides and so I have a better picture of exim, dovecot and in general what Vesta is providing so I am more comfortable about being able to do the same sort of stuff that I do with the shared hosting.

How have you found the support or interaction from Cloud Central in setting up things or responding to problems etc?

I used their contact form before I posted here and I am still waiting for a response, a similar comment I saw on meetup, and given the reason from moving from my current hosts is as much about the decline in customer service as it is the technical issues, I am wary about ending up with a more technical freedom but the same poor service when problems happen.

Terry
Been working with Joomla for Fun and Work for 10 years.
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Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 4 months ago #7613

  • rsearle
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Hi Terry,

CloudCentral support relies on a ticket system, but the response is very good. The support techs respond quickly and competently, providing you know what you are doing and you give them clear requests. The CloudCentral organisation is pretty flat and I have had no trouble reaching support, an account manager and even the CEO.

I'm not a CloudCentral partner, but I'll hook you up with them if you want to pass me your details.

Best of luck,

Russell
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Roll your own FOSS cloud hosting: 25 March 2015 2 years 4 months ago #7614

  • Terry
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Russell,

Thanks. I have sent you a message with my details.

Terry
Been working with Joomla for Fun and Work for 10 years.
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