Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Web hosting for cheap on a virtual machine

The thing you have to remember about working in IT is that no two projects are ever alike.  Even if you're being asked to do the same thing for 10 different people you're still going to be surprised.  Sometimes even on the same project.

So it was with my latest foray into virtualization on the cheap.  The client could barely afford to pay me let alone invest thousands in licensing fees.  So we had to get creative without sacrificing stability. 

That can be a tall order especially when everything you're using is Open Source. 

Now I have my issues with the way the Open Source community does things but a good product is a good product regardless of who made it.

Of course, "good" is a relative term. 

It's always a trade off.  A bit of pain to save a lot of money is fair but too much pain can cost more than if you'd just went with a commercial option.  And I do mean "commercial" because I still firmly believe that any product that relies on a fractured support community or high priced "experts" to make a product work is just this side of an amateur effort. 

Not that all open source products are that way, however.  

Some communities are better than others and if they put together a solid package with "readable" documentation then I'm all for it.  If we're just stroking somebody's ego so they can get a guest spot on Floss Weekly I'll take a pass every time.

I put CentOS, the open source version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and Z-panel, the open source clone of C-panel squarely in the "good" category.

Together they offered a cost effective and relatively stable platform for web hosting.  Add in a virtual platform for them to live on and you've got a web host that could fit on a keychain.  Not bad...

Instead of bore you with 4000 words of text describing my latest open source virtualization adventure I've created a video that takes you from creating the virtual machine to administering your new web host. 

As you're watching you may miss a few of the links in the video.  I've provided them below.

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