RE: [vserver] shrink wrap it

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From: John Lyons (
Date: Sat Feb 09 2002 - 09:33:59 EST

> Great. I figured there would be people on the list, who had evaluated
> all the other solutions for their specific purpose, and that
> they have a reasoning, as to why they choose vserver.

We were looking for something that would allow us to deliver dedicated
server style hosting packages on a shared hosting platform. Ensim and
FreeVSD were considered, Ensim was dismissed from day 1 as it's a paid for
package. We couldn't compete with FreeBSD and FreeVSD hosts if we had to
take a large software cost into account.

I'd monitored the mailing list for FreeVSD for over 12 months and tried on
many occasions to get it working over the last 12 months. I'm not an
experienced sys admin, I've been using Linux servers for 3 years, I don't
have a desktop Linux box but I do run 10 Linux servers quite well.

My biggest worries with FreeVSD were:-

What happens when FreeVSD needs upgrading to the next version, am I going to
If the host server starts playing up am I going to be able to fix it?
Do I understand enough about the nuts and bolts of FreeVSD to be able to
trouble shoot if something goes wrong?

I've read the documentation cover to cover and read most messages on the
mailing list for 12 months. It may be that I'm just thick :) but I still
don't fell confident with it. The answers to the above questions ruled out
using it on a mission critical system.

> I would very much like to know your purpose for using a product like
> vserver, and what makes it the best for you.

I installed vserver for the first time in Dec. It worked first time and I'd
got a vserver running after 20 mins work and reading the docs. Problems
like needing CAP_NET_RAW in the conf file were fixed after a quick mail to
the mailing list, a big DOH!, & slap on the forehead. Within 48 hours of
starting to use vserver I'd patched and compiled my first kernel, something
I'd never dared to do before.

What's most important is that there are examples in the documentation to
explain what each addition to the kernel does. I understand how and why
vserver works and with my limited knowledge and experience that's a good

I now have two non production servers. One runs 5 live vs's the other backs
them up to provide hardware failover. I'm 3 weeks into basic testing trials
with 5 customer. A fuller scale trial starts with another 5 customers in 3
weeks time after I hope to have upgraded both servers to ctx-10. In the next
4 to 8 weeks we're hoping that we'll have done enough testing to launch the
vserver as the basis for a new hosting package. So far so good, no serious
bugs found and all is going well.

If you're a serious/experienced sys admin it'll take you 30 to 60 mins to
down load and install vserver on a test machine and then you can get a feel
for it. (I'd put money on you not being able to do that with FreeVSD)


John Lyons
ICQ 74187012

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