Cloud computing

Linux in the Cloud: Hostworld VPS Review

A VPS, or virtual private server, is a form of multi-tenant cloud hosting in which virtualized server resources are made available to an end user over the internet via a cloud or hosting provider.

Each VPS is installed on a physical machine, operated by the cloud or hosting provider, that runs multiple VPSs. But while the VPSs share a hypervisor and underlying hardware, each VPS runs its own operating system and applications and reserves its own portion of the machine’s resources.

A VPS can be used for a wide variety of tasks. For example, it can host a website, run an online shop, operate a small business, test web apps, run a game server, or be deployed for education and training. Unlike shared hosting, data is isolated onto a virtual machine which is dedicated to the user. Using a VPS requires basic knowledge of server administration.

We’ve read hundreds of reviews of VPS services which offer no real insight into the actual performance of the service being offered. Instead we’re treated to a regurgitation of the features offered or told about things that are impossible to evaluate over a short period (such as uptime guarantees). Often reviews offer no more information than the promotional material offered by the service provider themselves.

We’ll take a more technical approach by examining what’s actually being offered by a VPS provider. For this review, we are looking at a VPS plan from hostworld.uk.

Hostworld offer a range of plans starting at £2.99/per month (excluding VAT). We’re reviewing their VPS-3 plan which offers 4 vCPU, 4GB RAM, together with 100GB of storage space. The plan costs £9.99/per month (excluding VAT). From a survey of other UK VPS providers, that’s a competitive price point.

The plan has various options available including:

  • Location – UK and US locations are available. As we’re based in the UK, we chose London.
  • Backup – 300GB of backup storage is included in the plan with automated backups. Bear in mind that many VPS providers offering low-cost plans charge extra for backups. Always factor in that extra cost when comparing plans, as having a reliable backup plan is essential.
  • Control Panel – There’s the open source webmin control panel available together with other proprietary panels that require a license.
  • Operating System – A good range is available. We can choose from CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Webuzo Ubuntu, and Windows. We chose Ubuntu 20.04.

Let’s examine what the plan offers from a hardware perspective.


Next page: Page 2 – CPU

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – CPU
Page 3 – Memory, Disk, Network
Page 4 – Admin UI
Page 5 – Summary


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6 comments

  1. You are right about availability guarantees. I always ignore them.

    For example, I see some VPS providers promise 99.999% availability. Pure advertising baloney. If huge multinationals like Meta and Google can’t deliver that with their own platforms, there’s no way a VPS provider will do it.

    And when they don’t deliver the ‘guarantee’ what actually happens. A tiny refund amounting to nothing.

  2. Availability:

    99.9% – 8 hours 45 minutes 56 seconds downtime per year
    99.99% – 52 minutes 45 seconds downtime per year
    99.999% – 5 minutes 15 seconds downtime per year

    Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram had a 6 hour downtime in October 2021 alone.

  3. I’ve never understood how VPS providers claim that resources are split over a number of physical servers. Does that really happen with CPU, memory?? Surely that’s not practical?

    1. Fundamentally it’s possible to share CPU over a cluster of computer systems (nodes), but software running on VPS servers like KVM or VMWare doesn’t do that. It is used in supercomputers with an operating system designed for this purpose and isn’t available for general purpose use even on them.

      Any marketing blurb from VPS providers claiming anything like this is just making it up. What they can do is move you easily to another server at the drop of a hat.

  4. This has given me serious food for thought as it is a way better deal than I’m getting with 2vCPU, 2GB RAM and 60GB hard drive space at Digital Ocean with a paid weekly backup for $2pm extra. I’m just going to have to set aside some serious time to plan a move as that is the more difficult part, migrating 5 or 6 running services.

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