[Techtalk] Re: [NMOSUG-L] Renting virtual appliances instead of VPSs?

Wesley J. Landaker wjl at icecavern.net
Wed Apr 11 00:28:59 UTC 2007

On Monday 09 April 2007 20:43, Kelly Jones wrote:
> I rent several virtual private servers (VPSs). These are fun, but take
> a lot of work to setup right.
> Is there any place I can rent a virtual *appliance*? EG, a "virtual
> machine" (vmware/Virtuozzo image) pre-configured w/ a Apache/PHP
> and/or MySQL and/or tinydns and/or nagios, etc, etc?

You want the "appliance" image, or a service that provides you with hosting 
for virtual machine?

For the former, you can get lots of prebuilt images. For instance:


I use KVM/QEMU for all my own virtual machines. VMware is slightly faster 
than QEMU on CPUs without KVM support. With qemu-img you can convert VMware 
images for use with QEMU or vice-versa, with a couple limitations (e.g. 
driver issues since emulated hardware is different; can't emulate an ARM on 
an x86 with VMware, etc).

I personally find it's easiest to make my own images quickly and easily by 
starting with a clean base image (i.e. an up-to-date minimal Debian stable 
already set up with testing/unstable/experimental pinning) and just 
installing whatever I need on top of that. But see below:

> It might even be cool to get one nano-appliance configured w/ tinydns,
> another w/ MySQL, a third w/ Apache/PHP, etc and have them all talk to
> each other.

One downside of most "appliance" images (including ones I usually make 
myself) is that they are NOT "nano" by any stretch. Almost everything is 
built on top of some normal operating system, like a Debian or Slackware 
install (or, worse, something like Windows XP).

But this is also an "upside" since it generally makes them easy to 
administer, configure, and use. For example, a "nano" web server sounds 
great, until you realize that you have to give it files to serve somehow, 
and oh, you wanted to run a rails application, and ... etc ....

Wesley J. Landaker <wjl at icecavern.net> <xmpp:wjl at icecavern.net>
OpenPGP FP: 4135 2A3B 4726 ACC5 9094  0097 F0A9 8A4C 4CD6 E3D2

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