I'm considering moving a number of small client sites to an unmanaged VPS hosting provider. I haven't decided which one yet, but my understanding is that they'll give me a base OS install (I'd prefer Debian or Ubuntu), an IP address, a root account, SSH, and that's about it.
Ideally, I would like to create a complete VM image of my configured setup and just ship those bits to the provider. Has anyone had any experience with this? I've seen Jeff talk about something like this in Coding Horror. But I'm not sure if his experience is typical. I suppose it also depends on the type of VM server used by the host.
Also, do such hosts provide reverse-DNS? That's kinda useful for sites that send out e-mails. I know GMail tends to bounce anything originating from a server without it.
Finally, I'd probably need multiple IP addresses as at least a couple of the sites have SSL protection which doesn't work with name-based virtual hosts. Has anyone run into trouble with multiple IPs through VPS? I wouldn't think so, but I've heard whisperings to the contrary.
Slicehost (referral link, if you so choose) offers reverse DNS, multiple IPs ($2/month/IP), Ubuntu/Debian (along with others). The only criteria it doesn't support is the ship-a-VM one, but it does let you clone VMs you've set up in their system via snapshots. You could thus set it up once, then copy that VM as many times as you like.
If that's a sacrifice you're willing to make, I highly recommend them - they've had great customer service the few times I've needed to contact them, decent rates, and a great admin backend.
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