Well, I finally got around to wiping out whatever I’d been playing with there before and dumping on their stock Debian 4.0 image. After running through their tutorials on setting up Apache2 and PHP, I was good to go.
The base system with my webserver and database running read at about 25 MB of used RAM. Not bad for a fully functional, if barebones, webserver. I’d been worried that, coming from a fully dedicated box with 1 GB of RAM, I would run into a memory bottleneck, but fortunately that didn’t seem it would be a problem.
The next important step was to do some testing. I played around with MySQL, running some basic queries, just to see if it was noticeably laggy after a casual poking. Again, everything looked fine.
The next, and really final, step was to dump a copy of my blog on the slice and see how it ran. After some complaining about the default
max_upload_size value in PHP, I got a copy of my database imported using phpMyAdmin and a quick
scp -r later and I had an exact copy of my blog setup and ready to go.
All-in-all, it looks like performance is at the very least on-par with the other hosting I’ve used in the past. The performance over DreamHost, where my blog has lived for several months while I really decided where to host it, represents about a 10% improvement3.
I’m still not ready to make the DNS switch, but at least I’ve realized I’m being too paranoid about the memory limits. In the end, the only other reason to stay with my expensive dedicated server is the convenience of Plesk, which scratches my lazy itch perfectly.
If I can get a few scripts hobbled together (in one language or another) to help automate things like vhost and database creation, I may be able to do away with Plesk entirely.
One final problem, and one I’m looking for opinions on, is what to do about email. I’m not planning on dumping DreamHost any time soon4, but I would like to move my email along with my blog if possible.
So who do you use for email? Any problems? Only condition is that they have to offer IMAP…