One of the biggest problems when coding is how to deal with repetitive tasks. If you’re as patient as a saint, you’ll do this on your own while scrolling through thousands of lines of code. The better way to go, though, is to have all of these automated with Ruby on Rails. The only problem here is that you’ll have to find a place to host this application before going live.
What you’re probably going to do is go over all the different options and try to find the cheapest one out there. The problem with this is that even the cheapest of options (like Heroku) are fairly expensive. Along with that, Heroku doesn’t let you have any storage space at all, and it doesn’t give you full control over your data.
The far better option here is to use VPS hosting. It’s cost effective, simple to use, and has the features that you need. In this post, we’re going to go into how you would host using this smarter option.
What is VPS?
VPS stands for virtual private server. It’s essentially a totally virtual machine that’s set up by companies that host over the Internet. This virtual machine of yours will be included with other virtual machines on an actual, physical server. This machine can then run an OS, a server for the web, and other software for your database.
These machines run with total root access and are usually fairly cheap to own and maintain. Also, considering that these machines can run a number of Ruby on Rails apps at once, you’ll be spreading out the cost as far as VPS hosting goes.
First step: Find your VPS.
The first thing you need to do is find a good host and then buy your VPS. You’ll have to find a host that will allow you to install and run Ubuntu on a VPS. The good news is that most hosts do allow you to do this.
If you don’t have a VPS, you can still use virtualization software such as VirtualBox to do the trick. The great thing about VirtualBox is that it’s totally open-source and is available in the Software Center in Ubuntu. You’ll need to make sure your network adapter is set to “bridged” before you can take advantage of these features.
Your VPS will get its own IP address on the network that you have set as local. All you need to do is download a copy of Ubuntu Server and select “OpenSSH” server while you’re installing everything.
Log into your VPS.
You’re going to log in to your virtual machine through what’s known as SSH. This stands for secure shell. It’s a protocol for your network and it allows computers to talk to each other while using an encrypted connection.
Of course, you’ll have to know what the IP address of your virtual machine is. Once you have that, you’ll go for “root” as the default user and put in your password.
Keep your VPS secure.
Since you could irrevocably make serious changes to your virtual machine, it’s best that you use the root default user as little as possible. Instead, you’ll want to create a brand new user who automatically has administrative access.
To do all of this, you need to fill in the “sudo” command. This will provide you with another layer of security to your system’s administration. The first thing you want to do is make a new user.
Once the new user has been made, you’ll want to come up with a safe password and then make the new user a member of your admin group. This “sudo” command is what specifically will give the user admin rights.
The next step in the process is to secure the configuration of your SSH. Since every Unix setup has a default root user, it’s important that you disable this root user from logging in. This will make you safer and more resistant to any future attacks.
Stay up to date.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for your new virtual machine is that you need to always stay updated. You’ll want to update all of your lists for your package, go ahead and upgrade the packages you currently have installed, and install new packages while deleting the ones that are now obsolete.
This way, your virtual machine is going to be totally up to date. The very last command will be to reboot the VPS. What this will do is lock in your changes and give your system a nice reboot to make sure that they all have taken effect.
Once you’ve gotten everything checked and up to date, you’ll be ready to start up your VPS. This way you’ll be able to store plenty of data without having to be confined to a physical server.
Gone are the days where you’re liable to take care of a physical server. With the globalization that we’re seeing in the world, we’re seeing a notable uptick in the number of companies that want to free up space and save money by going with a VPS.
When you really look at all of the benefits that having a virtual machine has to offer, you’ll see just how much of a good idea it would be to go with a VPS. Whether you’re a small little startup company or are a massive, international corporation, you can stand to benefit from using a VPS.
Beyond just the content itself, these machines are fully secured from just about any attack and will always keep your data safe. In this age of cyber attacks occurring even at the level of massive corporate entities and even governments, you truly can’t afford to leave your data unsecured.
While this guide isn’t exhaustive, it should get you well on your way toward getting your data into a secure location. The question you have to ask yourself is: Is it time for a switch? You decide.