FreeBSD is one of the most stable server operating systems available today and is very well suited for a hosting environment. Many tools and software packages are available on FreeBSD to create and run (Web 2.0) websites, including Apache, Lighttpd, Perl, Python, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails etc. Used for powering many established websites such as Yahoo!, FreeBSD has proven to be an ultra-reliable platform for companies hosting sites with high hosting demands.
RootBSD is such a hosting provider that offers dedicated server hosting and virtual private servers (VPS) running on FreeBSD servers.
RootBSD was established with one simple goal in mind: to provide reliable BSD-based hosting services to hobbyists, advanced professionals and businesses. RootBSD has achieved this and much more as it has become the hosting provider of choice for many and has started to gain somewhat of a following over the past year in the FreeBSD community. RootBSD also sponsors many FreeBSD developers with free hosting services.
A few highlights of the RootBSD service:
- Virtual hosting (Xen-based and Jail-based) and dedictated hosting
- RootBSD deploys VPSs on Xen which is fully virtualised, unlike jail-based hosting that most providers use. RootBSD also offers jails-based VPS hosting.
- Most recent stable FreeBSD release available; currently FreeBSD 7.0, while other providers are still using FreeBSD 6.3 (e.g. Verio)
- Entry-level packages aimed at hobbyists start at only $20/month
- Clean and attractive website. The geeky, black-’n-green looking website was replaced by a much more professional looking “FreeBSD coloured” website last May.
The benefits of full virtualisation under Xen are that
- the VPS envrionment is separated from the host system which lets customers fully customise their environment. In a jail the guest VPS runs off the kernel of the host system, meaning you cannot change the kernel.
- jails use a virtualised network stack that works fine for most services but doesn’t let the user do some more advanced things like firewalling, virtual network devices, VPN tunnels, etc.
As far as I’m aware, RootBSD is the only FreeBSD hosting provider that is offering a VPS service virtualized under Xen. If you or your business requires a flexible, cheap and fully-controlled webhosting, RootBSD should definitely be considered.