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Which server solution do you recommend?

Levent Yildizgoren 1 year ago updated by Andres Echeverri 3 weeks ago 9

We are currently using Version 5 and in the process of upgrading to the current version.

At the moment we are runningXTRF on a dedicated server with 4GB of Ram. However, the current version requires 16 GB of ram. 

Our options seems to be:

- Install our own server

- Continue with dedicated server

- Use private virtual server 

Which of the above options do you recommend and why? Any feedback would be appreciated.

Kind regards

Levent Yildizgoren

We run it as a virtual machine on our own server. Virtualization capabilities like making snapshots of the running machine, replicate to other physical servers etc. make me a bit more confident when updating XTRF.

If you already have your own physical servers with enough free resources, this is probably the most viable option: it doesn't really have additional hardware costs, plus you have full control over your XTRF.

If you don't have physical server resources readily available, I believe that a private virtual server is the way to go: it's very easy to set up (I think that most VPS providers set up the OS for you) while requires less maintenance and IT resources than hosting your own physical server.

Also, I would start with a test server first, and leave production server alone. Our PMs were not overly happy with our 6->8 version upgrade, so you may want to test it first.

If you have the expertise to run dedicated server by yourself, this would be the most performant solution. The manageability is worse, unless you implement your own snapshotting/high availability, so there is a price for the performance. The VPS hosts are often quite crowded, especially cheaper ones, so the performance drop is not only from virtualization, but mostly from sharing limited resources with many other VPSes - so be wary about that.

Whether to rent a dedicated server or buy your own, is mostly matter of finances - recurring payment, or single but larger expense.

There also might be the issue of internet link - to host in your own office you should have decent bandwidth and public IP address with free 443 port for https. The performance might be better in that case for your internal employees, but it might be worse for clients/vendors having to go through your office internet link.

Have you considered XTRF's onCloud services?

After almost two years of running our production instance on a virtual server hosted by a reputable provider in Germany, we just decided to go with XTRF's hosting model. Too many times we were caught between who's at fault - the virtual server hoster or the XTRF database. We decided to simplify this by going all in with XTRF - both the database and the hosting. Outside of user errors, we know who to turn to when things don't work as expected. No finger-pointing. We have only been on XTRF onCloud for less than a month and the migration was not the greatest experience, but now things seem to be rather stable. Feel free to reach out to me in a few months to see whether we are happy or regret this decision.

We're on the XTRF hosted cloud model. It works for us - as Sancho said it has lot less hassle and fewer internal IT resources are required. I'm finding that the biggest limitations to the cloud model are the storage limits (or additional expense for more storage), limited access into the server files outside of the ability to SFTP to the file archives, and the fact that the hosted account is not HIPPA compliant. But we're on it and at this point wouldn't consider hosting it ourselves.

HAs anyone tried Azure or AWS? We were looking at this when we were considering going server instead of oncloud (just due to storage limitations/costs with XTRF onCloud, which may not be a problem for most). I have not spoken with XTRF to confirm if it would work, but it looked great as we were putting together a mock up of what it would take.

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We had tried AWS EC2 before going with Host Europe's PLUS VS (German hoster). The required 24/7 uptime and corresponding AWS pricing at the time is what killed it for us.

Azure/AWS are too expensive for LSPs, things only get reasonable when you rent 100s or 1000s of servers. For testing purposes, it's fine.

My test instance runs on 6-core xenon cpu, 128gb of ram and 2x1tb nvme ssd for 100 something pounds a month. Can't come even close to that with AWS (which is not for retail buyers anyway).

Find a reputable dedicated server provider as close to your location as possible if what I suggest.

Great subject, I would be curious to know f anyone has been successful with hosting.