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How to verify if a server is actually a dedicated server not a VPS

This happened with one of my friend who lives in India. He purchases a dedicated server with the following configuration

  • E5-2620  4GB RAM
  • 2TB Hard Disk
  • Unmetered Bandwidth @ 1Mbps port

He paid the price for a dedicated server but the performance was not upto the mark as an E5 2620 is a very powerful server, things seems fishy and he asked me to check he has been tricked for a poor quality server. 

When I checked, everything was ok. The CPU information along with RAM size was clearly shown. Nothing suspecious but one difference I spotted viz the cPanel. The branding logo on cPanel (WHM) was showing cPanel optimized which indicates that a VPS license is being used (In a dedicated server license, it shows cPanel accelarated).

How can a VPS license is being used on a dedicated server? I asked the cPanel support staff. 

Officers at cPanel informed me that the server is actually a VPS, not a dedicated and that was a point where we all had a lesson.

Now, the question arises, How to verify if your server is actually a dedicated server but not a VPS. What if you don't have a cPanel? How to verify it from terminal?

How to check if the server is dedicated or VPS

There are multiple methods of doing that. 

1. Partitioning: A VPS server is already a Virtualized server which has been partitioned. You can not make another partition in a VPS server. This can only be done with a dedicated server.

2. Terminal methods

If you are virtualized under OpenVZ or Virtuozzo the file /proc/user_beancounters will exist. Run the following code

cat /proc/user_beancounters

If that file exists, you are on an OpenVZ VPS. 

Also look if /proc/vz or /proc/vz/veinfo exists (for OpenVZ)

or /proc/sys/xen, /sys/bus/xen or /proc/xen (for Xen)

Check if /proc/self/status has an s_context or VxID field.

If one of these file exists, then you have a VPS

 

2.b Hit this command grep 'model name' /proc/cpuinfo and If you are running under KVM you will see the following result.

 model name : QEMU Virtual CPU version 0.15.0 root@nscache1a:~# dmidecode -t system | grep Manufac Manufacturer: Bochs root# grep QEMU /proc/scsi/scsi Vendor: ATA Model: QEMU HARDDISK Rev: 0.15 Vendor: QEMU Model: QEMU DVD-ROM Rev: 0.15 

 

2.c Hit this command dmidecode -t system | grep -e Manu -e Prod if you are running under a XENCenter VPS, you will get the following result

root# dmidecode -t system | grep -e Manu -e Prod
       Manufacturer: Xen
       Product Name: HVM domU

Needless to say the easiest among these all method is to Install a cPanel and check if it shows cPanel optimised (for VPS) or cPanel Accelarated (Dedicated).  

How to differentiate between Dedicated server and shared server

Saw people raising questions about how to verify if you have a dedicated server but not a Shared server. 

Well, it is quite easy in this case to recognize. Below are a few method.

1. Reverse IP Check for Hosted Sites

You can make a reverse IP check for all sites on that server along with yours. Open myip.ms and put your domain name and make a search. it will show you all the sites sharing your IP.

2. Root access

In a dedicated server, you always get the root access. You can make a root login to your dedicated server via SSH. But in a shared server SSH username will anything but not root. 

3. Terminal

Login via terminal and hit the follwing command

cd /home | ls

It will show you the list of accounts created on the server and are being hosted. You can easily find if you are not alone on the server.

4. WHM

You can always check it almost instantly by logging yourself in via WHM and see the list of accounts. If you are in doubt between dedicated server and a reseller hosting, try exploring the features.  In a reseller hosting, you won't get all the features of WHM, such as restarting the server, apache configuration etc.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if you still find difculties at any step.

Feel free to add your knowledge of corrections in this article via comment box.

Recent search terms:

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Amir

cPanel Level 1 Certified from cPanel University. Linux System Admin.

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