and what you get for your money. There are two major types of services you
might be interested in:
•Minecraft-specific: The service provider does all the work of maintaining
and administering the server. The provider will load or provide plugins,
possibly handle griefers and attacks, and keep the server running. You
don't have to do anything. You may be charged by the number of players
online at once instead of being charged for the size of the server.
•Generic: The service provider supplies a running system and a login, but
nothing else: you have to install Java and Canary, load and provide plug-
ins, administer the server, reboot it if it gets hung up, and so on. You are
usually charged based on the number of CPUs, the amount of RAM, and
possibly the amount of network traffic used each month.
While you might want to look at a Minecraft-specific provider, it's a trade-off
between ease of use and control. In this case you don't get much control over
the server; you might have to ask to get plugins loaded, and the service might
load only well-known plugins, not your development version.
Instead, what you probably want is known as a virtual private server , or VPS
for short. There are tons of VPS providers on the Internet, with different
pricing plans and packages, located in different countries with different
hardware and features available. Just Google “VPS providers.”
A VPS looks like an entire computer to you. You can log on and have all the
files and processor to yourself. In reality, you're sharing a big piece of hardware
with a bunch of other people. But everyone sees what looks like a whole
computer that is all theirs. That means that as an administrator of the system,
you can install any software you want. You can add user accounts, reboot,
and set up your own domain name (like example.com or andy.pragprog.com ).
The good news is that you can work on the remote server using a command-
line shell, just like we've been doing all along, because your remote server is
probably running Linux.
Remote Operating Systems
Virtually all VPS services offer one operating system for your server: Linux.
Some providers, such as Microsoft with its own Windows Azure cloud service, 1
can offer Windows, and a small number offer Mac OS X. But these are rare
and relatively expensive. The vast majority, including Amazon's cloud service,