Windows VPS Quick Start Guide


WELCOME


We have prepared this document to assist you in setting up your VPS in a hassle-free way. This document is specially prepared for all non-technical customers who are willing to use the VPS service, but unable to do so because of the lack of technical knowledge. This document will cover all the aspects of configuring and managing Windows VPS. Apart from this, our support team is always here to assist you anytime with any questions. You can either refer to our
Knowledgebase or contact us via 24x7 live chat support.


As you may know, setting up and managing a VPS is not a simple job. You need thorough technical knowledge to take care of Windows VPS technical issues. If you have chosen to avail yourself of our
Fully Managed VPS services, our technical team will troubleshoot any technical issue that may arise and that is covered in the fully managed support scope. However, if you have chosen to go for Unmanaged VPS services, then this guide will be helpful to manage those issues.


Windows VPS can be easily managed if you have a control panel like WebsitePanel or Plesk. We offer both WebsitePanel and Plesk with Windows VPS plans. 
Once your VPS is set up, you will receive a welcome email containing all the required instructions to log in to your VPS, control panel, database server, etc. Let us have a look at the process flow:



Windows VPS Quick Start Guide
 

Table of Contents

  1. VPS Management Portal

  2. RDP Management

  3. Windows VPS Management with WebsitePanel
  4. DNS (Nameservers) Management
  5. Manage Windows VPS without WebsitePanel
    1. 5.1 Manage Website
    2. 5.2 FTP Management
    3. 5.3 DNS Management

  6. Setup rDNS

  7. Email Management

  8. Network Wide Blocked Ports

  9. Web Platform Installer

 

(1) VPS Management Portal


As soon as you receive the VPS login details, we request you to verify login details. If any of the login details are missing or if they do not work, you can submit a support ticket. After successfully verifying login details, the next step will be to verify VPS resources. VPS resources can be verified in 2 ways:

  • From VPS Management Portal
  • From VPS itself (via Remote Desktop)

In order to login to VPS Management Portal, refer to our step by step guidelines. VPS Management Portal allows you to verify and monitor VPS resources such as vCPU, RAM and hard disk space. Apart from that, you can also perform the following tasks:


You can also verify VPS resources (vCPU, RAM and hard disk space) from Remote Desktop itself. For more detailed steps, please refer to our step-by-step guidelines.

(2) RDP Management


Once you finish the VPS resources verification, let's see how we can Remote Desktop to VPS from various operating systems. You can refer to our guidelines for operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux. If you are using any OS other than these, then you can submit a support ticket from your billing area to our Technical Team.


(3) Windows VPS Management with WebsitePanel


Rather than managing a Windows VPS through Remote Desktop, we recommend our customers to do so using WebsitePanel, a free and easy to use web-based control panel. Should you have chosen WebsitePanel while placing the VPS order, we install and configure it free of charge. WebsitePanel allows you to manage domains, websites, FTP accounts, email accounts, databases, etc. from a single portal. In order to login to WebsitePanel, please refer to our step-by-step guidelines.

Once you have logged into WebsitePanel, follow our Master Guideline. It is specially prepared for the WebsitePanel beginner. This single guideline teaches you how to add customers, their hosting plans, domains, websites, FTP accounts, MySQL/MSSQL databases, email accounts, etc.

There is no need to follow this Master Guideline each and every time when you would like to individually manage all these services. For example, if you just want to add a domain/website, you do not need to follow each of the steps mentioned in the Master Guideline. Let's understand how the entire flow of managing individual service precisely works:

(3.1) Domain and Website Management


You will need to follow the steps mentioned in the following video tutorials to add a domain and website under a customer:


(3.2) FTP Account Management


You will need to follow the steps mentioned in the following video tutorial to create an FTP account:


The next step will be uploading web content on the server. In order to upload web content through FTP, refer to our FTP client tutorials. This set of articles provides you step-by-step guidance on how to connect with the FTP server through the most popular FTP client applications like FileZilla. All you need to do is choose your desired FTP client and proceed accordingly.

(3.3) Database Management

(3.3.1) MSSQL Server


Once your web content are uploaded to the web server, the next step would be uploading/restoring the database. In the case of an MSSQL database, you just need to upload the database backup copy (in .BAK format only) in webspace through FTP and restore from the backup through WebsitePanel. Should your database backup be too large so that WebsitePanel won't allow you to restore, then you can do it manually from SQL Server Management Studio.

By default, the MSSQL server is configured on port 1533. You can remotely connect to your MSSQL server using SQL Server Management Studio. In order to do so, refer to our guidelines. Once your MSSQL database has been restored, you can modify the website connection string accordingly.

(3.3.2) MySQL Server

WebsitePanel allows you to create/remove MySQL databases. You can follow the steps mentioned here to create MySQL databases from WebsitePanel. Additionally, MySQL server can be managed through the web-based interface, phpMyAdmin. In order to connect to MySQL server through phpMyAdmin, refer to these steps..


(4) DNS (Nameservers) Management


It’s safe to assume you have successfully verified VPS login details, VPS resources, created domains, websites, databases, etc. from WebsitePanel.  Now the little tricky part comes, i.e. DNS Management.DNS Management is not rocket science; it is relatively easy – if you strictly follow its methodology. Since you have purchased Windows VPS, you will most likely have been asking: "How do I point my website to my VPS?" Well, there are 2 ways to accomplish it:

(4.1) Using Registrar's Nameservers


In this case, you will use the DNS services of your domain registrar. In other words, the DNS Zone of your domain will be created at the DNS server of your Registrar. You just need to contact your Registrar and tell them to change your domain's A records with your VPS IP address. If you are confident you are able to perform this task on your own, you can add the following A records at Registrar's control panel:
 
    • www.................A.........................Your_VPS_IP_address
    • (blank)..............A.........................Your_VPS_IP_address
    • *......................A..........................Your_VPS_IP_address
    • mail..................A.........................Your_VPS_IP_address
    • MX...............................................mail.yourdomain.com

Once these records are added, it will take 24 to 48 hours in global propagation and your website will start pointing to your VPS. You will have to repeat this exercise every time you host a new website in your VPS.

(4.2) Using VPS'/Custom Nameservers


This method is little tricky, but you will have to perform it only once. Let's go through it step by step. Suppose you have registered a domain, "yourdomain.com", and you wish to point this domain to your VPS and set the nameservers as below:

  • ns1.yourdomain.com
  • ns2.yourdomain.com

(4.2.1) Registering the private nameservers at your Registrar

Login at your domain control panel (Registrar's control panel) and register above child/private/custom nameservers.Please refer to our tutorial series to register private nameservers at various registrars. If you find the UI of the Registrar's control panel different than shown in video tutorials, you can always contact your Registrar to register custom nameservers for you.

(4.2.2) Create nameservers at WebsitePanel

If you have not provided the nameservers information at the time of sign up as ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com, then you will need to follow the below mentioned steps:

    • Login to WebsitePanel
    • Go to ConfigurationServers
    • Click on your server name
    • Click on DNS
    • Under Nameservers, enter your primary and secondary nameservers and click on Update button

(4.2.3) Host Domain/Website at WebsitePanel

Refer to section 3.1 to host a domain and website, yourdomain.com, through WebsitePanel.

(4.2.4) Set private nameservers for your domain

Now, login to Registrar's control panel and set newly registered nameservers. You can also contact Registrar support to set nameservers for you. Once custom nameservers are registered, you can set them for all the domains you host in VPS.

You can verify whether or not you have pointed your website correctly to your VPS through online DNS lookup tools like INTODNS.COM. If everything goes well, your website will start pointing to your VPS within 24 to 48 hours after setting up the nameservers.


(5) Manage Windows VPS without WebsitePanel


As mentioned above, to manage Windows VPS, we always recommend WebsitePanel as it facilitates you in the management of all VPS services under one login. If you have not opted for WebsitePanel, refer to the following guide:

(5.1) Manage websites


In the absence of WebsitePanel, you need to create a Website from IIS itself. Please refer to these detailed steps for manual website creation.

(5.2) FTP Management


Similarly, you need to create an FTP website in IIS by following the steps mentioned here. Once you create FTP accounts, go to section 3.2 to upload web content on the server.

(5.3) DNS Management


(5.3.1) Register the custom nameserver at Registrar as shown in section 4.2.1

(5.3.2) Create forward lookup zone from DNS Server

  • Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click DNS
  • Click the DNS Server object for your server in the left pane of the console, and then expand the server object to expand the tree
  • Right-click Forward Lookup Zones, and then click New Zone. The New Zone Wizard starts. Click Next to continue
  • Click Primary zone to create a master copy of the new zone. Click Next
  • In the Name box, type the name of the zone (for example, type _tcp.example.com, and then click Next
  • On the Zone File page, accept the default file name for the new zone file, and then click Next
  • Click Next
  • Click Finish

(5.3.3) Add Host Records to Forward Lookup Zone and set nameservers

  • Right-click on your forward zone, click on New Host
  • Type the host name of your DNS server and the IP address. In this example, "ns1" will be the hostname and your VPS IP address will be the IP address. Make sure you select "A" record from the record type
  • Click Done
  • Repeat 1 to 3 steps to create a second nameserver record "ns2"
  • Set newely created nameservers to domain at your Registrar

Please refer to the URL to add DNS records in the created DNS Zone.Once you register the child nameservers (private nameservers), you can go ahead and use them for any domains you host on your VPS. Nameservers may take 24 to 48 hours to propagate across the globe.


(6) Setup rDNS


If you want to set rDNS for your VPS IP address, kindly
submit a support ticket from your billing area. You will have to provide the following information in the ticket:


  • IP address
  • Hostname


(7) Email Management


If you have selected the SmarterMail option during signup, the latest version of SmarterMail Professional (it is currently 13.x) will be installed and configured on your VPS. You can manage SmarterMail email accounts from WebsitePanel. You can also administrate the SmarterMail server through its web-based interface. By default, the SmarterMail webmail interface is configured on port 9998. You can access your mail interface using http://Your_VPS_IP_Address:9998. If you are still unsure, you can refer to our complete set of SmarterMail tutorials from here. If you have not opted for WebsitePanel, you will have to manage SmarterMail from its web interface.


(8) Network Wide Blocked Ports


We block the inbound traffic network wide on the following ports:

  • 135 - 139 (NetBIOS)
  • 445 (NetBIOS)
  • 497 (Backup Software)
  • 389 (LDAP)
  • 68 (DHCP)
  • 1433 - 1434 (SQL Server)
  • 1025 (MS Scheduled Task Endpoint)

If you have specific requirements to use the above-mentioned ports, please open a ticket and we will be able to allow the traffic you require.


(9) Web Platform Installer


The Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) is a free tool that easily offers the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer.

The Web PI also makes it easy to install and run the most popular free web applications for blogging, content management and more with the built-in Windows Web Application Gallery. You can refer to the URL for more details about Web Platform Installer and to download information.

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