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Windows VPS Quick Start Guide




WELCOME

We have prepared this document to assist you to set up your VPS in a hassle-free way. This document is speacially prepared for all non-technical guys who are willing to use VPS service but unable to do so because of the lack of technical knowledge. This document will cover all the aspects of customers. Apart from this, AccuWebHosting.com's team is always here to assist you anytime for any questions. You can either refer to our Knowledgebase or contact us via 24 X 7 live chat support.

As you may be knowing, that setting up and managing a VPS is not a simple job. Either the owner of the VPS should have thorough technical knowledge or he should have someone with him to take care of technical issues arise in his VPS. If you have chosen to avail our Fully Managed VPS services then our technical team will troubleshoot any technical issue that may arise and that are covered in the fully managed support scope. However, if you have chosen to go for Unmanaged VPS services then you will have to manage all technical issues of your VPS.

In order to manage your VPS, you will have a control panel with you. We are offering WebsitePanel and Plesk both control panels with Windows VPS plans. However, WebsitePanel is more easy and open source control panel hence most of the customers are selecting WebsitePanel for their VPS. Once your VPS is set up, you will receive a welcome email having all the required instructions to log in to your VPS, control panel, database server, etc. Let us see the flow for Windows VPS ...


Windows VPS Quick Start Guide
 

Table of Contents

  • VPS Management Portal
  • RDP Management
  • Windows VPS Management with WebsitePanel
    • Domain and Website Management
    • FTP Account Management
    • Database Management
      • MSSQL Server
      • MySQL Server
  • DNS (Nameservers) Management
    • Using Registrar's Nameservers
    • Using VPS'/Custom Nameservers
  • Manage Windows VPS without WebsitePanel
    • Manage Website
    • FTP Management
    • DNS Management
  • Setup rDNS
  • Email Management
  • Network Wide Blocked Ports
  • Web Platform Installer

 
(1) VPS Management Portal

As soon as you receive VPS login details, the first thing you should do is to Verify the VPS login details. Verify the provided login details one by one. In case, if any of the login details do not work, you can submit a support ticket from your billing area. After login details verification, the next step would be verify the 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 can we Remote Desktop to VPS from various Operating systesms. You can refer to our guidelines for the operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux. If you are using any other 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. WebsitePanel is a free and easy to use web based control panel. We install and configure WebsitePanel at free of cost, if you have chosen it while placing the VPS order. WebsitePanel allows you to manage domains, websites, FTP accounts, Email accounts, databases, etc. from single portal. In order to login to WebsitePanel, please refer to our step by step guidelines. 

Once you logged into WebsitePanel, follow our
Master Guideline. It is specially prepared for the WebsitePanel beginners. 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 everytime when you would like to manage all these services individually. 
For Example, if you just want to add a domain/website, you do not need to follow each steps mentioned in this Master Guideline. Let's understand the entire flow to manage individual service with in a precised way:

(3.1) Domain and Website Management

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



The next step would be uploading web contents on server. In order to upload web contents through FTP, refer to our FTP client tutorials. This set of articles provide you step by step guidance on how to connect with FTP server through most popular FTP client applications like FileZilla. You just need to choose your desired FTP client and proceed accordingly.


(3.3) Database Management

(3.3.1) MSSQL Server

Once your web contents are uploaded to Web server, the next step would be uploading/restoring the database. In case of 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. In case if you have large size of database backup and WebsitePanel won't allow you to restore then you can do it manually from SQL Server Management Studio.


By default, MSSQL server is configured on port 1533. You can remotely connect to your MSSQL server using SQL Server Management Studio. In order to connect to MSSQL server through SQL Server Management Studio, 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 web based Interface called "phpMyAdmin". In order to connect to MySQL server through phpMyAdmin, refer to these steps.


(4) DNS (Nameservers) Management

So far, we belive that you have 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 a kind of rocket science. It is easy; if you strictly follow its methodology. Since, you have purchased the Windows VPS, the first thing will come into your mind; "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 DNS services of your domain registrar, i.e. DNS Zone of your domain will be created at 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 think, you are able to perform this task at your own; you can add 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 everytime you host 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 the private nameservers at various registrars
If you find Registrar's control panel's UI 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 provided the nameservers information at the time of sign up as ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com, then you do not 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 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 newely registered namservers. You can also contact Registrar support to set nameservers for you. Once custom nameservers are registered, you can set them for all your domains you host in VPS.

You can verify whether you have pointed your webiste correctly to your VPS or not 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 we said earlier, to manage Windows VPS, we always recommend WebsitePanel as it facilitates you to manage all VPS services under one login. In case, you have not opted for WebsitePanel. you will have to refer 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 steps mentioned here. Once you create FTP accounts, go to section 3.2 to upload web content on 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 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, SmarterMail Professional latest version (currently it is 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 web based interface. By default, SmarterMail webmail interface is configured on port 9998. You can access your mail interface using http://Your_VPS_IP_Address:9998. In addition to this, 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 a specific requirement to use above 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 offers the latest components of the Microsoft Web Platform, including Internet Information Services (IIS), SQL Server Express, .NET Framework and Visual Web Developer easily.

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 download information.



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