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Provision an OVH Server Using Our Custom Server Option

7 min read

Introduction

OVH are a popular server provider that have cheaper than average VPS and dedicated server options depending on the configuration.

We don’t have an integration with them, however, setting up an OVH server with our custom server option is a fairly simple process, and this article will walk you through how to do this step by step.

Table of Contents

Let’s get started!

Important

GridPane requires a BRAND NEW KVM virtualised VPS or bare metal server with only a standard Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 20.04 LTS image installed (NOT a Minimal version). Once initial provisioning is complete at the provider, log in to your server via console or SSH and run the following command as ROOT.

Please do not use servers with less than 1GB of RAM as these cannot be supported and don't offer adequate resources for both the server stack and your websites.

GridPane does not support ARM servers.

Step 1. Create an OVH account

OVH has different options for different countries. You can choose the country that makes sense for you, but often this will likely be your country of residence if that’s available.

This article will be showing the US-based site (us.ovhcloud.com), but the steps below should be the same for all countries.

Billing

Just a note on billing here in step 1 as OVH have some requirements before they’ll allow your first order to go through. It’s a hassle that some may not wish to bother with.

These are as follows: –

“Please provide full-color photos of the following using the Plik app (see instructions below):

  • A government-issued photo ID
  • A picture of the credit card used in the transaction including:
    1. The name matching the listed name in the Manager account, AND
    2. The last 4 digits of the card number
    – A photo of yourself holding the government-issued Photo ID provided above.

Please note that this order will expire if the requested documentation is not received within 24 hours of this request.”

Step 2. Choose Your Server Type

GridPane will work on VPS and dedicated servers. For most people, a VPS is the most cost-effective choice, but if you’re in the market for a dedicated server this

I’ll be setting up a VPS server in this article.

Select the server you wish to use and click the “Order Now” button.

Step 3. Configure Your Server

1. Build

Here you can configure your server. The options OVH offer are fairly straightforward, we just need select “Distribution“, and then 20.04 from the Ubuntu dropdown. GridPane will not work with any other Linux distribution, so this point is important. 

If available, you can also choose a specific server location.

Once you’ve completed your selection, hit the Next button at the bottom of the page.

2. Enhance

Next, you’ll have the option to add snapshots, automated backups, and more storage if you need it.

We strongly recommend at least one kind of server backup, and automated are by far the easiest, but you’re free to configure your server however you wish.

Select your options and hit Next.

3. Review

Make sure everything you’ve selected is correct and choose the type of subscription you wish to use. If you’re absolutely certain you’re going to stick with OVH for the long term then you can save a little extra by committing to a 12 or 24-month plan, however, it may be worth paying that little bit extra and having the freedom to move elsewhere if you ever need to.

I’ll be choosing Monthly.

4 and 5. Pay and Confirm

Finally, pages 4 and 5 are for payment and confirmation. Proceed with your order and the next step is to then provision your server 🙂

NOTE: Unlike many other providers, OVH charges by the month, and not by the hour – so you can’t take a server for a spin for 1-2 hours to kick the tires for 10 cents, and then destroy it. You’ll be billed upfront.

Once your server has been created, OVH will email you your server details, and these include your user (ubuntu in our case) and password.

Step 4. Provision Your Server

Now bought and paid for it’s time to provision your server with GridPane’s stack.

Back in your GridPane dashboard, head to the Servers page and click on the Custom VPS option:

Configure Your Server

Enter a name, your server’s IP address, and the Datacenter name you wish to use.

Note: The Datacenter name is for your reference only, so feel free to give it a name that makes the most sense for you. 

OS Version

We recommend that you choose Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as the default OS.

Choose Your Web Server

You have the option to choose between Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed. This is largely personal preference. If you’re unsure which one to choose, start with Nginx.

Choose your database

If you’re on the developer plan you’ll have the option to choose between Percona and MariaDB for your database. 

Percona is based off the new MySQL 8. It has removed query caching (which was deprecated in 5.7 but was still available), and it has more advanced aspects for things like storing and managing json as a storage format. It will likely use more RAM than MariaDB.

MariaDB is still based on MySQL 5.7, which could mean fewer issues importing old WordPress websites from low-quality hosting environments. It will likely use less RAM than Percona.

Both are excellent options.

Provider backups

We highly recommend that you enable provider backups. It’s a small price to pay for the extra insurance they offer.

Create your server

Click the Create Server button when you are happy with your configuration choices.

Once you click Create Server, a popup modal will contain your root password and a command-line string. Copy that string and paste it into a text document – you’ll need it in a moment.

Step 5. Connect to your OVH server

OVH does not include a console that allows you to connect to your server. Instead, we can use any of the various tools such as Windows Powershell, Putty, Cmder, Termius, etc.

I’ll demonstrate using Windows Powershell as it’s built right into Windows 10, and it looks similar to the native terminals in Linux and macOS.

1. Locate your server IP address

Inside OVH you’ll see your server inside your dashboard on the servers page, under either “VPS” or “Dedicated” depending on your server type. Here you can copy your IPv4 address:

2. Open your terminal and connect to your server

Open your preferred terminal (you can search for it inside your OS to find it if using “Terminal” or “Powershell” etc).

To connect, enter the following (replacing “ip_address” with your servers IP address):

ssh ubuntu@ip_address

3. Login

You’ll first be asked about the server fingerprint as it’s the first time you’ve connected to this server. Type Yes and hit Enter.

Next, enter your password and hit Enter. Note that you will not get any feedback on the screen while typing/pasting your password.

4. Switch to the root user

This is important. The GridPane provisioning code needs to be run as the root user for it to work correctly. Running as the ubuntu user will result in the process failing.

To switch to the root user type the following command: 

sudo -s

5. Paste your provisioning code

We’re now running as the root user and it’s time to paste in your provisioning code that you copied in step 4.

Right-click > Paste and then press Enter. The code will do the rest. A few minutes later you’ll see the following message, and you can then close the terminal by typing:

exit

Step 6. Wait for Approx 10 Minutes

You can monitor the rest of your servers provisioning progress inside the Servers page of your account. Approximately 10 minutes later it will be ready to use inside your GridPane account.

Congratulations! Next Steps

Now that your server is live, you’re ready to start creating and configuring new WordPress websites.

To deploy a site click on the Sites link in the GridPane main menu to begin the process. We have a separate article that details the steps in detail for you.