Unplanned server reboots are a fairly common request in support, especially from Managed VPS customers. When you have a Managed VPS, it seems like it should be easy enough to simply request a reboot, as you are the only customer on that server. In most situations a reboot is not necessary as our experienced team is likely able to resolve any problems before such a drastic measure needs to be undertaken.
An unplanned reboot is, for lack of a better word, a traumatic incident in the life of a server. While Linux (the operating system of the server) does attempt to stop all processes cleanly, this is not always possible. The reboot process takes precedence, and while it will wait a short period for things to finish up cleanly, it will not wait forever. When a process is cut off in this fashion, it can lead to data corruption at the least, and complete destruction at worst. Often the result is a minor issue that can be easily fixed, but each time this happens you run the risk of more serious issues. Think of it like the stem of your eyeglasses – yes, you can simply straighten it when it gets bent, but each time you do you weaken it just a little bit more, and could easily snap it in half while fixing it.
Server reboots should only be done when absolutely necessary, and when planned and prepared for if at all possible. In the case of unplanned reboots, our team is on hand to check and confirm that the server comes back up properly, and that all services are working normally after the reboot. Reboots for maintenance are scheduled ahead of time, and we have a team in place whose primary role is to make sure that these go as smoothly as possible.
As a result of the risks involved, a requested unplanned reboot may be denied more often than not simply because it is often unnecessary, and our team can resolve any issues on the server without rebooting it. It is only when our team has determined that they are unable to resolve the issue or even connect to the server, that they will issue the reboot command.
If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your VPS please don’t hesitate to contact our support team and we will be happy to help!