Virtual Private Server providers that offer an API are a godsend. The need for an API really depends on how much control you need from your VPS provider outside of their website. As VPS providers start adding additional features, for instance configurable firewalls, API access then becomes more useful to help manage all of the additional services. There are many possible reasons why you would want API access to your VPS provider from simply expanding block storage on your server to creating new servers on the fly dynamically.
Below is a list of a few VPS providers that offer APIs along with some of the features that are possible through their API. The providers are listed in no particular order. There are many other VPS providers that offer an API, not to mention that the control panels some VPS providers use also include API access.
It’s hard to have a list about VPS providers without DigitalOcean making its way onto it. DigitalOcean offers an extensive API to manage nearly everything connected to your account. A few of the common endpoints include managing block storage, adjusting DNS records, and creating new droplets (servers). Some more unique API features include changing your droplets kernel, managing floating IP addresses, controlling your cloud firewall, controlling your cloud load balancer, and finally adding new SSH keys to your servers.
Vultr is another large competitor in the VPS market and they have a large API for their customers to use. The general API endpoints include account information and balance, bare metal and virtual server creation, block storage attaching, creating, deleting and resizing. In addition, DNS records can be modified and server plans can be listed and purchased. The more unique features include the ability to upload custom ISOs to Vultr that can later be used when setting up or changing the OS of one of your servers. You can also manage firewall rules, change your server backup schedule, get the bandwidth used by your servers, add startup scripts to your servers, manage SSH keys, and create snapshots.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
VPS.net offers a modest API that makes some tasks easier but isn’t as powerful as the previous hosts. This is in part due to the fact that VPS.net doesn’t offer many additional services for their servers. The generic endpoints include creating cloud servers, upgrade storage, bandwidth, and ram amounts, create backups of your server, and clone your server. It’s also possible to edit DNS records. Some more unique API endpoints include setting up scheduled bursts, registering domain names, and viewing bandwidth and CPU statistics.
Linode has a nice API that has most of the features you will want out of a VPS API. You can control your instances easily and boot, clone, reboot, rescue, resize, and shutdown your server through the API. In addition to server control, you can create new storage volumes for your server and manage backups. A NodeBlanacer endpoint is also present, Linode’s own load balancer for your servers that can be managed through the API. A unique feature is the ability to switch your server from using Xen to KVM.
HostDime is another host with a modest API. The API appears to mostly handle server configuration and control, not ordering or expanding the resources of your server. Their API allows you to view bandwidth graphs, and control the power state of your servers. It’s also possible to add new DNS records, manage domain whois information, and handle domain renewals. One feature that is a little unique is the ability to add a null route to your server’s IP address through the API.
Scaleway keeps it’s API lean but it can still pack a punch. The API provides the general features of creating new servers, storage volumes, and snapshots. The more advanced features include creating new images that can be used in the future when creating new servers. It’s also possible to create new IP addresses and manage which server it’s assigned to, making it easy to setup a floating IPs failover solution.