What do I need to know about Virtual Private Servers?
A Virtual Private Server or VPS is a hosting solution that comes as a sort of marriage between shared hosting solution and dedicated server hosting solution. Why? It is because, like all shared hosting solutions, a VPS allows a number of websites to reside and share the resources of a single server while at the same time functions like a dedicated server in a sense that it allows each website to function independently from one another, as it each is a master of his own server. With VPS, each website is allocated its own virtual machine that functions as an independent server, much like a dedicated server. Though they share the physical resources of a single server, a software allows it to duplicate a number of virtual servers, one for each website that shares the same machine.
Basically, it is safe to define it as a virtual machine that runs its own operating system housed in a physical computer that allows clients a private space of their own. Being virtual, it means that the server does not physically exist but is rather software defined and configured. It functions like a physical dedicated server, the difference being that a single physical computer can and may run a number of virtual private servers side-by-side, each with a different operating system if needed. As each server operates independently from each other while co-existing in the same computer, clients can exercise full control over their server space including the decision of the operating system and which applications to use.
What are the advantages of VPS hosting?
Using Virtual Private Servers for your website can bring a lot of advantages. Among the most common advantages are the following:
- Much like dedicated hosting, clients can enjoy full control over their server as each is granter full root/admin access to their servers. This means that clients have the freedom to do almost anything with their virtual server.
- Since each VPS functions independently from the others, it is a given fact that VPS hosting performs far better, faster, is more reliable and has better uptime compared to shared hosting services.
- It is cost effective, much like shared hosting solutions. Although its performance is comparable with that of dedicated servers, it is definitely priced much lower compared to it.
- Since it is software configured and since each works independently, clients get to enjoy the flexibility it needed for the optimum performance of their server. This comes on top of the fact that it can be easily scaled up or down to suit the current demands of your website.
- Clients do not need to worry about being affected by security issues and other malicious activities from other servers sharing the same physical computers since they are completely independent from each other. Additionally, you control your own server, meaning you have the control over what activities you allow into your server.
What are the disadvantages of VPS hosting?
Although VPS brings about a lot of advantages to its clients, it also has its own share of disadvantages. The following are the most common disadvantages of VPS hosting:
- Compared to shared hosting solutions, you shoulder a higher responsibility as it is your sole responsibility to keep your server up-to-date and running.
- Running your own server means that clients are required to have sound technical knowledge on servers, it operations and basic troubleshooting skills as well. This could come in handy during software installation processes, security patches and of resolving security issues.
- Although you work independently from the other servers, you are allotted your own separate package and your own resources which mean that you share what is available from a single physical server. This limits the resources that are available for you unlike in dedicated servers where you have all the resources to yourself.
Is VPS hosting a good choice for my website?
If you are just starting out and do not have the necessary budget to buy your own server or to purchase hosting plans that are considered still a bit expensive but needs the freedom of running your own server, then VPS should be a dream come true for you. VPS is highly recommended for sites that do not require a very robust, high performing server, is not expecting a very high volume of traffic and it operating within a certain budgetary allocation as it could provide clients with enough power and independence while at the same time helping save costs on server operation.