What is a VPS and VPS Hosting?
A Virtual Private Server or a VPS are virtual server machines that are housed in a single physical computer. Each virtual server machine runs its own operating system and acts independently from each other, very much like a dedicated server. As each machine is independent from each other, it allows clients their own private space and exclusive use of the resources that are allocated for them. Being virtual means that the server machine does not physically exist but is rather software defined and configured, making it easily scalable and customizable. It is much like a physical dedicated server, the difference being that a number of dedicated servers are housed in one physical computer.
VPS hosting, on the other hand, is a hosting solution that can be best described as a go-between a shared hosting solution and a dedicated hosting solution. The reason for this description is that VPS hosting shares the characteristics of both hosting solutions. Like shared hosting, the VPS allows a number of websites to reside and share the resources of a single server yet like a dedicated server it allows each website to be fully independent from one another. It even allows each virtual server to have its own operating system, if needed. Although its set-up is like that of a shared hosting environment as it is housed in a single machine, it allows users the use of far more resources. As each server operates independently from the others while co-existing in the same computer, clients can exercise full control over their server space including the decision of the operating platform and applications to use.
What are benefits of using VPS?
Being able to share the characteristics of two of the most popular and efficient hosting services in the market naturally brings a lot of benefits. This is one of the reasons why VPS has become a major player in the hosting market today and the major reason why client and companies choose to host their websites with VPS hosting services. Listed below are some of the known advantages of VPS hosting.
- VPS hosting offers better reliability and more stability compared to shared hosting solutions. This is because each website is hosted in its own private server, giving it freedom and independence to have the resources allocated for his use only. This greatly reduces, if not eliminates, the chances of the server being crashed and swamped with requests for resources;
- VPS hosting is cost effective, especially for small and medium-sized websites. This is because although it works comparably with dedicated servers, it costs much less. As such, it allows cash strapped and resource-conscious websites to experience the power and independence of dedicated hosting at a cost of a shared hosting solution;
- VPS clients have more control and full root access of their server much like dedicated hosting. This means that clients are allowed to do almost anything they want to do with their server, including the decision over the operating system platform and the applications they wish to install.
- VPS hosting is considered as green technology, environmentally friendly, and has more efficient use of resources. This is because of VPS’s ability to host a number of websites within a single physical machine which translates into efficient use of energy and thus helps reduce harmful emissions.
- VPS hosting is known for its flexibility and scalability, giving clients the deciding power on RAM, disk space and bandwidth upgrades. Being software configured, it is easily scalable to suit your needs, meaning you may start with the minimum amount of resources and have it gradually increased to accommodate your growing needs.
- Clients do not need to worry about security issues and other malicious activities from other servers sharing the same computer as you are completely independent from them as VPS has better security and protection. Aside from this, the client manages his own server, meaning he has the control over what activity he allows in his server.
What are the known drawbacks of VPS hosting?
Although VPS hosting brings a lot of advantages to its clients, it also brings with it a number of disadvantages. The following are the known disadvantages that VPS hosting brings:
- VPS hosting costs a bit more expensive that shared hosting solutions;
- Clients of basic, unmanaged VPS hosting are responsible for the server administration and maintenance, dividing their attention between managing their website and managing the server;
- Clients and administrators must have a know-how in server management, maintenance and administration as well as in installing the required software, software patches and in resolving security issues;
- VPS clients need to learn the ropes and study carefully, if only to ensure the smooth server operation and the process of getting to know how could take time;
- VPS has fewer and limited resources compared to dedicated servers. Although VPS works independently from the other servers, each is allotted its own separate resources which simply means that clients share what is available from a single physical server;
Considering VPS’s benefits and drawbacks, is VPS the way to go?
If you consider closely, you will notice that the benefits of VPS hosting far outweighs its drawbacks. However, do not be contented with just a simple comparison between the benefits and drawbacks that VPS hosting brings and then use the comparison to decide whether VPS is the right hosting service for your website. The ultimate decision rests upon the purpose, the nature and the needs and specific requirements of your website. If website’s demand for power and resources is not too heavy and if you are not yet ready to invest a considerable amount of money for your website yet needs the power, independence and control of a dedicated server, then, VPS hosting is the way to go for your website.