What do I need to know about VPS Hosting?
A VPS or Virtual Private Server is a virtual server machine that is housed in a physical computer. A single physical computer could house a number of virtual machines within it, each machine running its own operating system and acts independently from each other. As each machine is independent from each other, it allows clients their own private space with super user-level access. Being virtual means that the server machine does not physically exist but is rather software defined and configured. 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 or Virtual Private Server hosting is a hosting solution that can be best described as an inter-marriage between a shared hosting solution and a dedicated hosting solution. This is because 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 function independently from one another, even to the point of having each own operating system. 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.
This is how VPS works; a software defines and configures the physical computer to allow a number of websites share the same server with each website being allocated with each own virtual machine that functions as an independent server. Though a number of websites share the physical resources of a single server, the software allows the server to duplicate a number of virtual servers, one for each website that shares the same machine. It is like providing a number of dedicated hosting services in one shared server.
What advantages does VPS hosting bring?
Sharing the characteristics of two of the most popular and efficient hosting solutions naturally brings the best of the both hosting services. As such VPS hosting brings a lot of advantages to its clients. Listed below are some of the known advantages of VPS hosting.
- VPS hosting is cost effective. This is because although it works comparably with dedicated servers, it costs much less. Its price maybe comparable to shared hosting servers but it works much better. As such, 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 full root access and full control of their server much like dedicated hosting. This means that clients are allowed to do almost anything they want to do with their server. They also have the sole decision over the operating system platform and the applications they wish to install.
- 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.
- As each virtual space functions independently from the others, VPS hosting assures better performance and better uptime compared to shared hosting servers.
What are the known disadvantages 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:
- Clients are saddled with more responsibility as the responsibility of server administration and maintenance rests upon their shoulders. This is because the service provider keeps a hands-off policy on the server in their basic VPS hosting services.
- Clients and administrators are required to have a sound technical knowledge as these are needed for server maintenance and administration as well as in installing the required software, software patches and in resolving security issues.
- 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.
Is there an option where I can be relieved of my responsibility of managing my server?
Most basic or standard VPS plans relegate to its clients the server administration and maintenance tasks. This could come as a turn-off for some who want relative ease as well as who wants to focus their attention on their website rather than on the server. As such, some hosting providers offer semi-managed services and fully-managed services where the web host handles the server administration and maintenance tasks, giving their clients a free hand to focus on their website. However, semi-managed and fully-managed VPS hosting services are more expensive compared to the basic VPS hosting service.