VPS servers are now at the forefront of dedicated web hosting services as consumers can now get the power and reliability of dedicated server hosting services at a cost which is just slightly higher than what you would be paying for a high end reseller hosting package, meaning that reliable web hosting services are now affordable for a majority of businesses and individuals. VPS server hosting services are available in the forms of Windows VPS server hosting and Linux VPS server hosting which means that there is more than enough choice available for those who may be considering VPS hosting; however, you will find that there is a price difference between Windows VPS hosting and Linux VPS hosting. A VPS server offers you your own dedicated environment in which you can install any application of your choice, although you should always ensure that any applications you plan on using aren’t too resource intensive and are allowed under your web hosting provider’s Acceptable Usage Policy. VPS server hosting is recommended for business and individuals who require a high amount of uptime as for example their website could provide them with a source of income and any downtime would make them lose money; this is because VPS servers can offer a greater level of reliability and higher amount of uptime than lower forms of web hosting. Most web hosting providers choose to base their VPS server hosting services on the popular Virtuozzo VPS daemon, their main reason for doing this is that it offers a reliable platform on which many VPS servers can be hosted; however, the number of VPS servers that can be hosted per a node will depend on the physical hardware specifications of the hardware node concerned. You may find that web hosting providers use cheaper alternatives such as OpenVZ for cheap VPS hosting services, although this is still able to offer the same functionality as the more expensive Virtuozzo VPS daemon. For those of you who can’t or don’t understand the way that VPS server hosting works, have a look at the following diagram which explains the 3 different layers that are installed on a VPS node:
Why should I consider a VPS server over a dedicated server?
There are several different reasons why you should consider VPS server hosting over dedicated server hosting, although at the end of the day your choice of web hosting package will depend on what your requirements are and how big your website is. VPS server hosting can offer you the same benefits as dedicated server hosting, but at a fraction of the cost which means you can get more for your money with VPS server hosting; however, this will depend on what your requirements are since you may actually need a server which is very powerful, and the kind of power that you need outstrips the specifications of most VPS servers available at this moment in time. VPS server hosting is also much more dynamic than dedicated server hosting, as in most cases you are provided with a web based interface that you can use to manage your VPS server and upgrades can normally be done with a few clicks; if something goes wrong with your server then you can also reload the operating system with a fresh copy in a few minutes – to do this with a dedicated server would take a long time as it would have to be done manually by someone who has physical access to the server. Fully managed VPS server hosting services are also more common as most web hosting providers take it for granted that only more experienced individuals are going to take on the role of managing a dedicated server; however, this may prove to be a disadvantage for some people who want to move from fully managed VPS server hosting to fully managed dedicated server hosting. In summary, the main reasons for considering a VPS server over a dedicated server should include:
- Cost – a VPS server will cost a fraction of a dedicated server meaning that VPS servers are within the budgets of most people who are considering server hosting services, and if you are considering a low end dedicated server then you may find that your budget is enough for a high end VPS server which will be able to offer you the benefits of a high end dedicated server at a much lower cost – low end VPS servers can be purchased for a cost which is only slightly higher than that of a high end reseller web hosting package, and since most people use VPS servers for reselling purposes, you may as well do it properly and go for a fully fledged VPS server which you can host your web hosting clients on
- Flexibility – a VPS server is also much more dynamic than you’re average dedicated server as most web hosting providers offer you web-based control panel access which you can make use of to manage your VPS server – most web hosting providers also allow you to upgrade your VPS server automatically with a few clicks since they are virtual, whereas dedicated servers are physical meaning that when you want to upgrade the server’s resources you have to manually upgrade the physical hardware – a process which not only takes time but costs money and will cause you downtime for the length of time that the maintenance takes
- Server management – many web hosting providers are able to offered semi or fully managed VPS server hosting services as they are responsible for the maintenance of the hardware node, they also choose to support their clients in that way to ensure that they have a good experience with the company – some web hosting providers hesitate to offer fully managed dedicated server hosting services as they expect people who are spending their money on dedicated servers to have a good amount of server management experience, or at last have someone who can manage their server for them.
So the main thing to consider is that if you have a low budget then the concensus is that you should consider VPS server hosting as your chosen form of server hosting, as at the end of the day you will still have your own dedicated environment and resources. However, if you’re requirements outstrip the resources that are offered by high end VPS servers then you should maybe have a look at low end dedicated server hosting as this offers good value for money and ensures that you have the server completely to yourself.
Advantages of VPS Server Hosting
There can be many advantages of using VPS server hosting, especially when you compare VPS server hosting to shared web hosting and reseller web hosting services, but the advantages and just how much they benefit you will depend on your requirements as well as which server operating system you choose to use on your VPS server. The main advantage of using VPS server hosting is that you are provided with your own dedicated environment and resources at a low cost; this means that you can choose which applications you install on your VPS as well as the resources that they can consume – all in all this will help you to optimize the performance of your VPS with ease. The other main advantage of VPS server hosting is that the resource allocations which are available from your web hosting provider are much greater than what you could expect from a shared hosting package – the two main resource allocations to take notice of are the amount of disk space and bandwidth that you have. The other main advantage of using VPS server hosting is that you have full management of your VPS in more than one way; all web hosting providers offer root/administrator access with their VPS accounts, and for VPS hosting providers using Virtuozzo or HyperVM you will also be provided with web based management access. In summary, the main advantages of using VPS server hosting include:
- Dedicated environment and resources – if you have your own dedicated environment and resources then you are able to ensure that you receive a more reliable web hosting service as you have your own resources to monitor which no-one else can make use of, but you can also choose and modify which applications you install which allows you to install only what you need, and even then you can modify and tweak any applications you do have installed to make them less resource intensive which at the end of the day will improve the performance and reliable of your VPS server, thus giving you a more reliable server hosting service
- Resource allocations – most web hosting providers are now much more generous with their VPS server resource allocations which will allow you to get much more for your money than you may have previously thought possible – the good thing with most web hosting providers is that they will allow you to upgrade the different resources that your VPS server has incrementally which will allow you to only have what you need, and this will help to offer you a more cost-effective VPS hosting service, and what more would you want than a VPS server that meets your requirements for a price that is within your initial budget
- Server management – as with shared and reseller web hosting packages, some web hosting providers are even able to offer web based control panel access for you to easily manage your VPS server on the move, regardless of your location or the computer that you are using – the two main forms of VPS hosting for you to look out for are Virtuzzo VPS hosting, Hyper-V Hosting and HyperVm/OpenVZ VPS hosting as both forms of VPS server hosting will offer you that web based control panel interface that you are after to manage your VPS, and with the different features that are available you shouldn’t ever need to contact your web hosting provider’s support team!
The advantages of VPS server hosting are the reason why it has become so popular, and the popularity of VPS server hosting is unlikely to go away as many businesses and individuals are now looking to downgrade from their current dedicated servers to a more cost effective web hosting solution but still need to retain that independence which server hosting offers. If you come to purchase a VPS server then you should take into consideration your experience with servers as you will need to have some prior server management experience, but there is always fully managed VPS server hosting available if you wish to have someone else do it all for you.
Disadvantages of a VPS Server
There can also be disadvantages to using a VPS server, most particularly if you are inexperienced and are using VPS server hosting in general for the first time. VPS servers can be hard to manage if you don’t know what you’re doing, for example to manage a Linux VPS server it is recommended that you have some prior knowledge on how to do so as you need to be able to manage your server via SSH which means knowing the necessary commands to keep your server in good order. Another main disadvantage of using a VPS server is the effect the other VPS servers that are hosted on the same node as yours can have on the performance of your own VPS server; depending on how your web hosting provider divides the hosting node’s CPU, you may face some stability problems that could be caused by other hosted VPS servers. Although you are provided with your own dedicated environment, there are some restrictions as to what you can do with your VPS server. In summary, the main disadvantages of VPS server hosting include:
- Management – the management of a VPS server can be a pain for inexperienced users as it provides them with a new challenge since if you mis-configure something then you could potentially damage your server, and it is also important to note that you should also take all the steps that are within your reach to ensure that your VPS server is as secure as possible so that it can’t compromised or attacked in any way – although some businesses may have their own IT support teams to deal with the management of their server infrastructure, fully managed VPS server hosting services are available which will allow you to make use of your web hosting provider’s support team for certain issues and enquiries which you may have
- CPU sharing – although VPS servers come with their own dedicated amounts of RAM, disk space and bandwidth that can’t be used by anyone else, you will find that the CPU of the hosting node has to be shared amongst the VPS servers in a certain way to ensure that each VPS server gets the power it needs but also doesn’t overload the CPU which could otherwise cause the hosting node to crash, thus taking down all the VPS servers that it is hosting – most web hosting providers go for the fair share approach which means that all hosted VPS have their own dedicated segment of CPU power that they can make use of, although one of the more popular options is to let each VPS use as much CPU power as it needs but to terminate a VPS once it has started to use up a certain amount of the CPU
- Restrictions – some web hosting providers choose to impose restrictions on VPS servers to reduce the amount of CPU power that they can use up, and in most cases these restrictions are in the form of the number of processes which can be running on the VPS server at any one time – this is unlikely to be a concern for most users as most people tend to use their VPS server for only a few services which means that they won’t need to be running that many processes at any one time, but people who are using their VPS server for video processing for example may face some problems.
It is important to find a web hosting provider that will be able to meet your needs in terms of the requirements that you have of a VPS server, although you need to ensure that you choose a reputable web hosting provider that doesn’t oversell its products and will be able to offer you a reliable VPS server hosting service. The disadvantages of VPS server hosting will only affect you if you don’t do your research properly and either choose a dodgy web hosting provider or are demanding too much from your VPS server. In order to make the most of your VPS server you should make sure that you have some basic server management skills in place before purchasing a VPS server.
In conclusion, a VPS server is the right way to go if you are after a low cost dedicated environment in which you are able to make the most of the benefits of dedicated server hosting without paying the earth. By choosing a reputable web hosting provider that offers fully managed VPS server hosting services you are able to create yourself a stable web hosting service that should be able to offer you uptime which is similar to that of a dedicated server, although this isn’t guaranteed.