Windows VPS – Complete Guide

Windows VPS – Complete Guide

Windows VPS hosting provides businesses and individuals with a dedicated Windows web hosting environment without the need to pay for the high cost of a Windows dedicated server hosting. Because of the dedicated nature of VPS hosting servers, they provide users with a low cost alternative to a dedicated server therefore meaning that Windows developers can have the dedicated environment that they need at a fraction of the cost.

Windows VPS hosting services are now offered by a majority of web hosting providers, which helps make the cost of Windows VPS hosting even less as web hosting providers try to lower their prices as far as they can go to maximize the number of people that they can attract. Managed Windows VPS hosting services can also be purchased for a bit more than an unmanaged Windows VPS hosting service, although a managed hosting service is only normally required if you feel that you don’t have the knowledge or skills to manage a Windows VPS server.

Windows VPS hosting may not be as reliable as Linux VPS hosting, but as long as a Windows VPS hosting server is managed corrrectly then it can be as reliable as a proper Windows dedicated hosting server. Windows VPS hosting should only be considered if you absolutely need it, since a majority of websites and applications will function correctly on Linux VPS hosting.

Windows VPS is able to support the same sorts of components and utilities that you find come with shared web hosting, except you are able to manage them yourself on a much more advanced level. Along with that, there are many more advantages that Windows VPS hosting can bring you when compared to shared Windows web hosting services.

However, it is important that you use these advantages to your own advantage so that you or your website can benefit from the upgrade to a Windows VPS hosting service. Other advantages that Windows VPS hosting can bring you include:

  • extra resources – with Windows VPS hosting, you are provided with your own dedicated resources meaning that your websites and applications are able to run in your own dedicated environment without being affected by other VPS hosting servers hosted on the same node, and by not affecting the other VPS hosting servers that are hosted on the same Windows node as you
  • dedicated environment – with a dedicated Windows hosting environment, you are able to install any programs or applications that you wish to without affecting the performance of other VPS servers hosted on the same node as you, and also allows you to make sure that your own websites will function and work correctly on your Windows VPS server
  • support – you will probably receive a better level of support for your Windows VPS server than you would for shared web hosting, therefore meaning that there will be a support team there for you if you require help or assistance at any time.

The advantages that Windows VPS hosting has over Windows shared hosting are able to ensure that you receive a reliable Windows VPS hosting service. If you feel that these advantages aren’t going to benefit you in any way then you should consider sticking with Windows shared hosting.

Windows VPS hosting providers utilize third party programs to ensure that they are able to create virtual machines within the dedicated environment which is provided by their physical hosting nodes. Splitting physical hardware up to share a server’s resources amongst a number of virtual machines is common practise within VPS hosting, but having the software to carry out such a task can be costly and may not result in Windows VPS servers that are reliable to an extent.

A majority of VPS hosting providers make use of the Virtuozzo server virtualization program for Windows VPS hosting, for the main reason that it allows them to virtualize their physical VPS hosting nodes but also provides users with a web based control panel that they can use to manage their VPS hosting servers and also allows a web hosting provider to manage their Windows VPS hosting nodes remotely. Virtuozzo is also used by some Linux VPS hosting providers, although a majority of such providers like to stick with using the freely available OpenVZ alternative.

Like shared hosting, Windows VPS servers normally come with some sort of control panel that will allow you to manage your clients accounts, and for your clients to be able to manage the different aspects of their web hosting package.

Control panels are widely used in the web hosting industry these days, so you will find it common for a Windows VPS hosting package to come with either a web hosting control panel for free or as a cheap add-on. Windows shared web hosting and VPS hosting providers normally choose to use the Plesk control panel as their control panel of choice. Plesk provides users with many advantages, such as:

  • account management – if you have multiple clients then it can become hard to manage and control all the different web hosting packages and accounts that you are hosting on your Windows VPS, therefore meaning that Plesk will help you to manage and organise all the different accounts that you have hosted on your server
  • package management – there are many different aspercts of a web hosting package that need to be managed, and having a control panel to allow your web hosting clients to manage the different aspects of the accounts that they have hosted on your Windows VPS server is important to ensure that their websites remain fast and reliable
  • remote management – control panels such as Plesk are normally accessed using a web browser meaning that you or your clients can use Plesk from any computer that is connected to the internet in any part of the world, providing you with a great advantage to allow you to manage your server whilst on the move.

Control panels such as Plesk can provide you with many more features and advantages that you just wouldn’t have if you weren’t using a control panel on your Windows VPS. In a time when management is a key factor in web hosting, not offering a control panel for your web hosting clients can be a deal breaker for most.

Windows VPS hosting can be seen as a type of specialist hosting since Windows VPS hosting providers offer support for scripting languages and database systems that just won’t function on any other web hosting platform apart from Windows Server 2008 based web hosting servers.

There are certain scripting languages and database systems that can only run on Windows because they are Microsoft products, therefore meaning that they are unable to function correctly on any other operating system. Before purchase any web hosting package, it is important to make sure that your chosen package will be able to host your websites and applications correctly. Examples of such systems include:

  • classic ASP – although classic ASP may be old and not under development anymore, it is still the primary language used by many Windows web developers therefore meaning that Microsoft still needs to make IIS support classic ASP in future releases, and for web hosting providers to ensure that their Windows shared and VPS hosting services can still support it
  • ASP.NET – ASP.NET is the successor to classic ASP and is still under development, meaning that there are new versions being released on a regular basis – because of this, it is important that web hosting providers ensure that their Windows VPS hosting servers are able to support the new versions of ASP.NET as they are released
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – a majority of Windows developers like to use SQL database systems for their website backends, meaning that it is important for web hosting providers to ensure that their Windows VPS servers are able to support the Express Edition of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2008 for the use of their clients
  • Microsoft Access web hosting – Microsoft Access is used by developers who don’t need to use an SQL backend for their websites, therefore meaning that it is up to a web hosting provider to make sure that the necessary drivers are installed to allow for the integration of Microsoft Access databases into dynamic websites and applications.

If you are an experienced Windows developer then it is important that you consider the above features in a Windows VPS hosting service. Without such features, your websites and applications aren’t guaranteed to function correctly.

In conclusion, Windows VPS hosting provides you with a much more efficient alternative to shared Windows web hosting services. You need to make sure that you are able to manage a Windows VPS server before purchase one, since you could find yourself not being able to manage the server correctly which could be bad for your server; on the other hand, you could purchased a managed Windows VPS hosting solution in which the management of the server is taken care of on your behalf.

If you want to use your Windows VPS for web hosting purposes, then you should consider a control panel as well for your needs.