Virtual Private Server typically refers to that section of a physical server that is partitioned. To be part of the VPS thus implies that you have got your own space within the server which you have a bit of control over. For instance, you can make changes to it as you please and reboot as the need for this might arise. Certainly, while you can accomplish these feats, you only get to control and see your section of the server.
While a VPS is not exactly a dedicated server, it has a number of qualities which mimic the attributes of the latter. For this reason, it is a good solution to sites that might not have fully evolved to need the benefits of a dedicated server but are certainly on this journey. VPS is an ideal link between dedicated and the shared hosting plans.
How VPS Works
In a VPS kind of hosting, powerful hardware is relied upon to accommodate virtual private servers on which each individual website is hosted privately.
Each unit is given independence of functioning by dividing a physical machine into various virtual parts and server software is established for every compartment separately. While other different websites could be hosted on this very physical system, each site is hosted on its individual virtual component.
The allocation of a virtual compartment comes complete with such utilities as RAM, disk space as well as CPU. Hence, the workings of other websites hosted on the same machine will not have an impact on how yours runs. It’s always preferable to choose a VPS that uses Paravirtualised Hypervisor like Xen or VMware, choose a premium VPS provider like EuroVPS for maximum resource isolation.
With VPS hosting, you are allowed maximum root access to the server hosting your site; almost like it were a dedicated server. In reality though, your website shares the RAM, bandwidth as well as the CPU of the general, primary machine which makes the hosting possible.
With VPS, your website can offer high performance at a significantly lower price compared to the cost of a dedicated server.
VPS vs. Shared vs. Dedicated Hosting
Definitely, the distinction between VPS and shared hosting rests on the manner in which server utilities are being utilized. I like to think of this concept along the lines of renting an apartment from its owner. Provisions like a pool, parking space as well as a gym are communally shared between the tenants.
In such a scenario, the VPS would be like the “condo” which gives you the benefit of your own, private space and a significant claim over some of the communal assets shared with other tenants.
However, contrary to what is expected of tenants in the apartment, you are required to carry out the maintenance and necessary modifications of your condo all by yourself. You are given your private parking space and have fewer neighbors to contend with.
With regards to dedicated hosting, VPS is more like the introduction you are given to home ownership. As an entry-level home owner, you do not have to contend with high charges but can still partake in the use of shared, communal facilities.
Of course, when you make progress and are moving up the ladder, you would opt for your own, private, stand-alone home; this is akin to dedicated hosting. You are entirely responsible for anything that goes on in the home; from cleaning and exterior landscaping to maintenance of both the internal and external aspects of the house.
Thus, for dedicated hosting, it is crucial to have substantial technical skills on how to manage the plan because you pretty much control everything.
With regards to the illustrations above, VPS offers you a convenient middle ground of an “apartment” which offers you more personal space but still assures you of the input of the “landlord” should you need complex repairs and maintenance operations.
Advantages and disadvantages of VPS hosting
- One of the merits of VPS hosting is that it offers some of the benefits of dedicated hosting at a cheaper cost. It does include many users on the same server so that the costs can be spread out.
- Also, VPS hosting offers greater freedom compared to shared hosting. In shared hosting plans, you are affected by the adds-on as well as programs of others and this may compromise your bandwidth. With VPS, you have a bit of independence from your server community.
- Security is also more guaranteed compared to shared hosting platforms. You can even take advantage of encryption protocols to safeguard your data.
- Expanding your site’s abilities on VPS hosting needs not to be complex. It is easy to make additional services and plans while leaving out those you do not favor.
- One of the disadvantages of VPS hosting is that it costs more financially compared to shared hosting plans.
- You need to have some technical ability to handle the hosting plan especially if you are making use of a VPS host that is not managed.
- Consequently, VPS hosting can cost you much time to manage. For instance, you will need to observe and maintain the system in a manner that ensures it remains secure and in proper condition.
- An untrustworthy ISP can allocate space improperly. If this happens, and then everyone proceeds to use their fullest bandwidths, your site could experience longer load times, errors and even failure to open.
What is the right time to upgrade to VPS hosting?
You ought to start thinking of VPS hosting once you determine that dedicated hosting is in the future for you but are not yet ready to take the full plunge.
Such scenarios typically inform people of the need to upgrade to VPS hosting from shared hosting arrangements:
- Increased traffic to a site often pushes one to upgrade from shared hosting to maintain sensible load times.
- Need for increased reliability of the site; VPS resources significantly add to your overall site reliability.
- Desire for greater control of the site’s host.
- Need to provide hosting services for your clients’ websites from your primary account.
- Website branding plans; a dedicated IP address would come in handy.
- Certainly, once you realize that you need a bit more freedom and network security than the shared hosting plan is according you, it is time to opt for VPS hosting.
As your website grows, you may need the benefits of VPS hosting. Knowing what is best for your website will help you to choose the most appropriate VPS hosting and perhaps, you need to start by putting down your requirements.
All in all, it is an ideal, cost-effective hosting plan that spares you the costs of a dedicated server for some time as your website’s needs evolve.