There are several different hosting options on the market, but today we are going to discuss VPS servers. Most people know that a website requires a host, but they don’t think past that. They can’t really tell you what a web host is or how it works. When it comes to your business website, you should know exactly what your host does and how they work.
VPS web hosting is consistently one of the most popular options for business owners, but also one of the most misunderstood.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What Are VPS Servers?
A VPS is created using special software, called a hypervisor, to divide a single physical server into multiple virtual servers.
Virtual servers have their own operating system and dedicated resources, so they effectively act as a dedicated server within a shared server.
If that sounds confusing, think of it like an apartment building: while occupants share the overall physical structure, each apartment is a private space. Resources, such as electricity and water, are not shared by anyone else, and no one can enter anyone else’s unit without permission.
VPS Hosting vs. Shared Hosting
With both VPS and Shared hosting, users share one physical server. That is where similarities end.
While a VPS can be thought of like an apartment building, shared hosting is more like communal living – everyone has access to everything. In theory, resources like memory, disk space and bandwidth should be divided equally, but it doesn’t usually work out that way. Inevitably, there is always one site that uses more than their share. And, unfortunately, that takes away from everyone else.
If any site receives an exceptionally high level of traffic or uses more than their share of bandwidth (through giant downloads or customer applications, perhaps), all the other sites pay the price through unreliable performance.
VPS servers, on the other hand, guarantee a certain percentage of resources to every user. Think back to that apartment example: what is inside your space is yours and no one else can take it.
What are the Benefits to VPS Hosting?
- It’s customizable. Most VPS hosts will allow you to run custom software and apps – something which is never allowed on a shared server.
- You have dedicated resources. With VPS, you never have to share your CPU, bandwidth, RAM or storage space with anyone else (and if another user has an especially heavy traffic day, it will never affect your site’s performance).
- It offers increased security. Because a VPS offers an isolated environment, your site is far less exposed to malware, viruses, and malicious hackers than you would be on a traditional shared network.
- It’s cost-effective. VPS offers a great middle ground to those who want some of the features of a dedicated server without the high cost. Because the actual hardware is shared, the costs associated with it (energy, maintenance, updates, etc.) are shared among all users.
Types of VPS Hosting
VPS hosting really falls under two categories: fully managed and self-managed. Here’s what you need to know:
- Fully Managed VPS – With fully managed VPS, all maintenance and management responsibilities lie with the hosting provider. This includes server monitoring, software upgrades, patches, installations, virus and malware protection, and so on. Most companies offer a 24/7 service line, so if you were to have an issue with your server you could call at any hour and they’d fix it as soon as possible.
- Self-Managed VPS – With this option, the user is responsible for all the items mentioned above. It requires a high level of understanding and technical capabilities and isn’t recommended for individuals without the requisite knowledge. That being said, it allows for complete customization and control over the system and is often preferred by web developers and sysadmins.
VPS servers are a great solution for a growing business which aren’t quite ready for the cost (or responsibilities) that come with a dedicated server. If you’d like further information or are thinking of switching over, you can read more about our reliable, fast VPS packages here.