If your business has grown large enough that you need to acquire a virtual server, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed. If you’re like the average business owner, you don’t know much about the technology, other than your website’s need to function. It can be tricky determining which class of server you need and knowing what is sufficient for your needs. For many small business owners, though, a virtual server is the answer.
What is a Virtual Server?
In layman’s terms: one physical server is divided into several different virtual servers through the use of special software.
Why is this useful?
Traditionally, a physical server is dedicated to one particular task or function. This doesn’t take advantage of the computer’s processing power and ends up being a waste of energy and space. When that one machine is turned into several different machines, each is able to run multiple operating systems and applications at the same time.
This is not only more cost-effective and energy-efficient but provides faster resource control.
How Does it Work?
A virtual server is a server that shares resources with other virtual servers and is not a dedicated server. In effect, the computer’s resources and capabilities are maximized by having different virtual servers work on different tasks.
Despite the fact that there are shared resources, a virtual server is functionally equivalent to a dedicated server.
One computer could potentially hold hundreds of virtual servers without affecting performance, but that would depend on the power of the machine and the workload coming through. For example, if any one website receives an abnormally large amount of traffic, it could potentially slow down all of the other sites running on that machine.
Do I Need One for My Business?
When it comes to choosing a server for your business, there are several things to consider.
Often, power is one of the main deciding factors. While a physical server is limited by its unchanging hardware specs, a virtual server can scale its resources up and down on demand.
Unlike shared hosting where users are all sharing the same assets, a virtual server allocates each business user their own resources. That means that if one site has an unexpected spike in traffic, it won’t affect anyone else. Their resources will simply be scaled up by allocating more resources as necessary.
In the same vein, that also means that if one virtual server becomes infected with a virus or malware, it will stay contained to that virtual server. Each virtual server is isolated from another even though they may be located on the same hardware, so any one computer is incapable of infecting another.
Additionally, a virtual server often offers a business owner significant cost savings. In fact, studies indicate that businesses can save tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars annually by going virtual. Why? Because virtual servers allow you to scale up or down as needed. You only pay for the power that you use. Additionally, there is money saved on hardware, deployment, labor, routine maintenance, utilities usage, and facilities.
Understanding your company’s needs is the best way to determine if a virtual server is right for you. You may find that your growing business requires more security and a greater need for power than you currently receive – particularly if you’ve been operating on a shared network.