Many web hosting companies are providing the virtual and dedicted servers as hosting option. This post is all about virtual private server (VPS). To know why VPS and dedicated servers are required please read this article – Ways to reduce the CPU usage. Virtual Private Server (VPS) is also known as Virtual Dedicated server (VDS). It is a mediator between dedicated web hosting server and shared server. A Virtual private server is a single physical web server which is partitioned into several “virtual web servers” via a special application. The virtual web servers still share the physical web server resources like memory and disk space. Although it is a part of shared web hosting server but its features keep them close to dedicated server.

Why go for VPS/VDS
Dedicated server has excellent features but it is available at high cost. Those who cannot afford the dedicated server can opt for second best option that is VPS. Here main server unit is divided into subparts and individually distributed among customers. By principle, running virtual private server is possible even on a particular dedicated system. Once the division of main dedicated server is made and its converted to virtual private servers, each VPS can have separate operating system and can reboot separately.  A physical web server helps to boot each virtual private server using a disk image.

Just like shared hosting, the owners of the VPS on any particular dedicated web hosting server share common features like bandwidth (data transfer), the disk space, the memory allocation, various applications, software, security programs. However there is limitation of usage of resources by each customer. Here, the same kernel is shared between different virtual private servers and the virtualization means the resource and space of individual owner cannot be influenced and affected by others sharing the same server.  Virtually you are the owner of the server (I mean to say that shared part of the server) and you can do anything whatever you want with your virtual server. There are software which help in creating the environment of virtualization and give an user the experience of its own virtual machine.  Although the virtual servers are present on the same physical web server but they don’t share applications, sofwares and other directories. Owners have options to choose only those software and applications which they need to run their websites. You can restart your virtual machine (server) after installation of particular software or any other changes. The main advantage of such division of the main web hosting server is that the problems of one of more virtual hosts don’t reflect in others. Therefore unless your virtual server is affected your website will run smoothly.

Virtual private servers are worth considering because of following reasons
Root Level Control: You will have full control on your virtual server. Just like dedicated web hosting servers, you can install, delete and modify the codes of any software and applications. You can create new accounts and give them appropriate permissions. You can make use of many features reserved for dedicated servers like database servers, FTP servers, mail servers and others. Plesk and cPanel are avaible to assist people with less computer skills.

Low Cost: You will get the experience of dedicated server at low cost.

Enhanced Security: Each virtual private server gets better security and not gets affected by neighboring corrupted servers which make the server more stable. Such subdivision of the server accounts reduces the risk of antagonistic attacks like Dos attacks from alternative users. It also protect from hackers as their entry into files are restricted by you.

Flexibility: You can choose which application and software you need, which OS (Linux or Windows) to use etc. However some web hosts provide only Linux based servers.

There is nothing in this world which is perfect and VPS is not an exception. Running virtual server needs knowledge of various applications and programming/coding which helps in successful running of such servers. Lack of technical skills can result in disaster if your host is not good in providing support services. Along with this problem there are applications and software which are common for all virtual hosting servers. Over-utilization of these resources by neighboring virtual servers may influence your virtual server which can affect the bandwidth and the memory allocation and page loading.

Source: Article first published in Blogger’s Magazine.