Many web hosting companies are providing virtual and dedicated servers as hosting options. 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 a dedicated web hosting server and a shared server. A Virtual private server is a single physical web server that 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 a shared web hosting server its features keep them close to a dedicated server.
Why go for VPS/VDS
A dedicated server has excellent features but it is available at a high cost. Those who cannot afford the dedicated server can opt for the second best option which is VPS. Here main server unit is divided into subparts and individually distributed among customers. By principle, running a virtual private server is possible even on a particular dedicated system. Once the division of the main dedicated server is made and converted to virtual private servers, each VPS can have a 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), disk space, memory allocation, various applications, software, and security programs. However, there is a limitation on the 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 owners 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 is software that helps in creating the environment of virtualization and gives a user the experience of their own virtual machine. Although the virtual servers are present on the same physical web server they don’t share applications, software, and other directories. Owners have the option to choose only those software and applications that 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 or 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 for the following reasons
Root Level Control: You will have full control of 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 available to assist people with less computer skills.
Low Cost: You will get the experience of a dedicated server at a low cost.
Enhanced Security: Each virtual private server gets better security and does not get affected by neighboring corrupted servers which makes the server more stable. Such subdivision of the server accounts reduces the risk of antagonistic attacks like Dos attacks from alternative users. It also protects from hackers as their entry into files is 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 that is perfect and VPS is not an exception. Running a virtual server needs knowledge of various applications and programming/coding which helps in the successful running of such servers. A lack of technical skills can result in disaster if your host is not good at providing support services. Along with this problem, there are applications and software that 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, memory allocation, and page loading.