What is a virtual private server?

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) uses virtualisation software to split up a physical server into multiple independent environments that can run separate tasks.

Dedicated server vs VPS

Previously servers were given dedicated jobs on hardware that often had extra resources such as ram, disk and CPU left over after it runs it's own tasks, and also separate power supplies per machine mean a higher power draw.

An example of this previously would have been a file share server, a mail server, and an account server. With VPS all of these servers can run virtually requiring no separate hardware or wasted hardware resources.

Split resources per virtual server

With VPS, you can assign dedicated resources to each virtual server, such as ram, disk and CPU cores. This pool of CPU and memory per machine stops other virtual servers on the host machine are not able to slow your virtual server down. Dedicated resources can be adjusted, and with a few clicks, you can add more disk space, RAM and CPU as needed.

With VPS and cloud hosting, it means that effective services today are divided into several virtual servers that operate independently, each with its own operating system, often split between different networks and data centres.

When to choose VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is usually chosen by website operators who have an average level of traffic that require more resources and faster loading times than traditional shared hosting plan but still do not require the resources and expense of dedicated servers.

Upgrading from a shared plan to a virtual private server will improve the speed and performance of your website. Your site will be more responsive because you don't share resources, and your site can be faster and more efficient.

Although separation and intrusion prevention on physical machines on your PC is not a significant problem, VPS hosts have security measures in place to ensure the isolation of its customer's servers.

VPS Hosting providers

Hosting providers that offer VPS hosting have physical servers that contain multiple virtual machines. Since you only use a portion of the resources on each VM, many virtual servers are often run from the same dedicated server.

Other modern benefits to VPS hosting is the ability to migrate to another host server if the server suffers a hardware/network issue. A Virtual server can be live swapped (no downtime), or cold swapped (a more prolonged process where some hosts require downtime) meaning a better uptime for your website.

Hypervisors

A hypervisor, a virtual machine manager, is a program that lets you set up virtual private servers. VPS hosting providers rely on hypervisors to abstract resources from physical servers and provide customers with an emulated server, a virtual machine (VM). These virtual machines run on a complete operating system and have limited access to all server resources such as memory, disk space and network connections. The virtual servers are isolated from each other and private, but a third party manages the host server (e.g. a hosting provider).

Although multiple tenants can share the same physical server on which the VMs are running, they are prevented from interacting with other tenants to whom they belong, thus creating a server that is logically private and not physically separate.

A VPS is an excellent way for small businesses to gain access to run any software without the cost of running a dedicated server.

VPS vs shared web hosting

One of the advantages of using a VPS over a traditional web hosting service is that subscribers have full access to the VPS operating system with unrestricted root and administrator privileges.

Most small businesses do not require the powers of a dedicated server, so a VPS is a good option if you are going beyond your traditional shared hosting options.

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