What is a VPS (Virtual Private Server)?

What Is a VPS?

A virtual private server(VPS) is a machine that hosts all the software and data required to run an application or website. It is called virtual because it only consumes a portion of the server’s underlying physical resources which are managed by a third-party provider. However, you get access to your dedicated resources on that hardware.

What is VPS hosting?

When creating a website or web app, customers generally need to set up a database, configure a web server, and add their own code. Managing physical server hardware can be complex and expensive. To solve this problem, hosting providers manage the underlying hardware and allow users to consume these resources. In VPS hosting, each user receives a virtual machine with dedicated resources that is ready for them to deploy and configure their application or website. This way, customers who use VPS hosting can focus on their applications or websites without having to waste time and energy dealing with the physical servers hosting their code. VPS hosting providers secure, reliable and consistent performance for their websites.

How does VPS hosting compare to other types of hosting?

Servers typically have more memory, processing power, and storage than those required by a single website. Web hosting providers share these resources with different customers using different hosting arrangements. Other than VPS hosting, two types of web hosting solutions are available.

  • Shared hosting: In a shared hosting solution, all websites share the same physical server and compete for critical resources like internal memory, hard disk space, and processing power. The downside of this web hosting service is that other websites that share the hardware can affect your website’s performance.

  • Dedicated hosting: In dedicated hosting, you can rent the entire physical hardware for yourself. The web hosting provider gives you exclusive access to the entire physical server. Your website performance is not impacted by the behaviour of any other websites. Dedicated hosting is like having the whole couch to yourself. It’s comfortable but expensive—and you don’t need all that extra space.

  • VPS hosting vs. shared hosting vs. dedicated hosting: VPS hosting sits somewhere between shared and dedicated hosting. It is done by compartmentalizing the single physical server so each website owner perceives it as a dedicated server. You get exclusive access to your share of hardware and resources even though the rest of the physical server is still being shared. A VPS hosting service is like hiring a first-class cabin on a luxury flight. While there may be other passengers on the flight, no one can share your cabin. Even better, your cabin can expand or shrink with your requirements, so you pay for exactly what you need!

When should you switch to VPS hosting?

If you are currently on a shared hosting service and a dedicated server is not in the budget, you can consider shifting to a VPS hosting plan if you want to do the following:

  • Handle more website traffic: Shared hosting may work well when you’re just starting, but your website performance may start degrading as traffic increases. As your website grows and visitor traffic volume increases, website visitors could experience longer page load times and more wait times. On the other hand, with VPS hosting, your site will perform better than with shared hosting because it can handle a higher volume of requests.

  • Customize applications: Compared to shared hosting, VPS hosting gives you more control over your web server environment. You can install custom software and custom configurations. Integrations with other software, like bookkeeping or CRM systems, also work better with VPS hosting. You can install custom security measures and firewalls for your system as well.

  • Reduce server errors: As your website grows, you may have to add more content or complex functionality to it, which increases processor or memory requirements. This could lead to server errors on shared hosting, like internal server errors or unavailable service errors. On the other hand, compute-heavy websites perform much better on VPS hosting because they no longer compete with other sites for processing power. With VPS hosting, you can also migrate to a new virtual machine with greater processing power whenever you are ready to grow.

What are the types of VPS hosting?

There are three main types of VPS hosting.


Unmanaged VPS hosting

In unmanaged hosting or self-managed hosting, the business owner has to take care of all the server responsibilities and maintenance tasks. The hosting provider manages only the physical server and its availability. Unmanaged VPS hosting requires technical expertise or dedicated in-house resources to manage server memory, operating system, and other server resources. Unmanaged VPS hosting is better suited for established businesses with the necessary IT capabilities.


Managed VPS hosting

Fully managed VPS hosting reduces the time, effort, and technical expertise you need to take care of your server. The managed VPS hosting provider takes care of all the server-related responsibilities, like core updates, maintenance, and software installation, so you can concentrate fully on growing your business. Managed VPS hosting is a hands-free approach to server management.


Semi-managed VPS hosting

Semi-managed VPS hosting is the middle ground between managed and unmanaged hosting. The hosting company provides the same basics as unmanaged hosting but adds core software installation and support. These are some examples of the additional services they provide:

  • Operating system updates and patches
  • Security enhancements
  • Full web server support
  • Server event monitoring
  • Proactive response and restoration of server

Core-managed hosting differs from fully managed hosting in that core doesn’t include virus and spam protection, external migrations, full control panel support, or control panel upgrades and patches.

Is VPS hosting secure?

Yes, VPS hosting is secure. VPS security comes from each instance’s isolation from the other environments on the server. In shared hosting environments, your website shares the same resources as other websites and can be affected by their vulnerabilities. VPS hosting protects you from resource-intensive attacks directed at others. You can also make your virtual server more secure by adding firewalls, antivirus, and other software measures. For example, a denial of service (DDoS) attack attempts to bring down a website by overwhelming the server with thousands of requests at the same time. In a shared hosting environment, even if the DDoS is directed at another website, it will cause your system to crash too. This is because both websites share the same underlying resources.

Is VPS hosting fast and reliable?

Yes, VPS hosting is fast and reliable because you are allocated your bandwidth. You can get reliable performance similar to a dedicated server. You can also choose different operating systems and optimize server configuration to better suit your application performance.

Why should you choose VPS?

VPS hosting gives you low-cost access to a trained team of professionals who focus full-time on server management. It brings the following benefits:

  • You receive updated best practices and new technologies in VPS hosting.
  • You get round-the-clock support to reduce downtime.
  • The VPS hosting provider optimizes your environment for performance and security.
  • Your IT team can focus on your web application without having to worry about VPS hosting.
  • The VPS hosting provider can troubleshoot and fix common issues very quickly.
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