VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting is a service provided by web hosting providers to host different websites on their dedicated virtual machines, which run on a single physical server grade machine. VPS hosting brings in best of both worlds of shared and dedicated hosting.
VPS utilizes virtual software, such as VMWare, to create several virtual machines on one physical server. Each virtual machine shares the resource of the server and behaves as one dedicated server. VPS can also be called as private cloud hosting. Here sharing of server resource happens along with the creation of several dedicated servers.
Moving ahead in this article, you will come to know what is VPS hosting, how VPS hosting is different than dedicated and shared hosting, the difference between VPS and Cloud hosting, etc.
What is VPS hosting?
As the name suggests, VPS works on the fundamentals of virtualization. VMware is one such software through which you can create virtual machines with same or different operating system software. These machines can have its resource as disk space, RAM, etc.
In short, you can take a physical server which is based on Microsoft Server OS and create VMs with OS like Linux, Windows 7, Win XP, etc.
However, the physical machine on which these virtual machines will sit should be ideally a very high-grade machine. You can distribute the resource of the physical server to all virtual machines (VMs). In a way, all virtual machines will be dependent on the physical server.
On the other side, all VMs can run independently. In a way, you can think of these virtual machines as different machines which may or may not talk to each other.
In VPS hosting, your website will run on one of such virtual machines, providing your site dedicated server functionality at low cost. VPS hosting is faster than shared hosting and provide you with many benefits such as scalability, fast loading, better security, availability, etc.
Advantages of VPS hosting
VPS hosting sits somewhere between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. It is not as cheap as shared hosting plan, but it is neither as costly as dedicated server plan.
Privacy and security
Your website will run independently on a single virtual machine. The operating system of this machine will not cater to any other websites. So, your site is the only party who can access its file. The security of your website will not be compromised because nobody could snoop into the neighboring sites, as there no neighbors.
Dedicated server functionality is a costly affair and may not be economical for someone who is just crossing the threshold of shared hosting plan and may not qualify for cloud or dedicated hosting plan. In this scenario, VPS hosting is the very first choice since it is not so costly and affordable.
Each website will be on a separate virtual machine on the VPS server and utilize its available resource entirely without sharing them with anybody else.
Customization & scalable
You can have control of your virtual server without affecting any other VMs on the same server. For instance, you can have your instance of different server applications such as PHP, MySQL, Apache, etc.
In the longer run, if you feel higher configuration needs, then you can increase the disk space or RAM easily with the help of web hosting provider.
Control of your virtual machine
Sometimes you might have to restart your virtual computer, then you may not have to think about other VMs. Your restart command for your website VPN hardly matters to other virtual machines on the same VPS server.
Disadvantages of VPS hosting
Every web hosting plan has its own merits and demerits. One of the significant drawbacks of VPS hosting is that all VMs rely on a single machine. Let’s see other disadvantages as well.
Single point failure
The very fact of VPS hosting is that several websites will run on different virtual machines, but everything will depend on a single server machine. If the physical server fails, then the whole bunch of sites will go down with it.
This is the main reason behind people preferring cloud hosting over VPS hosting. In cloud hosting, there are multiple physical servers networked together to run various virtual machines.
One website is hosted on a dedicated virtual machine. If one physical web server goes down, then the virtual machine shifts to other available servers. All in all, increasing the availability of the website.
Immature web hosts might ruin the configuration
Several times, web hosts might allocate most of the physical machine resource to run the maximum number of virtual machines. They do this thinking that all VMs may not utilize its maximum resource capacity. But if it happens then, the physical machine can crop up issues which might affect all VMs.
That’s why it is essential to go with experienced web hosts who have good track records.
Costlier than shared hosting
VPS hosting is cheaper than dedicated or cloud hosting. But the cost difference between shared hosting and VPS hosting is exponential. You need to gauge your site requirements.
Many times, your website may not even need it initially since new sites have less traffic and low disk space requirement.
VPS hosting vs. cloud hosting
Both VPS and cloud hosting uses virtualization as their primary building block. But there is a significant difference between VPS and cloud hosting. In the case of VPS hosting, all VMs run on a single server. So, if this server fails, all websites will go down.
On the contrary, cloud hosting involves multiple physical servers which are networked together. They are connected and forms a cloud on which different virtual machines function. Each VM will host one website.
In case of any physical server failure, the VM won’t get affected as it is sitting on the cloud. The resource utilization gets shifted from one physical machine to another without any issues.
Also, it is easier to customize on cloud server as there is colossal resource availability. All in all, cloud hosting is more reliable than VPS hosting.
VPS hosting vs. shared hosting
You might get confused VPS hosting with shared hosting since it uses the concept of sharing a single server with different virtual machines. But in reality, both are different. In shared hosting, different websites directly sit on one server utilizing its resource.
The performance of your website will depend on how other neighboring websites are doing. If other sites are loaded or have some security issues, then your website will face similar problems.
Whereas, in VPS hosting, each website will get its virtual server. These virtual machines act as a dedicated server, and usually, one VM will not have issues with other VMs on the same server.
VPS vs. dedicated server
The dedicated server is the costliest plan when it comes to web hosting. Here, every site gets its physical machine. One website utilizes complete server resource.
On the other hand, VPS hosting runs different virtual servers as dedicated servers but only one physical machine. In other words, a website is only able to utilize a part of physical server resource, which is also the complete resource of VM on which the site is hosted.