Virtual private servers make a good midway point between shared hosting and dedicated hosting: a perfect balance for a small or medium business, or an organization in transition.
What is VPS?
A virtual private server, or more commonly, VPS, is a "virtualized" server that exists on a single or distributed physical server alongside other virtual private servers. Which is to say, if you were to visit a data center such as A&A Office Systems' private Cloudsmart data center in Branford, Connecticut, you may see a single physical server that plays host to several virtual servers partitioned for different clients for different uses.
You can contrast VPS with shared hosting and dedicated hosting. With shared hosting, the service provider hosts multiple web pages for multiple clients on a single web server. It's inexpensive, but often insufficient for highly trafficked websites. Dedicated hosting is exact opposite: the service provider leases an entire server, offering total control often at a high cost.
What are the Benefits of VPS?
Cost savings. A virtual private server is typically a little more costly than shared hosting, but affords a far more robust product at a fraction of what one would spend on dedicated hosting or purchasing and maintaining a server outright. If you already own your own server, colocation might be a solution to find cost or time savings if you are finding it difficult to support.
Read More: 5 Benefits of Colocation
Control. For all intents and purposes, VPS is a server that affords you root access and the kind of flexibility you'd see with dedicated hosting and can't get with shared hosting. A primary concern for shared web hosting is security, so many applications may not be supported with shared hosting. This is not a concern with VPS. You maintain control over your installations.
Scalability. A typical virtual private server package offers a specific allotment of resources: storage, memory, etc. If you find you need more memory as your business grows, you can easily arrange this with your provider and see the memory increase almost immediately. Scalability like this is generally not offered with shared hosting and with dedicated hosting, server downtime would have to be scheduled to bring the server offline to manually install additional RAM.
What are the Drawbacks with VPS?
The biggest issue to look out for when sourcing a VPS provider is reliability. A bad provider may not allocate physical resources properly, promising more than they can actually deliver. You should also keep in mind what your actual needs are. An inexpensive shared hosting solution is just fine for a website that receives light to moderate traffic, and there's probably little need to buy up to a virtual private server.
Otherwise, VPS is a great way to get an affordable and powerful hosting solution without putting up the money for a dedicated hosting package or buying and maintaining your own server.
And now that you've checked in on VPS, why not download our free eBook and brush up on other hosting and cloud solutions available today?