VPS Hosting represents the middle ground in the web hosting industry. For those that need the full root access of a Dedicated Server, without the hefty price tag, VPS Hosting serves out excellent value for money. But what exactly is a VPS? And what are the benefits of a VPS vs. lets say shared hosting or a dedicated server? These are all questions that prospective hosting clients should be aware of before deciding on which hosting platform to use.
Benefit 1: Cost Savings
Virtual Private Servers are isolated containers, or virtual machines, on a single server. Since multiple VPS can be hosted on a single physical server, hosting providers can implement Multi-Tenancy in the provisioning of VPS. Multi-Tenancy is a core component of VPS (*Virtuozzo/OpenVZ) because only one instance of the software template is installed on the physical machine. Then through an abstraction layer, multiple “independent” Virtual Machines can be provisioned within this single template. This is important because it lowers the costs of deployment for providers as multiple VPS can be provisioned within one server. This is the underlying reason why VPS are priced lower than Dedicated Servers.
Benefit 2: Disaster Recovery
The most ambitious choice for hosting is undoubtedly a Dedicated Server. When a client installs applications or uploads data to a Dedicated Server, it is provisioned directly on the main kernel with no layer of abstraction. Tactical backups are useful for protecting oneself against data loss. But a VPS offers a faster route for disaster recovery than a Dedicated because a VPS can be backed up into an image which can be rebooted on another node (in the case of data loss) quicker than a Dedicated Server can be restored from backups. Furthermore, VPS can be live migrated between different nodes with zero downtime. Abstraction Layers – Virtualization – make managing servers easier in Disaster Recovery situations.
Benefit 3: Scalability
Virtual Private Servers can be scaled up and down on demand. Meaning that if your application starts hoarding more RAM, it is very easy for this to be dealt with. Depending on your VPS provider, you can add extra resources on the fly with no downtime. In the case of a Dedicated Server, there would have to be a forced downtime for the RAM/Drive/CPU upgrade.
Benefit 4: Root Access
This benefit is a shared benefit with Dedicated Servers. But considering that a VPS can be had at the price of shared hosting nowadays, this is definitely worth mentioning. If you are a developer and need your own sand box for testing purposes, a VPS can be very useful. With full root access, there are no differences in functionality to a Dedicated Server. This means that for a fraction of the price, you can experiment if your apps, and then if you want, cancel the server 1 month later with no commitment.
VPS Hosting is the undisputed middle weight in the world of web hosting. More robust than shared hosting, and more flexible than a Dedicated Server, Virtual Private Servers are rapidly growing in popularity amongst even corporate clientele in the form of Cloud VPS. With High Availability options, VPS Hosting has expanded into the mainstream and can satisfy the needs of any webmaster.