Virtual Private Servers
Virtual Private Servers (aka VPS hosting) fills the gap between shared hosting and dedicated servers providing small to medium sized businesses and websites with the reliability and control of dedicated hosting but with a cheaper cost per month. Compare editorial and user reviews before choosing a plan. The plans listed below for VPS hosting are ranked according to quality and value for money.
Our list of hosting providers is based on:
- Value of service
- Technical support
We've Ranked Affordable, Flexible and Qualitative VPS Hosting
Updated and reviewed: April 10th, 2013
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More about Virtual Private Servers
Virtual private servers are also known as virtual dedicated servers. They display a form of virtualization that split a single physical server into multiple virtual servers. This practice of dividing a single virtual server to make it appear as multiple virtual servers has been commonly observed in mainframe computers. However it has seen a sudden appearance lately with the development of software and technologies such as VMware, Xen, FreeBSD Jail, User-mode Linux, Linux-VServer, FreeVPS, OpenVZ, and Virtuozzo. To sum it up, and put it in simpler terms, a VPS is one of multiple virtual machines (VMs) running on a single computer. The VM provides the user access, or at least the sense of it, as if they were using a dedicated server.
Virtual Servers - Filling the Gap
In the Internet hosting service industry, VPS hosting fills the gap between shared web hosting and dedicated hosting and it is fast becoming the foundation of many hosting companies. They allow grass root-level access to individual clients without requiring the actual hassle of physically dedicated servers. They are popularly used by businesses and individuals that need a customized solution that cannot be done in a shared hosting environment.
Virtual dedicated servers have also become popular for their ability to establish sandboxes. For instance - a single physical server might have two virtual private servers running; one hosting a live website and a second which houses a copy of it. When updates to important parts of software have to be made, they can be tested in the second VPS, allowing for comprehensive testing to be done without the hassle of different physical servers. It is also an ideal solution if you have an environment that needs the best of two (or more) worlds since most providers offer both Linux and Windows VPS Hosting.
A virtual dedicated server is also employed to provide honeypots, allowing a machine to intentionally run software with known security flaws. Since it is possible to deploy multiple virtual private servers on a single computer quickly enough, honeypots are much easier and facilitate better insight into the realm of computer security.
Why is a VPS Necessary?
Many businesses want to take advantage of the benefits that a dedicated server provides. The two most common deterrents, however, is that a dedicated server is too expensive and since the business won’t make full use of the server it cannot justify the cost even if it can afford it. The VPS is therefore a best-of-both-worlds scenario that allows clients to take advantage of the benefits that a dedicated server provides but not incur the penalties by sharing the physical hardware
Are there Limitations to VPS Hosting?
Limitations do exist. VPS hosting requires you to share at least the CPU and the RAM. Therefore, CPU- and RAM-intensive operations will not always occur reliably. In some scenarios, scheduling is required. In many scenarios, you can take what is available but are limited to your fair share as soon as others make a claim for those resources.
Is VPS Hosting the Right Choice?
With those limitations in mind, you must decide if they will affect the way you do business. If you’re most intense operation is a nightly optimization and backup of your database, then a VPS is fine. However, if you plan to run apps that will demand memory and processing power, VPS is likely not the right choice because the operation of those apps will be unreliable. That may be OK in some scenarios, but it certainly is not all right if the website’s visitors are using those apps directly.
The Pros of VPS Hosting
If your site is unaffected by the cons mentioned above, then VPS hosting has a wide array of pros associated with it. First and foremost, it is significantly less expensive than a dedicated server. Therefore, if you and your clients cannot notice the difference between a VPS and dedicated server, it is a no-brainer for that reason alone. Another advantage of VPS hosting is that it is scalable. Dedicated servers generally require significant costs to scale. With a VPS, the host will simple upgrade your account to meet your needs, and if necessary, move you to a new machine that will accommodate your new requirements.