Virtual Private Servers Hosting Explained

What is a Virtual Private Server or VPS?

First, these types of web hosting accounts go by several names including VPS, or Virtual Private Server, and VDS, or Virtual Dedicated Server. Some also reference this type of server as simply a virtual server.

A VPS is a physical server divided into several smaller servers. Each smaller server is called virtual private server as it is independent of actual hardware and private in the sense that other VPS servers cannot interact with its processes and its file system. The virtual private server is independently running its own OS (operating system) and software as PHP, MySQL or Apache. The VPS can be rebooted without affecting the other virtual servers hosted on the physical server.

Most VPS accounts come with the industry leading virtualization solution Virtuozzo. Parallels Virtuozzo Containers 4.0 is a complete server automation and virtualization solution based on a patented technology developed by the company Parallels. The Virtuozzo Containers software creates multiple isolated Containers on a single physical server to share hardware, licenses, and management with maximum efficiency. Each VPS performs and executes exactly like a stand-alone server; VPSs can be rebooted independently and have users, IP addresses, processes, system libraries and configuration files.

What can a VPS do for you?

VPS will do three major things for you as a customer:

Isolation - Each private server has its unique file system and gets a guaranteed percentage of a server's disk space, CPU power, bandwidth, and system memory (RAM). Therefore, a website hosted on a VPS runs on an isolated environment where its performance will not be affected by other websites. Also, a Virtual Private Server will not allow the sharing of web applications and services with other websites thus it eliminates the risk of downtime or hacks due to other customer mistakes that you have no control over.

Full Customization - VPS users typically get full root and SSH access to the virtual server. This allows server customization that enables you to install your own software, applications, tweak performance, and manage your server as you would on a dedicated server. This option is not required, however, because you can purchase managed or unmanaged VPSs with various control panels and operating systems. The choice is yours.

Affordability - Virtual Private Servers are far cheaper than a dedicated server. While cheaper, you will still get the features like dedicated servers but you won't pay the price of one. VPS was marketed and developed for the person who needs more power than what shared hosting offers but cannot afford an expensive dedicated server.

Do I need a VPS for my websites?

Most people already know this answer because their website(s) have outgrown shared hosting and their current web host has told them that they need to upgrade to a stronger solution that can handle heavier traffic and heavier resource usage (memory and CPU).

With a VPS hosting solution, you'll have plenty of server resources that can be allocated to your site, and your site only. Having adequate server resources is important, as it will let your visitors browse your site without interruption. When the server is overloaded, many times the pages will load very slow and the server may even crash. During your shared web hosting adventure, you will face this issue whether your site is the one causing it or someone else's site is the cause.

Enter VPS: Now you have full control of dedicated resources on your VPS hosting account. Your only worry with a VPS is choosing the right amount of disk space, dedicated RAM, and CPU resources to suit your site's needs. If you have a site that is fairly popular, a typical entry level VPS with at least 512MB RAM should work. Another benefit, as your site grows, you can easily upgrade your VPS to add more RAM and CPU power. This way, as your site earns more money and gains more traffic, you can expand your hosting accordingly.

If your goal is to be successful then you need to plan for that success. Don't trust web hosting companies that offer shared hosting with unlimited everything because they are not as unlimited as you might think. Sure, you can use a lot of disk space and bandwidth with shared hosting, however, if your site uses any sort of programming like PHP and databases like MySQL, you will find that you do not have unlimited resources! Eventually, your site will hit a point where shared cannot handle the load and an email will be sent to you saying your site was disabled due to resource abuse. You can avoid this by monitoring your website statistics. If you see your site growing month over month (or in some cases, exploding overnight), take the proactive approach and spend a little more to get great quality hosting through a solid VPS hosting company. Trust us and you can thank us later.

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