Shared hosting is the most widely used and affordable solution in the hosting industry and is sufficient for most website owners. Nevertheless at times, higher performance or root/administrative access is needed to perform certain tasks. In such cases there are two primary hosting solutions: dedicated servers and VPS (i.e. Virtual Private Servers). Let's describe these services, some of their advantages and the most common use cases for both of the solutions.
What is a VPS?
A single powerful server machine is divided into multiple virtual servers with individually dedicated resources by the use of virtualization technology. These servers are referred to as Virtual Private Servers (i.e. VPS). To put simply, it’s like a home computer that has many different users.
Each VPS has its own dedicated resources (e.g. CPU: 800 MHz, RAM: 512 MB, HDD: 25 GB) and operates as a separate server. Despite being located on a single machine, each VPS is securely isolated from the rest, allowing for installation of any desired server operating system (e.g. Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, as well as Linux distributions such as CentOS, Debian, etc.).
Advantages of using virtual servers
- Much lower prices than dedicated server
- Ability to upgrade resources at any time without having to swap hardware
- Root/Administrator access to the operating system
- Snapshot capability
- Ability to switch between virtual devices
- Fast startup speed
- Ability to install custom operating system
- Dedicated Resources
- Isolation from other virtual servers on the machine
What is a dedicated server?
A dedicated server is a machine that has all of its resources dedicated to your own personal use. This service is usually suitable for people who require high processing power, transfer of bulky files and/or complete isolation from other users. As a rule of thumb, if you wish to host a website that has more than 500,000 visitors per month, it is best to use a dedicated server.
The benefits of using dedicated servers
- The exclusivity of the hardware resources
- Ability to upgrade the internal hardware
- Permanent Internet connection
- Unmatched performance (i.e. compared to other hosting services)
- Rapid computing and processing
- Top notch security