While going through web hosting plans from most web hosting companies these days, you will find the option ‘VPS’ or Virtual Private Server. You might have wondered what VPS is, and we are here to let you know what it actually is. And by the end of this article, you will know if you need a Virtual Private Server to host your web site or should you just continue with your existing web hosting setup.
Virtual Private Server (VPS): Theoretically in case of web hosting, a Virtual Private Server or mostly known as VPS would mean a web hosting company that has the ability to host multiple numbers of virtual servers on only one physical server. This is basically a simulated server that does not physically exist. Or the other way around, it does physically exist on a single piece of server setup where many other VPS of the same category could exist.
How it Works
When it comes to functionality, the way VPS works is impressive. Each of these VPSs is isolated within each hardware setup. The resources are definitely shared, like the RAM, processor, bandwidth, storage space etc. but still the servers don’t share data with each other. These actions are controlled by the host server.
So given a scenario where a server computer has a 2 GB RAM stick, somewhat around 1 TB of storage space, maybe some reasonably higher amount of clock speed in the processor, and an effective CPU of nearly 1 GHz; this computer could either host VPS that would just not share any data with the other VPS residing on the same server, or just share these resources equally amongst all the servers. It all depends on the hosting software installed on the VPS.
To keep the cost less, the VPS servers are usually hosted on open source platforms. Because Windows based servers would cost a lot and it is not necessary either. On the other hand, Linux or Unix are free yet provides easily accessible advanced features.
Do you really need VPS Hosting?
That would depend entirely on what purpose you use your hosting for. If you are starting off with lower budget, but looking for features like co-located servers or additional amounts of data on a shared server etc. without willing to pay more money for it, then you may think about signing up for a VPS web hosting plan.
In most cases, people who are initially subscribed to shared hosting plan but outgrowing the package in all terms like storage space, bandwidth etc. then they could sign up for Virtual Private Servers without having to spend much.
And if you need advanced features that don’t usually come with shared hosting plans, then VPS could be a good pick. For example, you would be able to run not only PHP but PostgreSQL and MySQL as well. VPS servers don’t usually limit the users to host a limited number of domains, if you are proficient using Apache Virtual Hosts you can host unlimited number of domains.
Apart from the domains; the number of mail or FTP servers is unlimited as well. That enables you to use your website for anything – like storing files, backing up your data etc.
You would need a VPS only if you are outgrowing your shared hosting, or you are an advanced user and want to get your hands on something more advanced. However, you will be responsible for your website’s security. However, even though VPS provides you with everything of your own, the infrastructures are still shared with other VPS server users of that company. If you want to use resources alone you have to move to co-location servers.
VPS based hosting is basically for people looking for more features at lower price point. The amount of advanced features is actually very high, but you must know the operation and maintenances since you won’t be getting support.