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Comparison: Dedicated Server Vs VPS Hosting

In this tutorial, we will go through an in-depth comparison between Dedicated Server vs VPS. If you have a website on the internet, then chances are you are using a hosting service to keep your site up and running. While there are so many different hosting solutions out there, the primary focus goes on three different types of web hosting:

Dedicated Servers General Oct 14, 20 by Nisal N 19 min Read
Comparison: Dedicated Server Vs VPS Hosting

  1. Shared web hosting
  2. VPS hosting
  3. Dedicated hosting 

These hosting types differ depending on performance, resources and cost, among other factors. Shared hosting is the most common go-to website hosting choice for all novice website owners. This is a perfect choice if you have a small website like a blog site or a static site.  

This article will go through the big players, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. We will go through the main differences, pros & cons, cost and which one you can pick to improve your business. 

What is Virtual Private Server hosting (VPS hosting)?

A VPS is a virtual server environment that mimics a dedicated server. However, the physical server can have multiple VPS running on them. Let me clarify that a hosting provider will use special software – a hypervisor to create virtual servers with set resources for each. 

So the virtual server will have a set amount of RAM, processing power, bandwidth and storage, mimicking a dedicated server. This fixed amount of resources per server makes VPS different from shared hosting solutions!

VPS hosting is when a virtual server is given to clients to host their websites and files. To learn more about VPS hosting, have a quick read here. 

Now let’s go through the pros & cons of VPS hosting.

How does a VPS work? 

For your web application to be segregated from the other applications hosted on the same server as yours, the hosting company uses a hypervisor, an emulating software that acts as a virtualization layer. Hypervisor extracts out the resources present on the physical server and creates a replica of the physical server, which you can use to host your web application. The virtual layer is a communication bridge between the physical and operating system layers. 

The virtual machines present in the same server are isolated, and every individual hosted user has access to complete root files. Thus, users can easily configure the allotted resources according to their needs and deploy better network security features on their server allocation.

Types Of VPS Hosting 

Suppose you are someone who is browsing the VPS solution on the internet for the first time. Chances are you end up being overwhelmed. But if you look closely, there are only two main types of VPS hosting services, and other offerings are more like a subpart of these two main categories which we have discussed below. 

1.   Managed VPS Hosting 

If you are new to the hosting service and don't know all the technicalities of operating a hosting service on your own, then managed VPS hosting has to be your preferred choice. With managed VPS service, you will get a lot of assistance when deploying your web application on the host's server. 

You and the service provider are equally responsible for managing the server administration and optimizing the managed hosting solution. In most cases, the hosting platform will fully assist you during the initial setup of the server and the operating system. In addition, you will get your basic server security lined up correctly by the host. 

But the main difference between managed and self-managed VPS is the level of support you get from the host once the initial setup is done. In managed hosting, most of the tasks are left to the host to take care of and the server maintenance and service upgrades. Also, if there's a problem in your VPS, it will be escalated automatically, and the hosting provider will be responsible for getting rid of the problem. 

The managed VPS hosting is an excellent solution for people from a non-technical background. The managed VPS hosting learning curve is pretty low and comes with easy account management. 

2.   Self-Managed VPS Hosting 

Users who are sound in the technicalities of managing a server on their own will find self-managed VPS hosting to be the best solution. The self-managed servers provide users with complete control over their server allocation. After some initial setup and the OS deployment, every other VPS operation is entirely left for a user to handle on their own.

In this, you are only paying for the bare minimum hardware you are using to host your web application. There are no fancy features or even complementary services. As a result, if you are thinking of adding a new component to your server, you must purchase it and set it up on the server yourself. 

The unmanaged VPS hosting is for webmasters and developers who can operate a server and easily perform complex customization operations. Using self-managed VPS hosting will save quite a lot in terms of pricing, and it will be much easier to scale up the server when needed. 

Advantages of VPS hosting

  • Reliability: Each user’s resources are secluded from each other, meaning that your server will not be affected by tasks being run on different servers.
  • Complete control: The server is in the user’s hands to be managed as he/she feels fit. 
  • Security: The VPS is wholly isolated from other users on the server. You are in charge of security.
  • Cost-effective: Opting for a VPS solution is much more affordable than dedicated hosting as it uses the same foundation of resource sharing.
  • Scalability: Depending on your business needs, it’s straightforward to scale your VPS without interruptions. 
  • Performance: Adequate performance for all types of websites. 

Disadvantages of VPS hosting

  • Higher prices compared to shared hosting
  • It cannot be matched for dedicated server resources and performance

What is dedicated server hosting?

When they start their journey as a website owner, many users go for a shared hosting solution as it is affordable and doesn't create a hole in their savings. However, when a website starts to grow, it becomes essential to have more resources dedicated to its functioning. There are two options that a user can choose when they are looking for a more reliable hosting solution. 

The first is the VPS, which we have already discussed above, and the second is a dedicated server. A dedicated server hosting means that your website has its server, and all the server's resources will be allocated for your website. As a result, you get immense power and flexibility, but you need to pay a premium price. A dedicated server is considered the epitome of hosting services; many big MNCs' in-house dedicated servers come after. They have millions of dollars to spend on hardware-software resources and employees' salaries for managing the dedicated server.

Simply put, dedicated hosting is used when providing a dedicated server with a predefined set of resources to a single client. During the set-up, you can set the resources as you want. It’s like ordering at Subway; you get to pick how much RAM, CPU and storage you want and set the order. Once the order is processed, you will have the perfect server ready.

A dedicated server has a single tenant who can manage the operating systems, the applications and the people who have access to it. This dramatically improves security and also boosts the performance of the hosted applications.

How Does A Dedicated Server Work?

The main difference between shared hosting and dedicated servers is that a single tenant owns all the server's resources in a dedicated server. With dedicated server hosting, everything a server has to provide is at your disposal. Thus, dedicated servers are considered to be the most powerful hosting infrastructure available. A dedicated server has no competition in terms of hosting capabilities such as flexibility and raw power. 

Dedicated servers aren't your ordinary computers and don't have the same components you might find in your regular computer. A dedicated server has enterprise-grade hardware which is highly reliable and is less prone to hardware and software failure. Moreover, a dedicated server has Error Correcting Code (ECC) RAM, which is more expensive and dependable than your average RAM, which you use to run games on your desktops. ECC RAM specializes in hardware that prevents the most common errors and corruptions due to the electrical interface. 

An ECC RAM can automatically detect and correct the error which occurs in the system. Likewise, the dedicated servers run on Intel's Xeon range processors, engineered for optimal speed and reliability. 

Different Types Of Dedicated Servers 

Three types of dedicated servers are different in terms of types, capabilities, and budget. These are different from our previous blog: different types of servers

  • Cheap Dedicated Servers 

The dedicated servers have been in the hosting world for a long time. They were the answer to performance issues that a webmaster faced with shared computational memory, storage, and networking resources found in the shared resources. Today, if you are an individual or a start-up looking to buy a dedicated server hosting, you can easily purchase this category of dedicated hosting, which starts at an average cost of $50 per month. These cheap dedicated servers are available for you to buy from the companies like GoDaddy, HostGator, Monovm, etc. 

  • Standard Dedicated Server 

A standard dedicated server comes with a more high-quality build and gives users more performance than the first one. Suppose you are running a start-up or a mid-level organization that has outgrown its shared hosting environment. Then a standard dedicated server is more than enough for your website. A business-class data centre will be providing the standard dedicated server plans to its users. These data centres include Rackspace, PhoenixNAP, Amazon's AWS, and more. 

In terms of payment, you will be charged a monthly fee ranging from around $89 to $110, depending on your website's resources. You also get an N+1 redundancy for critical infrastructures such as power feeds, cooling systems, network paths, and UPS with a standard dedicated server. These servers provide 99.97% of interruption-free server uptime. One thing to note here is that standard dedicated servers are the last version whose resources vary on the different sets of plans pre-defined by the hosting service provider. 

  • Enterprise Dedicated Server 

The last category is the enterprise dedicated server, which is helpful for both small and large-scale businesses. These servers have top-tier hardware and software specs, including top manufacturers like DELL's EMC, HPE, Cisco, etc. 

The servers in this category are built to give web applications and their data storage maximum reliability, availability, and raw performance. Moreover, they are customizable in terms of hardware. A user can select the hardware according to their needs and choose from the numerous available options for connectivity, including blended and dedicated internet access, IP address, firewalls, and much more. Likewise, you can ask the hosting service to provide a 1Gbps connection to make it possible for your website viewers to access the web page in the quickest of load times. 

The price of an enterprise-level dedicated server is not low or budget-friendly at all. The monthly plans for an enterprise dedicated server start anywhere from $399 and go all the way up to $900. However, these numbers can be higher as they are mainly based on the customization done by the user.

Advantages of dedicated hosting

  • Flexibility & control: You are the single-tenant using the server, meaning you have complete control over the server. All configurations can be tailor-made to support your requirements. 
  • Administrative powers: Administrative and root privileges come with the server. You can install programs, set custom configurations, and also monitor all aspects of the server. 
  • Increased security: The server is isolated, meaning that only you and your company can access it. Plus the infrastructure comes with firewalls, security measures, and you can set your security measures: air-tight security. 
  • No capital or upfront expense: Using dedicated hosting can be a low-cost way of accessing the resources. We handle the cost of building and maintaining the equipment, which increases your return on investment.
  • Improved reliability and performance: Dedicated servers provide peak performance and reliability. Server crashes are equal to none. Overall the performance will be high as all resources are there to support the company needs.

Disadvantages of dedicated hosting

  • Expensive: Relatively expensive compared to all other hosting types.
  • Tech-savvy: Requires more technical knowledge. If you don’t have the technical expertise, then it’s challenging.
  • Security is on you: Complete safety of the server depends on you. 

VPS Vs. Dedicated Server Side By Side Comparison 

Parameters

VPS 

Dedicated Server 

Definition

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, where a user gets to share the server space with other customers. But resources, once assigned by the service provider, will remain at the user's disposal all the time. 

Dedicated servers are used for enterprise-critical applications. In these servers, a user is in control of the server as a whole and can make changes according to their requirements without asking for permission from a service provider.

Used for

VPS is helpful for most websites and can easily handle small to medium size website traffic.

Dedicated servers are primarily used for big enterprises where the website is receiving tons of traffic and user data. 

Costing

In terms of cost, VPS is relatively cheaper than dedicated server hosting. 

In comparison to VPS hosting, a dedicated hosting solution is much more expensive as it uses top-of-the-line enterprise hardware to provide the best performance possible. 

Sharing of Resources

You are mainly sharing resources of a single server with other customers. Thus features are pretty limited. 

You are not sharing your server resources with anyone on a dedicated server. 



Expansion

In terms of expansion, you can quickly scale your hosting if you are using cloud VPS services. Because all you need to do is adjust your virtual partition.

The expansion can be done quickly, as you are the sole owner of the server and can allocate more resources to the application bearing your server still has some resources unassigned. 

Customization

In VPS, a user doesn't have complete control of the server and can only make changes to the resources and virtual machine assigned to them.

You can customise anything in a dedicated server, from resource allocation to server management and even adding various security plugins. 



Partition

VPS uses a hypervisor to make a partition of the server 

There are no partitions in a dedicated server by the service provider, but if you want, you can create your own partition via virtual machine software. 

Types

There are mainly two types of VPS, managed and self-managed VPS hosting. 

There are a total of four types of servers, cheap, standard, enterprise and high-performance dedicated servers. 

Drawbacks

If there is an issue with one of the shared applications, your website might also get affected when it's in the VPS network. 

With a dedicated server, all the space is given to you on the server, and there are no shared resources between different applications.

Plans

In a VPS solution, a hosting company will provide users with a different set of plans for them to choose from.

In a dedicated server, a user can decide on various resources which will be used in the server, such as RAM, storage, processor, operating system, etc. 

Summary: Dedicated server vs VPS

 

Dedicated server

VPS

Cost

Expensive

Cheaper

Customization

Higher

Lower

Flexibility

Lower

Higher

Access control

Same

Same

Security

Higher

Lower

Performance

Higher

Lower

Setting up server

Same

Same

Scalability

Lower

Higher

Wrapping Up

These were the main differences between Virtual Private Server (VPS) and a dedicated server. Now there are so many hosting services providing both of these services, and it all comes down to the user deciding which one is best for them. A VPS is a great solution for an average user, and it will provide better performance from the shared web hosting services and the added security features you get with VPS. 

On the other hand, a dedicated server is expensive and only needs to be considered when there are no more options left for you to choose from. A dedicated server requires a lot of research from the user end, as most dedicated servers require users to customize their server according to their requirements. As a result, you must know precisely how many resources your web application needs to perform at its best and provide users with the best experience.

Dedicated hosting is the most powerful hosting plan in the market, giving you control of the entire server. But VPS hosting gives you the same type of control over server configuration even though you do not have 100% of the server dedicated to your website alone.

That is what makes it cheaper. It is midway between shared hosting and dedicated hosting in terms of price and space allocation but is similar to dedicated hosting in terms of the amount of control you have over the part of the server allocated to your website. In a nutshell, if the cost is not a concern and you want high performance for your business, it is recommended to go for dedicated hosting as all the resources are 100% dedicated to you alone. This leaves open arms to expand and grow your website in a high-performing environment.

And for small and medium-sized businesses, it’s preferred to use VPS hosting as it is cost-effective and more flexible. It would be best if you were wise in choosing one between them after considering your business needs and future growth.

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Nisal N

Computers has always fascinated me since I was a kid and here we are. I love travelling for 2 reasons: the first one to see a new part of the world and second (the most important one) to experience the rich culture hidden among the country and people. I'm pretty good at cooking but very poor when it comes to baking.

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