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What Is VPS Hosting? | 1Gbits Blog

VPS hosting is a prominent hosting solution throughout the whole internet. In this blog post, we will go through all the clouds forming around VPS hosting. While there are many hosting solutions from dedicated server hosting, shared hosting, cloud hosting, and VPS hosting, users might get lost amongst all the technical aspects.

VPS Tutorials Oct 12, 20 by Nisal N 12 min Read
What Is VPS Hosting? | 1Gbits Blog

In this tutorial, we will go through:

  • What is a VPS
  • Different type of VPS hosting
  • Linux VPS vs Windows VPS
  • Advantages of VPS hosting
  • Disadvantage of VPS hosting
  • VPS vs Dedicated vs Shared hosting
  • Conclusion: Why use VPS hosting

What is VPS?

A Virtual Private Server virtually mimics dedicated server environments within a shared server. It is lower in cost but gives better reliability, security, and performance than shared hosting. The physical server will have virtual partitions where each VM (virtual machine) will have its dedicated resources.

As you see in the illustration above, a bare-metal server is divided into separate virtual machines – VPS, completely separated from one another with dedicated resources.

This whole process is made possible with the use of virtualization software like VMware and KVM. This virtualization software can provide dedicated processing power (CPU cores), storage space, RAM and other resources to each VPS independently.

Due to the resources provided for a VPS, the performance will be guaranteed compared to a shared hosting service. Since the VPS infrastructure is based on isolation, there will be no harm on a VPS if another one on the same server gets infected. The VPS come with complete root access, just like a dedicated server with hardened security.

The VPS is made using virtualization software known as a hypervisor. VMware and KVM are two different types of hypervisors, making it possible to create a powerful virtual machine that can perform server functions.

Different types of VPS hosting

There are two types of VPS hosting which are as follow:

Managed VPS:

Managed VPS is a hosting service where the tenant has to manage all the installation and maintenance by himself. The service providers are responsible for providing you with the basic resources and OS to use the space and services. With the help of tech know-how or a small computer expert team, you install and manage all the requirements operating systems and software you need in operating your website.

Unmanaged VPS:

What if you don't have a tech team, and you also don't claim to be a tech wizard. In this situation, the Virtual Private Service provides you with their resources and support team to manage all the database operating systems and install applications on your server. You have to tell them about your requirements. And they will provide you with the solutions you need. This service is costly than the managed VPS.

Linux VPS vs Windows VPS

A VPS is a virtual server run on a physical server with full control over the server environment. However, to work with a VPS, you will need to run an operating system on it. A user can pick two primary choices for the server: Windows OS or Linux distribution.

This is not a very light choice to make because this will decide which apps you will install, form the core of your server and how your server will perform. Both Linux and Windows have their ups and downs, which will be discussed below.

Linux VPS

The go-to choice amongst all our users when it comes to VPS is to choose a Linux distribution. It is an open-source software that provides a high level of manipulation and control over the system. While Linux has a lot of operating systems, the following five are leading the pack:

  1. CentOS
  2. Debian
  3. Ubuntu
  4. Fedora
  5. Red Hat Enterprise Linux

We made a comparison between Ubuntu vs Debian and another one with CentOS vs Debian. We highly recommend you to check it out. 

Depending on the usage, some distributions perform better than others. However, here are some standard features/advantages that a user gets when using a Linux OS:

  • A Linux VPS consumes fewer resources
  • Open-source platform – higher customizations
  • Supports a wide range of coding languages
  • Cheaper than a Windows VPS

While that is true and well, the biggest drawback is that you will need to have an extensive level of technical and programming knowledge.

Windows VPS

Just as the name suggests, all Windows VPS comes equipped with the Windows operating system. The VPS is usually run on Windows Server OS, which has the same user interface compared to the Windows OS that we all use at home but with a higher customization level.

The main advantages of using a Windows VPS:

  • A familiar, user-friendly graphical user interface
  • Higher security with firewalls, antivirus and anti-spy programs by default
  • Equipped with ASP and ASP.NET by default

However, the biggest difference between the two main VPS operating systems is that the Windows VPS is more pricy due to the fact that the Windows OS is commercial software.

At this point, it comes down to picking the right OS for your VPS. As mentioned above, the strengths of each OS are pretty straight forward. Each OS has its strengths and weaknesses, so no OS is ultimately superior to the other.

Advantages of VPS hosting

A virtual private server is a very versatile service with countless possible applications. Unlike shared hosting, the user gets full administrative or root access to the server. Although meaning that a certain level of server management experience is required to use a VPS successfully, it also allows the users to have complete control over the service they are paying for.

Root Access

All VPS servers come with root access for the user to use as needed. Root access offers independence to the user from the hosting provider in terms of software. While the VM is under complete control of the user, the hosting provider manages the server's hardware.

This means that you will have the sole power to decide when to install updates, software and change configurations in your server. You can do whatever you want with the system with root access while getting full diagnostic information about the server performance and logs.

Isolation from other users

Using a VPS provides full isolation from what other users do on the server. You won't be bothered no matter what your neighbours are doing. While shared hosting is cheap, it is quite unsecure because if someone becomes part of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack target or gets blocked for mass mailing, other accounts on the server will be affected. However, there is a certain level of isolation present in shared hosting maintained using CloudLinux OS.  

Scalability

VPS hosting is a very scalable solution by its very nature. Virtual machines don't depend on their physical server; they don't even recognize it exists, as we have said. If a VPS needs to be upgraded or downgraded, all a hosting provider needs to do is adjust the VPS limits through the hypervisor (VMware).

Supports snapshot

A significant advantage of VPS, compared to both shared and dedicated solutions, is snapshot technology support. A snapshot is a state of a system at a certain point in time. Like loading a game from the last saved checkpoint, you can restore the system from a previous snapshot. It is advantageous in case of a system failure or simply running complex tests and wish to save your progress.

Disadvantage of a VPS

Although a virtual private server could be used in nearly any scenario that a dedicated server could use, it is still a virtual machine running alongside other virtual machines on a hardware server. The raw performance numbers are just not present to perform some of the more complex tasks that dedicated servers can, which is, in turn, understandable as a VPS costs only a fraction of that of a dedicated server.

VPS vs dedicated vs Shared hosting

 

VPS hosting

Shared hosting

Dedicated server hosting

Performance

From mid to high

Low

High

Security

High

Low

Very high

Configurability

Mostly unrestricted

Highly restricted

Unrestricted

Scalability

High

High

From mid to high

Pricing

Mid

Low

High

Performance

VPS hosting

Shared Hosting

Dedicated server hosting

When it comes to the performance of VPS, it is limited by the available hardware that is assigned to the specific plan. This can be the RAM, processor, storage etc.

Shared hosting plans usually have limited resources as they are granted only a small fraction of the available system hardware.

Dedicated servers allow direct access to the hardware and provide amazing performance for specific or all different types of configurations.

Security

VPS hosting

Shared Hosting

Dedicated server hosting

Each VPS user has its own space isolated from the neighbouring VMs with independent IP addresses. It’s extremely rare a virus will bypass the hypervisor.

The activities of other sites on the server can put your site in harm’s way from viruses, hacking and other common security issues. All the users will be using a shared IP address.

Because you are the only one using the dedicated server, the risk of attack is minimal. There is more to selecting the right hosting product than just pricing.

Configurability

VPS hosting

Shared Hosting

Dedicated server hosting

There are very little restrictions. It acts exactly like a dedicated server with very few off-limits where direct hardware access being one of the biggest restriction.

Each user is highly restricted in their own environment. Customization is limited to surface-level changes such as .htaccess, PHP versions, or Specific List of Modules.

Dedicated servers can be configured any way you choose with no limitations or restrictions from the host. The user has direct access to the hardware.

Scalability

VPS hosting

Shared Hosting

Dedicated server hosting

VPS systems are extremely flexible in scale factors. VPSs will have more functionality available for adding or removing resources, including CPU cores, system memory, and additional disks or disk space through your hosting provider.

Shared server packages are generally not very elastic. The user is confined to a package that allows specific limits based on bandwidth, disk usage, and other factors depending on the hosting provider.

Dedicated Servers have great performance but are limited by the physical hardware and space in their chassis. Upgrades are always possible and may require significant downtime or migrations depending on the needed upgrade.

Pricing

VPS hosting

Shared Hosting

Dedicated server hosting

VPS solutions come in many forms. The pricing will change accordingly depending on the VPS.

Shared Hosting packages are very low-cost due to their shared nature.

These servers will have a larger price point, in both monthly recurring fees and hardware upgrades.

Conclusion: Why use VPS hosting

When you are expecting an increase in your traffic or you want to grow your business on a global level, you need a bigger server that can handle all the traffic and burden without compromising your data. When you want full control over the server and don't want anyone to share the same physical location you are using on the server; you can opt to VPS thanks to its virtual boundary interface.

author img

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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Astrid

2020 Dec 07, 22:12:28

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