There often comes a time in a website’s life when it outgrows the limits of its shared hosting plan. Maybe traffic increases and you find that you need to introduce lots more features. If it does, then that’s when the move to VPS hosting makes sense.
Shared and dedicated hosting were the traditional options, but now the relatively new technology of Virtual Private Servers bridges the gap between them, offering an extra choice with high quality hosting that’s flexible enough to adapt to your website’s changing needs.
VPS hosting uses virtual server technology, which is smart enough to put a number of virtual servers on to a single physical server. Each one is separated and can be rebooted independently of the rest. You are also given root access, so although they share adjacent physical space, you have control of yours and they don’t affect each other at all.
Total control of your virtual machine gives you the freedom to make a number of changes in your hosting account and add whatever extra software may suit your needs. This flexibility means that VPS is better suited to more experienced users, who have the confidence and experience to manage and develop websites themselves.
Cloud VPS Servers
“Elastic” is a word that you’ll sometimes hear being used to describe VPS services. It means that it’s quick and easy to add more RAM, CPU power or HDD space if and when your site needs them. It can save you time and money because balance and efficiency are taken care of. Your extra resources are available straight away and they keep your site purring along happily at peak times. If you want to transfer your virtual server to another physical machine, then you can do so without any loss of service to your website. Since its cloud-based you benefit from greater security and stability, too.
Independency and Security
Having your own guaranteed CPU and RAM gives you a great deal of autonomy. You don’t have to share them with any other accounts, so no matter what anyone else does they will never slow you down. Regular shared hosting is okay if your website traffic doesn’t change much, but if there’s a chance it might need more horsepower then VPS is far more flexible. And from a security point of view, the fact that VPS hosting accounts are cleverly separated on the same server makes them much more robust than a shared hosting solution.
VPS vs. Semi-Dedicated Hosting
VPS hosting costs less and offers more flexibility than dedicated hosting, but semi-dedicated and dedicated hosting services offer more resources. VPS gives greater independence than semi-dedicated hosting though, because once again, the virtual servers on a single computer have no effect on each other and they are almost as reliable as a dedicated server.
Semi-dedicated accounts share resources on a single server. Dividing the server into two virtual servers gives the VPS hosting greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness compared to dedicated services. If you do want to go the dedicated hosting route, then make sure that you are going to need all the services that it can offer.
XEN Virtualization Technology
Server virtualization is possible thanks to specific software that behaves like a layer between the hardware and the server’s operating system. One such piece of software is known as Virtuozzo Containers, which sadly can’t provide actual virtualization. With this technology, certain resources are shared, root access is restricted, and the operating system can’t be modified etc. A high-quality VPS hosting provider will use XEN Hypervisor instead, which allows you to install any OS you want and gives you total autonomy over all resources including root access and the number of customization options.