A VPS, or Virtual Private Server, is a logical segment of a physical machine set aside for the exclusive use of a single business or other type of entity. Although a single server can run several VPS configurations, each segment offers the same functionality that a dedicated server would provide.
What is VPS Hosting?
Most small to medium-sized businesses prefer to use web hosting services instead of maintaining a proprietary, in-house server room for most, if not all, of their computing needs. Instead of making do with outdated machines or dealing with expensive upgrades, out-sourced hosting allows both individuals and organizations to have the use of state-of-the-art equipment with 24/7 support for a mere fraction of the cost.
In the past, interested clients had two choices in the hosting realm: shared or dedicated. Shared hosting is exactly what it sounds like. Multiple clients use a single server to run a variety of applications. While this works well in theory, individual systems were often impacted when another application on the shared server used more than its fair share of bandwidth, storage space, or CPU cycles.
A dedicated server eliminates this problem by providing an individual server for each client. However, this option can be very expensive for anyone on a tight budget. Virtualization through VPS hosting bridges the gap between shared and dedicated hosting by providing an affordable solution to allow clients to share a physical machine without the ability to impact neighboring systems.
How Does a VPS Work?
To create a Virtual Private Server, hosting companies often use the following two methods to partition the machines:
- Hypervisor – Also known as a virtual machine manager, or VMM, the hypervisor manages, or supervises, the resources of the virtual servers to allow multiple OS installations to run on the same physical machine. Popular hypervisor virtualization solutions include VMware ESX , Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen, and KVM.
- Container – This mode is also known as operating system-level virtualization or a kernel-based system. In this method, separate containers, or user spaces, are created for each VPS. Popular container virtualization solutions include Parallels Virtuozzo and OpenVZ.
In some cases, a Virtual Private Server is called a VDS, or virtual dedicated server. However, the terms refer to the same concept where one physical machine is configured to function like multiple servers dedicated to meet each customer’s individual needs with the same level of privacy and configuration options as a true independent server.
VPS is like Your Own Server
A Virtual Private Server makes system provisioning quick and easy. When the need arises, simply let your VPS Hosting service know that you need to expand or contract the resources allocated for your system. In most cases, the adjustment can be made immediately. Some VPS Hosting providers have self-service features that allow you to make these adjustments yourself for the fastest results possible.
Resources that can be expanded or contracted on demand include:
- RAM / Memory
- Disk Space / Hard Disk
- IP Addresses
VPS and the Cloud
Cloud hosting involves spreading resources across multiple servers at one or more remote locations. The user doesn’t know where or how the information is stored but is fully aware that the system or stored data is easily accessible at any time. Because the typical client is sharing large banks of servers with other customers, the cloud is inherently virtualized, just like a VPS.
Using a VPS now will help ease your transition to cloud hosting services in the future as this new technology matures because your logical process will already be separated from the physical hardware needs.