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What is VPS Hosting?

by: Andrea Martin  /  December 13, 2012

A webmaster looking for a web host has many options. One is virtual private servers or VPS hosting. What is VPS hosting? VPS hosting is a host that divides one physical server into several single servers. Virtual private servers are a good choice for webmasters who desire extra control over their websites. In some ways, it acts like shared web hosting since RAM and CPU are still shared. However, every VPS operates independently on other servers. Web admins can install different operating systems on each unit, and the servers may be configured in any way. A variation is Concentric, which applies a group of physical machines that run every virtual host.

The main asset of VPS hosting is all the administrators have access to the virtual server's root level. The webmaster can install or remove new software, set permissions, and create accounts. This gives the webmaster a higher level of control over the hosting domain. VPS hosting is also much more secure than standard shared hosting. When a hacker gains entry into the shared server root, they can cause damage to all sites on the server. A hacker could not gain access to other sites on virtual servers since some servers are invisible. Root level access could not be established between each VPS.

The main reason VPS hosting has become popular is it can create sandboxes. For instance, one private server could have two VPS servers in operation. One server would host the actual website and the other a copy of it. If a critical update of the software needs to be made, the update may be tested on the second server. This permits testing without the need for multiple servers.

A usual configuration of VPS hosting is to divide the total physical resources according to the number of accounts. If there are 20 virtual servers, each server will get 20% of the CPU, bandwidth, and disc space. However, web admins must understand what they are doing before using this type of host. They should be able to set permissions and delete files. Results can be disastrous without proper knowledge. This is the only disadvantage of VPS hosting. It is not ideal for those who do not wish to educate themselves.

Shared hosting usually works for minor to moderate websites. A shared host may be less costly, but it does not allow total control over the hosting environment. A shared host does not permit the use of different operating systems or the installation of spam filters. Many website owners are not interested in these things and prefer leaving them to their host. However, it is ideal if a website owner desires more control and tries new software. When looking for VPS hosting, one should look at how the resources are divided, the upgrade technique, and the number of accounts allowed on each server. The cost should be reasonable for what is offered. A website that has outgrown shared hosting will benefit from VPS hosting.

Written by Andrea Martin  /  December 13, 2012