You must have heard of shared servers and dedicated servers, but one that you may have not considered or thought available is a virtual private server. A virtual private server actually sits in the middle of shared and dedicated servers. It sort of bridges the two main types; hence, it may be considered a combination of the two as far as features are concerned.
To understand how a virtual private server works, try thinking of a server as one whole floor in a building. In a dedicated server, only one tenant occupies that whole floor and that gives him access to all the resources that are available there. Since he owns the floor, he can put in place a strong firewall that will keep strangers out, or in the case of servers, these are referred to as hackers or viruses. Therefore, in a dedicated server, the tenant enjoys rigid security and since no one else is sharing the resources with him, he can achieve maximum speed and high storage space.
A shared server, on the other hand, is similar to a building floor with several tenants in it with no dividing walls between them. If you translate this to what happens with a real server, several websites will be sharing the resources and that can result to one site not getting as much as the others. If one site uses up the bandwidth, others will suffer. Any security flaws committed by one may also affect the entire server.
In a virtual private server, that single floor building is still shared by several tenants but each has a separate room. Hence, whatever happens to other rooms will not affect anyone else. Each also has the freedom to manage their space any way they want to. However, since they share the same building floor with others, their rent will not be as costly compared to renting the whole floor to themselves. With this metaphorical example, it is far easier to understand the many benefits of a VPS.
Unlike shared hosting, a VPS can guarantee better uptime and faster speed. There are plenty of hosting companies now that allow thousands of sites to use one of their servers and this has caused some chaos. Many of those sites experienced down times and low bandwidth, which causes their sites to load slowly. Although others may reason out that they are only running a blog site so a shared server will be enough, but even your blog site will not enjoy a high traffic if your visitors experience slow loading pages. For this reason, many websites are now shifting to using a VPS.
With a VPS, a client can install other applications and software that he may need to run his site. You do not have this option with shared servers, where the host decides what type of software to use and clients only have to decline or accept it. Resources are also flexible with VPS. Clients can start with a low disk space and bandwidth allocation then have this upgraded later on when the need arises.
VPS is a lot cheaper than dedicated servers, which is actually one of its selling points. Small websites that want better control over the management of their servers yet do not have the budget to rent a dedicated server have VPS as their next best choice.
Considered a Green Technology
Since a single server with multiple tenants is still what happens in a VPS, these websites share the same amount of energy and resources, which is of course a form of conservation. This makes it a good development in the web hosting technology in terms of being an eco-friendly solution.
If you want to enjoy the advantages of both dedicated and shared servers in one, then VPS is the answer for you. Ask your hosting company about this to learn more about the many ways you can customize your VPS plan.