When your company outgrows shared web hosting but doesn’t have enough data to fill an entire server, what do you do? That’s where VPS hosting comes in handy.
What is a VPS?
A VPS is a virtual private server. With VPS hosting, your provider carves out a dedicated space on an existing server through a process known as virtualization.
VPS hosting is a win-win. You get your own standalone computing resources without being forced to buy up an entire server’s CPUs and RAM. The hosting provider gets to host several VPS’s on a single server at the same time, often at a slight markup relative to selling a whole server in one piece.
Flexibility as the end game
One of the best things about VPS hosting is that it’s extremely flexible. Since your server space is fully isolated, you can install whatever operating system you want. In fact, multiple businesses operating independent VPSs on a single server can each run different operating systems and different software. Your VPS space can be fully managed or you can be left on your own to develop apps and build your own cybersecurity system.
On top of that, since your computing space is a virtual carve-out from a larger server, you can easily scale up or down as needed. That’s a big advantage if you need to quickly adapt to spikes in web traffic or add resources for a short-term development project.
VPS vs shared hosting
Shared hosting is what most businesses use when they first start out. It’s inexpensive and simple to manage. But ultimately, shared hosting isn’t flexible enough for many growing businesses. You’re always competing with other users for server resources, which can be an issue as your web traffic grows or your IT team begins to develop internal software.
When your business outgrows shared hosting, VPS hosting is the next step up. It’s cheaper than a dedicated server, but you can get as many resources as you need and scale as your bandwidth needs continue to grow
In addition, VPS hosting gives you the freedom to treat your hosting space as a sandbox for development. You won’t be able to modify your operating system on a shared hosting plan, for example, but you can with VPS hosting.
VPS vs dedicated server
Purchasing a dedicated server may be great for enterprise-scale businesses, but it’s overkill for most small- and medium-sized companies. Why pay for computational resources you don’t need? VPS hosting can save you quite a bit of money compared to a dedicated server, and you have the ability to scale up your CPUs, RAM, and bandwidth if you find that you need more computing power.
Traditional VPS vs cloud VPS vs SSD VPS
When choosing a VPS hosting service, you have a couple of different options.
First is the type of disk your data will be stored on. Traditional VPS hosting uses hard disk drives (HDDs) because they’re inexpensive. But, a number of VPS hosts are turning to solid-state disks (SSDs) since they’re much more reliable than HDDs. Another benefit to SSDs for VPS hosting is that they can handle more simultaneous input and output operations than HDDs. So you won’t be slowed down when other VPS users on the same server go to access data.
Cloud VPS is VPS hosting spread across multiple servers. That means that your data can live in multiple data centers around the world, giving you faster loading times in different markets. Importantly, cloud VPS is also more resilient than traditional VPS—since you have access to servers around the world, your web services won’t be knocked offline by a regional disaster or a single malfunctioning server.
- Read our guide to the best web hosting services