- Type: VPS Server (Virtual Private Server)
- Cost: From $ 69 per month
- Suitable for: Medium-sized websites/blogs, virtual stores, and other applications
- Level of difficulty: Low (managed) to high (un-managed)
- Overall rating: Good value for money
- Where to hire: Know the companies that offer VPS Server
During the life cycle of a website, at some point – especially when the audience of this site begins to grow – an ordinary web hosting may not be enough anymore. At this time, a VPS can be a good choice to keep the site stable and support the increasing demand for resources and requests on the server.
It is natural to have doubts about what kind of plan to choose during this process. So in this article, we’ll help you understand what a VPS server is, its advantages and limitations, and how to choose the best VPS.
What is a VPS Server?
The acronym VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. To better understand the meaning of VPS and how it works, we need to understand each of the 3 terms below:
- Virtual – Not physical; Virtual environment created by software
- Private – Restricted for use of your site
- Server – Location where files and data are stored
For comparison, let us consider the traditional shared and dedicated server. In shared hosting, your site will be stored and sharing space and resources with hundreds of other sites hosted on the same server. On the other hand, on a dedicated server, the physical machine (the server) only hosts your site, that is, it is dedicated to you and your site (s).
In this scenario, it is easy to imagine that shared hosting will have lower resource limits than those of a dedicated server. This difference will also be revealed in the price of services: a dedicated server is much more expensive than shared web hosting because in a shared hosting a single server is shared and funded by several clients, while at a dedicated cost it is exclusive to a customer.
Having said that, it would be nice if we could have an intermediate option, with more features than a shared one, but not as expensive as a dedicated one. It is in this space that the VPS fits. A VPS server is a dedicated virtualized server, so it has features and capabilities similar to those of a dedicated one, but with a lower limit than one would have on a dedicated server. The server that hosts a VPS also shares its resources with other clients, as it happens in a shared hosting, however, the total number of clients dividing server resources is much smaller (much less even).
How does VPS work?
The virtual server works inside a physical server, but its resources and capabilities are well defined and separated in each virtualized environment, that is, there are private and exclusive areas between the sites of that server. This ensures that a site will not in any way affect another site hosted on the same server, since each site has its own virtual server, with dedicated resources for the site in question. Another interesting point is that a VPS uses its own operating system, regardless of the operating system used by other clients and also by the physical server that hosts all other VPSs.
As mentioned earlier, the VPS server works as if it were a dedicated server, but in a shared environment. The big difference compared to shared is that in VPS the user usually has root (administrative) access to the machine, which means that he can configure and install the applications and programs he wants, which would not be allowed on a shared server. This freedom of access is only possible through server virtualization. It’s as if a dedicated server is running virtually on another dedicated server along with other dedicated virtual servers.
In addition, each VPS has its own resource limitations, thus ensuring that one virtual server will not interfere with another that is hosted on the same machine. This makes it quite interesting and a robust solution considering that the space and performance specifications are adequate to the needs of the site or application being hosted there.
How to configure a VPS server?
The configuration of the VPS server may vary according to the company offering the service. In general, you will find two scenarios: Managed VPS Hosting and Unmanaged VPS Hosting (or self-managed). The best option will depend on the technical knowledge of who will administer the server, as we will see below.
Managed VPS Hosting
In managed VPS, the initial configuration of the service is done by the hosting company and a control panel is offered to administer the server. The cPanel control panel is used by many of the companies that offer the VPS service. In this option, the company that provides the service also supports everything related to the operation of the hosting control panel.
Unmanaged VPS Hosting
In the unmanaged VPS plan, the company does the initial configuration of the virtual server, but offers it in a basic way, with only the desired operating system, and without a control panel. In this case, the client will have access to the server by command line (SSH) and will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of the services he want, such as the desired programming language, database, and other resources. In this case, the hosting company will only support the basic server issues, such as network and availability.
Which to choose?
It is important to be aware of these points when opting for a VPS hosting plan: if you are not knowledgeable in Linux, the best option is to invest in a managed VPS, which is preconfigured by the hosting company and will have support for various issues related to server administration. Likewise, if you intend to host a site, we recommend that you choose the managed option. The unmanaged VPS is only recommended for Linux programmers or network administrators who have some command-line experience.
Advantages of VPS
Freedom to use the machine
One of the great advantages of VPS server is the freedom one has to configure the server in the way that one wishes. It is possible, for example, to restart the virtual machine to free up RAM or fix some crashes, something that would not be possible on a common shared server.
You can also install additional applications and services that are generally not available in traditional web hosting, such as Java applications or mass mailing (email marketing) programs. Another interesting point is that, by having a defined storage space, VPS can be used as a repository to store large amounts of files, something that many shared hosting plans do not allow.
In addition, because it is a virtual server, it is easy to perform upgrades, that is, to increase resources on the server. Expanding the amount of memory and processing are easy improvements to make in a VPS. Generally, the client itself can upgrade to the hosting control panel. Of course, the more resources available, the greater the investment in the hosting plan.
Another great advantage is the low cost when compared to a dedicated server. The cost of renting a VPS server is divided between multiple clients (fewer clients than it would be in a shared hosting), which makes the cost-effectiveness attractive. Nevertheless, when the amount of VPS resources expands significantly, the cost will increase proportionally, approaching or surpassing the cost of a basic dedicated. That’s why it’s important to be aware of this when thinking about more robust VPS plans.
On a VPS server, the client has a number of dedicated resources on the machine running its VPS, such as memory and disk space. You can use these features to the limit, without worrying about harming other customers. If any feature is exceeded, you will be notified and can choose to optimize your application or expand the features of your VPS.
Other Benefits of VPS
- Higher level of security and privacy than shared hosting
- Possibility of accessing the server to install software and applications, which would not be allowed in shared hosting
- The maintenance on the server is performed by the hosting company
- Possibility of choosing the operating system
- Possibility of hosting several sites in the same VPS
- Possibility of customizing firewall settings
- Possibility of upgrades of plans and resources, according to the growth of the site
Limitations of VPS
Although the VPS client has its virtual private space, these servers may also have limitations regarding RAM, processing, disk space, and bandwidth. This is because, just like the dedicated one, VPS has limits on all these features, which vary according to the company and the plans offered by them. And as there are many companies in the market offering plans of all types and costs, it is advisable to research all the information about what is being offered in order to avoid restricted plans that do not meet your needs.
If you’re ready to go beyond shared hosting, but still do not see a need to invest in a dedicated one, consider VPS Server as a solution, even if it’s a middleman. You may find that it also meets your future needs.
How to Choose a VPS Server
VPS can be a wise choice for websites, online stores and medium to large-sized blogs and/or moderate-to-high traffic. In general, you’ll find more storage space and more efficient (fast) processing of the information, which can make a lot of difference when the server is overloaded with peak visits.
It is important to know that very large sites and/or traffic peaks may require a dedicated server, rather than a VPS. If your site has a lot of audiences and it continues to grow, be prepared to invest in a dedicated one in the future. At the same time, in many cases, it may be worth considering a VPS server before departing for a dedicated one, which has a much higher cost.
So to choose your VPS well, keep in mind how much you want to spend and how much resources you need to have on hand to keep your site posted 100% of the time. If you are unsure about how much resources your site is consuming, get help from a professional. Your hosting provider can also provide you with information about your site’s current usage. In order to evaluate the resources needed in a VPS, the hosting company that it is hiring itself can help. Do not be afraid to ask for more information, after all this is a choice that could affect the future of your online venture.
Hosting companies offering VPS Hosting in India
Although it is becoming popular, VPS is not offered by all companies. Below are some of the top hosting companies that have the service.
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