What is a VPS?
DevOps by Timothy Hudson Tags : , , , ,

VPS Hosting Explained and Demystified in simple terms

A very different type of hosting than others.

If you are just entering the world of website hosting, you’ve likely come across the acronym ‘VPS.’ It’s a crucial part of website hosting, and stands for Virtual Private Server. A Virtual Private Server is a little different from a dedicated server or a shared one, but it contains some aspects of both. 

VPS works in a way similar to renting an apartment in a complex. There is a company, the ‘landlord’, who provides a server online, the ‘apartment complex.’ As someone who wants to host a website online, you pay rent to use a part of the server, the ‘apartment unit.’ Once you have access to the part of the server you have paid for, you can set it up however you need to for your website, essentially treating it as a standalone server. Using a virtual machine, you can run whatever OS you need on your part of the server.

This is why using a VPS is both shared and dedicated hosting. On one hand, you are sharing the ‘apartment complex’ that is the server with many other people. But your piece of the server, your ‘unit’ is all yours. That’s why it is called a ‘virtual private server.’ Because you aren’t renting a real physical server, but rather a small piece of a server to act as one for you.

That is also why VPS web hosting is much cheaper than actual dedicated hosting. With regular dedicated hosting, you rent an entire server, all for yourself. While this has its own benefits, you can imagine how much more expensive it is. It is also different that shared hosting, as, even though you are ‘sharing’ a server, you get your own partitioned section that no one else can access. Imagine slicing a pizza into eight pieces for you and your friends; sure, you are sharing the pizza as a whole with them, but your slice is all yours, and no one else can touch it, meaning you can put whatever you want on it. That’s a pretty simple explanation of how VPS hosting works.

That metaphor is also a good way to explain the benefits of VPS hosting. To put it simply, you get all the benefits of a dedicated server without the price tag. You get your own private server, which you can customize as you see fit, and you can even restart it whenever you need to, as it is separated from the rest of the server that is being rented by other people.

VPS vs Shared Web Hosting

Of course, even though VPS hosting can provide you with what is essentially a mini-dedicated server, it is still inferior to a full one. Obviously, a server only has so much RAM, and that fixed amount is being divided between you and other people renting the server. You don’t have to share the resources your part of the server has with anyone else, but if you rented a full dedicated server, you’d obviously have a lot more resources to yourself. Basically, VPS hosting is just a way to get the benefits of a dedicated server on a budget, without as many of the drawbacks of shared web hosting. If you are in need to spin up a virtual private server, contact us, we can help!