There are a host of different types of hosting in the market today. To make an informed decision as to which type is ideal for you, it is important to understand the advantages of each. This article aims at demystifying VPS hosting by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about VPS hosting.
1. What Is VPS Hosting?
The acronym, VPS, stands for Virtual Private Server. It works more or less like a dedicated server but at a fraction of the cost. The only difference is that it operates on a shared server environment. In VPS you are allocated a section of a physical server where you can house your data in a secure environment.
2. What Is the Difference between VPS, Shared and Dedicated Hosting?
Technically, VPS hosting is a crossbreed of both shared and dedicated hosting. If you decide you want a dedicated server, then you will have to rent an entire server for your exclusive use. This can be very expensive, especially as your server requirements expand.
Shared hosting, on the other hand, is ideal for beginners and is more affordable than VPS or dedicated hosting. VPS hosting is different from a shared server in that you actually get your own dedicated portion of a server. The server is partitioned into different virtual server environments. With a dedicated hosting, the entire server is yours.
With shared hosting, you live on the same server with others. With a VPS hosting, the server is partitioned into various sections, and you get to use a section all by yourself.
3. How Does VPS Hosting Work?
If you have ever used a virtual OS software, you have simulated using a VPS hosting. For instance, if you need to use a Windows OS to run a particular program and you only have a MacBook Pro, rather than buy a Windows PC, you can instead use an application such as a VMware or VirtualBox to run your program on a Mac machine through the virtualized Windows OS environment. A VPS works on the same basis. You have one tangible server on which you can run various virtualized server environments that mimic a dedicated server.
4. Why Use VPS Hosting?
If your website has started receiving huge amounts of traffic, you are probably thinking of getting a dedicated server. The hitch, however, is that a dedicated server is very expensive. VPS hosting is your next best alternative. It can be customized in a manner that gives you control over your partitioned environment, something you cannot do on a shared server.
The beauty of VPS hosting is that you can expand it as your hosting needs expand. It is also more secure than shared hosting since you are the only one using the allocated server resources.
5. What Difference, If Any, Is There between Managed and Unmanaged VPS hosting?
With a managed VPS hosting, your host is responsible for managing or configuring your server, e.g. performing scheduled maintenance and making sure you are operating from a secure environment. With an unmanaged VPS hosting, you are generally on your own in terms of maintenance and general administration of your portion of the server.
6. What Applications or Software Can I Install on VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting provides you with considerable control in terms of the software your server is running. In most cases, the only limitation in terms of allowed software is the operating system. The applications or software you can run on your server depends on your total memory allocation. If you need to run more software that requires more server space, you may have to upgrade to a higher package.
VPS hosting is an ideal hosting package for small businesses whose web traffic has started to expand. You can start with a beginner package and upgrade to a more advanced one as your traffic grows.