What Is A VPS? A Simple Solution
If you’ve ever wondered what VPS is, but the technical jargon has left you baffled, then this post is for you. When it comes to internet hosting services, there are three main contenders: shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated server hosting.
As you are probably aware, computers use hard disks for storage, a processor to run the software and memory to store the data the processor is working on. Servers are pretty much the same as computers, consisting of the same core components. What makes a difference with your hosting options is how these components are used.
We’ll start with a dedicated server. You can imagine it like renting a house. You get all the facilities all to yourself to use as you see fit and can switch around how you use the rooms to meet your needs. Modern dedicated servers are very powerful, and as such – sticking with the same analogy – can be seen as the equivalent of renting a mansion rather than a modest house, as they often provide far more resources that you will actually need. This power is a little expensive and puts a dedicated server at the top of the hosting tree. With unmanaged plans, you are also responsible not only for managing the software you run but also for monitoring the server’s condition and reporting any failings needing to be fixed.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have shared hosting. With these plans, someone else owns and manages the server, and you rent some storage on the server and share its resources with the other customers. This would be equivalent to renting a room in shared accommodation. While you get your own space to keep your things, you share the facilities such as the kitchen and bathroom with the other residents. Since someone else managing the server, there’s less for you to worry about. However, there are also many of restrictions as to what you can do with your hosting on the server and limitations on the software you can run. Shared hosting can be a great starting option when getting into hosting, but you are limited in what you can do, and what other customers do can have an effect on your hosting. There are also risks of the server being compromised with many users using running many different websites on the same server.
Virtual Private Servers
Virtual Private Servers sit somewhere in the middle and are comparable to renting a flat or apartment. While you are sharing the building with other customers, you get your own allocated facilities and have somewhere to put your things all separate from the other users. You also have the benefit that the building (in this case, the server) is maintained by someone for you. The only thing you share is the physical network connection to the server. This is where the term private comes in, as other users with a VPS on the same physical server can’t see or access anything to do with your VPS’s storage or running software.
We offer two VPS options: SSD VPS, and a more expensive Cloud VPS option. The big difference here comes down to where your data is stored. With the SSD VPS option, the data is stored on fast SSDs in your VPS server. With cloud VPS your data is stored on a special server called a SAN, which is connected by a fast network connection to the server where your VPS runs. This means that storage access can be a bit slower than the SSD VPS but brings a big benefit: If anything happens with the server where your VPS runs, a cloud VPS can be restarted on another server to carry on almost as if nothing happened.
So in this instance, a cloud VPS could be likened to a flat or apartment with multiple bathrooms, kitchens, etc, while you’d normally only ever use one set. If anything were to go wrong, you’d be able to start using the other facilities while the first was fixed.
Hopefully, this helps clear up your hosting queries and options to help you decide whether a VPS is the right solution for your hosting needs.