What is a VPS? (Virtual Private Server)

Virtual private servers can be a viable option for businesses with scalable websites.

A virtual private server (VPS) is as the name indicates; it is a private server but is so only in a virtual sense.

This is a single machine with all of its attendant resources dedicated to whatever goes on in the software.

To make it into several virtual private servers, we divide it into separate sections, with each section (the VPS) appearing to have sole access to the primary server’s resources.

This allows for hosting separate operating systems and separate, independent hosting services on the one primary server. Dreamhost have an excellent online explanation of a VPS.

It might help to compare a VPS with what is more common, a shared server. With a shared server, a number of different web sites are hosted on a single server, with the web sites sharing the server’s resources. This arrangement works well when the traffic isn’t too heavy at each web site. However, if one web site starts getting heavy traffic, all of the other web sites will find their operations slowing down. The solution is for the site getting heavy traffic to move up to either a VPS or to a dedicated server.

There are two different ways a VPS can be managed; the first is called a managed service and the second called a self-managed service.

Managed Service

With a managed service type of VPS, you have professionals managing the virtual aspects of your server. This means taking care of security concerns, updates to the virtual software, and other management aspects. This is the preferred route if you are not very savvy with server administration.

Self-Managed Service

With a self-managed service type of VPS, a representative of the individual VPS takes care of administration, security, trouble-shooting, and managing the other aspects of the Virtual Private Server. That representative must be quite technically oriented for you to successfully choose this route.

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