In this article, we will cover on the basics of VPS hosting. Before going into that, first it’s essential to have a basic understanding on what is a Web hosting and the different types of hosting.
Hosting means that a website’s files are being stored on a server that is connected to the internet so people can access, download, convert, and read those files via their browser. A server is the same thing as a computer, but much more powerful, thereby allowing lots and lots of people to access the same data at the same time. A host is the company providing you with access to the server on which you store your website’s files. Alongside access to the hardware, they also often provide additional services such as server management, backups, website building, malware scanning, and more.
Generally, there are four different types of web hosting: Shared, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated, and Cloud Hosting. While all types of hosting servers will act as a storage center for your website, they differ in the amount of storage capacity, control, server speed, reliability etc.
Shared hosting is basically entry level hosting, where your website shares resources with other websites in a single server. With dedicated hosting, you get to host your website and services dedicated solely to you. VPS hosting lies somewhere between shared and dedicated hosting. VPS is a server in itself, but basically a virtual server that’s been divided into virtual compartments. It has its own copy of an operating system, and a set amount of allocated resources. You could say VPS is shared hosting with dedicated resources but in a different, more flexible environment. Cloud hosting is the latest form of hosting that has become extremely popular over the past few years. The main concept of cloud hosting is “Divide and Rule” – the resources required for maintaining your website are spread across more than one web server, and are rendered as per need basis.
In this article, we will be discussing only on the VPS hosting. As mentioned, with a VPS, you will have full control like you would with a dedicated server, and most importantly, you’ll have all the necessary dedicated resources. This means you won’t be sharing precious resources (like RAM) with others on the same server.
What are the benefits of VPS Hosting?
VPS hosting gives you the affordability of shared hosting while at the same time giving you more power and control like a dedicated server.
Summary of benefits of VPS:
- Cost considerably less than a dedicated hosting plan.
- Guaranteed performance with burstable RAM: On a VPS Server, you have dedicated amounts of RAM available to you at any time. Unlike shared hosting, there is no one else on your server that can use utilize all the RAM when you need it most!
- Control: While restarting a system during installation of server applications, the VPS server does not affect others and can be restarted at any time. One can upgrade, downgrade and update the software at their own the user has full control in VPS hosting.
- Customization: In VPS hosting as the server partition is isolated and the data is stored in one centralized location, one can customize and configure the environment exactly the way they want.
Unmanaged and Managed VPS hosting
There are essentially two types of VPS hosting in terms of management and support: unmanaged and managed VPS hosting.
In an unmanaged VPS environment, the entire server administration and the responsibilities of necessary configuration and management of the virtual server are responsibility of the end user. Users need to have some knowledge in administration of Linux servers. The security of an unmanaged virtual server is entirely the user’s responsibility as well.
In managed VPS environment, the service provider takes responsibility of managing your server that includes administration, configuration etc. So in case of technical issues, you don’t have to deal with it as everything will be handled by the service provider. With managed hosting, you’ll be able to focus more on your business rather than dealing with the technical complexities.
Hope you now have an idea about both kinds of Virtual Private Servers. Both kinds of VPSs have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here, in order to understand them better, we will have a look on advantages and disadvantages of both managed and unmanaged Virtual Private Servers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Managed & Unmanaged Virtual Private Servers
Few advantages unmanaged VPS hosting are,
- Financially economical
- You have full administrative power, and no one else can access your information.
- You can turn administrative functions over to an outside expert since the work is quite labour intensive and often specialized.
Few disadvantages of unmanaged VPS hosting are,
- You cannot move on with an unmanaged VPS unless you are an expert at web server management and steps do start from installing software to keeping the software up to date as to be safe from potential attacks.
- Technical support of unmanaged VPS is limited to purely technical failures that occur in web host’s end, and you will have to take care of everything else that obstructs functioning of your server or website.
Few advantages managed VPS hosting are,
- Downtimes are next to zero as you are provided with a fault-tolerant mechanism and infrastructure.
- You rarely have to be tensed about security section of your server; management team of your web host will take care of vulnerability scans, required security patches and essential upgrades in such a way that you can secure your websites or blogs from potential attacks.
- Support can be sought 24/7 throughout the year.
Few disadvantages of managed VPS hosting are,
- Comparatively, the price is high, but if you are a small business, it would still cost significantly more to hire extra staff; still managed VPS costs are more expensive than unmanaged.
- If you think of changing some applications or OS in-between the process, it won’t be possible with some managed VPS providers.
- The initial setup can also be time-consuming as to getting the equipment and software.
Managed VPS or Unmanaged VPS — Which is better for you?
If we are to consider the case of managed VPS, it is a choice for those who do not want to spend that much time in administrator section of your server. Since it offers top-notch support from web-hosting service, you can completely forget about updates and patches. However, to get all these features, you will have to pay something more, which is quite obvious and reasonable.
On the other hand, unmanaged Virtual Private Servers are for those who seek optimum level of customizability and the ability to expand! Nevertheless, an unmanaged VPS needs to be an expert of server management, as you’ll have to take care of upgrading, security patches and all. However, when compared to managed hosting, pricing and plans for unmanaged VPS are quite low. So, if you have enough time to spend and have expertise in server management, unmanaged Virtual Private Server is a great solution to go for.
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