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What Is A VPS Server?

Despite sounding like something out of a science fiction film, a VPS server is an excellent alternative way to host your services. Many people see them as a stepping stone from using shared hosting to running your own servers. Software installed on large servers effectively partitions them into smaller virtual servers, offering guaranteed memory and storage.

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, making the phrase VPS server technically a tautology, but it has entered into common usage. Their use has become more common over the last five years. This is largely due to the drop in prices for memory and storage in recent years. This has allowed businesses to invest heavily in the hardware required to host virtual servers and reduce their overall costs.

Advantages Of A VPS server

When you commission a VPS server with your hosting company, these are the sort of things you can expect:

  • Enhanced stability.
  • The ability to install whatever software you need.
  • Guaranteed levels of memory for running applications
  • Private storage capacity not shared with anyone else
  • Faster system restart times

A VPS server is a great compromise, especially for smaller businesses. A service level agreement will define the performance that you receive in terms of available bandwidth, and increased stability. In general if a problem develops on another virtual server alongside yours, it won’t affect your service. With server imaging becoming increasingly common, repairing servers has become much easier and quicker. Servers that fail can simply be reinstated from the last working configuration rather than needing to be rebuilt from scratch.

Uses Of A VPS Server

So, you now have access to one or more virtual servers – what could you expect to use them for:

  • Buy several and separate out their tasks for resiliency.
  • One large physical server could host a virtual webserver, an application server and a database server.
  • Host a number of related, similar services without impacting on each other.

While it may be tempting to just buy the one virtual server, you could actually get a better service by commissioning several at once. People tend to traditionally expect a server to handle a number of tasks at once. When you are providing services online however, the numbers of interactions are far greater than you might otherwise expect. If you are using just one VPS server and it fails, your whole service is disrupted. By splitting out the functions across several virtual servers you enhance the stability and scalability of your service instead.

Don’t be tempted to invest in a virtual server purely on the basis of it being a lower cost than a dedicated server. As with most things when it comes to technology, choose to invest in the best tools for a particular job. The stability and flexibility offered by this option is truly impressive. Large, enterprise level services will still want to use a dedicated host. The majority of small to medium sized operations will find it hard to tell the difference between a dedicated server and a VPS server however.

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