What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) can be defined as a self-contained virtual environment that is hosted on a physical server operated and owned by a web or cloud hosting provider. Essentially, VPS hosting utilizes virtualization technology to partition a single physical machine into several private server environments that share resources while remaining isolated.
VPS Hosting: How It Works
To enable online visitors to access your website, your web host stores the necessary files and databases on a computer called a server. When a user wants to visit your site, their browser sends a request to the server, which then transfers the necessary files over the Internet. Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting, on the other hand, provides you with a virtual server that functions similarly to a physical server but is shared among multiple users.
Your hosting provider installs a virtual layer on top of the server operating system (OS) using virtualization technology. This layer partitions the server and allows each user to install their own OS and software. As a result, a VPS is both virtual and private with full control of the user. It’s separated from other server users at the OS level, similar to creating partitions on your computer to run multiple OSes without requiring a reboot.
Using a VPS, you can set up your website in a secure container with guaranteed resources like memory, disk space, CPU cores, and more, which you don’t have to share with other users. With VPS hosting, you have the same root-level access as if you had a dedicated server, but at a much lower price.
There are several VPS Hosting options:
Unmanaged VPS is a type of web hosting where the hosting provider installs the operating system, but the site owner manages the server:
- Site owners are responsible for installing software, controlling panels, and managing software updates.
- Monitoring for security threats, installing security patches, and fixing error messages are also the site owner’s responsibility.
- In case of an outage or hardware failure, the hosting provider may not provide support.
- Site owners are also responsible for configuring and maintaining the server and performing any upgrades.
Setting up backup services for the site is also the site owner’s responsibility.
Unmanaged VPS is recommended for site owners who have a technical background.
For those site proprietors who lack the technical expertise or have a smaller team, opting for managed VPS can prove to be advantageous. Managed VPS hosting entails having IT professionals assume the responsibility of maintaining and managing your virtual server, thereby alleviating the burden off your shoulders. As such, when selecting a web hosting provider, here are some aspects that you should anticipate.
Initial server setup:
- Install control panel, server software, applications, and operating system.
- A managed host will take care of this.
- Applications and OS updates are handled for you.
- Ongoing fine-tuning of the server is done automatically.
- OS and core server software security patches are installed and updated on your behalf.
- Early warning signs of hardware failure and malicious attacks are monitored.
- Retrieve your site back to an earlier version in case of any issues.