Posted on August 26, 2013 · Posted in VPS

VPS, or Virtual Private Servers, are less complicated than you might think, and fairly easy to understand. If you’re not a tech-head, computer whisperer or neophile, these sorts of acronyms and the highly technical language associated with them can make a simple concept seem like an unsolvable equation. In reality, you can understand a VPS with a simple analogy. They’re used for website hosting, and operate as essentially isolated, individual servers hosted inside of one piece of physical hardware. They’re a cost-effective alternative for those who can’t afford a dedicated, physical server of their own.

VPS Made Easy

An effective analogy is that of an ‘apartment’, or individual suite inside of a larger building. Before 2001, when VPS technology really began to excel, multiple users and multiple businesses would host their websites on a shared server. When one site had a problem, it potentially meant that all sites had a problem. With share resources there was also a security risk, as different hosts could theoretically gain access to other hosts on the same server. It was more like a staff canteen than an apartment building.

A ‘hypervisor’ moderates the all the virtual private servers run in a dedicated physical environment, allocating a predetermined and guaranteed amount of resources to each through creating a partition between users. Each ‘virtual server’ run on the primary physical server is isolated from the others. This means enhanced security, and the advantage of having a dedicated amount of RAM, processing time, bandwidth and memory allocated to your site and virtual server. High-traffic sites won’t hog the bandwidth, and there is no danger of cross-contamination when other sites malfunction.

Functionality of a VPS

Each ‘virtual server’, each client, has its own operating system. This means that you can upload any piece of software compatible with that operating system. The hypervisor affords clients ‘superuser’ status, enabling them to effectively make any changes to their VPS that they see fit. The hypevisor exists simply to allocate resources, but there are a number of support packages available, and they range from nil to semi- and fully managed servers.

Along with a dedicated amount of resources for each VPS client, there is also the option for multiple dedicated IPs and privately named servers that better support your company’s branding strategy. These features combined equate to a fully customised service on a high-performance physical server that also has enhanced SEO capabilities. A VPS will commonly include a web server program, a mail server program for e-commerce and blogging, and a file-transfer protocol to ensure that your website, or websites, operate as a self-contained entity.

Advantages of VPS

While sharing physical resources with other websites means that you won’t enjoy the degree of high-performance afforded through having your own dedicated physical server, a VPS performs exceptionally well for the cost of a subscription. Unmetered subscriptions offer an unlimited amount of file transfer for the prescribed amount of bandwidth available, and operate at speeds of 10, 100, or 1000 mbit/s, meaning that a VPS is often a more-than-adequate solution for small and medium businesses.

The enhanced security features afforded by a partitioned server usually includes monitoring and backup services, and changes can be made in real-time. Fast loading and high-traffic capabilities are essential for search engine optimisation, and you have the option to host more than one server. This is particularly useful if you want to run a ‘test site’ alongside your actual site, or host the micro-blogs or sites of your own clients.

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