Posted on March 24, 2015 · Posted in VPS

Virtual private servers can be a complicated platform for those with little technical experience, particularly due to the more in depth nature of them over a standard shared web hosting environment. Although this is true, what really makes them seem more complicated is simply the increase in technical terms that surround them compared to those you may have heard with other web hosting platforms. Once you’ve got a good understanding of what these terms mean then these virtual servers really aren’t that difficult to wrap your head around.

Generally the terms that apply to virtual private servers are almost exactly the same as those you would associated with dedicated servers, so once you’ve got a good understanding of VPS’s, you’ll have very little trouble in understanding dedicated servers should you ever make the move to them further down the track.

VPS Terms – Understanding What They Mean

The following quick guide outlines some of the more commonly terms associated with virtual private servers and provides a definition of exactly what they mean. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the next time you’re shopping around for a new virtual private server hosting provider.


Virtualisation refers to the way that a virtual private server is provisioned, powered managed. Virtualisation is essentially the act of a web hosting provider partitioning a single physical server into multiple blocks that appear as their own servers. These partitions are allocated with their own dedicated share of the physical servers resources such as disk space and RAM.


RAM, or Random Access Memory, is a term you’re likely already aware of as it is a core element of computers, laptops, tablets and phones. RAM refers to a form of temporary computer storage that is used to store processes and information in real time as required.

Guaranteed RAM

Guaranteed RAM refers to the amount of RAM that is allocated to your virtual private server for exclusive use and can be used at any point in time.

Burstable RAM

Burstable RAM, unlike guaranteed RAM, refers to shared memory that can be used by any virtual private server on the same physical server if it is currently not in use by another VPS.

Operating System

Another term you would be familiar with is the operating system, which is the software that manages computer hardware and software resources, processes and provides the core functions required to run a virtual private server. Most VPS providers often offer the choice between Microsoft and Linux operating systems based on what best suits your requirements.

CPU Core

A CPU, central processing unit, is the unit that reads and executes program instructions. The core is is the actual processing unit and, in virtual private servers, more than 1 core can be allocated which controls how much processing power the CPU has. More processing power equates to a heightened level of operating performance.

Storage Space

Storage space is a term that relates to all web hosting platforms and refers to the amount of physical disk space your website, files and data is able to occupy. Storage space is often offered as SSD, SATA or SAS hard drives.

Although the above isn’t a description for every term related to a virtual private server, it certainly covers the more commonly confusing ones such as guaranteed and burstable RAM. Moving up to a virtual private server from a shared web hosting environment really isn’t that much of a step once you have a good understanding of how they work and what they do and, more often than not, a good web hosting provider will also be more than willing to answer your questions and offer you more in depth information about virtual private servers.

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