The website is an essential part of the communication strategy of any company. Not only does it act as a cover letter for the company, but it can also be a useful tool to capture leads and generate sales.
To achieve this, guaranteeing its correct operation is as important as working on online positioning or design. Something in which the type of web hosting selected will have a lot to say.
In this article, we will analyze the characteristics, operations, and advantages offered by one of the most popular hosting options: the VPS.
What is a VPS?
A VPS is a hosting solution that uses virtualization technologies to provide exclusive resources to users of the same server. Its acronym comes from the English “Virtual Private Server”, or virtual private server in Spanish. Terms that already give us some clues about their characteristics.
Basically, a VPS is a private virtual partition within a physical server. It allows dividing a machine into virtual instances, isolated from each other and equipped with their own resources.
If we are not very familiar with systems technology, it is possible that when thinking of a server the image of a large closet full of machines with blinking lights comes to mind. Well, on many occasions, what those computers will actually be running will be virtual machines. Let’s see how they work.
How does a VPS work?
The operation of a VPS is very similar to that of other web hosting solutions. It offers a space permanently connected to the internet, which houses the contents of a website and allows access to its users.
Typically, the different partitions are generated by specific virtualization software, such as VMware. Each partition created by this program will have its own operating system, files, and software. The necessary resources for its execution will be assigned by a hypervisor. What is this?
A hypervisor is a virtual machine (VM) monitor. This type of software performs hardware virtualization. It is responsible for creating, running, and managing virtual machines on the physical server running the VPS. It enables multiple operating systems to use hardware resources efficiently.
In a way, the operation of a VPS is similar to that of a dedicated server, but with a substantial difference: the independence of the software from the hardware where it runs. Let’s see some of its many advantages.
Advantages and disadvantages of a virtual private server:
VPS hosting can be an ideal hosting solution, as long as it suits your specific needs. These are its main advantages over other alternatives:
Dedicated resources: Since the resources (CPU, RAM, disk space, etc.) of the VPS server are for you, the performance fluctuations will be minimal or even zero. The possible increases in traffic experienced by other tenants of the server, as in shared hosting, will never affect your website with a VPS.
Full control: the VPS allows full access to our virtual machine at the root level. In practice, this means being able to install the operating system we prefer, apply our own configurations, or deploy the applications and services we need (email, databases, management systems, etc.) with total freedom.
Scalability: A VPS is an elastic and easy-to-scale solution. If your website experiences growth or has new needs, you can easily increase the resources allocated to its operation.
Security: with a virtual private server you guarantee the privacy of your key information since it will be completely restricted to the rest of the users of the server.
However, virtual servers also have some drawbacks. The main one is the price: they are more expensive than shared hosting.
On the other hand, unless we opt for a 100% managed service, they require technical knowledge to manage the VPS. An essential aspect for, in the first place, correct functioning of the system, and also to avoid vulnerabilities in the matter of cyber security.
In addition, depending on the provider, they may entail additional costs, such as the management panel used or backup solutions. However, it could be said that the VPS offers a certain balance between quality and price.
Differences with other hosting solutions:
We have alluded to other web hosting models, such as shared hosting or dedicated servers. Next, we explain its main differences with a VPS:
Possibly the most common web hosting model. Also the most basic and economical. It consists of dividing a server into partitions for several users, who share its hardware resources. In shared hosting, it is not possible to customize the configuration: all users will work with the same operating system and software.
Its low cost is its greatest attraction, making it a suitable solution for small websites with little traffic. However, as you do not have dedicated resources exclusively for you, your website may in certain circumstances be affected by the needs of other users. Something that will not happen in a VPS.
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Working with dedicated servers allows you to have a physical server exclusively for your business. All hardware resources will be at your disposal, guaranteeing optimal performance in any situation.
In addition, being the only user, you will have absolute control over the configuration, both at the hardware and software levels. On the other hand, in a VPS you will only have the freedom to choose with which programs and operating system you want to work.
This option is especially recommended for sites with a very high volume of traffic and that need to guarantee optimal performance in any situation. Obviously, this power is paid, resulting in the most expensive option of all.
Your specific needs will help you determine which of them is most worthwhile. Something that we help you solve in the next section.
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In what situations is a VPS worth it?
When choosing a VPS server, the main consideration is performance. When launching an online project, we do not know what volume it will reach, so it is common to opt for the cheapest possible solution: shared hosting.
But if your page starts getting more traffic in the future, it won’t be able to keep up. You will start to experience problems running your web services. To guarantee a good service to your clients, you will have to switch to a VPS solution.