Have you recently embarked into the online business space? If so, chances are you have a website running on a shared server. With the passage of time, your business will gain traction-your site will gain visitors and traffic will go up. You will also revamp your site, add new pages time and again, replace old images with high-resolution images and videos, add long-form content from time to time, and so on.
All this is likely to place an enormous burden on your shared server. As a result, you may face performance issues at one point or the other. Your pages may take more than usual time to load. At times, your site may not be able to take the load and go offline. This is perhaps the time when you need to upgrade your current hosting plan.
If you are looking to switch to a superior hosting plan, tons of options are available-VPS, cloud, dedicated, and so on. Out of these, VPS and dedicated are incredibly popular. If you have to choose between these two, you may find the task baffling.
In this brief guide, we will explain the difference between both the hosting options-VPS and dedicated-to help you select the right one. So, let’s dive in.
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As the name implies, dedicated servers are completely dedicated to your website or organization. Since you have an entire physical server to your disposal, you can customize it as per the needs of your business.
With dedicated hosting in place, you have full access to the resource base of the physical server. So, you can easily run a high-traffic or content-intensive website or application. You can also tweak the configuration of your server to fulfill your requirements.
Dedicated Hosting: Benefits
Performance: A dedicated server is the most robust hosting solution. Here, the resources are used exclusively by your site/application and not shared with other users. This makes dedicated servers ideal for websites that consistently demand high resource input.
Customization: Because a dedicated server is meant to be used solely by your business, you have near-complete control it. This means you can build a configuration that’s appropriate for the website and/or applications you are running. You can tailor parts of your software and hardware. All in all, if you need a highly specific configuration, dedicated server web hosting are an optimal choice.
Security: Dedicated servers operate in complete physical as well as virtual isolation, so they are literally islands in themselves. With dedicated servers, there is no threat of malicious neighbors stealing your data or spamming your site. Dedicated servers let you manage software installations and updates with the utmost ease; this minimizes the incidence of cyberattacks.
Dedicated Hosting: Drawbacks
Pricing: Dedicated server web hosting offers a host of highly coveted features including high speed, security, control and customization. All these benefits come with a price tag. Dedicated servers are the most expensive solution out there. So, it’s imperative that you conduct adequate research before choosing one for your business.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Servers. A VPS is created through the division of a large physical server into several smaller virtual servers. Each of the servers thus created is referred to as a VPS or Virtual Machine. A VPS operates in a sandboxed environment and has a fixed set of resources-CPU, RAM, storage and bandwidth-to work with. For this reason, a VPS is often considered to be the miniature version of a dedicated server.
Like a managed dedicated server, there is a reserved set of resources to work with. However, the amount of resources allocated to each VPS is much smaller in comparison to its dedicated counterpart.
You can compare hosting on a VPS to living in a condominium where every individual can arrange their home as per their preference but cannot go beyond the space allocated to them. They simply can’t knock down walls and occupy their neighbor’s room.
VPS Hosting: Benefits
Performance: Though not comparable with a dedicated server, a VPS is much superior to a shared hosting solution. It gives you a fixed set of resources to work with. Plus, the resources get divided among fewer accounts (10-15), unlike a shared server where the number is much higher.
Customization: In a VPS hosting solution, you are granted root access to the server, as a result of which you enjoy control over server software and operating system (OS). That said, there can be certain restrictions on customization on account of configuration of the physical server.
Security: Agreed a VPS isn’t as secure as a dedicated server. Still, it offers far more security than a shared server. In a VPS system, the virtual servers remain separated by means of a hypervisor. So, it isn’t easy for neighboring accounts to tamper with your security.
Pricing: A virtual server is far cheaper in comparison to a managed dedicated server. This is because the cost of the physical server gets split among all the virtual accounts. You can rent a VPS for as low as $20 a month.
Dedicated server plans typically start from $99 a month; a premium-quality plan can cost you close to $120 a month. For high-end dedicated server solutions, there’s no upper limit-the higher you pay, the better you get.
VPS Hosting: Drawbacks
Limited Resources: While a VPS offers a fixed set of resources that you don’t need to share with other accounts, it won’t be able to cope if your requirements exceed what has been agreed upon in your hosting plan.
Security Issues: We’ve discussed how a VPS offers an isolated environment for hosting your site. Nevertheless, it isn’t the most secure hosting option out there. This is because the VPS accounts on a physical server are separated only virtually and not physically.
Although there is a hypervisor to prevent the malware from spreading to other accounts, at times it may not be sophisticated enough. Under such a scenario, the malware can bypass the hypervisor and reach other servers.
Choosing between VPS and Dedicated Server Hosting: The Verdict
First, it’s essential to remember that a small business may not need the entire set of resources offered in a dedicated server hosting plan. A website that attracts low-to-moderate traffic may be able to fulfill its needs from just a virtual server (VPS). VPS solutions are often competitively priced and allow small organizations to run applications seamlessly, all while keeping their budget in check.
A vital factor to consider when choosing a hosting plan is expansion. Are you planning to scale your operations? If yes, how do you expect your resource requirement to change in the next 2-3 years? Your hosting plan should be flexible enough to accommodate the growing needs of your business, helping you scale up (or down) as needed. If you choose a dedicated server web hosting, you may be able to fulfill your current resource requirements, but will end up paying for the same set of resources over and over again, irrespective of whether you need them or not. Remember-your hosting needs change over time; so your plan should reflect those changing needs.
So, VPS hosting can be an optimal solution when:
- You need surplus resources but an entire physical server would be too large.
- You seek adequate speed, security and control but within a limited budget.
And, dedicated hosting can be appropriate when:
- Your site consistently attracts high traffic and needs heavy resources.
- Your business deals with highly sensitive data-financial/healthcare/personal information.
- You demand a customized hosting environment for a specialized application.
So, that’s our wrap on ‘VPS vs dedicated servers’. Need more such blogs? If so, let us know in the comment section. Thanks for reading.