Dedicated or Virtual Private Server, which is best?

Dedicated or Virtual Private Server? That’s the question!

What is a VPS (Virtual Private Server)?

Virtual private server, often referred to as ‘VPS’ for short, is a server-side technology where a server is virtually partitioned into separate ‘virtual’ servers, hence their name. Virtual private servers are suitable for hosting websites which have outgrown the shared hosting environment because of their higher resource usage.

What are the benefits of VPS?

  • Customization: Virtual private servers offer substantially more customization over shared environments, as you’re able to install your own instances of server-side applications like Apache, PHP and MySQL. Also, you can configure each of these applications as you’d like them and they’re not pre-defined by your web host.
  • Dedicated resources: In a VPS environment the stability is much better, because a single user isn’t able to “hog” the resources of the server, as each virtual server has dedicated resources. Each virtual private server is guaranteed a certain GB of memory which it can utilize at all times, unlike in shared hosting.
  • Burstable resources: Although each server has a dedicated RAM assigned to it, there’s also burstable RAM – which is available in times of high traffic and/or usage; providing that other users aren’t utilizing it. Therefore, you shouldn’t depend on the burstable memory, as it isn’t and can’t be guaranteed.
  • Control: Virtual private servers offer root access, which is why you’re able to install software; including your own operating system. Also, if you encounter an issue where a server restart is needed, you can restart the server yourself remotely via the control panel. Furthermore, when restarting your VPS, the others on the same node won’t be affected, and vice versa. The reason being is that each virtual private server is independent and doesn’t rely on the availability of the others.
  • Cost: The cost of virtual private servers act as a bridge between shared and dedicated server hosting, usually costing around $10 to $50 per month, it’s slightly less affordable than shared hosting but  cheaper than dedicated hosting by leaps and bounds.

What’s a dedicated server?

Dedicated servers are leased from hosting providers, which aren’t shared with anyone else. These servers are configured with the hardware and software of your choice; albeit at an extra cost.

What are the benefits of Dedicated Servers?

  • Customization: The customization available for dedicated servers is wider than that for virtual private servers, as with dedicate servers you’re able to choose the hardware it’ll be using, unlike with VPS where it’s predetermined.
  • Dedicated resources: You’re given fully dedicated resources, whereby your machine is physically built with the specified amount of RAM you request and no one else except you is permitted to use that memory.
  • Control: Because you’re given root access, you can perform administrative duties without the hassle of consulting with your provider first. This administrative access enables you to install software – including your own operating system, and the ability to preform system restarts.

So, which is better: VPS or Dedicated servers?

To conclude, both dedicated and virtual private servers are powerful web hosting solutions, each providing similar benefits as one another. So the question – which is best? It’s subjective as they’re both great in their own right.

Virtual private servers are great because of their affordability and myriad of dedicated like functionalities such as root-access for instance. Whereas, dedicated servers are great as they offer you absolute control of the server, including the configuration of the hardware.

Interestingly, both VPS and dedicated servers both have the same drawback, whereby as the server administrator you’ll be responsible for the installation and configuration of the software you’d like to use. Which not only requires some technical know-how but also time. Therefore, as the owner of a dedicated server you’d have to either make time to learn about administration – if you haven’t already and to perform the administrational tasks, or hire a third-party company like admins4hire or serversitters to do the tasks for you.