What Can I Use My VPS For?
This is undeniably true, but people who are just getting familiarized with the concept of hosting may struggle to understand why that’s the case. They may also have some trouble figuring out what they can do with their VPSs. Let’s take a closer look at how VPS hosting works and learn more about its applications. Discovering the Thrill of World Wide Technology Raceway?
What Is a VPS?
To explain what VPS (or Virtual Private Server) hosting is, it’s probably best to compare it to shared hosting – the cheapest and most popular service of this kind.
If you get a shared hosting account, you, along with dozens (sometimes hundreds) of other users, all utilize the resources of a single physical server. Physical servers tend to be extremely powerful, so this isn’t a problem for the most part.
However, if one user of the shared server starts consuming too much power, the rest of the accounts on the machine will suffer.
Another thing to bear in mind is that, along with the hardware resources, you also use the same IP address as the rest of the people on the shared server. The IP’s reputation is affected by the actions of everyone on the server, and if just one user misbehaves, the rest will need to cope with the consequences as well.
If you want to avoid this, you have the alternative of getting your own physical server. As you may have guessed already, however, these machines are extremely expensive, and managing them isn’t exactly child’s play.
This is why hosting providers now offer Virtual Private Servers
This is why hosting providers now offer Virtual Private Servers. What they do is they take a physical server and split it up into multiple virtual machines. The virtual machines are the VPSs. They are completely isolated from each other, and they all have their own set of allocated hardware resources.
Even if one of the virtual machines performs a particularly resource-intensive process, the rest of the VPSs on the physical server won’t be affected.
Every VPS has its own dedicated IP, as well, so you needn’t worry about other users on the server doing something that would ruin its reputation and disrupt your service in some way.
In other words, Virtual Private Servers act like regular physical machines. Usually, they’re not as powerful, but they bring you all the other advantages of dedicated servers. What’s more, virtualization technology allows you to quickly scale your VPS, so when you need more RAM or CPU cores, adding them is usually a two-click job.
For all intents and purposes, a VPS is like a slightly less powerful but infinitely more scalable dedicated server. The only question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re able to handle an entire server on your own.
Regardless of your answer, hosting providers have a solution for you. You just need to pick the right one.
Managed vs. Self-Managed VPS Hosting
Being the best alternative from a bang-for-buck perspective isn’t enough to make VPS the hosting solution of choice for you. After all, all that power and the low price are somewhat meaningless if you don’t have the skills to control the server and use it to its full potential.
Hosting providers want to make sure that their VPSs can be used by both experienced system administrators and complete novices. That’s why there are two types of VPS plans.
Managed VPS hosting
Managed VPS plans give you the freedom to focus on your project without the complexities associated with managing an entire server. With them, your VPS comes set up and ready to go. Your hosting provider creates the virtual machine, sets up the operating system, and installs all the software you’ll need on it.
Your host’s system administrators will be responsible for ensuring that your server is configured for the best possible performance and security.
Usually, a managed VPS will come with a web hosting control panel – a management platform with a Graphic User Interface (GUI), which you use to manage files, databases, backups, email accounts, and many other aspects of your service.
In other words, you still control the entire server, but you don’t need to bother with the deeply technical tasks that may catch out the less experienced users.
Self-managed VPS Hosting
A self-managed VPS is more suitable for an experienced sysadmin who needs a custom environment and has the technical skills to create it.
With it, you get a bare virtual machine with only the operating system installed on it. You have full access to the VPS, and it’s up to you to set up the environment you want on it. All-round, it’s a more flexible solution, but it comes with many more technical challenges.
Less experienced users may struggle to set everything up, especially if they’re using an operating system they’re not quite used to. What’s more, in addition to installing all the required tools, with a self-managed VPS, you’re also responsible for configuring the server and ensuring it’s protected against cyberattacks. If you get it wrong, your hosting provider’s support team will do little to help you out.
All in all, owning a self-managed VPS requires a much higher level of technical skills and a lot more dedication.
As you can see, people from all walks of life can take advantage of the benefits of VPS hosting. As we’ll find out in a minute, the range of applications a VPS can have is just as diverse.
What Can You Do With a VPS?
The virtualization technology that enables the existence of VPSs gives hosting providers the ability to create virtual machines with just about any hardware configuration you can think of. The choice of operating system is pretty much limitless, and so is the range of real-world applications. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Hosting your own website
A VPS plan is usually a tiny bit more expensive than a shared hosting account, but you get a lot more power, and if you’re serious about your project, the performance benefits more than outweigh the slightly higher price tag. Thanks to the guaranteed resources, you get unmatched reliability and constant speed at all times. The extra scalability means you don’t need to pay for hardware power you don’t need.
Hosting your customers’ websites
If you’re a web development agency, you probably want to keep all your customers’ websites under one roof, and a VPS may just be your best bet. Most virtual servers are more than powerful enough to host multiple websites, and even if you outgrow your current plan, upgrading takes no more than a couple of seconds. If you get a VPS with a web hosting control panel that offers white-label branding, you can also try your hand at starting a hosting reseller business.
Email continues to be the primary form of communication in the corporate world. An unreliable email service could cost you many partners and missed sales if you’re a business organization. With a VPS, you get a dedicated IP, and you don’t need to worry about other people using it to send spam and blacklisting it.
The way you store your backup could mean the difference between quickly restoring the data and wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how to get everything back up again. A VPS can be a good solution for storing your backups. It gives you practically uninterrupted uptime, meaning you can access your backups whenever you need them. The scalability lets you easily upgrade should the need arise, and the enterprise-grade components that power it minimize the chance of hardware failure and data loss.
Testing is one of the most critical parts of website and software development, and the right environment is essential if you’re going to get the accurate data you’re after. Depending on your needs, a VPS can either act as a standalone testbed, or it can let you create a testing environment alongside the live product.
The popularity of online gaming has skyrocketed in recent years. The demand for gaming servers has grown, and so has the number of ways to monetize on one. The endless scalability virtual private servers offer means that they’re great for supporting the ever-growing army of online gamers.
VPS services can be just as beneficial to experienced system administrators as they are to complete novices. There are many scenarios when a virtual server’s advantages are obvious, and people continue to find new applications for it, which is a testament to the service’s flexibility and versatility.