December 6, 2021

What is a Virtual Private Server (VPS)?

Server virtualization allows multiple operating systems or virtual machines to operate simultaneously yet independently of each other on a single instance of physical hardware. Every virtual machine is detached from the underlying host by a software called the hypervisor. Because of this decoupling, the virtual machines can be moved from one physical server host to another without interrupting the operation itself; also known as live migration.

There are two types of virtualization.

  • One is paravirtualization where the guests run a modified operating system to attain higher performance even on its host architecture.
  • The second is hardware-assisted virtualization where the guests can run operating systems without the need for modification.

The term Virtual Private Server (VPS) is typically associated with a virtual machine instance running on virtualized hardware. While the virtualization technology used (VMware, Hyper-V, Xen, Virtuozzo, etc) creates differences in VPSs in terms of performance and management characteristics, they are typically sold by web hosting companies based on various specifications for RAM, vCPUs, traffic, storage, operating system, and support.

As the VPSs can be turned on/off and managed via platform orchestration software fairly easily, you might find them sold by the minute with flexible specifications that can be upgraded or downgraded through a customer portal.

The benefits being brought about by utilizing server virtualization are many.

  1. It allows for fewer physical servers resulting in lower maintenance costs overall;
  2. less hardware to look after and replace and lower power consumption costs.
  3. Because of the lowered number of physical servers, you can increase the space consumption efficiency in your data center,
  4. with the same number of physical servers, you can further optimize their usage and increase consumption.
  5. When upgrades or modifications are made on an application, it won’t be able to affect other applications if the application is in a virtual server.

Duplication of virtual server builds can be done easily allowing speedy and more efficient server deployment. Hardware fault tolerance is also achieved by simply transferring the virtual machine to hardware. And, as mentioned earlier, virtualization allows the operation of multiple operating systems on a single hardware build, which means you can accommodate different user requirements using the same set of hardware.

Steven is the Executive Director at Link Digital, a full-service digital agency providing Canberra graphic web design and hosting. He has experience with, and provides leadership in, all areas of digital operation including management, governance, and strategy through HTML, programming, Flash animation, QA Testing, design, and marketing.

Steven De Costa

Steven is the Executive Director at Link Digital, a full-service digital agency providing Canberra graphic web design and hosting. He has experience with and provides leadership in, all areas of digital operation including management, governance, and strategy through HTML, programming, Flash animation, QA Testing, design, and marketing.

The advantages obtained by having the virtual private servers are manifold. In certain hosting services like shared hosting, if one client needs to restart a server it necessitates the restart of the whole server along with other shared hosts, this is indeed a great drawback. But in the case of VPS, we actually need to restart the virtual kernel alone and the other such servers are completely unharmed. The layer of the server that provides the service is autonomous and very much customizable to each party’s requirements, on the software level.

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