In the world of web hosting, there are many options for how to manage the computers that run a website, and it can be difficult to figure out what might be best for you. Since enterprise websites require the full resources of a server (or multiple servers) to ensure optimal performance for the site’s users, it’s important to make sure the best hosting option is chosen. When deciding upon those options, the choice often comes down to one of two possible approaches: dedicated or virtual hosting. Should you use your own physical server dedicated solely to you, or should you use a virtual server, which uses software to emulate a physical server on a virtual host? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each option:
In a dedicated hosting plan, a client leases or rents a physical server from a hosting provider. With Dedicated hosting plans, the client has complete control of the physical server and access to all its resources. This is a good fit for companies that have websites that expect a high amount of traffic, that are running intensive CPU applications, and that are hosting enterprise CMS sites.
- Performance: With dedicated servers, you are not sharing any resources (such as RAM or CPU) with other clients. The server and its resources are 100% dedicated to your needs.
- Control: With Dedicated hosting, you have full control of the physical server, and complete access to all its resources, rather than using a virtualized machine on a server that may host several other virtual machines.
- Cost: Dedicated hosting usually comes with a higher cost. The amount paid per month for the use and maintenance of a dedicated server can be more expensive than that of a virtual private server, depending on your needs and requirements.
- Hardware Maintenance: With dedicated servers, there may be limited downtime due to hardware maintenance. This work is usually done during the hosting provider’s maintenance window.
Virtual Private Hosting
Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a type of web hosting that uses software to emulate multiple servers on a single virtual host. Even though the websites are hosted on the same physical machine, VPS hosting allows each server to be entirely independent, treating them as if each site were on its own separate machine. One advantage of VPS is that it fits in well with other hosting plans. A virtual hosting plan gives clients another hosting option that fits between most shared hosting and dedicated hosting pans.
Virtual private servers (VPSs)
- Server Scalability: Since the server is not a physical machine, it is easier and faster to add resources such as memory and hard disk space. This allows you to quickly to add resources as needed to meet your company’s needs.
- Availability: If one host has an issue, the virtual private server can be quickly moved to another virtual host to reduce downtime. Virtual private servers can also be easily cloned and/or restored from backups, which provides options for load balancing and disaster recovery.
- Cost: The most notable difference between dedicated hosting and VPS hosting is the cost per month, which is usually lower for virtual private servers.
- No Hardware Maintenance: With virtual private servers, there is no downtime caused by hardware maintenance. Before any maintenance is done on a virtual private server’s host machine, the VPS can be cloned to a different host, allowing the website to continue operating with no downtime.
- Shared Resources: In most situations, multiple virtual private servers share the resources of a single computer.
- Compliance Requirements: Some organizations require the use of 100% dedicated servers, so virtual private servers will not meet these compliance requirements.
What’s the Best Choice for Me?
As you can see, each of these options has its own advantages, so you will need to weigh the options and determine which one will best meet your site’s needs. Depending on the amount of traffic your site receives, the resources needed to maintain the best performance for your site’s users, or any other specifications that you might need to consider (such as high availability, disaster recovery, or load balancing), either option might be best for you. If you need help determining the ideal solution for your website, please contact us to speak to a hosting expert.