By far, the most common question about virtual private servers/VPS hosting is what the heck is it? Sometimes it’s also referred to as a virtual dedicated server because it’s “virtually” like having a dedicated server—but without the high costs. Shared hosting, which is the most common of services, uses one file system that is shared by all users. However, VPS acts more like dedicated servers and is in a private space with an independent OS, mail server, web server, and software. You get all the scalability, reliability, and security of a dedicated hosting at the enterprise level, including root access. Install whatever software you want and utilize almost any OS.
Most people use a VPS to host a website (usually business). You can have an online store, an entire corporate intranet, use it as your dedicated mail server, development platform, for offsite data storage, groupware, reselling hosting services, managed email services, and much more. You can also customize whether you want cPanel/WHM or control panels—which means you can opt for SSH, SSL, Perl, PHP, FTP, Mai, and more. Upon installation, cPanel will offer up all web services/languages available. If it’s not already there (it usually is), as the administrator you can install almost anything you wish.
What about Root Access?
Yes, you have root access or full administrative access with VPS hosting. Configuration is possible at the root level and you can choose if and when to reboot. It’s your very own, totally secure environment. VPS hosting really is like having dedicated hosting in almost every way. In fact, the increasing accessibility of VPS hosting is making some customers move in this direction rather than staying with dedicated and saving some big bucks.
Plesk and cPanel are the most common control panels available with VPS hosting. With these options, you can create a number of sites, databases, email accounts, and DNS entries all via a web-based interface. However, if you want to upgrade, that’s always possible. Get more IP addresses, or ask to host countless domains if you like. With Plesk Powerpack, a personalized application repository is also on hand as well as Dr. Web Anti-Virus, a revered defense against hackers.
Why isn’t Everyone Doing This?
If VPS is so great, what’s the catch? This is one situation where it might sound too good to be true—but it isn’t. Previously, VPS was very expensive (although not as expensive as dedicated). Still, costs were high enough to keep most clients at bay. As technology advanced, the costs began to come down. Now, VPS hosting costs the same or very close to basic hosting. People who are signing up for new web hosting, and do their homework, will go for VPS hosting 100 percent of the time if they truly understand the upsides.
However, most people are creatures of habit and don’t quite understand what the differences are between hosting packages. This is why basic shared is still the most common, but it won’t be for long. Get on the VPS bandwagon now, and help spread the word about what everyone else is missing out on.