This is becoming a more and more common question now that virtual private servers (VPS) are along the same price point as basic shared hosting. However, it seems like VPS is basically the same as dedicated hosting but with a much smaller price tag. How can that be? Simple: When you have dedicated hosting, you’re basically buying a server and all the requisite bells and whistles, which is a very expensive option. The total cost of ownership (TCO) goes through the roof since you need cables, rack space, switches, OSs, adapters, software licensing, and then the server itself can cost $200,000.
With VPS, it’s like you’re leasing a dedicated server. In fact, that’s a fair comparison: Think of dedicated servers as buying a car with cash (no financing), and VPS as leasing the exact same thing. With a lease, you’ll have minimal (if any) upfront costs. There’s a lot that goes into buying and maintaining a car, much like with a server. With every new server, you have less server room, cooling costs go up, and suddenly your utility bill is very high. You’ll also need to hire full-time staff, have them trained, and you’re basically operating a full-time business just to keep your dedicated host running.
There’s a reason only huge enterprises and select niche markets go for dedicated hosting: Nobody else has the money, resources, and time to do it.
Beyond Your Scope
Even if you had hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked and ready for use, few small- and mid-sized businesses have the expertise to manage their own dedicated server. Who would want to? You’d need an in-house IT team trained in managing servers. Plus, the basic economies of sale don’t apply to servers. It’s no wonder the choice du jour is VPS and probably will be for quite a while. You get all the benefits of a dedicated server, but none of the cost or hassle.
One of the most popular approaches is using VMware Infrastructure, as it’s a much easier to manage! However, the whole idea of a virtual server that’s hosted is pretty new. You’re basically renting resources on a server that’s hosted remotely. This isn’t your basic shared server (i.e. web server) since you’re not actually sharing the OS with anybody else. It’s nearly the same as a dedicated server, it functions the same, but the host uses VMware Infrastructure to separate one physical server into a number of virtual servers. These separated virtual servers act like a single, physical server.
Best of Both Worlds
A VPS has its own application software, virtual memory, storage devices, virtual BIOS, OS, and networking. For the vast majority of VPS clients, the only difference you’ll find between VPS and a dedicated server is a much lower TCO with VPS. Without making capital expenditures to get the new server, you enjoy costs that are spread out month by month. It’s not that exciting to IT-minded people, but it’s a godsend for the CFO, founder, entrepreneur, or anyone else concerned with the bottom line.
However, what really makes the financial situation sweeter is not having to buy anything extra. Usually, the OS is included and therefore you get an impressive server that’s customized to your needs. There’s little ramp uptime required, someone else takes care of support, and replacement costs aren’t even in the picture.