Have you ever wondered where virtual private servers (VPS) “came from?” It’s one of the most incredible innovations in web hosting, allowing one computer to basically act as numerous computers. All you need is a single physical server, virtualization, and voila! That server gets pieced into numerous partitions that act just like an independent server. It sounds like science fiction, but virtualization isn’t actually as new as people think. For example, IBM detailed concepts of virtualization all the way back in the 1960s as a means of lowering costs and taking care of simple tasks “simply.” However, operating all these tasks on one computer caused trouble that took years to address.
Since the 60s, computer tech development led to rock bottom prices and everyone put virtualization on the back burner. It was cheap to purchase more computers, so why not just do that? This mass consumption worked for awhile, but once again advancement caused problems. The more servers you had, the more power you used, the more cooling systems you needed, and the more you were spending. Still, the majority of servers were being under-used sometimes as much as 90 percent! It was time for something new.
Rallying to the Top
Others tried to jump on the virtualization bandwagon, but IBM was there first. The company played a huge role in the beginning phase of virtualization. By creating numerous virtual systems, the CP-40 is touted as the “first” option for complete virtualization. IBM had been working slowly but diligently over the years, designing IBM System/360-67 in 1965 and System 370 in 1970—virtual memory or VM was introduced to the 370 in 1972.
However, VPS as we know it today has little in common with IBM’s early offerings. Today’s VPS is about ten years old and came out right when VPS hosting became available. It’s filled a gap between web hosting plans that come with limited disk space and colocation. If you have more demands than basic shared hosting can handle but don’t have the budget for a dedicated server, VPS is ideal.
A Tough Road
In the 90s, Stanford University PhD students were focused on virtualization space which is the foundation for VMware. This product was first available in 1999 via the VMware Virtual Platform product series. Windows had been offering similar products, but it didn’t really get into the game until 2003. It was SQL Server 2000 that really made the option to run numerous OS’ on one machine so popular.
Today we enjoy virtualization in our smartphones, and VPS cloud hosting is slated to be the next big thing. Gartner reports that cloud computing was the runner up for tech with a user focus. There are also three newer concepts in VPS cloud: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provides data center/infrastructure hardware and software via the internet. PaaS (Platform as a Service) offers infrastructure that allows software developers to expand current applications or create brand new ones without any new purchases. SaaS (Software as a Service) is the most well known and allows service providers/software vendors to distribute applications via a network.