Dedicated Server vs. VPS Comparison

Having a dedicated server can represent a wise investment for your small business. This server is a step beyond shared hosting in that it is meant only for your site or sites, rather than supporting the sites of various other people. This means better control, speed and functionality over shared hosting. If your site is large, or you intend on progressively increasing traffic over time, having a dedicated server can help prevent devastating crashes, downtime and limited operation capabilities. There is a choice between a dedicated server and VPS services. Understanding this difference can enable you to pick the one that is most appropriate for your situation and business aspirations.

What is a Dedicated Server?

When it comes to running a website, a “server” is a particular type of computer that is created for the purpose of processing user requests and then delivering the resulting data to other computers. This means that the server supports your site and allows others to see and use your site. A dedicated server is an actual physical server that you can lease from a company and use for your own purposes. This allows you to choose your own hardware, operating system and other specifications, as well as utilize the server specifically for your own growth and function as opposed to having to work within the parameters of a sharing hosting service.

What is VPS?

VPS stands for “virtual private server”. This refers to a virtual server machine, meaning that instead of having an actual physical server, you use a server that is available online. Though it works on the same physical computer as the VPS services of other users, it is created to mimic the functionality of a private computer. This is because the system can be modified to fit the individual users’ needs for their sites. Though users will not likely be aware of the difference between a VPS and a true dedicated server, other than not having a physical machine at their disposal, these systems save energy, materials and other costs.

How are they Similar?

Both dedicated servers and VPS allow a high level of customization for your site. As opposed to shared hosting services that require you to prescribe to outlined specifications and limitations, having either of these server types will enable you to create, manage and modify websites specific to your own needs. Both types of systems allow you to use a huge amount of space to expand and multiply your websites. They also allow for greater speed and security than shared hosting services. You are able to choose your own hardware and operating system preferences and use whatever information and formats that you wish.

How are they Different?

When you choose a dedicated server you will actually receive a physical server machine. This means that you can visually see your server and know that it is operating in the manner that you wish it to, while being totally in your control. A VPS, on the other hand, does not provide a physical machine. Rather, it uses a single very large computer to behave as multiple computers. Within this one computer, the various sub-systems can be individually managed and manipulated, which enables them to appear as individual servers.

Choosing between a dedicated server and a VPS is a personal choice that will vary depending on your particular knowledge of the inner-workings of a server, your website needs, and your available investment capital. VPS tends to be less expensive, and offers a level of support from others that a dedicated server does not.

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