VPS vs. Dedicated Server Comparison

A dedicated server is its own computer mainframe in a remote location where you can store whatever kinds of files you want to and run whatever applications you need while enabling you and others you authorize to access those files and applications from anywhere. This is opposed to what is called “shared” hosting, where one one remote server, running one operating system, allows you to store your files and application in a section of its disk space while other people store theirs in other sections. Needless to say, dedicated servers are a lot more expensive to maintain than shared hosting accounts, but there is a happy medium. That happy medium is called a “VPS,” or “virtual private server.”

The Way It Works

A virtual private server is hosted on a partition of a remote mainframe. What that means for you is twofold: First of all, it means that your server is still technically hosted on the same physical computer as some others. As such, your bandwidth won’t be as high as it would be with a dedicated server, and neither will your available disk space. Still, you will be able to run your own operating system. As a result, you will be able to set up your server in such a way as to cater specifically to the applications your business will need to run and the files it will need to host, as well as the purposes for which it will need to host them.

Other Similarities and Differences

In addition to the higher cost for maintenance of a dedicated server, it will afford you more control than a virtual private server. For example, if you ever need a dedicated server to be rebooted for any reason, you can do that. This is not so with a virtual private server. In addition, if you wanted to install some software not already available on the system your VPS resides on, you could do that with a dedicated server and that would be no problem. Also, if you’re going to have a lot of traffic, and we mean a lot, then, as we alluded to earlier, you’re going to be happy to know that all of the bandwidth allocated to that machine is going to be yours on a dedicated server, whereas with a VPS, you still just get a portion. Granted, it’s a much larger portion than with a shared account, but still only a portion nonetheless.

How To Tell Which One You’ll Need

As a good rule of thumb in general, the more total space the files your going to host will consume, and the more traffic you expect, the more server power you’re going to need. For most small to medium sized business, this means that a VPS will probably be more than sufficient. In some cases, you might could even get by with a shared hosting account. For some medium and all large business, however, dedicated servers are often the only sensible option.

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