VPS: A Redundant Hosting Service

By | September 26, 2011

Virtual private servers are a term used by Internet hosting services to refer to a virtual machine. VPS term is used for emphasizing that the virtual machine, although running in software on the same physical computer as other customers’ virtual machines, is functionally equivalent.

VPS stands for virtual private servers so these servers basically offer the environment of a dedicated server within a shared server. So the price is significantly cut down compared to dedicate hosting due it its shared nature but you won’t get the speed benefits. The key feature here is stability where the shared server utilizes special virtualization software that effectively allocates a certain amount of shared server resources to a particular account. Think of it as a less powerful dedicated hosting solution and you won’t get those collisions that you would get from shared web hosting because virtualization makes sure that the site in the server is isolated. With a VPS package, you get a clear idea on your specifications so you can figure out how to properly utilize them.
VPS is still a shared server
Keep in mind that using VPS is still a shared server environment. However, you get a dedicated amount of bandwidth and resources which if your usage remains inside your allotted amount, your sites will do just fine.
Common Characteristics among VPS Web Hosting Plans
Good VPS hosting plans come with both unlimited bandwidth and disk space which is nice for hosting large sites that target a certain audience. Bigger sites that target a large general audience are not very ideal as the site performance can slow down if there is too much traffic.
Unlike shared hosting, a VPS plan provides a remote access to your virtual environment so you can better fine-tune the different options so it works better with your site. This offers more flexibility than a standard web hosting control panel. You can do advanced administrator options such as server rebooting or modifying code if you have experience.
Specific Features to Look For
1. Support
Like any type of web hosting plan, support options should take the first priority because your entire experience can be ruined if your site runs into a downtime. Tinkering with the various options in a VPS can make or break a system so it always helps to have some quick access to some phone support or live chat.
2. Bandwidth
Some VPS hosting services offer a variety of bandwidth options. The more you get, the more you pay. It can be a bit of trial and error determining the right amount of bandwidth. Be sure the VPS service you use will permit you to decrease or increase your bandwidth so you’re not locked into the wrong bandwidth level.
3. User Interface / Backend
If you’re switching from shared hosting, then you’ll likely be familiar with a particular user interface such as CPanel. Therefore, to minimize time learning a new interface, look for VPS with the same user interface option.
4. Email accounts
It goes without saying that you want unlimited email accounts with your VPS.
5. Free website transfer
This feature can save you a ton of time. When I switched to a new hosting service for VPS, they offered to transfer my sites. They had it done within 48 hours and saved me a ton of time and hassle.