Understanding Virtual Private Servers

By: Craig Rowe

Virtual private servers have been used for quite some time, but lately they have gained popularity and more and more people have a need for something other than shared and dedicated web-hosting services. A virtual private server is a single physical server that is split into multiple virtual servers. What this means is that the single physical server is portioned in such a way that the one server appears to be multiple servers. While this portioning of a single server has been effective for quite some time, newer software such as Xen, FreeVPS, and others have revived the popularity.

Virtual private servers are practical for those that need something a bit different than either shared or dedicated hosting. The attractiveness of Virtual private servers or VPS is that they allow root level access to each of the clients, yet they do not require physically dedicated servers. Businesses and individuals that really need a customized server and web hosting plan often go for the virtual private server because it gives them more privacy and customization than a shared server, but usually is not as expensive as a dedicated server is. Many find that a virtual private server is just able to fulfill their needs more accurately and efficiently than any other type of hosting service.

Virtual private servers are used in a variety of situations. Many times they are used for duplicate or copy websites. This allows changes to be made to the copy site before making the changes to the main site, to ensure that the website will be as accurate and as unflawed as possible. Testing the copy site allows the individuals running the website to ensure that it is as professional and up-to-date as possible at all times. Virtual private servers are also used quite often to create honeypots, which refers to the ability to allow a specific machine to run software that knowingly has security or other flaws. Honeypots are considered to be easier to deploy in a timely fashion, which allows one to gain more insight into the world of computer safety without compromising the safety of ones main server.

There is a well-known variant of virtual hosting that is called clustered hosting; this is a technology that involves a cluster of physical machines that are each running virtual hosts. Whether you choose clustering or virtual private servers, this can be the solution to your web hosting needs. If you have the need to gain more control and customization than you can get with shared hosting, one should definitely look into VPS hosting options. VPS is great for many, including those that want more control as well as resellers.

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