To understand VPS hosting, you basically need to know what hosting is and what a virtual private server (VPS) is. This piece briefly explores both of those topics as a series of facts.
#1. Web hosting gives companies the servers they need to get online.
Web hosting is the service of providing Internet-related infrastructural plans to businesses and others. Organizations that do not have their own datacenters, want to move quickly to get started on a project, or do not want to manage servers themselves will use a web host for server space, file maintenance, and online services.
#2. Web hosting is split into three major categories.
Web hosting is, generally, also sometimes called website hosting or simply hosting. However, people will talk about hosting in terms of the individual category – the major ones of which are:
shared hosting: many accounts on one physical machine with a single operating system and unguaranteed resources. (lowest cost)
VPS hosting: a smaller number of accounts per machine, each of which has their own operating system and guaranteed resources. (slightly higher cost than shared)
dedicated hosting: one account per machine. (significantly higher cost than shared)
Related specifically to our topic of VPS, as you can see above, VPS hosting is fundamentally an effort to find “the best of both worlds” – the middle-ground between the flexibility and power of dedicated hosting and the affordability of shared hosting.
#3. Many people come to web hosting companies for speed.
Often, companies use web hosting providers for access to their fast web connections. If an organization were to host its own servers, it would be costly to get access to similarly strong data networks. Basically, the business that buys hosting services is leveraging the shared cost of a speedy Internet connection to store and serve its files both internally and externally.
#4. Web hosting is an industry that was originally created by the Internet.
When the Internet first became publicly available as a mass-market service (the early 1990s), those who were interested in creating websites had to have their own servers. Since servers are costly, and the maintenance of them can be highly technical, there was a potential business need for web hosting. However, the first step was to build servers and create web hosting packages that would meet the needs of many users at the lowest possible cost.
#5. Web hosting became prominent for meeting a common business need.
Web hosting grew as a business when it became clear that (unsurprising to us now) not everyone wants to host a server themselves. The basic business idea, in the early days, was that it would be a good business to buy servers and rent out the resources of them at a reduced cost to customers that want to run a website – regardless of (and, in a manner, completely irrelevant and separate from) the technical aspects related to hardware.
#6. Web hosting demand was minuscule in the beginning, and key statistics show us why it has grown exponentially.
Demand was initially not high for web hosting for three basic reasons:
- * the amount of people online was low;
- * web hosting was an emergent field that was below the surface of public awareness (“farther below,” really, since many people are still unfamiliar with the field); and
- * web hosting was costlier because there was less competition.
These figures from The Next Web give us an immediate sense of how mammoth the Internet really is now in size. In turn, these numbers, from January 2017, tell us why web hosting companies have become of ever-increasing use to business. [source]
- * There are 7.476 billion people on the planet (with 54% of us in urban settings).
- * The total population of Internet users worldwide is 3.773 billion, a 50% penetration of the possible market (so, in a way, it’s only half as ubiquitous as it seems globally).
- * Active social media users are a smaller population – at 2.789 billion people, that’s “merely” 37% of everyone in the world.
- * Interestingly, the number of mobile users, at 4.917 billion, is higher than the number of Web users.
#7. The business world was revolutionized by web hosting.
Everyone talks about the disruption of the Internet. That digital disruption that has changed our lives in so many ways for the better would not have been possible without web hosting – which supplied the convenience to allow businesses to get online in a structured and trusted manner. The changes were really business-wide and impacted almost every industry.
Specifically, a major aspect of that disruption was in marketing. Marketers had to completely change their approach as websites became increasingly critical platforms for the branding of businesses. What used to be print became digital – following the same basic pattern of magazines and newspapers.
#8. A virtual private server (VPS) gives hosting customers greater control.
A VPS is a virtual server that is experienced as its own server and has its own unique operating system (OS). For better costs than dedicated hosting, while still offering a significant technological upgrade from shared hosting, a hosting company divides one physical server into guaranteed sets of resources for a number of different VPS hosting customers.
Typically this scenario is described as a virtual private server (VPS). However, the term virtual dedicated server (VDS) is also sometimes used.
#9. A VPS is a similar concept to having your own private computer.
A virtual private server is fundamentally about separation. It takes the form of a virtual machine to meet the needs of each individual hosting customer just as an independent PC can be dedicated for use by a single person. This type of server gives a business the same capabilities (including full root access from some providers) as a dedicated server, with several VPS machines, all with separate operating systems, running on the same machine or set of machines.
#10. A VPS gives a user much greater freedom than they’d have with shared hosting.
A VPS will usually include basic components such as web server and mail server programs; file transfer protocol (FTP) software; and possibly additional applications for e-commerce, blogging, and other core features. Since a virtual private server has its own operating system, the customer takes on the role of a super-user of the OS. In turn, they are able to install whatever software they choose that can run on that particular OS (typically a Linux distribution).
#11. VPS plan management creates a major distinction.
As virtualization technology has progressed, companies are now able to provide VPS hosting affordably. One of the most important features of VPS plans is the determination of the responsible party to manage the server. In an unmanaged setting, the user bears the responsibility to manage and monitor the server. In a managed VPS hosting setting, the hosting company is responsible.
#12. Virtual private servers are of use to small and large companies.
A typical example scenario in which a VPS is useful is when a startup or other small business wants to create and run a site but does not want to have to make an investment in a dedicated server. However, an enterprise might use VPS hosting as well. The VPS setup is helpful in those cases because it allows one user to control various servers; one might be designated for the production-level website and another for a sandbox server (so that a false version of the site can be used for testing updates, changes, and new software or plugins).
Hopefully, the above facts are helpful in understanding web hosting, the virtual private server, and VPS hosting. Do you think a VPS might be right for your business? At KnownHost, you are scalable on demand, without any downtime: no migration of files or databases are required, and there are no changes in your settings. Compare plans.