How to choose a virtual dedicated VPS server?


VPS rental is a host­ing ser­vice that is an inter­me­di­ate option between shared host­ing and ded­i­cat­ed serv­er rental. For exam­ple, if your project is run­ning into the lim­i­ta­tions of shared host­ing and you want to get away from them with­out over­pay­ing for the fan­cy of a ded­i­cat­ed serv­er, a reli­able VPS would be a good option for you.

About what a vir­tu­al ded­i­cat­ed serv­er is and how to choose the right VDS, we con­sid­er fur­ther in the arti­cle.

Virtual Private Server

A vir­tu­al ded­i­cat­ed serv­er (aka VPS or VDS, as well as just a vir­tu­al serv­er) is cre­at­ed on the basis of a phys­i­cal serv­er using spe­cial soft­ware — a vir­tu­al­iza­tion sys­tem. With its help, on a phys­i­cal serv­er, you can cre­ate sev­er­al vir­tu­al servers iso­lat­ed from each oth­er — these will be VPS. Also, depend­ing on the vir­tu­al­iza­tion sys­tem used, the degree of auton­o­my and var­i­ous tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of vir­tu­al ded­i­cat­ed servers with­in one phys­i­cal machine will depend.

If we talk about the dif­fer­ences between VPS and vir­tu­al host­ing, then first of all it is worth men­tion­ing that it will be more dif­fi­cult to man­age VPS. If you get an intu­itive graph­i­cal con­trol pan­el when buy­ing shared host­ing, then this will not hap­pen with VPS. You will get a “naked” vir­tu­al serv­er, which you need to man­age with SSH access, using the con­sole and var­i­ous com­mands to work with the serv­er. To cope with this, spe­cial knowl­edge and tech­ni­cal skills are required. There­fore, it will def­i­nite­ly be dif­fi­cult for a begin­ner to under­stand every­thing. How­ev­er, you can always find a serv­er admin­is­tra­tor if you need a VPS serv­er, but you can’t man­age it on your own. The host­ing provider from which you order a vir­tu­al serv­er may also offer assis­tance with var­i­ous types of serv­er man­age­ment at an addi­tion­al cost.

Anoth­er dif­fer­ence between a vir­tu­al serv­er and vir­tu­al host­ing is the root access lev­el. When buy­ing shared host­ing, you get access to only a small part of the serv­er — the host­ing account. You can make all set­tings and changes only with­in this account. It is impos­si­ble to change some­thing in the basic con­fig­u­ra­tion of the entire serv­er or install addi­tion­al soft­ware on shared host­ing. There­fore, the own­ers of web resources on shared host­ing often run into these lim­i­ta­tions when they want to imple­ment some more com­plex new func­tion­al­i­ty on the site. And here the VPS serv­er comes to the res­cue, where you can inde­pen­dent­ly choose the oper­at­ing sys­tem and a set of pro­grams, as well as per­form any con­fig­u­ra­tion of the serv­er con­fig­u­ra­tion files specif­i­cal­ly for your web project. By the way, this dif­fer­ence can also be use­ful in the issue of the com­plex­i­ty of man­ag­ing a vir­tu­al serv­er: you can install a graph­i­cal con­trol pan­el your­self that will help you cope with all the main tasks of man­ag­ing a vir­tu­al serv­er, mak­ing con­trol as sim­ple as on a shared host­ing. How­ev­er, not all con­trol pan­els are avail­able for free. To install a pop­u­lar pan­el like cPan­el, you will need to pay for a license start­ing at $15 per month.

Advantages and disadvantages of a VPS server

Draw­ing a con­clu­sion from the above, we can high­light the fol­low­ing advan­tages of VPS in com­par­i­son with shared host­ing:

  • Access to the root lev­el serv­er.
  • Choos­ing an oper­at­ing sys­tem for the serv­er accord­ing to the require­ments of the web project.
  • Instal­la­tion of any pro­grams on the serv­er.
  • Flex­i­ble con­fig­u­ra­tion of all serv­er con­fig­u­ra­tions.
  • Greater sta­bil­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty due to few­er “neigh­bors” on the serv­er.
  • No lim­its on the use of a vir­tu­al serv­er.

Com­par­ing VPS and a ded­i­cat­ed serv­er, the advan­tage of vir­tu­al servers is one — you will pay less, get­ting the fea­tures of a ded­i­cat­ed serv­er.

But, like any ser­vice, a VPS serv­er has its draw­backs:

  • The cost of a VPS serv­er ser­vice is def­i­nite­ly high­er than shared host­ing pack­ages.
  • The tech­ni­cal specifics of work­ing with the serv­er requires spe­cial knowl­edge and skills.
  • It is high­ly like­ly that you will need to look for an admin­is­tra­tor for the serv­er or install a graph­i­cal con­trol pan­el, and these are addi­tion­al costs.

Who needs a VPS server

A vir­tu­al ded­i­cat­ed serv­er may be required for those online projects that require:

  • Selec­tion of addi­tion­al soft­ware.
  • Set up a basic serv­er con­fig­u­ra­tion.
  • Per­ma­nent access to serv­er logs.
  • Full con­trol over all serv­er ser­vices.
  • Root lev­el access with the abil­i­ty to use SSH com­mands cor­re­spond­ing to the lev­el
  • Send­ing a large num­ber of let­ters (lim­it 1000 let­ters) to cus­tomers.
  • No restric­tions on the pur­pose of using host­ing (except for leg­is­la­tion).
  • Pos­si­bil­i­ty to use host­ing to con­fig­ure fire­wall and/or VPN.

Choosing a VPS server

Let’s start with the fact that the qual­i­ty of the serv­er large­ly depends on the choice of a reli­able host­ing provider. There­fore, the start­ing stage of the selec­tion is the analy­sis of hoster rat­ings and the study of reviews of real users about the best com­pa­nies. After you select sev­er­al providers, start com­par­ing them accord­ing to the para­me­ters described below.

When choos­ing a VPS, it is impor­tant to choose a suit­able vir­tu­al­iza­tion sys­tem — a way to divide a phys­i­cal serv­er into vir­tu­al machines. Xen, Open­VZ, KVM, Hyper‑V are some of the most com­mon vir­tu­al­iza­tion sys­tems that many host­ing providers offer.

Which vir­tu­al­iza­tion sys­tem is used depends on:

  • The degree of iso­la­tion of one serv­er from anoth­er.
  • Flex­i­bil­i­ty in oper­a­tion and cus­tomiza­tion.
  • Vir­tu­al serv­er lim­its.
  • Abil­i­ty to install Lin­ux or Win­dows OS.

By the way, about the oper­at­ing sys­tem. It also needs to be care­ful­ly cho­sen accord­ing to the require­ments of the web project that you are imple­ment­ing. For exam­ple, if the site is run­ning on ASP or, then only Win­dows will do.

Return­ing to the issue of man­ag­ing a vir­tu­al serv­er, choose a provider that offers the abil­i­ty to install a graph­i­cal con­trol pan­el and serv­er admin­is­tra­tion ser­vices. Often, licens­es for pop­u­lar con­trol pan­els from the host are cheap­er than on the offi­cial web­site of the con­trol pan­el. This does not mean that hosters offer some kind of degrad­ed ver­sion of the license. Just due to its inter­nal part­ner­ship agree­ments, the hoster can make a dis­count for its cus­tomers. As for the admin­is­tra­tion ser­vice offered by the host, this is con­ve­nient for you, if only because you do not need to look for a free­lancer some­where on the side (and this is an addi­tion­al cost of your time and effort). In addi­tion, the host­ing provider may offer its assis­tance on an ongo­ing basis or as a one-time assis­tance. There­fore, you can def­i­nite­ly choose the most con­ve­nient option for you, giv­en the avail­able bud­get.

Pay atten­tion to the Uptime declared by the host. The high­er it is, the more sta­ble your host­ing will work. And this is a guar­an­tee that users of your web resource will be able to access it at any time. A hoster that guar­an­tees high Uptime must take care of the prop­er con­di­tions for keep­ing its servers in the data cen­ter: pro­vide sev­er­al unin­ter­rupt­ible pow­er sup­plies and sev­er­al Inter­net con­nec­tion chan­nels. If the com­pa­ny guar­an­tees all this, then this is also an indi­ca­tor that the hoster is invest­ing in its busi­ness, work­ing for the future. This can serve as an indi­ca­tor of the reli­a­bil­i­ty of the host­ing provider, which increas­es the lev­el of trust in him.

Here you can imme­di­ate­ly voice that the host­ing provider should take care to choose secure data cen­ters for cus­tomers, as well as ensure the pro­tec­tion of their servers from var­i­ous cyber attacks that are now very com­mon. It is impor­tant to under­stand in advance what the host­ing provider does to ensure the secu­ri­ty of their users and servers. Well, the respon­si­bil­i­ty for the secu­ri­ty of the site, of course, lies with its own­er. What you should also always remem­ber and take the nec­es­sary steps to ensure the secu­ri­ty of your web resource.

Of course, the cost of the ser­vice plays an impor­tant role when choos­ing a vir­tu­al serv­er. Prices for servers are very diverse and depend on many para­me­ters. The qual­i­ty of hard­ware and soft­ware, the tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics and capa­bil­i­ties of vir­tu­al servers, the avail­abil­i­ty of effec­tive cus­tomer sup­port — all this is includ­ed in the cost of a vir­tu­al serv­er. There­fore, we can imme­di­ate­ly say that if you are look­ing for reli­able host­ing, it can­not be cheap by default.

How­ev­er, you can save some mon­ey if you choose not a reg­u­lar VPS serv­er, but a cloud one. Although, of course, the sav­ings here are regard­ing the require­ments of the web project for serv­er resources. In gen­er­al, now we will explain in detail. When you order a reg­u­lar vir­tu­al serv­er, you pay for the pack­age and every­thing that is includ­ed in it. That is, if you do not use any serv­er resources, you still pay for them. For exam­ple, you do not use all avail­able disk space or RAM resource. Cloud VPS allows you to pay only for the resources you actu­al­ly use. At the same time, you can increase or decrease the amount of resources avail­able to you at any time with­out con­tact­ing tech­ni­cal sup­port or chang­ing the ser­vice pack­age.

Anoth­er extreme­ly impor­tant point when choos­ing a vir­tu­al serv­er is the avail­abil­i­ty of a tech­ni­cal sup­port ser­vice. If some­thing breaks on the site or serv­er and you can­not quick­ly deal with it your­self, then it is bet­ter to seek qual­i­fied help. Remem­ber that if you have a com­mer­cial web project, then every minute of down­time can bring you sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial loss­es. So always choose a provider that guar­an­tees fast and effi­cient 24/7 sup­port across mul­ti­ple chan­nels (such as phone, email or chat). By the way, you can check the qual­i­ty of the sup­port ser­vice even before order­ing the ser­vice — just ask ques­tions that con­cern you, for exam­ple, about the com­pa­ny’s prod­ucts, serv­er spec­i­fi­ca­tions and sim­i­lar issues.

And final­ly, one of the most impor­tant tips — use the test peri­ods or the guar­an­teed mon­ey back that the host­ing provider offers. Dur­ing this time you will be able to ver­i­fy the qual­i­ty of the ser­vice, check uptime and sup­port. And, when you ana­lyze every­thing, you can make a more bal­anced and informed deci­sion: stay with the cho­sen host or look for anoth­er one.

We hope that our advice will help you choose a reli­able vir­tu­al pri­vate serv­er that will guar­an­tee the sta­ble oper­a­tion of your web­site.







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