Virtual Private Servers
The virtualized server is the future of web hosting. A typical server sits idle, wasting resources while web services wait for a spike in traffic. Virtualization attempts to ease that waste by taking a single server and dividing that into several, virtualized guest servers. These guests interact and operate exactly like a dedicated server all while saving space, power, and the environment.
The primary advantage to a VPS is that you pay only for what you need, meaning you save a lot of money in comparison with a dedicated server. Additionally, a VPS gives you complete root access to your server meaning you can install the applications you like and manage your own security. While a VPS can be all upside in theory, problems arise when VPS providers oversell their host boxes and flood them with too many guests. This can lead to your VPS not receiving the resources that were promised. You should always make sure that you pick a reputable host before entering a VPS contract with them. Run benchmarks, speed tests, and take advantage of trial periods.
The final problem with VPS solutions is that you are often restricted by bandwidth. Examine the services you will be hosting before you throw them onto a VPS since bandwidth overage charges can be very expensive. Also, some VPS providers will restrict the types of servers you can run. Make sure that the provider you choose will allow you to run any additional web services above the basics.
A VPS comes in two types: managed or unmanaged. A managed service will have full support from the provider and typically cost a lot more while an unmanaged service will be cheaper and have absolutely no support from the hosting provider. Consider your experience level before jumping into an unmanaged VPS.
VPS solutions are ideal for the enthusiast or medium-sized business user who wants to run multiple services and have full control of their server setup. A VPS can do a lot more than run a website and provides a user with a full developmental playground. Since VPS providers often run out of large scale datacenters, a medium to large scale VPS solution can be perfect for websites experiencing occasional spurts of heavy traffic or constant mid-range traffic loads. Before jumping into a VPS, users should know what they are getting themselves into since a VPS can require a lot of work.