VPS Vs Dedicated Server – What is the Big Deal?

vps vs dedicated server

When business owners are on the way to decide on the type of server hosting they want to get for their website VPS and Dedicated Servers are two big sumo wrestlers furious against each other! It is often intimidating because it involves technical stuff and stuff related to the performance of the site since it is the matter of business, not a hobby of course. Confusion can be justified because not every business owner knows the minute details that can let him choose the right type of hosting in the first place.

You might have questions like:

  • Which is better VPS or Dedicated server?
  • Which one is affordable in these two?
  • How does either of them control website performance?

In this article, we are going to explore what hosting suits what kind of websites, what are the pros and cons of VPS and Dedicated servers and how to choose either of the two.

First, let’s get into the basic details of the two types of servers:

VPS: A VPS is basically a virtual server. In VPS hosting each website is given a small space on one big physical server. You can imagine a person checking in in a motel. You are given a room to stay like everybody else there. You are in a motel but more precisely you are in a small room of a big motel! Likewise a VPS a shared environment, a leased space on a common big server which is isolated into multiple accounts. The server contains several virtual server configurations which share the resources of a single physical server.

DEDICATED SERVERS: Dedicated servers are the hosting servers that do not share websites of other webmasters. The complete server is allocated to you and only your website uses all the resources of the server. The server is secure and nobody except you can access the server resources or data that is stored in the server. Dedicated servers are literally “dedicated” to only one webmaster. If you get unmetered bandwidth servers you don’t have to pay extra for increased bandwidth consumption in case high traffic.

Now the question arises: how to choose one over the other?

While choosing between VPS and dedicated servers, you must examine them on these 4 basic parameters:

  • Resources and limitations
  • Hardware variances
  • If the servers match your hosting requirements
  • Are they managed or not?

These four parameters are of prime important taking into account the performance of your website. But analyzing the suitability of the type of web hosting is not a single-handed job. First, you have to determine the things you want to achieve with your website. How much data will be transferred to and fro between the website and the server and the amount of traffic your website will have to handle.  After getting a clear picture of the kind of website you actually want to host you can go toward deciding on the type of hosting you should get.

1.   Resources and limitations

Knowing the specifications of your hosting:

When you get dedicated hosting for your website you completely know all the specifications of the server. Since the server only belongs to you, there is full transparency in what the server provides you. That is the reason dedicated servers are more secure.

You often get limited information when you go with a VPS hosting. With a VPS, you may miss out on the important and real information of the server that’s been divided up into multiple VPS accounts. You are often not told what the provider is actually using. XEN, KVM, VMW or some other hypervisor (virtual machine monitor) are the types of servers that are used for providing hosting. There are also chances of the server being oversold because not all webmasters use complete resources of their hosting server. There is a misconception that XEN cannot be oversold, but actually, it can certainly be oversold using a method called ballooning. Since very fewer webmasters use their resources fully, the extra resources can be sold to others that may affect existing websites.

With Dedicated servers you know the following things

  • Model of the CPU
  • The type and amount of RAM
  • The capacity of the hard drive
  • The amount of bandwidth and
  • The speed of the uplink port.

Along with the specifications of the server, you exactly know the limitations of the server because you have complete access to the entire server and nothing can stay outside your notice.

What is it with VPS:

VPS providers tell the RAM you will get and the number of cores that are provisioned for your package. In operation, many webmasters use less than 20% allotted CPU resources, and so the providers oversell those resources. This causes the VPS to choke.

Many times you know the specifications of the server but not the limitations or the behind the scene operations that are going on with the server. This means that if you have a fast growing website you may have to face problems with your VPS server since you are not aware of the newly posed limitations until they show up. 

2.   Hardware variances:

The type of hardware provision also affects the hosting experience.

  • With the VPS package, you are not aware of the hardware the hosting provider is using. It can be an old CPU, a SATA or SAS drive or desktop hardware. All of these provisions are different in terms of performance and hosting experience.
  • The majority of dedicated servers are leased to clients who understand servers hosting and therefore such servers are normally provisioned with server grade hardware, in either Dell or Supermicro variety. Most are now provisioned with SSD drives to maximize performance. RAID 1 is also commonplace; however, RAID is not considered to be a true backup solution.

3.   Matching servers to your specific hosting requirements:

Considering specification differences between a VPS and a dedicated server is not enough! Even a perceived mismatch or a conditional mismatch to your actual hosting requirements could prove disastrous for website operation. Knowing the critical questions before selecting the server and getting them answered from the provider is important in the first place. You need to lay out in very specific terms what your realistic expectations are and what you intend to achieve with the server. That does not mean to count only on your current requirements, but also your anticipated requirements of the near future. You owe it to yourself to start off with a workable solution.

4.   Are they managed or not?

Managed services are available for both VPS and dedicated server solutions. A managed server is best if you are not much into technical things and cannot stuff like firewalls, applications etc. Most webmasters think VPS is better because of low cost but actually, the cost of management of a VPS can exceed the server cost itself. If you get a managed dedicated server it always gives you more comfort. If you’re not sure of, it’s best to get a word from experts.

Choosing a right type of server is not a dilemma if one follows these steps to select a server hosting. It highly depends on the type of site you have and the things you want to achieve with the server hosting.

A Dedicated server is worth only if:

  • You have a high traffic website receiving over 500,000 visitors per month.
  • You have the technical staff to maintain and optimize your server.
  • You want to enable secure payment gateways on your website.
  • You have a big business and you need more applications for your website.
  • You can invest enough time to setup a dedicated server because it is time-consuming.

A VPS is worth if:

  • You don’t want to build big business website.
  • Your website will not have financial transactions.
  • Your website is going to have low or medium traffic.
  • You are a beginner and you want to start off with a blog.
  • You want a cheap server and you can set it up easily.

Now, over to you!