Virtual or Dedicated Server? How to Choose

When a business realizes that its web hosting needs have changed, it's important to get information about all the options available. If your website traffic has increased dramatically in the last few months and you're looking for a solution to manage the extra bandwidth required to keep your website running, then you might be interested in two services offered by hosting companies around the world: virtual private servers and dedicated servers. This article will explain both types of servers, their comparative costs and their pros and cons. After reading this, you will be in a better position to make a choice that fits your web and data hosting needs.
Virtual private server: a flexible, low-cost solution for low- to mid-level traffic
Hosting companies buy a number of servers that they put together in a dedicated space, with proper maintenance and air conditioning. Some of these servers are used exclusively by some clients (that's a dedicated server, our next topic) while others are divided into parts and each part is rented separately to different clients. A single part is called a virtual private server.
The virtual private server works just like a regular server; the hard drive of the server is partitioned into two, three or four parts and each part is rented separately. In other words, although you share the hardware with other companies, you will not share the data. Virtual private servers are perfect for businesses with small to medium hosting needs, as one partition uses a fraction of the total space capacity of the server.
Virtual private servers can be used and managed just like a regular server. You can use whichever software you want. It also has the advantage of being highly flexible: if you suddenly need more space, all the hosting company has to do is dedicate another partition to your company. No new hardware is required. It's really that simple.
If you're not sure you need a complete dedicated server, you should start with a virtual private server. It's the perfect stepping stone to web hosting when you're just starting out. It costs less than dedicated hardware, and you get the same level of customer service from your company.
Dedicated server: for websites with lots of traffic
If you own a popular website, or if your company relies on Internet business for its income, then you might want to look into a dedicated server. Instead of sharing the space with other companies through partition, a dedicated server is just that, dedicated. It means it's only yours.

Dedicated servers are obviously more expensive to rent than virtual private servers, but they have some advantages. The exclusivity on the hardware is one. You know your data is safe, and you don't have to share your bandwidth with other companies. Dedicated hosting services are perfect for those companies who don't have the space or the expertise to deal with a server on their own. And that is not counting the expense in energy for running and keeping the server cool!
A whole server can easily serve high-traffic websites, and it is also possible to use them for internal data like a client database or backups. If your needs change, you can simply transfer to another server or add one to what you already have.
Before making a decision, you need to know what you need and establish your priorities. Virtual private servers work well for those just starting out, while dedicated servers are good for businesses with more traffic and bandwidth and memory requirements. But no matter your choice, companies ensure that your domain name is exclusive and that your data is safe.

Virtual or Dedicated Server? How to Choose Virtual or Dedicated Server? How to Choose Reviewed by netfandu on May 10, 2011 Rating: 5

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