Virtual Private Servers (VPS) is an ever-green solution to run your own server due to their flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. However, with so many different types of VPS, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs. In this Ultimate VPS Buyers Guide, we will delve into the world of VPS hosting and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing a VPS for you. From understanding what a VPS is, to the key features to consider when selecting a hosting plan, we will cover it all. So, whether you are a small business owner or a seasoned developer, join us on this journey as we explore the ultimate VPS buyer’s guide.
What is a VPS?
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is a type of server that provides users with a virtualized environment similar to a physical server. A VPS runs its own copy of an operating system (OS), which can be customized to meet the user’s specific needs.
In addition to the operating system, users can install and configure their own software and applications, further enhancing their control over the hosting environment. VPS hosting also allows users to scale their resources up or down as needed, making it a highly flexible and cost-effective hosting option.
One of the key advantages of a VPS is its portability. Unlike a physical server, a VPS can be easily migrated between different hosting providers or cloud platforms without significant downtime or data loss. This means that if a user wants to upgrade to a more powerful server, they can simply move their VPS instance without having to reinstall or reconfigure their applications and data.
As a Contabo Customer, VPS upgrades can be done through the Customer Control Panel.
Overall, a VPS offers users many benefits of a dedicated server, such as control and customization, while also providing the affordability and convenience of shared hosting. With its ability to provide high-performance hosting solutions to businesses of all sizes, it is no surprise that VPS hosting has become an increasingly popular choice in the world of cloud computing.
The main reason why VPS can be so affordable while also being powerful and flexible is virtualization. This means that multiple VPS instances run as virtual machines, on a physical server in a data center. This so-called Host-System is equipped with all the hardware which then is shared between all the VPS instances on it using a Hypervisor which will distribute the needed amount of resources to each VPS instance. The amount of resources your instance gets of course depends on the VPS-tier you have chosen (e.g. VPS M which comes with 6 cores and 16 GB of RAM).
If you want to obtain further information about VPS and how virtualization works, check out our Cloud Explained Series or our dedicated article about how VPS work.
VPS vs. Dedicated Server – What Should I choose?
Many hosting providers offer dedicated servers besides VPS – and so does Contabo. But what is actually the difference between these two server types, and which one should I choose?
Resources and Performance
The most significant difference between VPS and dedicated servers is the allocation of resources. A VPS shares server resources with other users, while a dedicated server provides users with exclusive access to all server resources. This means that on dedicated server all unused resource will just idle, but you still have to pay for them. On a VPS this is different. If your instance doesn’t use all resources, they can be used by other instances on the same Host-system.Cost
Dedicated servers are generally more expensive than VPS hosting, as the user is paying for exclusive access to all server resources. VPS hosting, on the other hand, is a more affordable option, as the user is sharing resources with other users. However, the cost of VPS hosting can increase if the user requires additional resources.
When it comes to hardware customization, dedicated servers are clearly better. When buying a VPS, you always buy a certain plan with specific computing power (e.g. our VPS M SSD comes with 6 cores, 16GB RAM and a 100GB NVMe/400GB SSD drive. You can’t pick the particular RAM aor CPU brand. That’s where dedicated servers come in handy. Because you have the power over the whole server, you can choose exactly which hardware you want in your system. Of course, providers like Contabo provide some blueprints, but you can customize the server with over 500 potential combinations to your likings and it will be built however you want it to.
Software You Can Run
When it comes to what software you can run on your server, VPS and dedicated servers don’t really differ. The only difference is that nested virtualization is not allowed on most VPS. Nested Virtualization is the ability to run one VM (Virtual Machine) on one VM. At Contabo, this is only possible on Dedicated Servers and Virtual Dedicated Servers.
Dedicated servers and VPS generally offer the same high level of security, as the user has full control over the operating system. Additional secuirty features, like for example DDoS-protection is offered for VPS as well as for Dedicated Servers.
VPS hosting is generally more flexible when it comes to scaling, as the user can easily upgrade or downgrade their resources as needed through a webpanel/dashboard. With a dedicated server, the user may need to purchase additional hardware to increase resources, which then need to be installed manually. This means a technician often needs to turn the server off to perform a hardware upgrade/downgrade, so there will be some downtime compared to the instant upgrades which are possible for VPS.
A VPS is essentially a virtualized instance of a server that runs on a physical host along with other virtual machines. This virtualization allows for greater flexibility and mobility compared to a dedicated server, which is a physical server dedicated to a single user or organization. VPSs can be easily migrated or transferred between different physical hosts. This means you can move your VPS from one continent to another without significant downtime or data loss. This flexibility gives you the freedom to adapt to changing business requirements. If you want to have your dedicated server at a different location the whole physical server needs to be shipped, which is expensive, time-consuming and will bring significant downtime with it.
In conclusion, both VPS and dedicated servers have their advantages and disadvantages. A dedicated server provides users with exclusive access to all server resources, better performance. However, it is also more expensive, not easily saleable, nor portable and requires more technical expertise to manage. VPS hosting, on the other hand, is a more affordable option, provides a high degree of customization, and is easier to manage. Ultimately, the choice between VPS and dedicated hosting will depend on the user’s specific needs and budget.
Shared vs Dedicated Resources on my VPS
Now let’s compare a VPS with shared resources (classic VPS) and a VPS with dedicated resources often called a Virtual Dedicated Server (or VDS) with each other.
Resources and Performance
The primary difference between VPS and VDS is the allocation of resources. A VPS shares server resources with other users, while a VDS provides users with exclusive access to all server resources. This means that a VDS will always provide the same performance, as all the resources are dedicated to the user’s needs, and they will idle when not in use.
VDS is generally more expensive than VPS , as the user is paying for exclusive access to all server resources. VPS, on the other hand, is a more affordable option, as the resources not used will be offered to other users. If you know upfront that the task/software you want to run will use more resources than even a big, shared VPS could offer, but the load won’t be so high that you need a dedicated Server it might be best to go with a VDS instead.
When it comes to hardware customization VPS and VDS are almost equal. Just like with a VPS, you buy a VDS that is already preconfigured, or you select a predefined plan. T. Usually uou can only define the amount of CPUs, memory or storage space
Software you can run
When it comes to what software you can run on your server, VPS and VDS don’t really differ.
Of course, a VDS, like a dedicated server, has significantly more computing power than a VPS as it never shares resources with others. This means that if your software is more compute-power hungry or you plan to run many resource-intensive applications on your server at the same time, it is recommended to buy a VDS.
VPS and VDS are equally secure.
Both VPS and VDS can be scaled up or down as needed.
VPS and VDS offer the same portability possibilities.
In summary, while both VPS and VDS are virtualized hosting solutions, they differ in terms of resource allocation and management. A VPS is a shared hosting environment, while a VDS provides dedicated resources for higher levels of performance. Ultimately, the choice between VPS and VDS depends on your requirements. If you prioritize low prices, a VPS may be the better option. However, if you require dedicated resources, a VDS may be the way to go.
At Contabo we offer different Storage Types for our servers. But for some times now, all our VPS (no matter if you choose a Storage VPS or a regular VPS) are equipped with at least SSDs – no more HDDs. While you can configure our regular VPS with SSDs or NVMe SSDs, our Storage VPS are equipped with just SSDs.
If you want to learn more, we got a whole article dedicated to the difference between these storage types, what may be the best for you etc. here.
But to give you a quick idea of the difference between SSDs and NVMe-SSDs:
NVMe is by far the fastest storage on the market. The difference is so staggering that the whole operating system becomes visibly more responsive when installed on top of NVMe. Large individual files are also transferred much faster, which makes it a popular option for video editors.
The SSD drive is somewhere in the middle in terms of performance. Although they can’t compete with NVMe speed, they offer in general much more storage for the same price.
VPS at Contabo
Being a large global server provider, we of course offer VPS, VDS and dedicated servers in different shapes and forms.
We by the way offer two types of VPS: Storage VPS which comes with up to 3.2 TB storage and our best-selling Cloud VPS starting from $5.99.
We also offer a variety of VDS tiers to cater to different needs. You can see our offer ranging from 3 to 12 physical CPU cores here.
In today’s digital world, choosing the right server can be a challenging task.
To sum it up, there are three main options: dedicated servers, virtual private servers (VPS), and virtual dedicated servers (VDS). Each of these options has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
A dedicated server is a physical server that is leased to a single user. This server is fully dedicated to the user, meaning they have exclusive access to its resources. A dedicated server provides the highest level of performance and customization, making it ideal for applications that require high traffic and resource-intensive applications. However, dedicated servers are also the most expensive option.
A VPS is a virtualized instance of a server that runs on a physical host along with other virtual machines. This virtualization allows for greater flexibility and portability compared to a dedicated server. VPSs can be easily migrated or transferred between different physical hosts. A VPS is suitable for a wide range of applications, from hosting websites to running complex workloads involving many VPS. The biggest advantage of VPS is the small cost per instance.
A VDS is similar to a VPS but offers dedicated resources, allowing for consistently high performance. It offers almost the power of a dedicated server with portability and scalability of VPS. For applications that require extensive storage, a Storage VPS can provide an affordable solution. All in all, choosing between a dedicated server, VPS, and VDS, goes down to your needs and budget. If you have a high budget, require exclusive access to resources, and have specialized technical skills, a dedicated server may be the best option. If you prioritize flexibility and affordability, a VPS may be the way to go with VDS being somehow middle-of-the-road approach