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VPS vs. VDS : Head to Head Comparison

Business owners are always looking for a way to widen their reach and increase their customer base. With the emergence of technology and its rapid growth, one of the best ways to achieve this is undoubtedly by being present online and easily accessible.

Of course, the “online battle” that business owners and companies are waging is not simple. On which social media platforms should a company advertise? Should it advertise aggressively or more subtly? How much money should the company spend on online advertising?

These questions are relevant for any business owners looking to build or maintain their online presence. However, a question is arguably more important than the ones mentioned. The answer could potentially make or break the way they do business online: Which is the correct type of hosting for the company?

Since hosting is something every business needs, if it wants to have a website, store, blog, etc., choosing the right type of hosting is essential to a successful online marketing campaign.

That’s why, in today’s article, I will look at virtualization as a cheap and profitable hosting option, and I will compare and contrast VPS (Virtual Private Server) and VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server), as these are the two terms that are widely associated with virtualization.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what VPS and VDS mean.

Behind The Scenes Of VPS

As mentioned earlier, VPS stands for a Virtual Private Server. The simple definition of a VPS is an incredible fusion of the best aspects of a dedicated server and shared hosting. A VPS is a virtual operating system that is part of a parent physical server that imitates the environment of a dedicated server within a shared server.

Important: A VPS acts like a physical server, but it isn’t one. A VPS is actually a piece of software that emulates dedicated hardware.

There are a couple of VPS types, including managed and unmanaged VPS hosting.

A VPS uses a hypervisor, which is a specialized virtualization technology that separates the hardware with virtual layers into separate virtual servers. In turn, it allows users access to dedicated or private resources within a shared environment.

Additionally, VPS gives its users root access through which they can make changes to the hosting environment and install apps and other features independently, allowing users to have their privacy from other users.

When it comes to VPS users, they are usually individuals or businesses that need more advanced plans than the shared hosting ones on a budget. Also, many users opt for VPS because they need more secure environments that will not cost too much. More specifically, most VPS users are SaaS providers, game makers, programmers, etc.

Another reason why individuals and companies choose VPS is because it is more reliable, secure, and has better performance than shared servers. And the best part? VPS is cheaper than dedicated servers.

Behind The Scenes Of VDS

Before I dig into VDS, an important thing to know is that these two types of servers offer very similar features and achieve similar effects. However, there are some critical differences between VPS and VDS that I will list later on. For now, let’s first see what a VDS is in more detail.

VDS stands for Virtual Dedicated Server, a virtual machine that allows users to lease a managed but dedicated server to develop, deploy, and host web apps. Fast forward, both VPS and VDS rely on virtualization technology. That’s why many users refer to both terms as synonymous ones. Some even believe VDS is the fancier version of a VPS. However, VPS and VDS differ in the virtualization method used.

Interestingly enough, VDS pre-dates VPS when it comes to virtualization. It was created in the early days of virtualization, but VPS was the one that spread quicker, even though it was created after VDS.

Note: The primary difference is that while a VPS can be tied to multiple server instances, the VDS is essentially connected to one.

VPS providers partition a single dedicated server into multiple virtual server instances. Then, they allocate server resources to each VPS instance, according to the specifications in the VPS plans. Simply put, the VPS provider pools together resources from several servers while the software allocates the needed amounts to each instance.

Behind The Scenes Of VDS

The thing is, if the VPS provider is unfair, they can install instances than the hardware can accommodate in reality. Usually, these providers assume that not all VPS instances will operate at a peak. But if this assumption turns out untrue, the provider will create unnecessary lag time or negatively affect the overall server performance.

On the other hand, the VDS users receive the server’s dedicated resources with a virtualized layer on top of the server. Due to this, customers usually confuse VDS with bare metal servers.

Each VDS comes with pre-defined fixed resources, such as disk space, CPU, memory, operating system, and bandwidth, meaning instances cannot infringe on each other’s resources. Better yet, the instances number installed on specific hardware will not exceed the actual hardware capacity.

So, with a VDS, you will not be “sharing” the resources with any other users. If another customer performs at a peak, your performance will not be affected. Still, these benefits come at a price, making the VDS a more expensive option than the VPS.

Important: A VDS usually has one to two custom components (CPU, RAM, or Bandwidth). If it has all three dedicated resources, it’s classified as a dedicated server.

It’s safe to say that a VDS lies somewhere between VPS and a dedicated server. With this option, you can get the benefits of the VPS, with one to two dedicated components.

Consequently, at this point, you can choose from VDS (CPU), VDS (RAM), and VDS (Bandwidth).

First, if you go for a VDS (CPU), you will get dedicated computing power or a certain number of physical CPU cores permanently assigned for your exclusive use. In other words, you will not be sharing the processing power with anyone else on the same server, which is perfect if you have a CPU-demanding workflow.

If, however, you have memory-intensive tasks, you will need dedicated RAM and fast NVMe storage for high server performance. So, the proper choice for you would be the VDS (RAM). Still, keep in mind, VDS providers usually combine dedicated CPU and RAM since they are highly related and cannot function independently.

At last, you can get bandwidth as a dedicated component if you opt for bandwidth-intensive tasks, such as streaming or file sharing.

The Difference in Creation

It is safe to say that VPS and VDS are pretty similar. However, there are essential differences that separate one from the other. One of the main differences is in the way how host servers allocate resources to the two virtual servers.

  1. VPSs are created using OS-level virtualization. The virtual servers created in this way are basically operating systems that run in a container. VPSs share the core of the mother operating system along with the CPU, memory, storage, and bandwidth of the main server. This kind of virtualization is a bit limited, but it is still quite efficient and compatible with most tasks and does not require extensive changes to the OS.
  2. VDS is created using the paravirtualization method. This method requires a hypervisor, which is software that runs above the level of the OS. The hypervisor does the resource allocation between the host OS and the VMs (Virtual Machines), enabling a higher virtualization level. Here, the core of the mother operating system is not shared between users, which means that both the mother OS and VMs have separate cores. Additionally, the customization level with the paravirtualization method is much higher than OS-level virtualization. Also, this method requires OS changes, so the preferred OS is the Linux open-source.

VPS vs. VDS (Comparison)

Key Differences Between VPS and VDS

Allocates dedicated resources to the instance from a pool of shared resourcesOne to two components (out of CPU, RAM, and GPU) are dedicated, while the rest come from a pool of shared resources (same as VPS)
More closely resembles a shared environment

(somewhere between shared hosting and a VDS)

More closely resembles a dedicated environment (somewhere between VPS and a dedicated server)
It hosts multiple server instancesTied to a single server instance
It is more cost-effectiveIt is more expensive and less cost-effective
It offers less functionality than VDSHigher-level functionality than VPS
Some predominant convenienceNo predominant convenience
It is optimal for tasks that do not require high-loads like connecting remote desktops and collective work with office applications, corporate websitesIt is suitable for streaming video and audio apps, game servers, and high-load apps with much traffic

VPS/VDS Advantages and Disadvantages

Now, let’s look at the overall advantages and disadvantages that VPS and VDS have to offer. I will go through the pros and cons for both types of virtual servers, as they offer similar features and functionalities.

Flexible and convenient to useRequires at least some advanced technological skills
Other additional web apps can be used with the VPS/VDSBecause the physical web server’s hardware resources are shared by the many websites that use it, your VPS may not be able to use the total amount of RAM or disk space
Can be independently rebootedThe amount of random access memory (RAM), central processing time, and server disk space available on a virtual private server (VPS) is limited
VPS hosting is cheaper than a full dedicated server planVDS prices can be pretty high
Most plans can be customized according to user needs
Most plans are scalable
Users have more control over the virtual server compared to shared hosting
Good technical support
It offers more freedom and features compared to shared hosting servers
Numerous websites can be hosted efficiently
It offers many advanced features

What Your VPS/VDS Provider Should Offer?

Choosing the right VPS/VDS provider can significantly impact your website, store, or blog. If you choose the right provider that satisfies your needs, you can be sure that you are doing your part in improving the overall condition of your website. The real dilemma, though, is which criteria to use for your decision?

Note: The performance and reliability of your website are ultimately determined by the hosting service you choose.

Some factors that your provider must have in order for your website to be successful and reliable are:

  • The type of VPS you want – before making any decisions and conducting further research, it would be best if you decided on which type of VPS you need, i.e., managed or unmanaged
  • Performance – regardless of whether you choose managed or unmanaged VPS, you have to consider the server’s performance, and it should be compatible with the VM’s hardware specs
  • CPU – it is also imperative to choose a provider that offers good CPU features, and the most recommended processors are the ones that have more cores and modest speed, rather than picking the fastest processor
  • Memory – it is vital to make sure that your provider offers enough memory for the number of workloads on your system
  • Network – it is crucial that your provider has a good network in place and offers a sufficient amount of available bandwidth. The bandwidth you’ll need depends on the size of your site, visitors, etc.
  • Reliability – look for a provider that guarantees at least 99.5 percent uptime, which is the lowest acceptable uptime in the industry
  • Customer Support – your VPS provider, should give ongoing and constantly available customer support that will help you with anything you might need
  • Virtualization method – it is essential to research the different types of virtualization and choose the one that works for you, as there are many virtualization technologies available today
  • Security and backups–the provider you choose should offer protection for your site at all times, as security is crucial for any site because it handles essential data. When choosing a provider, make sure to review security features such as DDoS and CDN and see which packages contain these and other essential security features
Tip: Select a VPS server in the location from which the majority of your traffic originates.

The Right Time to Switch to a VPS/VDS

Something that I believe could come in handy to any user out there today is to know when they should switch and upgrade to VPS/VDS. This way, you will make sure that you sustain your website’s growth, move together with it, and not fall behind.

So, on that note, here are a few indicators that are potential signs telling you to make the switch:

  • Website growth – your website growth is an excellent indicator that your current plan will not be enough to satisfy this growth. Persistent higher traffic volumes are a great indicator that will tell you that you need more significant resources and more advanced features, hence telling you to switch to a VPS/VDS. Otherwise, sticking with the same plan could potentially have a negative effect on your visitors’ experience and website overall
  • Slower website – when you add more material to your website, it gets ‘heavier,’ which means it consumes more RAM. Your site will slow down if you exceed your current plan’s limits. A VPS can help you scale and speed up your website
  • Hosting more websites – if you want to host more than one website, a VPS/VDS can come in handy because you can use it as a single access point to all your different websites

Concluding Remarks

So, what is the final tally? Is VPS better, or is VDS the right choice? Well, the answer is not relatively as straightforward as you might think. There are some factors to consider before choosing one over the other.

Basically, choosing VPS or VDS depends entirely on your personal and business needs.

VPS is recommended for first-time users since it is able to handle a new website reasonably well. This is because the likelihood of multiple instances peaking is rare, and VPS will not affect your site. Also, you can be your own judge and evaluate whether VPS does an excellent job. If not, you can always upgrade to a VDS.

VDS is recommended for websites that deal with intensive workloads that require advanced CPU, RAM, or Bandwidth. And if you emphasize privacy, then VDS is the one for you as you will not have to share any resources with other users.

So, at the end of the day, it is all up to you. You alone know what the best move for you and your business is, and if you include everything said above in your decision-making process, you are all set to make the right decision!

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