Virtual Private Servers - VPS Hosting

Virtual private servers are a marketing strategy used by internet hosting companies to refer to virtual servers that are intended for use by individual customers of the hosting company. In this case, the term virtual private servers is not intended to indicate the server is a completely separate and autonomous system, but is running on the same software as servers for other customers. The term is meant to indicate a section of the actual physical hardware is dedicated to an individual customer, in the same manner as if the server were its own independent machine. Another, less common, term for virtual private servers is virtual dedicated servers. It indicates the same concept, but is used less often than virtual private servers.

For customer independence, each VPS hosting system can run its own operating system and can be rebooted independent of other virtual private servers on the same machine. The concept of partitioning servers is not new; it has been common practice on mid-range and mainframe computing systems for many years. The practice has become more mainstream as the technology for virtualization and the technology for microcomputers has advanced. The physical server itself relies on what is called a hypervisor to allocate shares of resources on the server to individual clients. This is accomplished in such a way as the individual customer is totally unaware of other customers utilizing the same physical server. In the case of VPS hosting, the user is given a virtualized set of hardware to use without the awareness the hardware is not actually physical.

In what is known as a paravirtualized environment, the user is aware of the allocating hypervisor and has real-time access to the host systemís resources. This type of environment is commonly found with Linux VPS hosting, but does require more extensive programming knowledge in order to install the operating systems on the customers hosting system. In order to increase the I/O performance of an operating system, partial virtualization can be used in order for the host system to act as a virtual private server while still allowing networking and disk I/O access for the customer.

There are two types of virtual private server hosting systems that can be utilized; unmanaged hosting and unmetered hosting. Unmanaged hosting tends to be the route taken by those companies offering cheap VPS hosting solutions for their customers. In this system the customer is responsible for monitoring and administrative tasks on their own server. Unmetered hosting, on the other hand, tends to be more costly, but allows nearly unlimited data transfer to the customer. There is normally no limit set on the amount of data that can be transferred on a fixed bandwidth.

Virtual private servers are available for nearly every type of operating program and customers requiring these types of servers can go to one of several companies in order to utilize their servers. Options for both Windows VPS hosting and Linux VPS hosting are available, depending on the operating system of the end user. One of the benefits of utilizing a virtual private server system to host websites is the lack of need for costly physical hardware and operating programs. Due to the fact the entire process occurs in cyberspace, there is low overhead for the hosting company utilizing a virtual private server.