Virtual Server vs Dedicated Server: There is more to choosing the right hosting plan than just the pricing. Your hosting plan plays a pivotal role in the distribution of online content. As your business takes off, you might outgrow your current hosting plan.

So, the hosting plan you choose should scale and adapt to your business. You might have to choose from one of the two options, Virtual Private Server, or Dedicated Server.

In case you are struggling to figure out the differences between the two, we will compare the hosting plans in detail to help you understand. By the end of this Virtual Server vs Dedicated Server article, you will know the right choice for your budget and needs.

Overview: Virtual Server vs Dedicated Server

Dedicated servers are physical machines. Virtual servers are made up of software. Virtual servers operate on dedicated servers, the resources of which are distributed among multiple virtual servers.

You can imagine virtualization in stages. The RAM, hard drive, processor, and other elements of the dedicated server are the bottom stage. The dedicated server operates an operating system. On that OS operates a hypervisor. The hypervisor in turn works and controls multiple virtual servers, which connect with the dedicated server’s operating system, and therefore the primary hardware, through the hypervisor.

To clarify it, the stages of a virtual server approximately resemble like:

Hardware > OS > Hypervisor > Virtual Servers

What is a Virtual Private Server?

A virtual private server hosts the information of several clients on a single physical machine. It uses a hypervisor for separating tenants on the server. So, the resources on the server are split into multiple virtual machines.

Due to account isolation in VPS, the allocation of resources is guaranteed. Also, the performances of each server are independent of the other sites operating on it. So, it differs from shared servers in terms of the availability of resources and software.

VPS Hosting services provide full root access that gives you complete access over the server configuration. Hence, it is a great upgrade over Shared Hosting.

What is a Dedicated Server?

As the name suggests, a dedicated hosting server is associated with one client. The client gets access to the complete range of resources on the server, including hard drive storage capacity, network access, processing power, and memory.

It is ideal for sites with a high volume of traffic. Nevertheless, one of the major drawbacks of a dedicated server is the cost of buying a whole server. Many startup companies might not be able to afford it.  

Video Credit: Chris Titus Tech

Virtual Server vs. Dedicated Server

Now, let’s check out the differences between the two hosting solutions.

Resource Allocation

VPS hosting is like sharing pizza. You share every resource on the server, from the slices to the dips. If you require little extra of any resource, there is no guarantee you will get it.

But if you choose dedicated hosting, you have your own resources. It might be large, medium, or small based on how much you need. Yes, you will have to pay more, but you have the resources to yourself. VPS hosting is not as limited as dedicated hosting. Since you have access to a larger portion of the server, you will get access to more resources. Also, you are going to get complete access to the server environment. It means you can install additional software and edit a file on the server.

Performance

When it comes to web hosting, good performance plays a crucial role. It is about how quickly the website loads and runs.

Dedicated servers always have an advantage over VPS serves as you don’t have to share the resources with other users. So, the website loads quickly. In simple words, there is a little performance tax to using a server in a visualized setup.

So, it is another win for dedicated hosting. When you have greater resources, your site can deal with big surges of traffic and yet load quickly. With VPS hosting, you can expect to enjoy a good loading speed. However, when there are multiple sites on the server and traffic spikes, your site might slow down.

Security

Security is another important thing to consider when you are choosing between VPS and a dedicated server. If you are using VPS, and some other side on the server suffers a security breach, you might be at risk. Sure, they will still have to hack into your website but there is always a security risk.

However, dedicated hosting is like having the entire property to yourself. So, you are responsible for your own safety. Yes, it can be broken into, but other’s carelessness is not going to put you at risk. VPS hosting is usually very secure, but dedicated hosting provides better protection. With both types of hosting, you can install your own security software. Nevertheless, it is dedicated hosting that gives you complete control over any kind of security breaches.

Scalability

Scalability refers to the extent to which a hosting plan can grow with the site. VPS is highly flexible when it comes to scaling factors. They are more functional with adding or removing resources. You might be using only a part of the available resources on the server, but the resources can be allocated without any hardware changes.  

A dedicated server will offer you access to the complete resource base. Nevertheless, expanding the resources needs adding modules or slots to the physical server. It can be time-consuming and expensive. Also, it can’t be done in real-time. Hence, additional redundancy measures must be in place to allow downtime.

 VPS hosting takes a lead in terms of scalability. It serves as a great middle-ground for sites sitting between dedicated and shared hosting plans. VPS hosting grows with the site until you are prepared to upgrade.

But with a dedicated hosting plan, you have scaled to the summit already.

virtual server vs dedicated server

Advantages of Virtual Servers over Dedicated Servers

Virtual Server Hosting has multiple benefits over dedicated servers, both for the client and the hosting provider.

Virtualization enables a hosting provider to distribute a costly dedicated server among various customers, decreasing the expense for each. Designing a new virtual server is as easy as operating any software, so they are available instantly compared to a dedicated server, which has to be physically linked and configured.

A few types of virtual servers can be designed and damaged by the client in moments. They only spend for the server as far as it survives and utilizes resources. Virtual servers similar to these are generally named cloud servers. Virtual servers are available for longer durations, weekly monthly, or yearly, plans are generically known as virtual private servers, even though a few providers also refer to them as cloud servers. You can also use a VDI desktop as a service to increase your efficiency in work. Virtual servers are generally more adaptable, scalable, and active over a short duration of time.

Advantages of Dedicated Servers over Virtual Servers

There are a few conditions in which a dedicated server is more preferable to a virtual server.

The significant advantage of dedicated servers, which are also known as bare-metal servers, is potential and performance. Dedicated servers are the most robust server hosting alternative available. Virtualization in limited situations causes resource dispute problems that have an effect on performance. Dedicated servers do not experience this critical issue. If performance is the most essential element, then a dedicated server is the correct alternative. Dedicated servers are also exceptional for anticipated workloads, or workloads that do not switch suddenly just to need the minute-by-minute scalability of cloud servers.

Dedicated servers are single-tenant structures. Hence, only a single client has access to the hardware. Virtual servers are multi-tenant structures. Hence, a client has total access to the virtual server structure, but they distribute the hardware with two or more clients. Even though the security elements of a multi-tenant hosting structure are minimum, a few of the server users like the privacy of a single-tenant structure more than the multi-tenant structure.

VPS vs. Dedicated Server Hosting: Which One to Choose?

We have come to the end of the VPS vs. dedicated server discussion, and we hope we have been successful in clearing up the difference between the two. They both differ in many ways. So, you should choose the one that suits your site the best.

FAQ

How to Know If I am Ready to Upgrade from VPS to Dedicated Hosting?

Often big websites have an issue with loading speed when they use VPS hosting. In case visitors complain about slow loading speed, find out if you have got the bandwidth you need. Again, if your website deals with loads of sensitive data, upgrade to a dedicated server to avoid security risks.

Is VPS Private?

Since VPS separates your files from other users on the operating system, it is a private server. It means your site is within a secure container and you will have access to guaranteed server resources. It doesn’t require you to share any of the resources with others.

How Much Does Virtual Private Server Cost?

Since VPS is hybrid in nature, its cost is not as low as the fees of the shared hosts. However, it is also not as high as the fees of dedicated hosts. You might have to pay $20-$100 per month based on the configuration.

Can I Get a Free VPS Server?

Yes, free VPS hosting exists, but they are not going to be as robust as the paid options. But free plans can be a good option if you are just getting started.

Are dedicated servers better?

Selecting dedicated servers allows you the flexibility to select and set up the hardware according to your needs. The dedicated server is superior to a VPS or cloud server in a variety of ways. It can provide you with more performance in terms of CPU as the resources on dedicated servers are allocated to you only.

Is dedicated server faster than VPS?

Yes, The significant advantage of dedicated servers, which are also known as bare-metal servers, is potential and performance. Dedicated servers are the most robust server hosting alternative available.

Is a virtual server the same as a cloud server?

No.

What is the biggest benefit to using a virtual private server over a dedicated server?

VPS greatly improves reliability and stability over the shared host. In contrast to traditional VPS hosting Hybrid Servers are separated from each other and only a handful of server instances are shared on every node. This ensures maximum performance and uptime.

Closing Notes: Virtual Server vs Dedicated Server

Making a choice is very difficul and depends on the environment. Here is the summary that will help you to decide between VPS and dedicated servers.

Now you should be aware of the different distinctions between dedicated as well as VPS hosting. If all else is equal the best option is to select a VPS, except for the particular situations that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. A VPS provides everything webmasters require, and you can scale it to handle the demands of high-traffic scenarios.

Do not forget, however you should remember that the different management options you will receive as part of the hosting plan are as important as the requirements and customer service therefore, ensure that you test these thoroughly with a couple of hosts before you make the crucial decision!

Although the costs on these DigitalOcean or Vultr VPS plans certainly look inexpensive, remember that they are unmanaged servers. If you’d like controlled services, you’ll have to pay a little more, whether selecting a managed service or by paying for the control panel for your server. Even if you choose to do this you’ll be paying significantly lower than hosting dedicated to.

Server TypeIt is ideal forTariff/Price StructureAdvantages
VPS(Virtual private server)Websites with expected traffic(Traffic is known of fixed)Yearly/Monthly/hourly1) Preconfigured servers are available in a variety of configurations.
Cost-effective
2) Flexible resource limitations with the ability to use the resources of other websites on your server.
3) You can install your own security software, but if other sites on the server have a security breach, you’re still susceptible.
4) Cheaper over dedicated hosting, with a reasonable price range of $20 to $120 per month.
Dedicated serverweb applications Yearly/Monthly1) Massive resource limitations can be adjusted month to month to meet your demands.
2) You are in command of your own security and may install tools to secure your website without having to rely on others.
3) Based on the resources available to your website, you may expect lightning-fast loading rates.
4) The most powerful and costly form of hosting, with monthly costs often ranging from $100 to $400.

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Raushan Kumar
A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

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