VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server,) is a hosting service in which the client is allocated an entire virtual server with full administrative rights, which makes it possible to install any software on the server. Functionally, a virtual server is no different from a physical one (hardware, “hardware”).
The term dedicated server refers to a physically independent computer in the data center that is fully assigned to a single customer. As a result, the full performance of the system is exclusively available to you with a dedicated server. In contrast to the virtual server, where several customers share a physical computer in the data center, all system resources, such as hardware performance and bandwidth, can be used for your own online project.
In addition, dedicated servers offer unrestricted freedom of configuration, so that the system can be precisely tailored to the individual requirements of your web project. Depending on the requirements, the systems can be equipped with hardware of different strengths (processor, RAM, hard disk space, etc.
Why a Dedicated Server
A separate server is needed when: when you need full control over the operating system; when you need the ability to install arbitrary software; when you need a guaranteed level of performance.
You don’t need to use a separate server to host a small website. You can use shared hosting, which is cheaper. However, you can only use the software installed by the provider. And the performance of your site will depend on the load on the shared hosting neighbors.
Where are Dedicated Servers Used?
Dedicated servers are primarily used for extensive websites such as online shops, online services or highly frequented websites on the Internet. The systems can also be used for a wide variety of other applications, such as a game server for online multiplayer games or as a database server in a network-based client-server concept. Thanks to the unrestricted freedom of configuration, individual use is possible for any purpose.
How is Virtual Server Different from VDS?
The term virtual server (Vserver for short) describes a virtually independent system that is part of a larger physical server in the data center. As a result, you as a customer receive access to a server with a firmly assured quota of system resources and a high degree of freedom of configuration. However, with a Vserver several customers share the entire hardware and bandwidth of the main system.
In contrast, customers with a dedicated server have exclusive access to the entire system. The shared use of resources on a virtual server also enables the costs for each individual customer to be reduced in this way. VServer is available in different performance classes (CPU cores, RAM, hard disk space, etc.) depending on the requirements.
Where are Virtual Servers Used?
Virtual servers are mainly used to operate larger websites, and the performance provided is often sufficient even for larger projects such as online shops or web services. Since VServer can also be configured individually, their possible uses are particularly versatile. For example, server-supported applications such as voice conference software or e-mail applications can also be operated.
A Bit of History
With the advent of the Internet, a fairly massive need arose to connect servers to the global network. This could be done in two ways: by bringing the Internet channel to your server, or by moving it to where the Internet was already, that is, to an Internet provider.
For a long time, communication lines with the Internet remained relatively expensive, so the option of placing your equipment with the provider was much more profitable than the option associated with laying a cable to your office.
In general, it was not necessary to acquire the equipment as property – it could be rented from a provider.
In any case, the client received a separate “hardware” computer located in a fast provider network. This server was called: dedicated, and the corresponding service was called collocation.
At a certain and rather long stage of the development of the Internet, the service of placing “iron” servers from the provider was in great demand.
A Little about Virtuality
Subsequently, hypervisor technologies made it possible to programmatically separate operating systems from the hardware on which they ran. Operating systems began to function inside virtual machines, which by inertia continued to be called dedicated servers. Of course, with the addition of the adjective “virtual”.
This is How the Designation Arose: VDS – “Virtual Dedicated Server”.
The most important difference for a consumer between a virtual server likeand a physical one is that it can change computing characteristics at any time and almost instantly: increase or decrease the number of processors, increase or decrease the size of RAM, increase or decrease the number and size of disks.
Basically, you can add memory or disks to the physical server too. But first, you need to buy and install them. It should be borne in mind that there are very few opportunities to sell memory and disks that you no longer need. That is, it is possible to increase the capacity of the “iron” server, but practically not to decrease it.
The number of processors on a physical server is determined by the design of the computer motherboard, and you cannot change this number.
A little about safety and reliability
A separate server gives you complete control over the system: you manage user accounts, install the required software, configure network interfaces, and firewall rules.
All these actions require you to have a certain level of qualification in the field of system administration, and this circumstance applies to both virtual and hardware servers.
However, there are many more tools to quickly restore a virtual server than to restore a hardware one. A new virtual server can be quickly created from a template or cloned from an existing and debugged old one.
Now in the clouds, you can buy services of various types and consumption models (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS). A dedicated virtual server is part of the IaaS – Infrastructure-as-a-Service model – the most versatile cloud service consumption model.
Based on a virtual machine, you can build any information system you need: install any operating system, apply any software, configure any network.
You can familiarize yourself with the concept of creating and using a virtual server as an ordinary ” hardware ” one in our article ” Consider a cloud a non-cloud “.
Thanks to the iCloud control panel and its web console, you can manage a virtual machine that does not have a single network interface at all.
Both hardware and virtual servers give you the ability to build universal information systems. But virtual, in contrast to “hardware” – allows you to quickly change the computing power in both directions.
Just as quickly, you can create new virtual servers in the cloud and delete those that are no longer needed. All this makes your information system hosted in the cloud extremely flexible.
When it comes to the question of “dedicated server or virtual server?”, The intended use and the required performance parameters are the most important factors. While particularly high-performance applications require a dedicated server, less demanding online projects can also be implemented on a virtual server. Choosing the right system is of course always a question of the available budget. While the costs for a dedicated server are generally higher, virtual servers can already be provided at particularly favorable conditions.