Hosting for Non-Techies

The Differences Between VPS Packages & Dedicated Servers

At ServInt, we offer a number of different hosting solutions, but many of our servers fall under one of two main categories: Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Dedicated Servers.

When we talk to customers who are choosing a server for the first time, they often don’t know the difference between these two types of services. That’s why we’ve set out to explain the pros and cons of each one, and to outline who will benefit the most from each option.

Dedicated Servers

As the name suggests, this is a single-tenant server that you can call your own. Any unused resources or storage space cannot be used by others. This is great for companies and websites that have large resource requirements and wish to handle their entire workload with a single server.

Pros:

  • More customization options (resources, backups, storage redundancy, an so on)
  • Larger resource allocations
  • No one else is sharing your server, so it’ll never be impacted by others
  • Operating system freedom
  • Customizable kernel
  • Ability to have an internal drive for cost-effective backups
  • Faster restores from backup, only one environment to restore
  • Able to connect additional network devices or setup private BackLAN Network
  • Can support far higher resource consumption

Cons:

  • Costs commensurate with paying for an entire server
  • No burstable resources, server is limited to the memory and space that was purchased
  • Not scalable, CPU, RAM, and storage upgrades require downtime
  • No virtualization layer, complicates management
  • No backups by default

VPS

With this option, you’re renting a portion of the space and resources on a server that also hosts other clients – like an apartment building. You each have your own living space, your own utilities, and a reasonable amount of privacy, but you share the building, the workout room, and pool with others. A VPS hosting solutions tend to be significantly more cost-effective than a dedicated server because you’re sharing the cost of your server’s overhead with the other VPS accounts on the host server.

This option is great for websites and businesses that don’t require a tremendous amount of CPU, RAM and storage. In many cases, one core of CPU, a couple GB of RAM, and a handful of storage is all that’s required for a few small websites or for those operating a single B2B site. Why pay for all the resources of a dedicated server when you only need a fraction of its power? VPS hosting solutions are also ideal for clients that see occasional spikes in web traffic because a VPS allows for burstability. This means you can temporarily borrow the host server’s leftover resources and use them to help sustain your server’s additional resource needs for short periods of time.

Pros:

  • Enterprise hardware
  • Redundant storage
  • Various pricing tiers for varying resource requirement
  • Scalable and a la carte resources
  • Burstable resources to allow for traffic or resource usage spikes
  • Easy to upgrade and downgrade between package tiers
  • Daily off-server network backups included by default
  • Managed Support: core software updates, troubleshooting, monitoring, and other features
  • Easy to migrate to new hardware

Cons:

  • No kernel modifications allowed
  • Though rare, hostnode failures require significant recovery time, which can range from a few hours to more than a day, and may even require a restore from backup to new hardware
  • Smaller resource allocations than Dedicated Servers and are audited regularly
  • Multiple environments hosted on a host server, leading to the potential for noisy neighbors
  • Relying heavily on burstable resources can lead to resource contention with other VPS accounts, reducing site and server performance

If you would like to learn more about VPS or dedicated servers, or would like some guidance on which option is best for your needs, please give us a call at 800-573-7846 or send us a message.

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