Companies that operate in the e-commerce market need reliable hosting. However, sometimes there are not enough hardware resources for the stable operation of a website. Problems are typically due to an unexpected and rapid rise in the number of visitors. Low-budget hosting options are usually not designed for high loads.
On the other hand, small companies usually lack sufficient funds to rent powerful servers. This article describes the essence of the problem and the best way to solve it: virtual server hosting.
The Main Types of Hosting, Their Advantages, and Disadvantages
There are two main hosting types with their own advantages and disadvantages:
- Standard shared hosting, whereby several companies use the same server;
- The company hosts its website on a private server and doesn’t share its resources with anyone.
The first option is cheap, but a user has to call for technical support if any problem arises. If the number of site visitors does not exceed a few thousand per month, shared hosting is sufficient. The main disadvantages of this hosting type are:
- Limited opportunities for the company to increase system resources;
- Data security and confidentiality may be at risk;
- Limited hosting options don’t allow the use of powerful software.
A private server allows users to maintain stable operation of the site even in the case of huge traffic (up to hundreds of thousands of visitors per month). In addition, complete confidentiality of information is guaranteed. But this type of hosting also has drawbacks:
- Private server hosting is typically too expensive;
- The company must have its own system administrator.
These requirements are not affordable for many young or small companies. So, they prefer to postpone the problem to the future.
But what if the number of site visitors increases dramatically? This can lead to interruptions in data access or even to a loss of control over the site.
Luckily there is another type of hosting available. It combines the advantages of both of the options mentioned above. At the same time, their shortcomings are minimized.
A Virtual Private Server
This type of hosting is commonly known as VPS, which stands for Virtual Private Server. So, what is a VPS server? It works with the help of the technology of virtual machines. As a rule, it means that several program-emulated computers run on the same hardware. They may have different operating systems, which don’t affect each other.
Virtualization works best on a multicore central processor. Each core will act like a separate processor controlling a part of the total memory. So, a VPS is like a little server supplying fully functional hosting.
Every VPS user will have access to a specially dedicated part of the total system resources. This approach has obvious advantages:
- You can install any operating system and software on VPS;
- Full access to root resources doesn’t affect any other user’s data;
- You can restart the VPS at any time without calling technical support.
Access to the virtual server may be managed or unmanaged. With managed access, the system administrator is responsible for the virtualization and sharing of hardware resources. If any problem arises, it’s the administrator’s duty to solve it. Unmanaged access means that the user doesn’t have any technical support.
From the point of view of the site developer, VPS hosting doesn’t differ from an ordinary private server. Yet it’s much cheaper.
Physically, a VPS may have cloud architecture involving several computers. This makes it scalable, which is especially convenient for operating with system resources on the fly. Still, the user will never have significant problems with VPS server hosting.
How to Decide Whether You Need a VPS
Despite the many advantages of a VPS, not all users need one. If it’s a simple low-budget site, standard sharing hosting will most likely be enough.
The case involves popular blogging engines like WordPress or Joomla. Their purpose is not commercial usage in large projects with a high load on hardware resources.
If the company creates an online store, it may be interested in gaining the maximum number of visitors. However, renting a private server may be too expensive for a small company.
This is the case in which virtual server hosting is the best solution. Even if an online business grows quickly, cloud architecture allows the user to allocate new resources in accordance with new demands.
From this point of view, a VPS may even be preferable to a full-scale private server. In any case, this will not happen all at once but after several years of steady development.
VPS is an affordable and efficient hosting technology for e-business companies. It combines the advantages of shared hosting with a private server. These keep data safe and offer a relatively low price of hosting. Despite some technical limitations, this technology is perfect for young but ambitious companies.
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