Up until a few years ago businesses really only had two choices when it came to storing their digital content on a server: either they bought or hired their own or they had to be prepared to share with others.
That was until virtualized servers came along and ushered in a new era of the Virtual Private Server (VPS). VPS’s are a fantastic option for businesses as they offer much of the flexibility of dedicated servers without many of the limitations of shared servers. Think of them as a kind of technological halfway house.
In fact, keeping the idea of a house in mind, let’s quickly explain the main differences between shared, dedicated and virtual private servers.
Using a shared server is a bit like living in a house with lots of other people you don’t know. And the worst part of it is that what they get up to on the server can actually affect the performance of your business.
With shared hosting you ‘rent’ the same physical server along with a number of other guests. You don’t get dedicated resources allocated to you and therefore the server’s memory and computer power can be affected by the needs of your co-sharers. So, for example, if someone decides to send out a photo-heavy newsletter to thousands of email addresses your company’s backups might take longer to complete.
You’re not allowed to choose your operating system as all guests have to use the same configuration. So just like when renting a room you’re not entitled to make changes to the place without talking to your landlord (the hosting provider) first.
Being hosted on a shared server is generally the cheapest hosting option around, making it a potentially good starting point for small businesses with low-traffic sites. But if you have serious ambitions to grow and you want the reassurance of extra security and stability then we recommend it may be time to consider moving out and moving up!
Having a dedicated server, on the other hand, is more like owning the entire house! Here you buy or rent an entire physical server for your business and therefore never need to invite anyone else in. For companies with high-traffic websites or big processing demands when it comes to databases, emails, backups, VoIP, file sharing, FTP etc, dedicated servers can be a great solution. They are also a good choice for those who demand the very highest levels of security and reliability,
With dedicated servers you get to choose the operating software (and even the hardware) in your digital ‘home’, making it the fastest, most customisable option available. However, such exclusivity often comes with a hefty price tag, making it unnecessarily expensive for a lot of small to medium-sized businesses.
Virtual private servers bridge the gap between these two options. Think of VPS’s as a kind of flatshare – you still share a building with other people but you get your own flat and you can customize your own space the way you want to.
With a VPS you get the best of both worlds – the control and security of dedicated servers and the affordability of shared hosting. At UK IT Service we believe VPS’s are the future, so here are five reasons why we think you should consider a VPS for your business.
Just like with a dedicated server all of the resources on your VPS are yours and yours alone. The amount of RAM and CPU available on a VPS is often much more than that commonly offered in shared hosting packages – allowing you to handle much more traffic while running a higher number of apps.
Not only do you often get more RAM, CPU and disk space but because these resources are dedicated to you they’ll make any processes on your VPS run faster, smoother and ensure they have less impact on other processes running at the same time. So, for example, your website won’t slow down if you’re upgrading your email client or backing up important files.
If you’re a business thinking of launching a new website (or if your current one is attracting more traffic than you had originally planned) then one of the biggest benefits of a VPS is the ability to easily scale your hosting resources.
That’s because when you choose a VPS your environment is hosted in what is known as a container, which is allocated a specific amount of resources according to the hosting package you have chosen. Containers can easily and quickly be allocated fewer or more resources without causing technical issues or downtime – so your server needs can grow at the same pace as your business.
At UK IT Service we’ve got a number of hosting packages that can be adapted to your company’s specific needs. Just contact us and we’ll be delighted to talk through the options.
If you like the idea of a VPS but are concerned about having to manage and maintain it yourself then relax – the majority of VPS hosting companies (like ours) are happy to take on this responsibility for you.
A good host provider will ensure your VPS benefits from the latest software and security updates while maintaining the server hardware for 24/7/365 trouble-free performance.
At UK IT Service all our UK based Data Centres are ISO 27001 accredited Tier-3 Data Centres, which is the highest tier level available in the UK. In addition, we build our virtual environment with PCI compliance and Cyber Security in mind. All our hosting packages come with our unlimited server support as standard, meaning you feel confident you’ll always have someone to talk to should you have any questions about your VPS.
A Greener Choice
Can you switch to a VPS and help protect the environment at the same time? Actually, you can – because VPS is a very eco-friendly form of technology.
Rather than buying or hiring your own dedicated server, where you’re the only one benefiting from the resources and the power consumption to that server, with a VPS you’ll be sharing a larger dedicated server that has been divided into multiple virtual environments.
So if your business is keen to go green a VPS could help reduce your ‘digital’ carbon footprint. After all, fewer servers using less power can only be a good thing for the planet!
VPS’s are here to stay as more and more businesses make the move from shared servers to a place they can virtually call their very own. If you need help moving in or moving up to a VPS be sure to reach out to our team for expert and impartial advice.
At UK IT Service we work we help London based business with making the most out of their technology. If you’re looking for IT support in London, or if you need some advice and guidance with your current setups and processes, get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.