The world of the physical, business-side server is coming to an end as reliable and affordable virtual private server companies begin to take hold in the IT world. For many companies, this can be a difficult transition as physical servers are the way they “have always done things,” and they are reluctant to change for fear of downtime, slower hardware response or confusion about server function.
A virtual server or cloud server is exactly the same as a physical one – except for its location. The server itself is unaware that it is disconnected from the hardware it is running. So long as it continues to receive the right signals, it can control computer functions at a local level as easily as if it were in the same room with the user.
Initial concerns with the virtual server and Web hosting world centered on low uptime and a complicated platform – Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a good example of this. However, the virtual world has seen significant improvements in the last several years, giving rise to an industry that can both reduce physical space requirements and still perform at the same level as in-house servers.
The ultimate result of the physical to virtual shift has been the creation of what are known as virtual private servers (VPS). These are servers that are hosted in an off-site location and are dedicated to running the operations of one business or client. A VPS will share resources with other virtual server hosting platforms, but it is unaware of these other servers.
Now, companies can purchase VPS time by the hour based on the performance they need, and finally say goodbye to physical server maintenance issues and the potential for catastrophic local failure.