When it comes down to VPS vs Dedicated Hosting, theres more to your application than placing a site online.
For an individual, or small to medium sized business, who has either outgrown the rigid confines of a Shared hosting plan, or who knows from the outset they want more power and control over their online presence, two options to consider are Virtual Private Server (VPS) vs Dedicated Server hosting.
Let's compare the two in four important areas.
With Dedicated hosting, you have full control of the physical server, and complete access to all its resources. With virtual private servers, you control a virtualized machine on a server that may host several other virtual environments.
With VPS hosting, you share the CPU with other virtual machines, and have dedicated access to whatever RAM and storage resources have been assigned to you by the hosting company.
With Dedicated Server hosting, since you aren't sharing resources with other customers, you normally have access to more computing power than you do with VPS hosting.
Given that description, the Dedicated hosting option may sound preferable. However, most websites don't need the full power of a dedicated machine. Additionally, VPS hosting provides you the flexibility to optimize your resources to grow with your needs; allowing you to keep your server size and online requirements aligned, instead of paying for server resources you aren't using.
A VPS is easier to move to a new server at any given time as well, allowing even greater flexibility. As your needs grow, you virtual server can be moved to bigger and better host servers to ensure you get the performance you need.
The difference between the control and customization offered by a Dedicated Server vs. a VPS is negligible. The only significant difference between the two is whether the OS is running on physical hardware or virtual hardware. From a customer standpoint, the two will likely work the same since you have administrative access to the OS in both cases.
Some hosting companies place service restrictions on VPS accounts, such as how many domains you can hosts, but those are terms of service limitations, not technical ones, and vary depending on the hosting company you decide to use and more often than not, the software you choose to run when managing your server (see Control Panels for more details).
Both types of hosting offer the customer full control over the server environment. Therefore, both can offer the same set of software features; assuming the resources are available to run them.
Some popular features available on both hosting plans include:
The most significant difference between Dedicated vs VPS hosting is the cost you'll pay per month. Dedicated hosting can be exponentially more expensive.
For example, VPS hosting can cost as low as $15.95/month, while the top-tier pricing for Dedicated hosting more often closer to $999.99/month. That is well over 10 times the cost!
As you can see, cost is the largest consideration in choosing between VPS hosting and Dedicated Server hosting. The flexibility of VPS hosting to easily grow with your site is also a nice benefit.
Dedicated Server hosting certainly has its place, and can fill a high-end need beyond the scope of VPS hosting. However, the majority of online needs, especially those of individuals or small to medium sized businesses, are easily met by the capable capacity of VPS hosting at a fraction of the cost. When choosing VPS vs Dedicated, the choice becomes ever more clear.