What is VPS Hosting? [2021]

 VPS Hosting

What is VPS hosting?

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Virtual Private Servers are virtual machines running on one main system. This article will discuss VPS hosting in depth! If you ever used a program such as VirtualBox or VMware Workstation on your PC to test out different operating systems and software then you have used technology exactly like this. VPS Hosting takes this concept and brings it to the cloud. Our VPS Hosting uses a technology called QEMU which is a CPU emulator with a hypervisor called KVM which is short for Kernel Virtual Machine. This technology allows us to purchase large, powerful and expensive machines that we can then split into many virtual machines powered by the virtual processor. This allows you to get what is an essentially a full machine in the cloud without having to pay for a whole dedicated machine. The major features of our vps for hosting is the low prices per gigabyte, unlimited bandwidth, fast network port, and dedicated IPv4 included for free. Many large businesses use VPS for hosting their applications such as databases and websites. In my opinion, a VPS is the perfect entry point in learning cloud technology.

VPS vs Other hosting

The major difference when comparing VPS to Dedicated server hosting is the price, performance, and setup time. That brings me to how this compares to a dedicated machine. Since a VPS is a Virtual Machine, you are sharing the CPU, RAM, and Storage, Network and other I/O devices with other users. When you buy a dedicated machine, you get all the resources to yourself so you do not need to worry about slowdowns Since Virtual Machines are all in software, the setup is automated meaning you will be up and running in minutes. Dedicated servers usually need to be powered on and configured by a human meaning you will have to wait up to 48 hours.

Another type of hosting is shared hosting which includes our hosting for minecraft server. This is one level down from Virtualization and often uses a technique called containerization. Two other good examples of shared hosting is our Game Hosting and Web Hosting. Shared hosting is when many users are on one machine and use one panel without having much control other than a single application such as Minecraft or CS:GO or in the case of web hosting you do not have full control over modules and programming languages as well as not having much of a say on how it is done. Also unless you pay extra you must share an IP address with many other people and rely on tech support for the most basic of customization beyond what the panel can do. The upside of shared hosting is the faster speeds, lower prices, and the best part is you do not have to be responsible for the management and upkeep of the software so you can focus on your work.

The final type of hosting is cloud hosting, must like Shared hosting cloud hosting is services in the cloud such as Database, Storage, Containers, Authentication and User management services, virtual networking and more. Think of it like the game hosting of IT services. These services run on dedicated machines optimized for their application for maximum performance and have easy-to-use APIs to connect directly to your applications and services and are usually designed to scale with your business. While you can do this all manually with a VPS or dedicated machine it may be a lot slower than the cloud services. Also for larger enterprises, Cloud computing can be much cheaper in the end because you only pay for what you use.

VPS hosting is where you need to do most of the work and upkeep. But hey, at least our VPS hosting service has a nice panel with VNC access.

The ElixirNode VPS hosting panel powered by the Virtualizor. Showing a VPS on the stats and graphs page with the NoVNC shell open.
Snippet of our VPS hosting panel with VNC open

VPS Usages

A VPS has unlimited possibilities since it is fully visualized GNU/Linux servers. This part will go over what you can do with your VPS. First, you can use your VPS to run your website. We are one of the only vps hosting providers that design our systems to be the perfect vps for web hosting. Since you have complete control over your server’s software you can choose what software stack you use, the email server to use, as well as the versions. You also have every port possibly available since you have your own IP address.
Another thing you can use your vps hosting for is as a personal privacy server by installing a VPN server with some additional Proxy servers to change your IP, bypass firewalls, and protect your data over an untrusted network you can also configure some additional features such as a NFS or Samba network drive for storing files in the cloud securely. In the end you can use your VPS for hosting just about anything!
I use my VPS for all sorts of functions, such as hosting websites, saving backups of my data, running game servers, and even as a place to store all of my media so I can stream it anywhere.

Pros/Cons of VPS

The Pros of having a VPS over other services is having near-full control over everything as well as having guaranteed resources since we use the KVM Hypervisor. You can also upgrade your vps hosting when needed so if you need more resources you can easily get more. Also since you have your own IP address you do not have to worry about ports being taken up.

Currently the main Cons of VPS is that you are on your own for the most part as in when you log into your VPS all you have is a blank terminal. If you know what you are doing that is great but if you are new to GNU/Linux and VPS in general then it can be very hard to get started. Also, other services such as game hosting may have better hardware such as our deluxe plan which always has the best hardware available in the market, you can compare our Minecraft hosting plans to check out Deluxe and buy it at our Minecraft server hosting page.

An Image with all the logos of the Operating Systems ElixirNode provides for VPS hosting. From left to right it is CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, and lastly Fedora.

Let’s talk about VPS Operating Systems. Technically, you can run just about any Operating System on a KVM based virtual machine but due to VPS network technologies we are limited to GNU/Linux for now but that can change. So you may be wondering what is the most popular operating systems.

According to this statistic by w3techs.com Ubuntu is the dominant operating system when it comes to VPS for hosting web sites followed by CentOS and then Debian.

Other Operating Systems include but are not limited to Fedora, and openSUSE which are both well maintained and popular operating systems. If you are new I would suggest trying them all since it really depends on your VPS hosting needs. If you want to use your VPS for hosting a more modern application then Fedora would be the way to go, Ubuntu would be the way to go if you need a modern software stack with bi-yearly stable releases. Debian is great for getting a super stable minimal OS with 5 years of support and if you need Enterprise-level stability, features and VPS security then CentOS or the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux downstream OS, Rocky Linux is the way to go.

Upgrading VPS

Knowing when to use VPS hosting and when to upgrade your VPS hosting is very important. For example if you using your VPS for hosting a small website or a VPN/Proxy server then you may only need a Budget-1 or maybe a Budget-4 and most, you can compare our 2 vps tiers here. If you need more resources for running something such as a Minecraft server or a cloud storage system you can upgrade your VPS hosting to any of the more powerful packages or you can even order a custom VPS if we do not offer what you need. If you only plan to run a simple website or Minecraft server you are better off getting our shared web hosting with game hosting unless you absolute full control.

Concluding further,
Virtual Private Servers are great for running your website or application in the cloud. If you are looking for a new VPS hosting provider to run your application(s) then ElixirNode is the place to go! If you enjoyed this article and you like our services please share by using the social media buttons on the left. If you have any further questions or need help then contact us!

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