What is the difference between a dedicated server and a virtual server

What is the difference between a dedicated server and a virtual server

Autor: HostZealot Team
2 min.

It is probably no exaggeration to say that everyone who needs hosting for the site, at the very beginning of the question arises: choose a dedicated server or VPS? To answer the question in an objective and balanced way, you should first understand the difference between a virtual server and a physical one. Only so you can understand the pros and cons of each solution - and our article will help you with that.

What type of server hosting providers offer?

A comparison of these two popular types of servers will be meaningful if we first disclose in general terms, without technical details, the features of each of them as such.

What is a dedicated server?

These words refer to a real computer, which is given wholly to the project of one owner. Important: you do not have to buy it, you can rent a virtual and dedicated server - there is no difference. In the latter case, such a "machine" is installed not in your office, but in a data center.

What is a virtual server?

What distinguishes a dedicated server from a virtual one is the technology of virtualization. Thanks to it, one physical "machine" is divided into several independent ones, for different projects, each of which receives its own resource from the pool.

What is the difference between using different types of servers?

The nuances of technology are really interesting only for specialists, but the average user wants to understand in practice the advantages and disadvantages of selecting a VPS or dedicated server. That's why we have made the top 10 key parameters - and evaluated their importance in one situation or another:

  • Start. Literally at the first stage, at the start of any project, you can appreciate the difference between a virtual server and a physical one. With VPS sites are ready to work literally immediately after uploading and paying for hosting services. With a dedicated "machine" everything is more complicated and longer, the process can take up to several days (it depends on the scale of the project).
  • Administration. Responsible for the workability of the virtual server is the provider, and you have only the basic configuration and management with monitoring (read about them here and here). For a dedicated server, you will need a full-fledged system administrator, who will take care of hardware and peripherals, install drivers, configure hardware, and so on.
  • Performance. It is generally believed that the dedicated server is more powerful than "virtual", but in practice, there is still a difference. A small project on a virtual server will work the same way as on a real "machine". But if the site is particularly functional and loaded with traffic, then the VPS capabilities in RAM, CPU, HDD/SSD might quickly become insufficient.
  • Bandwidth speed. If you compare virtual and dedicated servers, there is a difference between them: VPS can not pull full-fledged gigabit traffic with its power, but a separate machine is quite able. Therefore, a particularly large project requires only the second option. In turn, the number of IP addresses can be equalized.
  • Stability. In this question, the dedicated server is unambiguously ahead. On VPS capacity is divided for all projects, and although there is guaranteed hoster resources, in some situations, there is a "conflict of interest": when several clients simultaneously take the maximum allowed. Because of this, the "machine" freezes and the sites may begin to slow down.
  • Reliability. At first glance, the physical server seems better, although in practice it is not so straightforward. If something happens with the hardware or with the software of a particular "machine", it will take a long time to restore performance (therefore, regular and complete backups are strictly necessary). On the VPS a flexible safety net is used (for example, through redundant clusters), which reduces downtime in case of failure (although there is no harm in having backups either, as you can find out here).
  • Security. Here you can see the difference between a dedicated server and a virtual one: it is completely independent of the other projects, which means better protection from intruders. And in VPS, in case of a DDoS attack on one site, the "neighbors" may sometimes not notice the problems, but more often the consequences affect everyone. It depends on the scale of the attack and its type (read about types of DDoS here).
  • Specific tasks. On the one hand, it's completely flexible: you can put any OS and software and fine-tune them, enable USB dongle protection, rent switch ports, etc. - With VPS this is impossible. On the other hand, there are projects that need a lot of servers for a short period (parsing, testing, etc.) - they are more convenient to start up and shut down from VPS.
  • Change of configuration. With a virtual server to increase capacity is not difficult: choose a new pricing plan, pay for it - work of the updated server has begun (sometimes you do not even need to reboot). With the real "machine" everything is complicated. Additional "hardware" must be purchased, delivered to the center, installed, configured, and tested - and that's both time and expense.
  • Cost. This point is almost the main point in the discussion about the difference between a virtual server and a physical one. Renting a VDS is always cheaper than renting a separate "machine", not to mention the purchase of it (besides, you need to buy it with extra power). Plus for virtual servers, there are plans with payment for the actual resources consumed - and with them, the savings are even greater.

Summarizing all of the above, the ideal type of server does not exist. Each of the types of such equipment is better suited for different projects - so just assess your real needs and desires. In the end, it is important to note another thing. Even if you choose the best type of hosting for your site, you need to be sure … of the quality of a particular product. Therefore, it is better not to waste time and immediately contact HostZealot. In our company, you can order both a virtual and a dedicated server, and the difference with other providers is felt in everything: in the choice of technology and rates, reliability and ease of management, the level of technical support, and, of course, the price!

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