A good and stable server is crucial for web service. When we choose server space, there're multiple suggestions from hosting provider: VPS, Colocation, Dedicated or Cloud hosting server. Because of so many available choice, customers are not always so clear about different terms like colocation, dedicated bandwidth, virtual server and cloud etc.
If we are crazy on quality and purchase high cost plan but we actually don't use that much, it's a kind of waste. The vice versa. In following, we're brief explain the different plans with comparison & reviews.
VPS(Virtual Private Server). It's created on dedicated server by virtualization technologies. This virtualization technology devides haredware and system OS then setup multiple server systems. Each VPS got its own OS, space, RAM and dedicated CPU resource etc just like a common server. We can handle OS installation, software installation, reboot and everything the same as dedicated server operation. Logically, as long as the dedicated server resource is big enough, we can create unlimited VPS on it. It's a scalable solution for enterprise and IDC hardware usage efficiency.
At the time being, there're 5 popular virtualization technolgies used by different VPS providers – Xen, OpenVZ, Virtuozzo, Hyper-V & Vmware. Different VPS technologies come with different performance on different hardware configurations. Especially when deal with selling policy in this competitive market. That's why clients have different experience from different VPS hosting providers.
Hyper-V is provided by Microsoft group and only for Windows server at the moment. Actually hyper-v is almost standard choice for windows vps since they both are microsoft products. It's reasonable to think the two are most compatible.
Vmware, leading enterprise solution especially on cloud computing field. We can run almost any OS together on vmware platform. But as we know, the less service on host server, the more secure. So not too many vps providers use it, and it's expensive.
OpenVZ, probably the most popular solution used by all cheap vps providers. This technology provides OS level virtualization and each OS will work independantly. Because it's only on OS level and has very low hardware requirement, we can create more vps servers on same dedicated server. That's why VPS created on OpenVZ is cheaper than other solutions.
Xen, similar with OpenVZ but provides more advanced features. VPS created from Xen platform comes with swap and dedicated RAM/CPU etc. That means if there's no more resource available on host server, we can not create extra vps server. Because of this, VPS on XEN is more reliable than OpenVZ.
Virtuozzo is commercial software from swsoft company(Parallels now) who is leading in lots of hosting software products like sitebuilder wizard. It provides OS level virtualization as well like OpenVZ. However, the number of VPS instance is strictly limited by the license we purchase. At the meanwhile, virtuozzo vps provides very similar performance to host server.
The biggest advantage over VPS is cheap when we want to get system control. Weakness is we have to find a good vps provider because in case one node causes problem on host server then our server is in danger.
Dedicated Server Hosting
Dedicated server hosting is renting from IDC, we just need to provide our configuration then hosting provider will setup everything in their data center. Because of this, we reduced the cost of purchasing all hardware products. We get full remote control over hosting server.
The only weakness of this product is we don't know how the server is configured(structures and actual setup). Those honest hosting provider always tell us the truth such as spare parts brand, model etc. However, some providers do use their own setup to reduce investment and just provide customer the basic configuration such as amount of cpu/ram/space. We can only learn details after received remote login information.
Probably the most reliable server service. We setup the server by our own then send to IDC server rack, service provider will connect the server based our contract. Mostly, we will have to be responsible for hardware problems. The biggest advantage is we have full control of this server especially when it's not so expensive to purchase those hardwares. We can apply our custom setup inside server for specific purpose. Especially when we need to copy lots of data to hard disk, remote uploading is definitely not good choice. We can prepare everything locally then send to data center.
For colocation, we have to get an IT professional to maintain the server while dedicated server hosting is maintained by hosting company. We have to evaluate carefully in choosing the service.
Also called cloud computing where capability is elastic. Cloud computing is highly scalable and more efficient in handling web services. It's integrated with data calculating, storing and IaaS service. Cloud hosting can be provided and paid upon usage on real time. Because of this, we can control the costs efficiently.
Cloud server provides two core services: Advanced cloud hosting & scalable cloud computing for medium to large size enterprises.
All servers are deployed in backbone datacenters and each server be able to work independentely for computer service like storage, backup and other internet services.
Cloud server is designed for clients who have high requirement of system availability with quick recovery. Cloud hosting platform comes with storage sharing and smart backup, be able to make automatic recovery which is centrally managed. Cloud hosting provides the best price value comparing to any other available hosting plan.
Cloud hosting is hot at the time being and it's actually being developped the same way of traditional web hosting service. It's cheap but provides more features than dedicated server.
Based above explanation/comparison, here're some suggestions in choosing different hosting solutions:
- VPS: Suitable for small to medium size dynamic website with relatively high visits. To be more specific, it's only for small size company if you run a business.
- Dedicated Server: Suitable for small to medium size company, ecommerce or big forum with high daily traffic.
- Colocation: Only good for big groups and you must choose a good & profesional data center space.
- Cloud Hosting: Suitable for development companies who have frequent need changes.