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Rent server space or your own dedicated server?

Rent server space or your own dedicated server?


For any sysadmin, the choice between a virtual dedicated server (VPS/VDS) and a physically dedicated server becomes a real dilemma. But despite the fact that both services offer space to host quite large projects with individual settings and wide access, there are still fundamental differences.


If you yourself are planning to run a server and do not know in what format it is better to provide services to customers, you should familiarize yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of the two formats - physical and virtual.


What projects are hosted on servers

In order to determine the characteristics required for the server, you should consider the reasons for resorting to such a format.

To create a small content site is enough and a virtual hosting. But the vast server space is needed in the following cases:


The site is rapidly evolving and the number of visits exceeds the limits set by the provider. As a result, from time to time the project is blocked.

A web resource is initially created as a large service - a corporate website, a gaming server, a platform for a large store or retail network.

It is planned to host large volumes of user information - archives of documents, personal photos or videos.

Users will work with different applications, such as accounting in 1C.

If you have determined that the project requires a server, the next step is to choose between virtual and dedicated arrays.


Virtual Server and its capabilities

VPS - Virtual Private Server - a virtual server, the work of which is provided by means of operating system virtualization. In fact, this is a part of the space on a physical server, allocated by the provider for private use to host a website or web project.


The main advantages of VPS:


  • setting up individual configurations within root access;

  • the ability to change the operating system and services to manage;

  • setting up a security system and the installation of backup options.

  • Thus, the webmaster receives at its disposal a service with broad powers and the ability to configure the functional of the site in accordance with personal preferences and the needs of the project.


But there are also a number of disadvantages:


  • The tenant of the virtual server does not get access to the core and the file system.

  • The virtual server is dependent on its neighbors. A shared physical resource, shared among several large virtual projects, limits personal capacity if neighbors exceed their authority.

  • The limitations are mainly related to the amount of RAM used when using OpenVZ and Virtuozzo virtualization technologies. VPS with hardware virtualization system can be a solution. This option guarantees the stability of RAM resources, but also costs more than the previous one.

In terms of cost, VPS is cheaper than similar physical arrays because you spend less on hardware purchases and maintenance. Expanding the space for multiple virtual resources is done by installing additional amounts of RAM, storage and processors.


Dedicated server capabilities

Dedicated server or dedicated server is a physical device that is used by only one client to host one project. Leased is a physical machine with around-the-clock access without interruption and limitations.


Using such a server is much more profitable for users than creating your own resource. Regular payments for rent for the site owners does not equal the one-time cost of buying equipment and ensuring conditions for uninterrupted operation - production facilities, ventilation, ensuring uninterrupted supply of electricity.


The advantages of a dedicated server:


  • Control of the server and access to absolutely all resources.

  • Self-management of the protection system without any outside interference.

  • The size and complexity of web projects is limited only by the physical capabilities of the server, but they can be expanded by agreement with the provider.

There are also disadvantages:


  • Renting physical servers is significantly more expensive than virtual services.

  • Any scaling up entails the expansion of several resources. Sometimes it is not possible to add RAM or disk space without upgrading other systems.

  • The tenant will need the skills of a system administrator to manage the sites. Server management services do not come with physical arrays.

Collocation - your server on the provider's premises

A separate type of service in the field of dedicated services  is the placement of personal server equipment of the client and maintenance of its performance on the premises of the operator. Specialists provide uninterrupted power, climate control, and communications, but this is charged at a monthly rent. Additional services will be charged separately.


Thus, the choice between a virtual and dedicated server creates two dilemmas: the cost of renting and managing the resource.


In terms of price, the virtual array has the advantage, which is always financially more advantageous than the physical server. If the provider offers a physical array at a low price, you should think about the quality of services and equipment.


In terms of management, a dedicated server shows greater independence in both functionality and security issues. But it will require from the user the skills of a system administrator and a financial investment.