Digital Communication


Digital Communication

VPS vs. dedicated server, which one to choose?


Dedicated servers and VPS both allocate dedicated resources with independent servers to meet individual needs. Their main difference: when the VPS makes it possible to share the power of the host server with others, the dedicated hosting grants a complete physical server without sharing its computing power.

For individuals, having their own server offers many advantages. For companies that manage many online projects, this becomes a must. Anyone running a blog, small online store, or other small website is usually happy with cheaply priced shared or dedicated hosting. The situation is different for online shops with high traffic, online game servers that bring together many players or complex online sites. In their case, the question of hosting will have two levels: first VPS or Cloud server, then dedicated or not. Let’s examine in detail the differences between dedicated servers and VPS.

VPS vs. dedicated servers, what are the differences?

The common strength of these two hosting models lies in an environment of independent server that offers great flexibility. No need for an expensive data center or servers that would require intensive maintenance like On-Premises models. On the other hand, VPS and dedicated hosting require knowledge of server administration, unlike cloud hosting. This is at least the case if you do not opt ​​for a turnkey subscription hosting offer that takes care of the server configuration.

When choosing the appropriate hosting, here are the differences and important points to pay attention to.

Difference 1: delivery mode

In both hosting models, an external provider makes resources available. However, one of the biggest differences lies in the mode of delivery.

A virtual private server or VPS, also called VDS (for Virtual Dedicated Server), is made available to you by a hosting provider through the virtualization of a physical server. The underlying server becomes segmented into independent virtual partitions as a host system. Although clients share a physical host server, each virtual server operates as a closed system with its own IP address and individual configuration. A hypervisor is then used to manage and distribute the capacities of the server. The disadvantage of VPS is the shared resources of the host server and the limited performance of virtual servers.

While the VPS is based on hardware abstraction, a dedicated server allows you to freely use a complete physical server. No more sharing available physical memory, performance or other hardware components with others. You thus have full server capacitywhich is all the more important for large-scale projects that require a lot of computing power.

Difference 2: performance and scalability

Scalability is one of the most important aspects of hosting. This is especially true when it is difficult to quantify upfront the exact resources you will need. Although neither VPS nor dedicated server achieves the scalable flexibility of cloud hosting, VPS knows how to be flexible. With a dedicated server and depending on the subscribed offer, you have all the computing power from the start. As in general the standard dedicated servers offer high performance, the computing power will be sufficient even for your most complex and important projects. If you need additional resources, you will need to acquire an additional dedicated server.

VPS hosting therefore has a head start as soon as the need for scalability and flexibility at the best price is felt. Compared to a more expensive dedicated server, it offers a more economical starting base for small projects. Although VPS are not as scalable as cloud hosting, it is possible to adapt a VPS offer to an increase in workload.

Difference 3: Data Security

Both forms of hosting ensure data security. With one difference: in the case of virtual servers, your data is on the host server alongside the data of other customers. Although VPS servers operate isolated from each other, data security will depend on the security level of the data center. By using a non-shared server environment with a dedicated server, no need to worry about security vulnerabilities in VPS segments or on the host server.

However, you can close any security gaps yourself in both cases. To do this, you just need to configure the server security rules using security software, SSL protocol, access restrictions, anti-spam blacklist, strong password protection and data backup. VPS hosting or dedicated server providers usually offer built-in or optional security features.

Difference 4: cost

In terms of price, we could compare the rental of a VPS to that of an apartment, when the dedicated server would be like renting a house. In an apartment building, you share the main building with other occupants but you also pay less than if you had to rent a house. A dedicated server offers more resources and this is also reflected in its higher costs. On the other hand, VPS hosting offers often include many options. For beginners, small businesses or projects with lower or even difficult to calculate requirements, the VPS servers offer the best value for money.

Difference 5: Availability

The dedicated server will be the best option for a high reliable availability rate and resistance to failures. Dedicated resources are made available to you exclusively, depending on the server offer subscribed to, without sharing with others. It also means that you can use all resources without restriction and guarantee fast loading times, even in the event of peak traffic. In the VPS option, a hypervisor allocates the available resources according to the chosen server offer. The additional capacities can optionally be used if they are not allocated to other virtual servers.

Common point: configuration

Although it is done within the limits of the capacities of the VPS or the dedicated server during the upscaling, it is quite possible to freely configure your hosting in both cases. Whether it’s your own operating systems, scripts, miscellaneous programs or microservices, VPS and dedicated server offer a configurable server environment through root access. No knowledge of server administration is required for configuration and maintenance.

Data protection and sovereignty

As you are the one managing your own server in both hosting modes, you must also guarantee the GDPR data protection for your online business sites and services. This not only involves the protection of your customer and visitor data, but also of your own commercial data. Data protection and sovereignty require firewalls, certificates and security features as well as a storage and retention of data according to the GDPR. Anyone processing personal data within the European Union should be aware of the data protection regulatory requirements.

For VPS and dedicated servers, server location is also important. If you use a server provider located outside the European Union, find out about the access rights to your server. Based on the Cloud Act, for example, American providers can allow their authorities access to the servers they manage, even if these servers are used by French companies within the EU.

Advantages and disadvantages of VPS

Benefits Disadvantages
✔ Affordable independent virtual server ✘ Scalable resources limited to host server capabilities
✔ Easy configuration and settings with root access ✘ Necessary knowledge in server management and IT administration
✔ Stable performance guaranteed by dedicated resources depending on hosting plan ✘ Host server failures and errors can affect hosted virtual servers
✔ The independence of the VPS server makes it immune to errors in parallel VPS segments ✘ Server load determines additional storage resources and capacity
✔ Easy set-up and reliable costs thanks to transparent offers and stable prices ✘ Rather suitable for small to medium projects with predictable activity peaks
✔ GDPR-compliant security and data protection for servers located in the EU

For a high performance and flexible server at the best price, choose a virtual private server! Discover IONOS VPS Hosting offers from IONOS.

Advantages and disadvantages of dedicated servers

Benefits Disadvantages
✔ Access to all dedicated resources with a full non-shared server, including CPU power and memory ✘ Often much more expensive than VPS hosting
✔ High flexibility and customization by own operating systems, scripts, programs and services ✘ Requires in-depth knowledge of server administration and computer security
✔ High security and data protection according to GDPR with appropriate security functions and servers in the EU ✘ Scalability subject to complex and costly hardware upgrades or additional server capacities
✔ Reliable performance even during peak activity thanks to exclusive resources

Opt for an IONOS Dedicated Server with the IONOS hosting solution and benefit from 100% dedicated hardware resources, state-of-the-art technology and servers in Europe. Top-of-the-line performance for your business and a budget to suit your needs are guaranteed!

VPS vs. dedicated server: who are these solutions for?

Virtual or dedicated servers address different targets respectively.

VPS servers

  • Demanding tasks like web hosting with own server;
  • Data processing with a data or mail server;
  • Management of a small or medium online store;
  • Gaming server for hosting games;
  • Cloud storage;
  • Test environment for programs and applications;
  • Server for office tasks such as scheduling appointments;
  • Management of online communities with a quantifiable number of visitors;
  • Online presence of medium-sized companies.

Dedicated server

  • Complex projects such as web servers with high performance requirements, e.g. fast loading times even at peak times;
  • Web servers for large online stores with a lot of visitors and activity peaks;
  • Servers for databases;
  • VPN services;
  • Online presence of medium to large companies or prominent personalities (stars, athletes, etc.).

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