Going from a dedicated server to a VPS. Am I downgrading?
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 10:58AM UTC
This is a very common question many of our VPS hosting clients ask. A VPS in most cases performs better, is more reliable, and cheaper, than a low end dedicated server. Here are the advantages of our managed VPS web hosting:
- We can quickly upgrade a VPS (memory, CPU and disk space) the next level plan. Downtime is usually only a few minutes.
- Hardware is virtualized. Upgrading to more powerful hardware is transparent to the VPS.
- Redundant hardware. Power supply, CPU, memory, and hard drives all have spares. Should a component fail in most cases it will not affect a VPS.
- Hardware RAID 10. Many more hard drive spindles are available to store data, which improves disk IO performance.
- Pay as you go/grow. You only pay for the resources you need. You can upgrade/downgrade at any time.
- Less power consumption. For the customers who are concerned about the environment and being “green”. VPSes use less power when compared to dedicated servers.
- Higher server density per rack unit. The amount of VPSes you can fit in 2 rack units (otherwise known as 2U) would normally take 16 – 20Us. Since we pay per rack unit, this allows us to offer VPSes plans at a cheaper rate.
The limitations of a dedicated server are:
- Adding additional hardware/resources can lead to long periods of downtime
- Operating system configuration is tied directly to hardware. This makes it harder to swap different hardware, especially with the Microsoft Windows operating system.
- Must configure hardware to plan for future growth or peak usage periods. This means more money and resources wasted
- In many cases other vendors use software based RAID. Your CPU must do the RAID processing, which leads to more overhead.
- Most dedicated servers do not have redundant hardware.
Our VPS Plans are designed be better than dedicated servers in every way but at a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind, not all providers use quality high-end hardware like we do. Unfortunately a VPS can be placed on any type of hardware and in some cases other providers use the same low end servers as VPS nodes. All of our VPS node hardware is designed for five 9’s uptime (99.999%) and achieve this with ease.
VPS technology has improved dramatically over the past few years. We believe they are going to replace most situations where a dedicated servers were once needed. This isn’t to say VPSes should replace all servers. There are complex hosting situations when you should stay with a dedicated server:
- High disk IO (i.e. SQL server)
- CPU bound processes (i.e. application layer server)
While VPSes can be used in low volume situations, the virtualization overhead doesn’t make these situations the most efficient use of the hardware. We’ve designed our VPS plans specifically to make it apparent when a dedicated server is needed. Once you outgrow any of our VPS plans, in most cases it’s time to move your site to either a dedicated server or multiple VPS configuration.