Virtual private servers, or VPSs, are a type of multi-tenant cloud hosting in which end users can access virtualized server resources online through a cloud or hosting provider. Each VPS is set up on a real server that the cloud or hosting company manages and uses to run other VPSs. While the underlying hardware and hypervisor are shared by all of the VPSs, each one runs its own operating system (OS), applications, and reserves its own set of system resources (memory, compute, etc.).
Performance, adaptability, and control levels offered by a VPS fall between those of multi-tenant shared hosting and single-tenant dedicated hosting. Given the availability of single-tenant options, it may seem counterintuitive that the multi-tenant VPS arrangement would be referred to as “private,” but the term “VPS” is most frequently used by traditional hosting providers to distinguish it from shared hosting, a hosting model where all of a physical machine’s hardware and software resources are shared equally among multiple users.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a few cloud service providers, like IBM, offer hosting isolation (and privacy) that goes beyond a multi-tenant cloud server. Dedicated free vps hosting and dedicated instances are two popular models. In all of these approaches, the end user has access to virtual resources on dedicated, single-tenant hardware and probably makes use of a managed hypervisor. More thorough comparisons of VPS, shared, and dedicated hosting are presented in the following sections.
The variations between providers might be quite important when taking into account use cases for virtual servers. For conventional hosting companies, a VPS offers a solid compromise between shared and dedicated hosting in terms of price, flexibility, scalability, and control, making it a viable choice for e-Commerce, apps with moderate or sporadic traffic, email servers, CRM, etc. Similar to townhouse or condo living, where each resident has more of his or her own amenities (laundry, parking, etc.), but still shares a town green, a health club, and other larger, shared physical infrastructure, VPS hosting is somewhere in the middle.