Shared hosting is no longer an option. Your website receives now a lot of traffic and there are quite a few visitors online making SQL requests in the same time. Your web host is concerned that you are hogging the shared server and make the other customers unhappy. They are asking you to move to a VPS or a dedicated server.
This is a common scenario and a desired one; the need for an upgrade usually means that your website has become popular. Let's see what VPS hosting is, what is the difference between VPS and dedicated web hosting and let's try to figure out what's the best solution.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server and can be the first step from "leaving" shared hosting, if you don't want to manage a dedicated server. Virtual Private Servers provide you with root level access to the server while having the simplicity of a shared hosting account. VPS hosting is usually cheaper than dedicated hosting even if you're not in charge of managing the server, but that's because dedicated servers usually have better hardware configurations.
The VPS is like a dedicated server except that you "own" only a part of the server's resources (CPU, RAM, etc.). This is done by creating "layers"; at the base resides the standard host operating system, next is the virtualization layer with a proprietary file system and a kernel service abstraction layer that ensure isolation and security of resources between different virtual environments. The virtualization layer makes each virtual environment appear as a standalone server. Finally, the virtual environment itself houses the application or workload.
So, the main difference VPS-dedicated is that with a VPS plan, you will still be sharing the physical resources (but you will enjoy the freedom of a private server) compared with a dedicated plan where you have the web server all to yourself. If you are at the "limits" of your shared account, maybe a VPS is a better benefits/costs choice than a dedicated account, because you don't need yet a whole server. If you estimate a rapid growth of the website then consider jumping directly to dedicated to avoid moving again in the near future.
Bogdan Enache, the author, is the webmaster of HostingProfs.com, a website dedicated to providing free information about web hosting in general and how to choose a hosting plan in particular. He also blogs on WebDev77.com about Web Hosting, SEO techniques, Web development concepts and Internet marketing trends
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