Virtualization is at the core principle of VPS operation. With the crucial role played by it, you should also keep in mind that there are different types of virtualization, which can offer different levels of performance, security, and reliability of your VPS server. Some providers explicitly state, what kind of virtualization they use, targeting customers who can know the context (example: www.hostzealot.com), while others may not be so open about it and you’ll have to contact support to find out these critical technical details.
Whatever the case is, it’s fundamental to have some essential knowledge about the role of virtualization in creating a VPS as well as what kinds of virtualization are there and which one is eventually better. This you’ll be able to find out below in the article.
Servers are big computing machines for hosting. They have a huge number of resources at their disposal and can be used to launch powerful projects. When it comes to hosting different kinds of websites, it’s often the case that the is no need for the whole lot of resources a server, a dedicated server, can give. Considering the fact that renting a dedicated server costs a considerable sum as well, there is a demand for a smaller-scale solution.
One way to reach this is just to share the resources of one machine between many users – the service called shared hosting. It may work well, however, it may also work badly. Since there is no clear distribution of resources, users may end up competing for them which results in occasional poor performance issues.
The user’s security is also rather vulnerable as there are much fewer configuration options in this regard, whereas hacking just one will result in the whole system’s collapse.
All this lets us conclude that virtualization can be considered a good choice for projects of a rather small scale, but more serious ones will require something more reliable.
Virtualization provides an alternative to the previously described approach. As such, it is a technology allowing for the creation of separate virtual environments within some physical basis, all having a certain degree of independence and dedicated resources.
Applied to web hosting, this allows for the creation of Virtual Private Servers, virtual servers that have the functional properties of separate machines, and allow to deploy more ambitious projects that need better reliability and security with a calm heart.
With virtualization being generally a great approach to creating servers of smaller scale, there is no single and universal virtualization solution. There are different solutions that work on different levels and give different degrees of independence for a unit of hosting.
Software-level virtualization is the type of virtualization that is realized through software installed on top of the already installed operating system. What is good about this type is that it is easier to deploy from the technical point of view, and it performs all that is needed from virtualization.
However, the pitfall of this approach is that there is less flexibility in terms of choice of the operating system, as the system must be open-source and must often be previously modified (in case paravirtualization in particular) while the virtual instances have more limited access to resources assigned to them, which results in a slightly slowed down operation.
Hardware-level virtualization is in turn presented by solutions that are installed directly onto the underlying hardware. Though technically more difficult, this approach provides also more configurabiliy and flexibility as to what can be done with virtual instances.
They have immediate access to their dedicated resources and are more isolated from each other, resulting and less vulnerability against hacking. Also, any operating system can be installed on the virtual machine (including closed-source Windows).
If you want to get the most out of your VPS, hardware-level is a generally better recommendation, with such solutions as VMware, Hyper-V, Xen, KVM, and others.
However, if your requirements are not too high and to strict, software-level virtualization solutions like OpenVZ will also do quite well. We hope that this article has been informative enough and helpful for you, thank you for your attention.