Today you can find many low-priced hosting options and in most cases that means you’ll be hosting on a shared server. Shared meaning one host OS or “Server” with many clients, each with their own folder or directory. That is a great choice for a the majority because shared hosting is very affordable @ $2-$10/month – for example a small website or a blog that gets light to medium traffic. The decision to move to a VPS server should be driven by requirements and not by inaccurate information or assumptions.
As a preventative measure to keep one site from consuming all of the available resources on the Shared Hosting Server, many times shared hosting sites will be throttled to a specific limit of bandwidth, cpu or overall memory usage. This can also be a limit which causes a bustling site to slow down as traffic grows. These are problems you won’t run into using a VPS Server.
The owner, developer or company may have SLA requirements such as 100% network uptime and 20 min resolution upon server failure not more than 2 times per month. In a shared environment this requirement may be very difficult to achieve, because the space and resources are shared by many customers. The primary reason a solid SLA can’t be established is because there are multiple tenants. It would be like requesting a dedicated parking spot at the mall, you could ask for it but your sharing the mall with hundreds of other shoppers.
This requirement is usually most commonly associated with the need for higher security, and may be part of specific requirements decided by the an organizations security team, PCI compliance, HIPPA or to further protect intellectual property. For these reasons a VPS should be considered.
We occasionally get asked if we have “Dropbox” type of services, or if a user can install their dropbox on the Shared Server. This is just one of many examples where hosting providers cannot risk the security and stability of the entire server. If there is a special requirement that is key to the success of your business, but not offered in a shared hosting package then a VPS may be a solution you should explore.
Managing a website takes care and responsibility. There are many factors to consider, however once you have made the decision that a VPS is needed, the next step is to narrow down the requirement even more – fine tuned but achievable constraints such as budget, specific security requirements, uptime metrics, SLA’s, Managed or Non-Managed etc.. the answers to these questions will help you determine the best potential VPS hosting options.