VPS vs. Dedicated (Bare Metal) Hosting – Which Server is Right for You?
There’s a lot to think about when you have a business website. Speed and reliability are just two of the of the critical factors when choosing the right hosting package for your needs.
Whether you started small or went with a cheaper option previously, there comes a time when you need to consider the next step. If you’re on shared hosting already or want to skip it altogether, the options broadly come down to a choice between VPS hosting and the dedicated or bare metal equivalent.
Bare metal hosting doesn’t mean your site will be exposed to the elements. Indeed, it has just as much protection behind it as any other form of hosting. The term stems from the real estate world but as it refers to hosting there is only a single tenant on each piece of hardware. Just as you’d expect a doorman downstairs, it often means managed hosting, too, with support on hand at all hours to ensure that if something goes wrong, there’s help at hand to put it right.
Before we get into the differences, it’s crucial to note that both are viable options for high-quality business hosting. Nevertheless, they have their own independent strengths and weaknesses, as we’ll cover below.
The Differences Between a VPS and Dedicated Server
The main difference between VPS hosting and a dedicated server is that the former still shares resources with others on the same hardware. It’s different from shared hosting, as your performance is guaranteed. Processing power, bandwidth, and other factors are protected, but it’s still only a share of what the server is capable of.
Dedicated hosting means that the server itself is yours to do with as you see fit. Whatever the hardware is capable of, you can take full advantage. You also have complete control over the hosting environment. If you want to try new software, tweak server-wide settings or do anything else that comes to mind, a bare metal server is basically your property.
Pros and Cons of a VPS
VPS hosting performs well for many businesses, but it always comes with its own pros and cons:
More cost-effective than dedicated hosting as hardware resources are shared between multiple sites
Dedicated site resources and extensive control, even where it’s impossible to exploit the hardware’s full potential
More straightforward to scale, as upgrading your hosting often involves devoting more available resources rather than an entire hardware changeover
No direct control over physical hardware
Often reliant on hosting provider to allocate resources correctly
Pros and Cons of Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting is considered the pinnacle of corporate web hosting. However, like any kind of package, it has its own pros and cons:
Complete control over the website and associated hardware
No need for permission to tweak code, make upgrades, or otherwise modify the hosting solution
Access to all hardware performance, typically to handle traffic spikes and growth
Often the most expensive hosting option
Making the most of dedicated hosting often requires a certain degree of technical expertise
Site growth often involves moving to a larger physical server rather than unlocking more resources, leading to potential downtime
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Hosting
There is no single correct answer to which hosting is best for your business, simply because many variables exist. When deciding, it’s vital to consider where your site stands today and where you would like it to be in the future. Can your current hosting deliver your website to visitors quickly and efficiently? Is it well-equipped to deal with traffic spikes? Do you have plans to make the site bigger in the near future, and can your hosting keep up?
When your website is the core of your business, dedicated hosting is often the best choice – especially when you’ve got an IT team available to manage it or you’re happy to outsource maintenance. However, the associated costs can have a genuine impact on the balance sheet, and it’s crucial to understand whether the hosting decision makes financial sense, as well as technical.
It’s also correct to consider how much control you need. If your website is based on themes, templates, and otherwise out-of-the-box solutions, most VPS hosting will be more than capable of keeping up. Conversely, if you’re using custom scripts and unusual software, the flexibility of dedicated hosting can make all the difference to keeping your site online.
Making a Hosting Decision
As a rule, if you plan to make money from a website or put your company’s brand on the line in terms of performance and reliability, shared hosting won’t cut it. Of the leading trio of hosting options, that eliminates one and leaves VPS hosting and its dedicated counterpart as the main options.
Before deciding, it’s vital to understand your company’s needs. If your website is little more than a window to the world, whereby most traffic is incidental, VPS hosting provides a competent, cost-effective option with plenty of scope for future growth.
Conversely, suppose you hold customer data and financial information. In that case, dedicated hosting gives you the chance to deploy whatever security measures matter the most while exercising complete control over every element of the hosting package.
The choice generally comes down to cost and control. A VPS costs less, and that’s an important consideration given that hosting requires recurring monthly or annual payments. However, dedicated hosting, while more expensive, is yours to adapt however you see fit.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what you’re looking for. There are pros and cons to each option, as outlined above, and it’s worth taking the time to consider what will suit your business best both now and in the future. Contact us to explore our premier hosting and cloud service offering. We are here to help!