Linux is an operating system that's perfect for servers; not only is it free of licensing fees, but it can effortlessly scale from performing the smallest applications to the largest. Linux Virtual Hosting creates a virtual server on the main server using the KVM technology of the Linux kernel. KVM, which is an acronym that stands for kernel-based virtual machine, is directly part of the actual Linux kernel, which allows the virtual server to have access to the host server's processor, memory and hard drives with very little overhead involved as part of the virtualization process due to KVM being a part of the kernel itself. This allows virtual servers to operate at almost the same speed as the host server; the only difference is that they are allocated only a portion of the host server's resources rather than being able to utilize all of it.
Being hosted on a virtual server allows you to have full root access to your own private server and be guaranteed a certain amount of the server's processing power and memory. Since you have root access, this means that you may install any software packages you wish on the server and use it for any purpose that you desire - you can run game servers, set up a personal home page, host your own code repositories for a hobby software project along with anything else you can think of. Virtual servers can also be a great educational tool; students can learn practice administrating Linux servers along with developing, installing and configuring common web applications without having to install Linux on one of their home computers. Virtual Linux servers are an excellent choice for hosting any web application that is capable of running on Linux.
Virtual hosting offers extensive benefits in the area of scalability. As your web application grows and you require more hardware in order to power it, you can easily purchase additional nodes in order to increase the amount of processing power your virtual server is able to access. If your needs change, you can scale back on the number of nodes you are leasing. With dedicated server hosting, you may run into the problem where you need just a little more memory or processing power on your server, but cannot justify the cost of leasing out an additional server; this problem is averted with virtual hosting, as you can scale the memory and processing power of your server in much finer increments than you would be able to with dedicated hosting, allowing you to grow your web application as your needs dictate.
Compared to hosting web applications on a shared server, hosting on a virtual server allows you much more flexibility in maintaining your server; notably, you are able to install any software package you require for your web services on a virtual server. With shared server hosting, hosting companies often only allow you to install software packages from an approved list because of security and processing power utilization concerns. If your web application needs software that is not on the list or needs a different version of the software than what is allowed, you are simply out of luck. With virtual hosting, you have full freedom to install and manage your server how you wish.
Virtual hosting is an excellent fit for all web applications. It circumvents the problems faced by the other two common types of hosting, shared hosting and dedicated hosting. With shared hosting, hosting providers often oversell the capabilities of their servers and bank on the fact that most users will only use a fraction of the capacity they are paying for. This can lead to downtime and inconsistent performance for you, as it's not always guaranteed that the server you're hosted on will be able to cope with the strain placed on it by all the users it's hosting - and you won't have any idea what the other users hosted on your server are doing! With dedicated hosting, you often end up paying for much more server capacity than you will need right away. This is simply a waste of money. Virtual hosting allows you to be guaranteed server capacity, security and scalability, protecting you from the risks presented by both shared hosting and dedicated hosting.