Understanding the various hosting options out there can be a big obstacle for many people. Of the various server options, perhaps the most misunderstood is VPS Linux hosting. However, with a little examination one can determine if this is a proper solution to one's needs. The first thing one should do is really understand just what a VPS server is. No matter what operating system a VPS is running, there are some constants.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a VPS can be found in the name itself. They are virtual private servers, and one should emphasize the virtual nature of the service. A traditional Linux server will run on a single piece of hardware. With the traditional model, a single server runs one operating system. However, with a VPS that single server is used to essentially simulate additional pieces of hardware within itself. One may then consider each of these virtual machines as a separate webserver.
Probably the biggest benefit comes from the Linux based infrastructure of the system. For those not familiar with it, Linux is perhaps the most powerful Unix based operating system. It's so versatile that it's used in everything from webhosting, to smartphones, to media players. This versatility is what allows it to work so well within a virtualized system. The Linux kernel itself can be used in separate instances, or as a greater whole which runs all instances of the virtualized system. However, of the two it is more common to use the separate instances. This also leads into the reason that Linux servers are so powerful. Because they're heavily focused on both networking and command line based communication, it's easy to communicate with multiple instances of the system. For example, consider a situation where one has two separate virtualized servers. One is to be used as a testing system, and the other is for actual public presentation of a website once that testing is finished. Linux systems can be counted on to ship with a number of capabilities to ease this process. One can write a simple script to trigger a program known as rsync, for example, which is an important part of most Linux servers. This will instantly cause one of the Linux VPS systems to compare the contents of a directory within itself to another, and then bring it up to date. In this instance it would mean that on triggering rsync, the test server would instantly analyze the production server, note any changes, and push those modifications over to it. While this process could be done with other operating systems, it'd be a lengthy and difficult process. With Linux, one can do this using a single message issued on a command line. In fact, one can even use a technology known as ssh to log into a Linux system to do this over his or her smart phone. Once set up, this can literally be completed in just a few seconds.
In general, one should consider a VPS system as a nice middle point in the server world. Often times, people find that shared hosting does not offer enough power. However, at the same time they will often find themselves not really pushing a dedicated server to the limit. This means that for most people a virtual server will provide for all their needs at a very reasonable price. On top of all that, a virtual system can be easily expanded to fit one's needs as they grow. If more memory or processing power is needed, it is a simple matter to upgrade the virtual system. This is in contrast to a dedicated server where one would need to physically add on additional hardware. Additionally, this is especially true for Linux based VPS systems. The reason for this is that the versatility of the Linux kernel allows for a greater level of expansion than most other operating systems. As one's needs grow, it's always possible to modify the system at a very deep level in order to always ensure the best performance.