Windows VPS hosting

Windows virtual private server (VPS) web hosting is a mid-range hosting plan that relies on virtualization technology. It is referred to as a mid-range solution because it falls between the inexpensive solution of shared web hosting and the high-end, high-dollar dedicated physical server offering. With shared web hosting, a hosting company rents server space and bandwidth. Sites owned by multiple clients all reside on a single web server, managed by a web application like Apache, Tomcat or Internet Information Services. It is called shared hosting because every site hosted on one server shares server resources like storage space, bandwidth, memory and processor. The client manages their site trough a control panel app and uploads files by FTP, but the hosting firm handles server management and maintenance.

At the other end of the spectrum, both financially and as far as resources are concerned, is dedicated hosting. With dedicated server hosting, the web hosting company provides a physical server devoted solely to their client's site. The client is allowed full administrative access to the server and is allowed to do whatever they want with it as far as software is concerned. Stationed between shared hosting and dedicated physical server rental is another option, known as virtual private server hosting.

How does a Windows VPS environment work?

A virtual private server environment bridges the gap between shared hosting and dedicated physical server hosting. It does so using virtualization technology. In virtualization, a host server runs a virtualization platform like Vmware or Windows Hyper V. These platforms allow software-based servers to be created on the single physical server. These virtual servers each have their own operating system and dedicated resources and, functionally, are indistinguishable from real physical servers. Many companies employ virtualization technology as a cost-saving measure, since one high-end server can be used to host multiple virtual servers. Clients who buy VPS hosting buy access to a virtual server that will run their web site. It offers the same benefits of physical server hosting, but does not come with the higher price tag that comes with renting a dedicated physical server. Regardless of the chosen hosting plan, hosting clients are given the choice of operating system for their web server. OS choice is especially crucial in dedicated plans, both physical and virtual, where the client will have the option of complete administrative control over the server itself, not just the web site. Linux has long dominated when it comes to choosing a web server operating system, but Windows VPS hosting is on the rise, growing to suit some very particular needs of many web hosting clients.

What are the benefits of Windows VPS hosting?

Microsoft Technology: Applications and platforms like .ASP, .Net Framework, FrontPage, various Windows development programs, MS-SQL and Interdev are the key reason many choose Windows hosting. These apps are either only supported on Windows servers or need a lot of help in Linux. Site owners who rely on these apps need to rely on Windows hosting instead of Linux.

Security: Many people assume that because Windows desktop operating systems are targeted for hacking attacks more often than other operating systems, the same must be true on the server side. Actually, the opposite is the case. It comes down to market share. More web servers run Linux than Windows right now, making that OS the more attractive target.

OS Familiarity: Since the hosting client will have administrative access over the virtual private server, Windows will typically be the better choice for most companies. Windows is more user friendly than Linux and more IT administrators are familiar with Windows. If it comes down to using existing staff to manage the web server versus hiring a Linux expert, a consultant or help from the hosting company, many will choose Windows VPS hosting.

Why should I use Windows VPS hosting?

  • You need to use apps and platforms like .NET that only work on the Windows OS
  • You don't want to hire extra support staff
  • You don't want to learn Linux yourself
  • You need real support provided by the manufacturer
  • You are concerned about security, especially with open-source software

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