10 May 2023 Reading time: 7 minutes

VPS/VDS: what it is, how it works, and key scenarios


Virtualization technology is one of the most important innovations in the IT world. But not everyone knows that it originates from the concept of timesharing. Timesharing is a technology that appeared in the sixties of the last century and divided the resources of one large computer among several users, allocating to each of them a certain time of access to resources. It was this idea that formed the basis of virtualization technology.

These days, getting access to computing resources is much easier - any user can rent an inexpensive virtual server and place their application on it. In this article, we tell you what a VPS/VDS is, how it works and who it will suit.

What is a VPS/VDS

VPS/VDS (Virtual Private Server / Virtual Dedicated Server) - a service that allows the client to get a virtual server and use its resources at their discretion.

Features of terminology

Why does this service have such a dual designation? Indeed, the term has two abbreviations at once - VPS and VDS. Is there a difference between them?

There is no clear answer to this question. There are, however, two points of view.

The first says that VPS (Virtual Private Server) and VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) are two different services that allow you to create virtual servers on one physical server.

According to this opinion:

  • VPS is a virtual server, which has its own operating system and allocated resources (CPU, RAM, and disk).
  • VDS is a virtual dedicated server, which also has its own operating system and dedicated resources.
  • The difference between VPS and VDS is that VDS has a certain amount of dedicated resources, which are assigned to this virtual server, while VPS shares all available resources of the physical machine with similar neighboring servers.

According to the second point of view, VDS and VPS are absolutely the same services, it is just that the abbreviation VPS came from the English-speaking environment, and VDS - from the Russian segment of the Internet.

It doesn't really matter which of these theories is more accurate. If you decide to rent a virtual server, you will see that most often this service from Russian providers is called VPS/VDS.

How VPS/VDS virtual servers work

As you already know, actually VPS/VDS is a "piece" of a physical server. A hypervisor allows you to slice a physical machine into several virtual machines. The hypervisor divides the resources of the physical server into several virtual machines, each of which runs as a separate server with its own operating system, applications and files.

On each VPS/VDS, you can run a copy of the OS you need, install software, manage files and run applications. All this, of course, within the allocated computing resources - vCPU, RAM and disk memory.

The hypervisor not only allocates resources to each virtual machine, but also isolates that machine from its "neighbors". This ensures that users of different servers and applications on them do not affect each other, as if they were using different physical servers.

Advantages of a VDS server

Here are the advantages of using VPS/VDS:

  • High degree of isolation. Each virtual machine runs separately from the others - the hypervisor ensures their separation. It isolates the resources of different users from each other, so you do not need to be afraid that your files suddenly become available to a user of another VDS server.
  • Flexible scaling. If at some point the resources become insufficient (for example, your project simply grows), at any time you can buy the necessary amount of capacity.
  • Cost-effectiveness. Using VDS servers allows you to reduce hardware costs - there is no need to buy or rent a physical machine, if the project can be placed on a virtual one.

Comparison of VPS/VDS and shared hosting

Let us consider the features of VPS/VDS virtual servers and compare them to another hosting option - shared hosting.

  • Performance
    In contrast to shared hosting, where several websites share one server and its resources, VPS/VDS server has its own set of resources, which ensures higher performance.
  • Flexibility
    You can install any software on a VPS/VDS, including non-standard libraries or frameworks, while the shared hosting user does not have this opportunity, because it shares one virtual machine with another user. In addition, you can customize the operating system and resources to meet the requirements of a particular project.
  • No restrictions
    In addition, the user of a VDS server can place any number of websites, applications, or mailboxes on their machine - as long as there are enough resources allocated to the server. Otherwise, you will just have to switch to another tariff and increase the amount of available capacity.
  • Access to resources
    A VDS server has a dedicated IP address, fully functional root user permissions and SSH access. Shared hosting is deprived of this.

Scenarios of using VPS/VDS

VPS and VDS use scenarios can be diverse and depend on the needs of a particular business or project. Let us consider the most popular of them.

One of the most common scenarios is the use of virtual servers for hosting websites and applications. In this case, each website or application can be hosted on a separate virtual machine, which provides a high degree of isolation and security.

Another scenario of VPS/VDS use is to create development and testing environments. In this case, you can create several virtual machines, each of which will be used to test and develop individual components of the project. This avoids conflicts between different software versions and allows developers to work more efficiently.

Also, VPS/VDS can be used to run applications that require high performance and reliability, for example, databases. In this case, you can allocate a large amount of resources to each virtual machine, which will ensure fast and stable operation of applications.

Other VPS/VDS scenarios include storing and processing data, performing backups or setting up remote access to workstations.

Setup and sales of VPS/VDS

The VMmanager platform allows hosting providers to offer their clients both standalone VPS/VDS and IaaS cloud infrastructure. This is accomplished through the integration of VMmanager with any billing system, such as BILLmanager, via API. You can try VMmanager for free, just sign up for a trial on the ISPmanager website.