When a business begins to consider upgrading from VPS hosting to a dedicated host or server, it is often because the total cost of ownership (TCO) is starting to become a concern. One of the greatest benefits of using a Cloud VPS is the flexibility the users have when customizing server specifications. However, there comes a point when a customer outgrows the VPS model, not only will VPS pricing become uneconomical, but the performance trade-off between a VPS and dedicated hardware becomes negligible.
The saturation point will vary between customers, but at Atlantic.Net, our engineers witness customers switching to dedicated hardware when an organization’s VPS host starts to demand around 32GB to 48GB of RAM, usually when the base monthly cost of the VPS starts to become a burden on company finances. However, to understand the best upgrade to make, and lessen the burden of cost or mediocre performance, it is a clever idea to have a basic understanding of the differences between VPS hosting and dedicated servers.
What Is A VPS (Virtual Private Server)?
VPS is an acronym for a virtual private server. The term is, of course, self-explanatory: a VPS is a virtual machine that is allocated a set value of CPU, disk, and memory from a cloud hypervisor host. The VPS works just like any normal server, it is pretty much impossible to tell the difference. The VPS logically exists as numerous flat files located network-attached storage, and the cloud hypervisor mimics the functionality of a dedicated server, writing the server state to disk. With VPS hosting, the server’s operating system environment and all the necessary apps come pre-built, ready to go within seconds.
We already know that each VPS is allocated CPU, disk, and memory, but these values are dependent on the type of cloud plan the user purchases. Each cloud plan varies; some concentrate on lots of processing power, others provide huge amounts of memory for advanced number crunching, and others focus on high-speed disk for breakneck I/O performance.
A cloud hypervisor’s job is to reserve the specific number of CPU cores and RAM chosen for the individual user’s virtual machine plan. Once allocated, the resources are guaranteed, and this on-demand performance is why VPS hosting is recommended to businesses looking for on-demand web servers far more often than shared web hosting might be. Cloud plans make it extremely easy to upgrade individual VPS components as needed. If you need more memory but are okay with your number of CPU cores, look at the available hosting plans to see which matches your needs.
The Pros and Cons of Using VPS Hosting
VPS hosting has many advantages. The most noticeable advantage is that it is much cheaper to operate than a dedicated server is. Another powerful advantage is greater flexibility when integrating with additional cloud services, such as managed services, backups, and more. All of these advantages come without costing much more than a shared tenancy hosting platform.
VPS hosting is also easy to upgrade and comes with simple, automated backups. Best of all, a VPS comes configured for remote access, can be cloned within minutes, and comes with built-in monitoring tools.
You have full control over your VPS with Atlantic.Net, as we provide root access to the server. There is no shared kernel, and if your application requires a certain version of the software, no problem, you can install it! On shared hosting, you have to request it from the hosting company, and occasionally the request may be rejected. This only usually happens with legacy software or applications with complicated licensing models such as Java; if it happens to you, you are dead in the water. With these assets in mind, it is easy to see why VPS hosting is popular with web app developers and system administrators.
However, there are a few cons with using VPS hosting. The TCO for VPS hosting can be a lot more expensive than the cost of a dedicated server if a business needs a lot of computing power, data, or bandwidth. While web hosts do an excellent job with their server farms’ physical and logical security, they cannot anticipate each customer’s unique security needs. Companies that need custom security or compliance protocols in place may feel more at ease with a dedicated server.
What Is A Dedicated Server?
A dedicated server involves the leasing of an entire physical server. A dedicated server gives the user exclusive access to the entire physical computer. Dedicated servers may come pre-built and ready to go, or you can opt for a barebones configuration – the choice is yours! Atlantic.Net can provide consultancy services if you require a specific build of a server; our professional services teams will do the setup for the customer and assist with any additional changes required.
The most significant danger with a business using a dedicated server is jumping into owning one prematurely. If a dedicated server is not required to handle the workload, then that business is spending significantly more than it needs to. You must weigh the benefits; while a dedicated host may effectively future-proof an investment, there may be a chance the server will sit relatively dormant.
The Pros and Cons of Using a Dedicated Server
The most apparent advantage of a dedicated server is that it focuses on the individual business instead of on a group of customer accounts. Dedicated server solutions offer custom-tailored hardware, software, and services. Atlantic.Net can provide customer Cloud Servers / VPSes to custom-fit the customer’s needs. Nothing can beat the long-term value of a dedicated server in high-demand business environments.
Some cons go with dedicated servers, however. If the customer chooses to operate everything in-house, then expect large capex invoices for purchasing and licensing cloud server equipment. To avoid a high upfront cost, leasing a dedicated server from a cloud services provider will give you all the power needed without an immediate large investment. Instead, a predictable, monthly opex cost will be charged.
Additionally, future upgrades can become complicated, messy, and expensive if not executed by a pragmatic IT team. Migrating to a dedicated server from shared or VPS hosting can also be a difficult transition to make. Because of this, businesses who want a dedicated server but lack their own IT departments can reach out to Atlantic.Net to migrate their existing network infrastructure and to plan/implement any future upgrades.
Signs It Is Time to Upgrade to a Dedicated Server
There are some clear-cut signs that a business is ready to upgrade to a dedicated server. These might include:
- The existing server is unable to keep up with application demand
- The existing server is suffering from high I/O disk latency
- System monitoring tools consistently showing high system load
- Customers/users are complaining about poor performance
- Network bandwidth limits being reached or VPS plan being exceeded
- Complex compliance needs of the business, such as managing a database containing HIPAA-Compliant data
- The business is hosting a large online community or digital media for its customers
- The business wants to work with data analytics or big data, and have the ability to spike usage then remove the compute VMs while still retaining the data in the cloud. At Atlantic.Net we provide options for On-Demand or Monthly term commits (as well as 1-year and 3-year) but the short term commits enable companies to burst their compute power to tackle projects without having to buy expensive hardware
Determine what signs of strain need to show in daily operations before pursuing a dedicated server upgrade—knowing ahead of time what symptoms to look out for keeps the business prepared to make the switch as soon as possible.
Additionally, determine which IT firm is best to hire for the VPS hosting migration ahead of time. That creates enough time to review different IT agencies to determine the best fit for industry needs, so the decision is not rushed later when the need for upgrading is imminent. A flexible, logical, and well-organized IT team meets the demands of both the individual business and changes in industry technologies. They make any VPS hosting migration to a dedicated server efficient and graceful.