I recently enjoyed migrating to a VPS server installation. I’ll tell you how we came to choose a VPS environment, what one is, and why it benefits business.
Our IT had been under a lot of pressure in 2019. Management had been asking why we weren’t “on the cloud” and “What were we doing about IOT/Security/integration of Social Media into the e-commerce systems.” The answer “nothing until you give us some money” was not seen as a good career-enhancing one.
Then 2020 hit, and what used to be nice to have suddenly morphed into essential for corporate survival, and the taps opened. Not a lot, but they opened. E-Commerce and work-from-home support hit the top of the charts.
The big problem was that we didn’t have enough staff to carry on with regular business and push on with the new stuff urgently because of frozen budgets and headcount restrictions in the past. We couldn’t afford to hire contractors and specialist techies. Something needed to be done.
Outsourcing the daily bread and butter stuff seemed a no-brainer. That way, we would release staff for the urgent stuff and fix the department’s expected operating costs. We also hoped to reduce operating costs.
We found that there are several levels of hosting:
1.Basic Hosting. Individuals and organizations make their websites and systems available on the Internet. It’s commonly used for small e-commerce applications. In our case, it was too small and underpowered.
2.Shared Hosting. In this case, a Managed Service Provider (“MSP”) provides a server that is shared between your installation and others. The sites share the server’s running costs, making it an economic proposition for organizations needing something a little larger and more responsive than simple Basic Hosting. We were concerned that users in one environment might see and extract data from other domain on the same server.
3.VPS Hosting. In this option, you have a full virtual server environment. Each physical server will host several VPS environments, sharing physical resources between each. It can be inhouse or with an MSP. HostSailor is a good example.
4.Full outsourcing. An MSP duplicates and manages your existing environment, inhouse, or on their premises. Typically users outsource management to the MSP and leave full control over everything to do with it to them. Too expensive for us.
Basic hosting is cheap but tends to be slow and limited in services. Support can be a bit patchy. Shared hosting has the same problem. Because you are sharing the same environment with others, it can have security issues.
If you want more than the basics, but can’t afford or don’t need the full dedicated server environment, VPS hosting is a cost-effective middle way.
VPS Server – an Overview
A standard VPS environment is KVM. There are others like OpenVM, but they all work in basically the same way. KVM was first brought forward as part of the primary Linux OS kernel and is Open Source software. You get it with the Linux kernel, and it can be installed at the start or added later. It provides a full virtualization environment for both Intel and AMD processors. You need the mainline Linux kernel at level 2.6.20 or above.
It supports several guest operating systems, including Windows, BSD, Solaris, and Linux. Each Virtual Machine (“VM”) has its own virtual resources allocated and managed by KVM.
A KVM virtual dedicated server allows you to have both Linux and Windows virtual servers running on the same physical server. Because each VM is complete with its own private virtualized hardware, each virtual server is entirely independent and acts like its physical equivalent. Because of the private server implementation and encrypted networks, each virtual server is secure against others’ intrusion in the same environment.
In a nutshell, that is VPS hosting. We implemented it with an external managed service provider providing the infrastructure hosting our corporate systems. You can install it on your own inhouse equipment, but that needs downtime.
If you have the same issues, take a look at VPS hosting.