Virtualization technology is a tool by which a server’s resources can be shared between multiple users. This works by creating virtual servers that are assigned allocated amounts of memory, disk, and CPU time in order to run. These virtual servers are kept separate from each other and provide users with all of the options that a dedicated server does.
These virtual dedicated servers go by a number of names, though virtual private server tends to be the most commonly used ones. This name is generally used to indicate that these servers are private to the individual running them, much like a dedicated server is, whilst also sharing resources on the same hardware.
What can one of these servers do? The answer is lots of things, in fact pretty much anything a dedicated server can do.
Virtual Dedicated Server: Running A Website
This is the most obvious and popular use. Since virtual dedicated servers provide more resources for your website (e.g. CPU, RAM, etc.) than shared hosting, you’ll find that your website feels more responsive. Plus, with full control over the virtual server, you can install and remove software at will according to your needs rather than being stuck with what the host offers.
Create a gaming server
A virtual server is a killer way to host a private server for gaming sessions for top games like Runescape, Minecraft, and World of Warcraft. If you create a unique gaming server with a virtual private server (VPS), you experience the following advantages:
- Customization capabilities
- Host the connection of other players, instead of relying on the game publisher
- Few limits on performance and stability
- Less lag and dropped connections
- More cost-effective than a home server
- Access to top-of-the-line hardware and only paying a fraction of the price.
If you’re big into the gaming world, a VPS is a great way to go. Just be careful about any potential resourcing limits required by your web host.
Virtual Dedicated Server: Setting Up Email
Next up there’s email. There are plenty of free mail providers, however, if you wish to have email using your own domain name, then most providers charge for that privilege. With a virtual server, you can run your own email server with as many mailboxes as you need.
It is important, especially with the prevalence of open wifi hotspots, to keep your traffic safe and secure. It’s often recommended to use a VPN to keep your data secure when using a wifi hotspot, but how do you know that your VPN provider can be trusted? Installing a VPN on your server can help you keep your data secure, safe, and under your control.
Testing New Environments
Since dedicated hosting is so expensive, virtual servers can be used as testing grounds for server setups that aren’t ready for live deployment. They can also be useful for quick exploration and testing of new components: operating systems, frameworks, software, etc.
Beef Up Your Skills
Another use for a VPS can be as a learning tool. You can launch a VPS, tweak it, configure software, destroy it and start all over again. If what you are doing breaks the server, then it’s no problem! Rebuilding your VPS back to a working state is quick and easy. This means that you can spend time learning how to do things on a real system.
You can probably think of a number of uses we’ve not listed here. Either way, a virtual dedicated server, whether you call it a virtual machine, virtual server, or virtual private server (VPS), has a virtually unlimited number of uses.