What is the difference between a VPS, VDS and PDS?

With so much technical jargon and so many different acronyms to wrap your head around, it’s no surprise that people often find themselves feeling lost and confused when it comes to website hosting.

To try and help set the record straight, we’re going to explain three of the most common types of website hosting solutions, as well as what makes them different from each other. By understanding all of this, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to which hosting option best suits your specific needs.

VPS – Virtual Private Server

A VPS is a private server and is a step up from a standard shared hosting option, where your site would share server space with any number of other websites. The “virtual” part of VPS refers to the fact that it is not a physical server, but a virtual server, running its own software and operating system. One of the main benefits of having your own private server means that you have much more freedom to configure it to meet your exact needs, as you aren’t sharing it with other sites. Sharing a server can often result in your site running more slowly, and this is one reason why people will upgrade to a VPS from a standard shared hosting option as their website grows.

VDS – Virtual Dedicated Server

The next step up from a VPS is a VDS, which provides increased performance, reliability and scalability. Again, this is a major benefit for businesses who are seeing a large increase in the amount of traffic their site is receiving, or who need to implement new functionality to meet the changing needs of their customers. The main difference between a VPS and VDS is the type of virtualisation technology that is used to deliver the service. With a VDS, the virtualisation software runs directly on physical servers, rather than on top of the server operating system. VDS servers are popular with larger websites, and ecommerce sites in particular.

PDS – Physical Dedicated Server

A PDS involves your hosting provider setting up a complete physical server, with its own hard drives, memory and CPU, solely for your company to use. The main benefit this gives you is that you share nothing with anyone else. However, having a PDS limits you in terms of scalability – after a while you may use up all of the resources of your server, outgrowing it. When this happens, you would need to buy an entirely new server and then undergo a site migration, which can be expensive and time consuming. PDSs are also more prone to faults, and can lead to your server being offline for days while you try to repair it. Physical servers are more popular with companies that have fairly linear requirements for hosting that will not change over time, as well as companies that understand how to manage the physical hardware involved.

If you’re unsure about your hosting needs, get in touch with our team today to see how we can help.

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