Someone break down the purpose of VPS and Dedicated Servers.. PLEASE!

9 replies
I never really paid any attention to those offers when I'm on hostgator... But I was bored.. so I started reading.

I looked up both of these on Wikipedia. I am completely confused...

Why would I (or anyone) need a VPS or dedicated server? What's the difference between those and "reseller" hosting?

So if I understand correctly..

Reseller hosting is a bunch of people getting a piece of a server...
VPS is a smaller portion of people on one server?
And dedicated is your personal own server?

Why would you need your own server? Is this just for huge sites like FB or YouTube?

Also, I am reading that you can run your own operating system on those... WTF?

I am totally confused right now. Run your own operating system on your hosting account as if it was another computer?? I don't get it.

Maybe someone can explain this in English to me, thanks
#break #dedicated #purpose #servers #vps
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    While most people only need shared hosting (to host landing pages, blogs, and common sites), some have different purposes. Reseller plans are for those who want to start a hosting business. Dedicated servers are for those requiring more than usual resources. You are right about FB or Youtube, they run a bunch of dedicated servers. I know Google runs a number of servers more than I can count. About the OS, there are many other OS other than Windows or Mac, these other OS are specially designed for people's specific needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author oldwarrioruser1
    Ok so... for example..

    Google has a dedicated server for different aspects of the website? They can customize each server to fit a certain need for the site?

    And you can't customize shared hosting?
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    • Profile picture of the author Wide
      Originally Posted by korypearman View Post

      Ok so... for example..

      Google has a dedicated server for different aspects of the website? They can customize each server to fit a certain need for the site?

      And you can't customize shared hosting?
      No, shared hosting comes as it is, since your sharing a server with 2-300 other clients.

      Google runs on 1-2.000.000 servers (if I remember right).
      I read somewhere that FB have more than 100.000 servers, cant remember where I read it - it was a lot.

      A forum like this probably runs on 2 servers.
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  • Profile picture of the author oldwarrioruser1
    I guess what I'm not really understanding is, what can you possibly 'change' on a server?

    I guess I'm not seeing the broad picture. Because on my shared hosting, I can do anything I want.. right? no?

    I can host any type of website I want.. blogs, forums, etc, etc..

    It's comes with all kinds of options and jibberish in the cpanel...

    You know what I mean? Maybe an example of something you can actually do on the dedicated server that you can't on shared would help.
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    • Profile picture of the author Wide
      Originally Posted by korypearman View Post

      I guess what I'm not really understanding is, what can you possibly 'change' on a server?

      I guess I'm not seeing the broad picture. Because on my shared hosting, I can do anything I want.. right? no?

      I can host any type of website I want.. blogs, forums, etc, etc..

      It's comes with all kinds of options and jibberish in the cpanel...

      You know what I mean? Maybe an example of something you can actually do on the dedicated server that you can't on shared would help.
      On a shared hosting you can't do anything you want.
      99% of webmasters can use shared hosting without problems, since it's created to match the needs of "normal" website owners.

      On your own dedicated server you can run special versions of Linux (most common server OS) and you can configure it to match your exact needs. That way you get an optimized server that do exactly what you want it too.

      Guess you can compare it to a normal personal computer.
      Yes sure, 99% of us can probably use your computer for what we need, but we can optimize our workflow with our own personal computer, which we can configure ourself (install the software we need and remove the ones we don't need).

      Some software have specific requirements to the server. You can install the programs you need on a dedicated server, you cant do that on shared hosting.

      Thats the difference between a dedicated server and shared hosting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    Google runs millions of servers because one server can't handle all the data it has and additional data it will have. Surely if the "unlimited" hosting that Hostgator or other providers advertises is real, then I'm not sure why Youtube or Google would pay gazzilions of money when they can get it for $10/mo at Hostgator.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    Why would you need your own server? Is this just for huge sites like FB or YouTube?
    Yep.

    Most rinky dink IM sites don't have enough traffic or use enough bandwidth to require the big guns but when you're site gets to a certain point you're going to want it.

    But, you don't need a huge site like FB or YouTube. If you want your site to run fast and handle a lot of traffic having a dedicated box can make you and your traffic happy.

    This site (warrior forum) is on a dedicated server of one flavor or another due to the amount of traffic it gets, it's not on the hostgator babycroc plan.
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    I'm all about that bass.

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  • Profile picture of the author Drewry_Media
    I just go with the flow. As long as the server works, I'm creating content, posting, and optimizing away..lol
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  • Profile picture of the author SageSound
    There are three limiting factors on any computer:

    1) how many operations can be performed in some given unit of time, say every second; and

    2) how much memory is required to perform the operations you want to perform.

    3) how fast you can get data in and/or out of your program. The data can be moved to/from a local hard drive or to/from your computer's browser via the internet. This is generally referred to as bandwidth.

    You can load up something like WampServer on your Windows machine; this lets you run things as if it was a web server. Any computer manufactured in the past 5 years running WampServer would give you performance that's on par with VPS hosting -- it IS a VPS for most intents and purposes.

    Motorized vehicles vary from puny minibikes with sub-50cc engines up to honker motorcycles with hundreds of horsepower, and cars with 1L engines up to those with huge diesel engines in them.

    A locomotive can pull rail cars filled with automobiles, but you'd be hard-pressed to chain together a bunch of automobiles that would pull a locomotive engine.

    Shared hosting accounts are the "minibikes" of hosting. They're great to get started, but they're limited in terms of CPU bandwidth, memory, disk space, and I/O bandwidth.

    A "reseller" account is a way to create a bunch of independent shared hosting accounts. They're useful whether you want to set up a hosting business or if you just want your various websites on separate accounts.

    A VPS is good if you need more CPU, memory, or bandwidth, but don't need a "full load".

    Dedicated servers are for when you need 100% control of everything on the box.

    Amazon, eBay, Google, and others go WAY BEYOND dedicated servers and set up multiple data centers filled with thousands of computers that all share the load -- CPU bandwidth, memory, and I/O bandwidth. These types of configurations are becoming known as "the cloud".

    It won't be long before all hosting services are melted into one "cloud-based" service where you simply say how much CPU bandwidth, memory, and I/O bandwidth you need, and it will be allocated to your account. If things start running slowly, you'll probably just upgrade your account by doubling all of the allocated values.

    Here's another analogy ... when you first leave the house when you're 18, say, you can easily crash on someone's couch. Your first apartment might be a 250 sq ft studio. When you get married, that would be a bit cramped. So you'd look for a bigger place, maybe an 800 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment. When you have a kid or two, you probably want something bigger still, maybe a 1500 sq ft home. If you decide to provide place for foster kids, you need a much larger place, more like a ranch.

    Sleeping on a couch is a "shared hosting" situation. So is renting an apartment, because you're subject to rules that affect everybody in the entire building.

    When you get your own home, that's like a dedicated server. If your family gets really big, you need several of 'em.

    If you're Google or eBay, you need a few small towns spread around the world.

    Hope that helps!

    -David
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