VPS vs. VDS: A Comparison of the Two Server Types

When you are shopping for a virtual private server, you may be wondering what the difference is between VPS and VDS. At first glance, a VDS or a virtual dedicated server seems to be a fancy label for a higher end VPS. This isn’t entirely untrue as a VDS could be considered a VPS in some circles, depending on who you ask.

Virtualization technology is commonly used in enterprises all around the world. Virtualization isn’t anything new. In fact, the technology has existed for well over a decade and it has been perfected by software vendors such as Microsoft and VMWare. Server virtualization has become so advanced, some tests show that virtualized servers can rival those built on bare metal.

Among hosting professionals, there’s several distinguishable differences between traditional VPS and VDS.

VDS: A Virtualized Server Instance Tied to a Single Dedicated Server

Providers commonly take dedicated servers and partition them into multiple virtual server instances. Using virtualization technology, an entire server can be setup to contain multiple VPS instances. The difference between a VPS and VDS is simple. A VDS instance takes up the entire server whereas a VPS is a server configured to host multiple server instances.

The VDS configuration essentially gives you the dedicated resources of a server, however, the virtualized layer sits on top of the server itself. VDS can be easily confused with bare metal server; VDS is an entire server that functions as node within a hypervisor. Delivering services in this manner allows organizations to effectively provide a fully managed, redundant VDS hosting experience.

VPS: A Virtualized Server Instances that Share a Server

As described above, a virtual private server is merely a server instance that is created by a hypervisor. For a server gain distinction as a VPS, the hypervisor divvies up one physical server into multiple server instances. These server instances are allocated with the server resources you have purchased with your VPS plan.

These resources won’t fluctuate as other VPS hosts may be hosted on the same physical box. The virtualization layer ensures that your VPS has the resources dedicated to it that you initially purchased. The distinction between VPS and VDS lies in the fact a VDS gets dedicated server underneath the layer of virtualization while a VPS shares the underlying server with other virtual private servers created on the same node.

Which is right for me? VPS or VDS?

The answer to this question squarely relies upon the needs of your organization. For memory and CPU intensive workloads, an organization may feel more comfortable getting a virtual dedicated server knowing that their specific server is not sharing compute or memory resources with other virtual private servers on the box.

If this is your first time getting your feet wet with virtual server instances, you may want to start with a VPS and evaluate its performance. If the performance is acceptable for your applications, you may have found the right solution. If the application performs poorly, you can always upgrade your VPS to a more robust solution such as a VDS. Since these services are provisioned virtually, these newly purchased server resources can be delivered to your server on demand.