Virtual Server Comparison

Physical Servers vs VPS (Virtual Private Servers) vs Dedicated VM Hosting

The server hosting business offers a veritable dog's breakfast of solutions with packages and pricing that's scattered all over the yard. Unless you're a real server expert, you may not be able to distinguish the trash from the treats. So don't make a critical hosting decision based on price or what the industry wants you to believe is "perceived value". Perceptions are shaped by marketing hype and geek speak. We want to help you understand it all.

Virtual Density's Dedicated VM Cloud Servers are a better choice than either dedicated physical servers or Virtual Private Server (VPS) offerings.

Physical Servers

can sometimes offer more pure horsepower than either VPS or Cloud Servers. Yet they suffer from a glaring fatal flaw... most critical components in a cheap dedicated server, as well as the server itself, represent a huge single point of failure. Single points of failure are showstoppers because until the server is fixed, reconfigured or replaced, the content is unavailable and the server is offline. Which means you're down or at least temporarily out of business. And if the hard drive fails, you're dead without a recent backup.

Sure, there are times when a dedicated server is a good choice, such as when you need to run very large database applications like Oracle, SQL or Exchange. But for the most part, dedicated servers are expensive and their resources are way underutilized. Dedicated servers are operationally risky and difficult to manage properly. They are also the least green option and the most wasteful hosted server choice you can make.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS)

fill the need for a poor man's dedicated physical server. They need to be managed like a physical server, and they inherit the single point of failure problems of a physical server. But they're actually much riskier in operation because they allow a single physical server to be time shared by multiple tenants with unpredictable traffic loads and disparate business interests. Think of the noisiest dorm or apartment building you ever lived in, and you'll appreciate why privacy, peace and stability may be better than living in such "an exciting" environment.

When one of the tenants in a VPS goes rogue, is attacked, gets swamped with traffic or abuses the community resources, all the other tenants in that server are affected. VPS hosters claim that such problems are rare, but in the real world these things happen every day. VPS is cheap because you accept a higher degree of operational risk. So keep your expectations low and know that you get what you pay for. VPS servers are a greener choice than a dedicated physical server, but the way resources are shared with other tenants make them a poor choice for hosting anything more serious than a staging site or some low budget websites.

Unlike the other two hosting options, Virtual Density's Dedicated VM Cloud Servers are built on very expensive High-Availability infrastructure software from VMWare with networking systems from Cisco, servers from Dell and storage from EMC. That means they are designed to provide for automatic fail-over in an operationally resilient environment. Our Cloud Servers are Dedicated VMs hosted on a platform that contains no single point of failure. This is why we offer a 100% uptime Service Level Agreement. The hosting world promises 99 to 99.999% uptime. Why waste time counting 9s when we provide 100% guaranteed uptime?

The table below allows you to easily and quickly compare your requirements against the pros and cons of Physical Servers, VPS Servers and our Dedicated VM servers. We hope you use it to come the same conclusion we have. Virtual Density's Dedicated VM Cloud Servers are a more reliable and more cost effective hosting solution. If your hosting project is important to you, we're a hands-down better choice.

Function Physical Servers
VPS Dedicated VM Servers Detail
Operational Resilience
via High Availability
Only available
in very expensive
clustered farms
High platform availability with automatic hardware failover is built into the VMware-based virtualized environment
Fully Managed Infrastructure Optional Partially* The hardware underlying the virtualized infrastructure is monitored and managed by the service provider
Time to Deploy Weeks/Months Hours/Days Minutes/Hours Physical infrastructure needs to be specified, ordered, delivered, configured & installed
Dedicated Resources 


VMware VSphere allows precise and accurate control over server resource allocation, which ensures you always get what you pay for
Dedicated Performance VMware VSphere's precise resource control guarantees your performance cannot be impacted by other customers
Independence from underlying OS Only the true virtualization of VMware VSphere allows complete independence from an underlying OS
Migration from existing hosting environment Difficult Possible* Fast & Efficient P2V (Physical to Virtualised) tools can be used to smooth the migration path
Upgrading Processor Speed Difficult Possible* Fast & Efficient Upgrading physical infrastructure requires specification, ordering and delivering and installation of any component. 

This is a trivial change in a virtualized environment.

Upgrading RAM Non-trivial Possible* Fast & Efficient
Upgrading HDD Non-trivial Possible* Fast & Efficient
Cloning Possible* Cloning a production environment for development, staging or testing purposes can be easily delivered using dedicated VM server hosting
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* VPS providers offer differing service levels