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The Pros and Cons of Windows VPS Hosting

Short for virtual private server, VPS represents an increasingly popular type of web hosting that is established by partitioning a single physical server into multiple virtual servers.  Each server has its own private environment and is capable of running independently from its counterparts.  A VPS has its own fully developed operating system and can also be rebooted independent of the other virtual servers on the machine.  A VPS offers much greater performance than a shared server and while it still lacks in comparison to a dedicated server, it does share many of the same qualities.  A virtual private server provides you with a great deal of freedom and has garnered the reputation of being notably more affordable than a single physical server.

Microsoft’s Contribution

VPS hosting in enabled by a certain type of software that has the ability to control the multiple servers.  With the introduction of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V, hosting providers have access to a more secure and reliable platform to deliver VPS solutions.  Windows VPS hosting received its big start with Windows Virtual Server 2007,  a platform that while serviceable, could not complete with offerings on the market by vendors such as VMWare.  Thanks to Microsoft’s recent innovations, Windows VPS hosting customers are now ensured a dramatically improved performance that can be enhanced through integration with VMWare and other virtualization software packages.

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The Advantages of Windows VPS

A Windows VPS platform offers an environment most administrators and developers really appreciate.  The familiar Windows desktop interface makes setting up an account a seamless and easy process.  Because of this, most users can easily adapt to and thrive in this environment.  A Windows VPS server is ideal for individuals and businesses that have a need to run high-traffic websites, complex web applications, or custom services that simply aren’t recommended for a shared server.   With the array of new security features implemented into the Windows Server 2008 operating system, the Windows platform has become one of the most secure VPS hosting solutions available.

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The Disadvantages of Windows VPS

There is one major drawback to a Windows VPS and that is the significant amount of resources it demands from the server.  The good thing is that this problem can addressed by running the Windows 2008 Core installation.  This gives you a scaled down version of the platform with select features and services.  If you have a need to run a large number of applications, you might be better suited for a dedicated server as it will give you the best possible performance.

When comparing it to the open-source Linux operating system, another knock on Windows VPS hosting could be the cost factor.  Linux and its core components are released under a license that allows them to be freely distributed and this is often reflected in the cost of service.  Windows on the other hand, comes attached with costly licenses that can send the price soaring.

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Minor drawbacks aside, Windows is an excellent choice for running a virtual private server. With the backing of reliable hardware, the superb performance, flexibility and security it offers makes it a VPS solution you definitely want to consider.

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3 Comments

  • Avatar for Windows VPS Windows VPS says:

    Doesn’t the licensing limitation on core installs limit hosts? I believe that the data center unlimited VPS option isn’t available via the core install setup. Each VPS has to have it’s own license.

  • Avatar for Mark Schiavetta Mark Schiavetta says:

    Any chance of doing a Windows Xen and Virtuozzo review too?

  • Avatar for UltimaVPS UltimaVPS says:

    Virtuozzo 4.x overcomes some of the resource requirements for running a Windows VPS. For example the OS only requires around 100mb or RAM to run. VZ VPS can also take up as little as 1GB of HDD. Downside of VZ VPS is you are limited on what can be installed on the VPS.

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