Bringing Forth Pros and Cons of VPS and Reseller Web Hosting Plans

posted by Smirnovi4 @ 20:21 PM
January 8, 2010

Many of web hosting newbies bring up a question about differences between a reseller hosting and a VPS and wondering which one is best for their project needs. Unfortunately, it is not that simple to answer this question. There is a number of touches that require a closer investigation on the subject to give a decent answer. First of all, a lot depends on the initial aim, i.e. whether the account will be used to resell hosting, utilized directly to host own content, used as a test ground for products in development or all at once. Moreover, Skills possessed by an owner of an account matter a lot as well as the price differences. Let’s take a closer look at both hosting types to draw reasonable conclusions…

Shared Reseller Hosting Plans

Reseller hosting is a variation of a shared hosting, which in turn is a kind of a budget solution for those who are just starting off or have moderate needs. The idea behind shared hosting is quite simple – a lot of accounts on one single physical server. It is basically a dedicated server with installed OS and set of software. All of the accounts share resources and are restricted to use them for limited amounts of time. If an account violates the restrictions, it gets frozen or suspended for abuse. Policy violators cause overall slowdown for other users on the server because they use everybody else’s resources. While a dedicated server costs a lot of money, a shared account is very cheap (around $5-10 per month versus $200-700 for a dedicated server).

Installed and configured sets of software are available to everyone on a shared server, and only a small amount of adjustments can be done to this software due to the fact that it is used by all accounts. In most cases specific software sets cannot be installed at all. Administration privileges are limited to a simple user. Therefore, all important configurations are done by system administrators.

Reseller shared hosting plans have more functionality though and allow creating other hosting accounts. This way an owner of a reseller plan becomes a user with advanced privileges as compared to regular resold account users on the server. He can create, modify and delete hosting accounts according to the limits of the plans. In everything else he is pretty mush no different form a regular user.

Virtual Private Servers

Virtual Private Server is a special kind of hosting account located on a real carrier dedicated server. These virtual containers are created with the help of virtualization platforms. Latest advances in virtualization technologies provide VPSs with performance levels almost identical to the ones of its carriers. That means that now it is possible to have a lighter “virtual” dedicated server at prices, which are far cheaper than a physical one would actually be. As a matter of fact, a single real machine can now be in a way separated into several parts while every part will still posses features of the original system. The main distinction of a VPS is that it is fully isolated from other similar units on the same carrier dedicated server. Root access is no longer a restriction on VPS. This opens up full customization and administration capabilities. Many software sets and bundles can be installed and configured to your preference on a VPS.

As you can see, resource limitations that exist on shared accounts are no longer of any importance for VPS owner. He himself creates limitations and policies and decides the way all resources are used. However, it is important to remember that amount of available resources is limited. As the entire VPS runs on a set of several software products, including an OS, it is crucial not to deplete the resources. It is also important to keep in mind that a VPS is normally not as powerful as a server which hosts shared plans. That means that part of the VPS resources is spent on a general system functioning upkeep. Therefore, resource depletion will cause downtime of an entire VPS. Such downtime will include a need to reboot the container the hard way (i.e. by power reset). However, unlike a real server, when a VPS is incorrectly rebooted during hanging, there is no need for file system check or RAID rebuild, because these things are controlled on the side of the carrier server.

Bottom line

Hopefully, the information given above will help beginners better understand the differences between a VPS and Reseller hosting. VPSs are more powerful, provide more freedom, require more administration and cost a lot more than reseller accounts. On the other hand, reseller plans are relatively cheap, are fully managed by hosting company and are at the same time limited in features. Resource problems caused by a single account immediately may lead to service problems for an entire VPS. On the contrary, resold account taking up too much resources will lead to suspension of itself only, keeping all other accounts created by reseller online. Of course, there are more peculiarities in differences between the two, but it is quite obvious that a VPS is a choice for an experienced user with some skills of administration. Reseller hosting, on the other hand, is the best option for beginners. At the end of the day you can start with a reseller and then upgrade to a VPS if you feel need to.

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