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Virtualization Vs Flat Servers
With the advent of Cloud hosting, the use of web servers has been revolutionized. This new technology involves multiple virtualization layers within one server, offering a great deal of flexibility to its users. These layers combine with the underlying infrastructure of the web hosting company, offering you a robust and scalable option for running applications on the Internet. As opposed to dedicated servers, these layers do not require the user to install any software on their own computers. Rather, they are pre-installed on the servers by the web hosting companies, thus reducing the installation cost and giving you greater flexibility as well.
Today's hosting industry has many options available in the form of virtualization technologies. This technology allows multiple physical servers to be broken down into multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server is independent and is able to run different operating systems. This allows you to create a dedicated server for your needs or use a load balancing solution for ensuring that you don't pay too much for a particular resource. In addition to dedicated servers, there are many other options available today such as clustered servers and grid hosting. With this technology you get the advantages of a virtual dedicated server without the high costs associated with it.
Virtualization also allows the hosting industry to provide the option of managing servers efficiently. The concept is quite simple: when you purchase a virtual server, you do not buy a physical server but rather a virtual version of it. With this facility, the virtual server can be managed by a service that is running on another server. With dedicated servers, you are the sole owner of that server, making sure that it is given all the attention that it requires. With virtualization however, you only pay for the resource that you use.
Another great advantage of using Virtualization technology is the use of containers. Containers allow you to separate various tasks or applications on the server while you scale up or down your requirements. You can easily create more servers if you need to, without affecting the other applications or the data center itself. The container will continue to run smoothly without affecting any other resources. This is very useful for businesses that have the need of multiple servers but cannot afford to dedicate a lot of physical space to them.
While virtualization lets you create your own virtual servers, grid hosting has a couple of disadvantages. First of all, this type of hosting uses much more server power and therefore you will pay more for the usage. Secondly, it is quite difficult to make the grid completely automated. However, even with these drawbacks, the grid is still widely used and preferred by many webmasters.
There are also some drawbacks in using virtualization for your servers. For one thing, the operating system, software, hardware, drivers, etc. are not closely linked. So, a new piece of hardware will not be able to affect the performance of the old software. This also leads to less efficiency.
Virtualization can also be a great option if you want to protect your server. Virtual private servers (VPS) provide a lot of features that you might otherwise miss out on, like having a unique IP address, having root access, having the ability to install custom software, etc. But you must remember that with this, you will be sharing disk space and bandwidth with other users of the same server. Therefore, you should only use VPS if you know you can afford it. Otherwise, it can also cause a big problem for you and your business.
In a nutshell, both virtualization and grid hosting are great options for hosting a website. Of course, which one you choose will depend on your requirements and budget. Your choice should also depend on your webmaster's knowledge about the inner workings of a server. If you have the right training and skilled labor, grid hosting can prove to be more beneficial. On the other hand, virtualization can be a great option if you don't mind sharing disk space and bandwidth.