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Virtual Private Servers VS VMware Virtual Machines

In this latest blog series, we’ll be revisiting our archives and thought leadership topics over the last 15 years, updating them and reflecting on how they compare to modern-day developments.

For the first blog, we’re going back to the fundamentals of Cloud Computing, exploring the differences between Virtual Private Servers and VMware Virtual Machines. This blog was first published on the 31st of January 2012.

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The past, present and future of the Cloud

In 2012, the Cloud Computing industry held an estimated growth rate of 1,100% for 2015 and the Cloud was one of the most fast-paced, rapidly expanding sectors in the world. Now, Gartner estimates that in 2023, public Cloud services alone are forecasted to total $591.8 billion.

One thing that has also increased through this growth is service provider choice. In a competitive landscape, where Cloud technology is the norm, many service providers seemingly offer the same enterprise hosting services, often with a ‘race to the bottom’ approach.

This is why both partners and enterprise organisations need to have a clear view and understanding of the provider they are working with. One of the very basic things to consider is the technology that they are using.

This is what we said in 2012:

VMs vs VPS

Virtualisation can be enabled by both Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and Virtual Machines (VM). A virtual Private Server typically offers a lower-cost solution when compared to Virtual Machines and this is especially useful for businesses on a tight IT budget, but would there be any implications of using a VPS over a VM?

Security and privacy

A Virtual Private Server is a physical server that has been partitioned into several smaller Virtual Servers, and these servers share an operating system. A VMware Virtual Machine, on the other hand, completely splits the server and each partition runs its own operating system, with its own dedicated resources.

When comparing the two, the first thing to consider is that a VPS shares system files through the core operating system, this is something to consider as it could potentially create security issues since the user’s information can never be completely isolated, and therefore never be completely secure.


The differences between the two configurations can also cause performance issues, for example, if a Virtual Private Server runs over 50 separate partitions and their users, then signs of strain may begin to show on the Server. Whereas VMware Virtual Machines, are specifically designed to withstand this level of workload.

If a VPS is hit with high levels of unexpected traffic, it will typically use all the CPU available on the server, but with a Virtual Machine, each partition has its own dedicated CPU, ensuring that each partition utilises its own resources.

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Using vMotion, High Availability (HA) and Dynamic Resource Scheduling (DRS), which are available through VMware Virtual Machines, users can avoid disruptions and increase uptime. VMotion enables the server owner to perform hardware maintenance without any downtime, while it also proactively monitors and moves VMs from other, underperforming servers.

This ensures that the overall performance and experience are unharmed and that organisations on a VM can continue to work with minimal disruption. These features are instrumental in providing the best user experience possible.

In our opinion, a VMWare Virtual Machine, when compared to a Virtual Private Server, offers the user improved security, redundancy and performance and our opinion has not changed since this article was first published in 2012.

We’re proud to say that virtualDCS was the UK’s first VMware enterprise partner, so if you would like more information on how you or your customers can utilise VMware and Cloud Computing technology, please head over to our ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ web page, or contact the team.

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