With the technology progress, the way we use Internet resources is different than 20 years ago when it was just opening its doors for a wider audience. It’s no longer just the place where we can learn new information or read the news. The requirements for the website look and functions drastically changed. Simple static html pages and non-functional portfolios that were common some time ago now are just not enough to succeed and attract more visitors to a personal or a business website. Today when our lifestyles get busier, we are doing everything on the go from our laptops and mobile phones: buying goods and services, communicating with people, learning, and doing basically everything we need.
Internet users want to have everything in one place: more self-services when they can get acquainted with the content, ask questions from the instant chatbot help or real support representative, make a purchase, and pay for a product or a subscription.
With the faster pace of life and the internet speed, people are not ready to wait several minutes for a page to load, moreover, if the page is loading for more than 3 seconds, the chances to attract a customer are dropping.
Another challenge is security. As the number of cyber threats grows, we all want to make sure that the personal information users insert is protected (otherwise, there’s a high chance to pay a huge fine in the court, not even speaking of reputation loss), the malware injections and other unwanted traffic are blocked before reaching your server. And finally, that there’s a backup to restore in case the important data was erased.
Taking all the above-mentioned points into account requires more than having just some small space provided with a shared hosting account to cover all the needs.
So, here’s where VPS servers come into play:
VPS servers overview
VPS is a perfect balance between the limited capacity and strict policies of shared hosting, where a user is limited by resources, virtual neighbors, and strict user policies, and advanced dedicated servers. It’s also a great choice for those who want to enjoy the benefits and full control of a dedicated server but are not ready yet for substantial investments. A Virtual server can become this one-stop place covering all the needs starting from high traffic spikes to the potential of hosting multiple websites or server applications. But that’s not everything a VPS can offer.
Let’s see how you can use a VPS Server for Business and personal needs:
Private email server
If you plan to handle a lot of email communication, organize newsletters, and manage collaboration tools like file drive or calendar, the default shared hosting service is not an option. There are 2 ways to resolve this issue: either to use a business email solution like PrivateEmail or to build your own email server. The main benefit of the latter is that you can choose a spam filtration system of your own, the number of emails you can send is determined by the physical server capacity (usually on shared hosting providers limit the outgoing emails to avoid abuse cases and issues with blacklisted IP addresses), and you have more customization options like seamless integration with the email marketing tools.
Keeping a separate database server is one of the most common VPS usages for several reasons. You can host large databases that are not possible with shared hosting, establish incoming database connection requests, and last but not least it’s more secure. The core information of your websites like posts content and client’s information are stored in the database. And even if your website server is compromised, these details will be intact if you use a separate database server.
If you need to use a proxy to access the websites that are blocked in your region or protect the internal working resources, you can use your VPS server to establish the outgoing connection to the internet. This way is more secure than using external VPN options where the provider can trace your activity. With a self-hosted VPN, you can achieve the transparency of your actions like monitoring the logs and preserving internet anonymity by having full control over your traffic management.
Just like a mail server, IP telephony technology allows you to create a corporate network and allow your employees to be in touch more easily and efficiently. This option is mostly used by businesses that still rely on phone calls as part of a sale or service process. In addition, it’s also common for informal communication needs (a part of a gaming server, or a team-work on educational projects).
One more common use of a VPS is offsite backup storage. Having all your backups in one private place that you can customize according to your needs, setting up the automatic backup rotation or overwriting only the changed files will help you to rest assured that your data is safe and sound.
Optimization of Business processes
Cloud File storage
One common use of a virtual server is organizing the cloud storage for collaboration on internal files and documentation using solutions like Atlassian Confluence or building it from scratch. The main benefit of having your own server for it allows it to integrate the file storage with your permission systems to ensure that employees have the access level that corresponds to their role in the company.
Pro tip: When choosing the right solution for cloud file storage, make sure to check if it is compatible for other systems that are already in use like permission or project-management systems.
Many analysts are aware of the imperfections of classic solutions for tracking traffic and customers behavior for websites or applications. In attempts to simplify the analytics, major providers show the automatically generated insights that bring discrepancies due to their generic approach or even lead to incorrect data perception as many nuances are not taken into account. It may not be suitable for companies that want to operate on raw data. Launching your data inventory on your own server will allow you to collect, store and analyze data in real time and see historical analysis with different paid and open-sourced tools will cover the need in proper data processing and can be established on a VPS server.
Seeking for optimization of work, starting from connecting all the printers in the office and monitoring the ink levels in all the network, to automatically adjust the light, heating and even send the instruction to coffee machines to make you some coffee while you are at the meeting. It is no longer the scenario from some sci-fi book, but a real application of IoT concept in everyday life that can be achieved through connecting the device to a virtual server.
If you plan to host a web-application, there are a lot of parameters to consider starting from the traffic consumption to concurrent connection, databases custom libraries, as well as the core services versions (e.g., you may need to install the specific Database software or use the custom PHP modules) that will be used to build your application. Looking where to start? If you plan to serve a wide audience, forget about shared hosting, as in majority cases it will not be able to cover these requirements due to the need of root access that is not offered on this type of service. A VPS in its turn will be more suitable, as you choose the desired OS, control panel, and any customized software you need to make your application up and running.
When you work on the development project, you will need to test how the new features are working in a specific environment. Shared servers are not the best choice for sandbox, as they limit the choice of certain modules and the software version. With a VPS it’s easy to re-create the required conditions that are similar to the production server to see how this or that feature behaves simulating the real environment.
It goes without saying that the server does not have to be used exclusively to make your work more efficient. Free digital resources can also be used for informal communications and engagement.
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about entertainment is games. In this regard, the virtual server frees your hands. You can build a full-fledged Counter Strike server and use it to relax after the hard-working day, as a part of virtual teambuilding’s, and even organizing cybersport tournaments. Or you can create a simple web application with good old school games. And since the server is available to everyone in the company the best results may even be a reason for bonuses (or fines). Although the latter is unlikely to be a good example of encouragement. For those companies that foster the culture of healthy competition contributes to increase number of non-standard solutions and make brainstorming ideas like finding a new engagement method, creating a new logo, branding ideas and other creative tasks more productive.
The role of digital presence is hard to underestimate especially now, when the conditions are constantly changing. It gives a competitive advantage of covering the larger audiences, thus having more chances to grow a successful business. The COVID-19 last year and several waves of lockdown one more time highlighted the necessity to switch online even for those who are running a restaurant or deals with goods delivery, as with the several waves of lockdown it was hard to keep a business running without adapting to the new circumstances and shifting some operations online.
When it comes to the first steps on how to launch it – a VPS server will be perfect for small startups that are building their web-infrastructure from scratch, individuals that plan to use hosting for business and leisure activities, but it also will be valid for companies that want to bring more functionality to their current applications or websites but are not ready yet to invest into a dedicated server.